Can You Rap Me an Amen? OOH Goes Niche for Rappers, Pastors, CBD, SMBs
A billboard is one of the most traditional advertising mediums around and, ironically, it’s utterly untraditional clients who are using the OOH method to send their messages to the masses.
All kinds of marketers, from pastors to rappers, are turning to outdoor advertising to reach a wider audience. It seems that billboards provide an effective way to cut through the ridiculous amount of ad messages the average person sees everyday online.
In Memphis, Pastor Kia Moore used billboards to advertise her new church, The Well. Combining the messages “God hears your prayers” and “Don’t give up” with some Memphis slang, Moore wanted the boards to reach an audience that wasn’t necessarily already attending church.
“I am elated about the results of my campaign,” Moore says. “The visibility that I have been able to get with spending less than a month's worth of groceries has helped open so many doors and has encouraged so many people to come back to church or come to church for the first time.”
Rappers like Dro Fe, Placangri and 2 Stoned are using billboards to expand their reach and increasing their name and brand awareness.
In certain industries, like marijuana, CBD, and vaping the regulations around advertising are stringent. Federal and state laws, as well as advertising policies across platforms, are changing constantly, making marketing a hard landscape to navigate. Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Twitch, Google, and Amazon don’t allow CBD advertising on their platforms. Facebook recently softened its policy to allow topical hemp CBD brands. With these typical advertising channels off limits, businesses in these industries have had to turn to other sources, such as outdoor advertising.
Hashtag Vape, an e-commerce site, used billboards to increase brand awareness and sales.
“When you consider the price, exposure, and customer support experience, you really can’t find a better option. Billboards are one of the most impactful ways to advertise,” says Hashtag Vape founder Ray Bowens.
With self-publishing giving anyone the opportunity to author a book, it’s hard for a writer to stand out. Billboard advertising is one way independent authors can create recognition and buzz for a new book. A large-format advertisement subliminally adds credibility to the book and can be used to drive traffic to a website to purchase the book. Author Martin J. McMorrow used the medium to promote his book “Phoenix to L.A.”
One of the most surprising industries using outdoor ads are tech start-ups. The theory behind including OOH in the marketing mix is to give the perception that the brand is bigger than it is and that it has mass-market reach. Tech companies like Brex and Snowflake are leading the charge.
Perhaps one reason that tech companies are again attracted to outdoor advertising is the nature of billboards have changed. While there still are plenty of traditional, static billboards soaring over the highway, there’s a new breed of digital boards.
Digital billboards give advertisers many advantages over traditional boards. The ability to get creative is off the charts with these new boards. Campaigns can be clever, interactive, and tied to specific events or even the specific location of the board. Perhaps more importantly for marketers, these boards offer data to prove the ROI of the campaign. The number of blips and estimated impressions are known. And when that data is combined with other company data, like website traffic and sales, marketers have the numbers to back up what they do.
Thanks to the evolution of outdoor advertising, billboard advertising can offer a marketing platform for new industries to market their product and services.
Related story: Why OOH Ads Need to Optimize for Voice Search