Edison Media

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

‘THE MOMENTS OF TRUTH’

We were fortunate enough to watch an incredible lecture which details the launch of a world first study commissioned by Clear Channel, JCDecaux Global and Posterscope, named ‘The Moments of Truth.’ The study is a three-part process trying to advance our understanding on how consumers engage with digital Out of Home and how relevant timing and positioning (dynamic) best generates that stimuli and how to best utilise the power of it. The discussion was firstly framed by some context concerning the current state of Out of Home media.

  • ‘UK Out of Home grew by 7.65% in Out of Home billings, 2019 vs 2018, which places it at the top of traditional media.’
  • ‘Reach is the most important driver of effectiveness and OOH […] consistently posts the highest levels of reach irrespective of audience of all media. However, the inherent agility and flexibility digitisation brings to OOH arguably enables it to go full funnel.’
  • ‘Only 8% of digital expediter is tapping into its unique capabilities to be contextually relevant. Specifically, when delivering messages only when triggered by a real-life event, this is what we call dynamic digital out of home.’

The first phase of the study was focused on Neuroscience and was led by Shazia Ginai, the CEO of Neuro-Insight. The purpose of this research was to understand the importance of relevance for both moments (times of day) and content (location, time and weather) and the effect when used in combination. There was a sample of 160 people who were shown static content for 10 seconds each and their brain responses were monitored by Steady State Topography technology to analyse if content that featured individual dynamic triggers was more effective at promoting an increased brain response. There were two major findings:

  • They discovered ‘an uplift of 12% in average brain response when a product was displayed at the most relevant moment.’
  • The study also revealed an ‘18% increase’ if there was also an ‘added layer of time, location or weather’, which concludes ‘an average increase in brain response of 32%’ when used together.

These staggering figures certainly are impressive and clearly enunciate how taking into consideration the relevant moment and context can really pack a punch. The most illuminating point of her discussion, I found, was when she used the analogy of ‘brand rooms.’ She discusses how ‘every brand we interact with creates brand rooms within our heads’ and how ‘our communications are a means of either furnishing that brand room or switching on a light switch.’ She then further explains how ‘you can use these dynamic triggers to flip the switch’ (insert TikTok song here) and get your audience actively thinking. This clearly illustrates how dynamic Out of Home can aid an ad campaigns to reinforce an already steady foundation (or brand story) but also encourage an active response by the consumer.

“…every brand we interact with creates brand rooms within our heads.” – Shazia Ginai

Secondly, our attention was shifted to some good old-fashioned audience participation inspired by Colin Cherry’s Cocktail Party effect (which you can learn about here) which highlighted our ability to recall accurately an image we are constantly bombarded with, in this case the Apple logo. The study demonstrates the difference between ‘being exposed to a stimulus […] and observing it.’ With the question proposed being that if only a small amount of what we see is being deemed worthy of our attention how do we make sure that our advertisements are acknowledged? In this study they used ResearchBods eye-tracking software to monitor 280 participants whilst they virtually walked through a shopping centre. The participants were exposed to six posters to find out which tailored advertisements caught their attention compared to a control (standard non contextualised advertising), whilst a postquestionnaire tested for preference, trust and recall. They found that:

  • ‘if you contextually target your advertising, make it relevant to the context, people were more likely to look at the ad and they spent on average 6% longer looking at those ads.’
  • ‘A 17% increase in spontaneous recall.’
  • Finally, ‘a 6% higher rating of the creative.’

This study concludes that by making your advertisements relevant you can create a desirable effect on consumer engagement and make your campaigns stand out in a sea of promotions. But, how does that effect media value? To advance our perspective they shared that hypothetically:

  • ‘brands spend on average £500,000 on DOOH, therefore if you apply the 18% improved brain response it would be an expected increase of £74,000 added media value, roughly.’

During the presentation they reassure that whilst this is only a directional hypothesis it should encourage us to at least try to attempt to ‘tweak the corrective’ and ‘if it is significantly less [..to do so compared to the possible £74,000 increase] then it suggests there may be a financial benefit in undertaking those small tweaks.’ They are simply asking us to see the possibilities and not be afraid to give this a go, not for their benefit, but for ours.

However, do these findings lead to actual, non-hypothetical results? That is what the third and final segment of this study set out to find out. It aimed to identify tangible links between in-store sales and digital Out of Home advertising to help consolidate their previous claims. It analysed ‘a number of points of sale campaigns, whether they were near supermarkets or highstreets and then looked at the sales effect.’ There were three different scenarios all matched to similar stores, including scenarios with no advertising, basic advertising and lastly, a contextually targeted advert. There were 2 key findings:

  • ‘An 9% increase using standard DOOH compared to no ads.’
  • ‘A further 7% increase using dynamic DOOH’, concluding a 16% increase in sales.’

These findings outline drastic improvements of engagement when using DOOH and appear very enticing. Therefore, with all the facts and figures being so convincing why is it that not all brands are taking advantage of what appears to be a very effective way of improving the memorability and fruitfulness of their campaigns? I think this was most eloquently put when we moved on to a practical discussion with Julia Sparrow, the Area Media Manager for Northern Europe for Mondelez International who has first-hand experience in trying to integrate this method into her own campaign strategy.

Her key pieces of advice were that this process is definitely a ‘journey’ and that there is definitely a learning curve. She shares that it takes time to find the right balance for your particular business because you can run into the problem of ‘diluting’ your brand story if you systematically try to tick all the boxes to fulfil those dynamic triggers. However, whilst she does acknowledge that we all have a lot to learn she also understands that when it is done well it can be a very useful and successful technique.

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