It will perhaps come as no surprise to
you when I say that the competition to secure OOH space at
Christmas time is fierce. With thousands of brands looking to tempt
our money from our wallets at the same time you tend to find the
winners are always the ones who are organised. For certain
categories where Christmas is make or break season - December alone
accounts for 40% of fragrance sales - we have brands now booking
space as early as March to ensure they don't miss out.
It's not just the planning of
communications that is shifting earlier; brands are increasingly
earlier to market with their holiday season messaging. Historically
in OOH the battle at Christmas has been waged most ferociously
across the first two weeks of December, but the last few years have
seen activity shift earlier and, in a similar way to TV, it is now
not uncommon to see brands active in OOH with Christmas messaging
in October. Recently, the Christmas TVC has been having a Superbowl
Consumers now look forward to the
release of the latest John Lewis advert for example and OOH, with
the amazing quality of sites and HD digital screens that are
enabling brands to continue that story out on the street.
While mobile is taking an increasing
share of retail sales, as a nation we still love to shop in malls
and on high streets and around 80% of our money is still being
exchanged in these places. It's a leisure pursuit for many of us,
even in December and we actively seek out inspiration when we shop.
While 'Christmassy' is a horrible word when said in August in a few
short months we will begin to notice little pockets of festiveness
and will soon be smitten.
Brands have a responsibility to
contribute to the decoration and contribute to the feeling. Whether
it's a sprinkle of fairy lights on a 48 sheet or a full blown snow
shower in Covent Garden, brands that get into the spirit of the
season will be enjoyed by consumers.
It's also where people are during the
last shopping moments of the season. Almost half of us (42%) expect
to only finish our gift buying in the week before Christmas. I hold
my hand up here! And once last online delivery dates pass the only
option left is to hit the shops and grab the gifts. With men
dominating the last-minute shopping period, brands could be
targeting these frazzled and desperate men like myself with
relevant messaging over short one and two day campaigns.
DOOH also offers brands the
opportunity to react to sales trends, adapting and optimising their
campaigns to drive consumer action.
The potential for adaptive planning
and creativity is ever increasing - destination retail locations
such as Westfield London or The Trafford Centre provide a
thoroughly modern retail experience and most malls are being
rapidly digitised allowing brands to use full motion and dynamic
creative. Systems such as Grand Visual's Open Loop enable brands to
have real time conversations with consumers, rotating copy,
integrating social and live data feeds. This Christmas you can
expect to see the traditional big beautiful static brand work that
works so well for so many brands every day of the year alongside
more integrated and immersive activations.
It's also the first year that retail
environments in the UK have been robustly measurable and analysable
through the Route audience data system. At Kinetic we now have the
ability via our Aureus system to select the right location at the
right time and also understand how this space can be used more
efficiently with other environments to increase cover. A huge leap
forward for the industry and our clients.
But it's not all about Christmas. The
post-Christmas sales see millions of us out on the streets again,
chasing a bargain, but bizarrely the OOH market is usually very
quiet at this time. For savvy advertisers there are significant
amounts of value to be extracted from the market across most
environments in the last two weeks of December. And significant
audiences to speak to!
Sources: Kinetic Panel, Mintel,