„Stronger Mind, Stronger Business”, how OOH educates the society
Outdoor advertising is a medium that is ahead of other forms of advertising in many fields, from technological advancement to non-standard forms of advertising message (often beyond imagination).However, the most important issue in the subject of outdoor will certainly be that it is a kind of representative of social life:it “updates” the recipient of the message every day and around the clock, presents the latest information on products and services, becomes a part of social life thanks to a wide range of reach.Thus, (D)OOH perfectly fits the role of a “guide”, whose aim is not only to lead the consumer to the (best) purchase, but (and perhaps above all) broadly understood education.
D(OOH) advertising fulfills many functions in social life. In addition to its primary purpose, which is to encourage consumers to purchase products and services, it also plays an opinion-forming role and directs behaviour as well as shapes social attitudes. The wide scale of reaching the recipient makes outdoor a very effective and extremely useful tool in creating awareness on topics that are difficult and even controversial for the society. That is why it is such a desirable medium for many advertisers. Its informative and educational function makes people pay more attention to those issues that are a “sickness” for a given community and the whole world.
Outdoor advertising, like no other medium, has a huge causative power. Due to the huge scale of reach (additionally enhanced by an attractive location) and the possibility of addressing the topic in an unconventional way, (D)OOH has a huge impact on shaping consumer opinions. What’s more, it is an extremely supportive tool in education, especially social and health education.
When I recently traveled by public transport (which I do periodically to check the impact of OOH from the perspective of the consumer-passenger), I heard a simple, yet extremely important sentence for a person from the (D)OOH industry: “Look at the weather on the display. It’s getting warmer, we’ll be able to go outside more often.” This short statement “for a man from the outdoor advertising industry” is a whole range of positive information:
– consumers pay attention to outdoor advertising (here: LCD media in public transport),
– outdoor advertising evokes a reaction and encourages certain behaviors (information about the weather on the monitor has become a reason to take certain actions),
– outdoor advertising will be noticed even more often, and its message will be reviewed (consumers will leave their homes to an even greater extent, and the close presence of outdoor media will ensure that the presented advertising message will not remain unnoticed).
Advertisers from all over the world – aware of the scale of reach and the power of (D)OOH advertising – more and more often/willingly use outdoor media to convey information about what is current and important, and in particular to:
– raise awareness about important social issues,
– initiate the “fight” against social inequality,
– inspire a change in behaviour,
– offer specific solutions,
– encourage to take certain actions.
It is worth noting that all the above measures are excellent examples of mutual benefits: for the consumer (who gains help, support and knowledge – he feels “taken care of” by the brand) and the brand itself (which, above all, strengthens its image and gains the trust of customers). How do companies deal with this? Let’s look at some examples.
- Lloyds Bank in the business campaign offers support in the field of mental health
The aim of the recent campaign of Lloyds Bank, under the slogan “Stronger mind, stronger business”, was to emphasize the factors that contribute to success in business, i.e. strong mental health and strong, positive attitude. What’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice your mental health to be successful.
The campaign was inspired by research showing that 80% of small business owners have experienced mental ill health and nearly a quarter are unaware that help is available. That is why Lloyds Bank came up with an initiative to support 1000 owners of small British businesses not only in financial terms, but also in relation to mental well-being. The service was based around a series of free therapy sessions in partnership with Mental Health UK (MHUK) offered to small business leaders, noting that the free sessions were available to both Lloyds Bank customers and non-clients. Moreover, additional online resources, advice and articles on mental health care were available. The added value of the campaign was the presentation of real small business owners who took advantage of free therapeutic coaching sessions.
- “Imagine” campaign
The aim of the campaign of the advertising agency CPB, created on the occasion of International Women’s Day, was to show inequalities, discrimination and gender bias in certain workplaces and professions. The visualization of ingrained social prejudices, including the view that a man is more suitable for the position of CEO and a woman for a nurse, was to encourage the audience to discuss, and ultimately to change the way of thinking and perceiving the role/place of women and men in society.
It is worth noting that the problem of social inequality at work is a topic “as old as time” and widely discussed, especially in mass culture. In the 1980s, Dolly Parton, one of the first artists to address gender inequality in the workplace, released a hit anthem about gender discrimination entitled “9 to 5”
What’s more, it seems that the campaign’s slogan refers to John Lennon’s famous 1971 song “Imagine” not by accident. And although Lennon referred to the Vietnam War in his protest song, both his song and the campaign of the CPB advertising agency are not only a symbol of struggle/protest, but also of hope for social change.
(D)OOH advertising is undoubtedly a unique medium, especially due to the possibility of reaching an extremely wide audience, long-term impact, a very attractive form of communication, non-invasiveness and a diverse range of media. It is these factors that make it not only the promotion of products and services, but also an extremely important tool in supporting education, especially social and health education. Such activities may be additionally intensified if the message is placed in strategic locations for (each) consumer. In the case of social and health advertising, the ideal area will be media in city centres, means of public transport or medical facilities, as places of particular trust.
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