Cracking the creative code

We are often asked about the science behind good Out of Home (OOH) creative by clients and agencies alike, and the answer is always keep it simple, use contrasting colours, make the logo large, amplify the message and only have one message… you know, the obvious stuff.

Finding how to measure the obvious though has been harder to crack because, after all, we are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.We are often asked about the science behind good Out of Home (OOH) creative by clients and agencies alike, and the answer is always keep it simple, use contrasting colours, make the logo large, amplify the message and only have one message… you know, the obvious stuff. Finding how to measure the obvious though has been harder to crack because, after all, we are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We know that finding the perfect creative strategy can be an art as much as anything, but when it comes to OOH, applying a bit of science does help. UK OOH company, Talon (Talon Outdoor 2017), may have cracked the code. They put 200 OOH campaigns through an eye tracking study to determine what creative factors have the most appeal and impact. They found that three important factors make an OOH advertisement more engaging.

1. Simplicity is the key 
Busy advertisements that have more than five components tend to underperform when tested. The essential parts of an OOH creative are the image, the headline and the logo as they allow people to quickly absorb the brand message.

2. Layout affects position of creative elements
Landscape advertisements are usually read from left to right and portrait advertisements from top to bottom. Therefore, the best outcome is for the creative elements to be laid out in a sequential order… promote the story by telling the message.

3. Logos should be more integrated and given equal creative consideration
The brand logo is often the weakest link in an OOH advertisement. In most OOH advertisements, logos tend to be small and not fully integrated in the message. This results in it being outshined by other parts of the creative and therefore you run the risk of people not being able to link the advertisement to the brand.

But why is this important? Well, results from a study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 2010) (IPA) showed that OOH campaigns that won a creative award delivered 11X the Return on Investment (ROI) of non-creatively awarded campaigns. The IPA concluded that there was a certainty of a higher ROI delivery for award winning creative over other non-awarding winning creative.

Creativity adds that ‘X factor’ to all parts of our life, and in OOH the importance of creativity also can’t be understated. It is at the heart of all OOH advertisements, because the content tells the whole story and it must do that at a glance.

So, keep it simple, tell the story, and make sure you don’t hide the brand – this is the creative key to increasing ROI through your OOH campaign.

 

Sources:
Taloon Outdoor 2017, OOH Creatives: What makes them stand out from the crowd?
Institute of Practitioner in Advertising 2010, The Link Between Creativity and Effectiveness.