Magazine article Marketing

Outdoor Showcase

Magazine article Marketing

Outdoor Showcase

Article excerpt

Outdoor campaigns can create instant visual impact at carefully targeted locations. Ken Gofton examines four current posters.


The AA's switch last year from the slogan 'The Fourth Emergency Service' to 'Just AAsk' was designed to end the perception that it is purely a breakdown organisation. By showcasing its wide range of other products, it aims to raise awareness and increase cross-selling.

But promoting a diverse range of services risks blurring the key message that they are all available from one provider. There's only one solution to this: creative consistency.

The AA's road signs are familiar to everyone. This established branding device - a yellow background with a black border - unites all the creative treatments. Images of 'real' people illustrate consumers with dilemmas where the AA is able to assist. Headlines are simple, such as 'How can I get to Tooting without tooting?' for the AA's online route planner.

There are three good reasons for using outdoor media - which was planned by Manning Gottlieb OMD and bought by Posterscope. One is that, by and large, the AA's competitors don't. It also believes people are most receptive to the brand at a roadside location, and finally, the AA was successful with outdoor last year.

The campaign is scheduled to run in bursts over nine months, using 6000 48-sheets, 900 96-sheets and 4500 six-sheets.

The AA is clustering the posters to increase impact and using bus 'mega rears' and car park barriers to promote the brand in unexpected places.

Research at the end of 2002 showed that four out of five people know the AA is not just for emergencies.

Client: AA
Creative agency: M&C Saatchi
Outdoor specialist: MG OMD/Posterscope
Period: March-November

MFI has invested pounds 10m to let consumers know it stocks a number of important new brands and can provide furnishing solutions throughout the house.

At the heart of the campaign is a series of TV commercials, directed by Jeff Stark. Each focuses on a different room, revealing glimpses of a mystery celebrity going about their routine. The question 'Whose room is this?' is then posed. The answer provided is not the celebrity's name, but that of the brand whose products are featured, such as Schreiber or Sofa Workshop.

The ad is reminiscent of the BBC's Through the Keyhole. Publicis chairman and executive creative director Gerry Moira draws a careful distinction, however. 'The programme is not the inspiration for the idea,' he explains.

'The idea is about grouping all the big names under one roof. The mechanic for keeping that interesting is to play this little game about guessing the owner. Through the Keyhole is an influence, but not the inspiration.'

As one-hit media, posters and press ads do not lend themselves to the same slow-reveal as a TV commercial. Nevertheless, the idea of 'All the big names under one roof' is exploited, with stars including Vinnie Jones, Martine McCutcheon and Harry Hill.

A total of 180 96-sheets and 660 48-sheets have been used so far in London and the South-East. Sites have been chosen, says MFI marketing manager Jon Coulson, to be within 15 minutes' drive of the 120 stores that have had a Conran redesign.

Client: MFI
Creative agency: Publicis
Outdoor specialist: ZenithOptimedia
Period: Progressive roll-out

The campaign behind Volkswagen's V10 diesel engine was intended to be for the motor press only, but ended up on TV and posters and at the cinema too. …

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