Hand Paints Make Their Mark in Outdoor Advertising
Hand-painted advertisements, an art form first established in the early 20th century, are making a comeback in today’s digitally dominated world. Across the country, big and small brands alike are turning to this vintage medium to appeal to creative, craft-driven audiences. Let’s take a closer look at this throwback approach advertisers are deploying to garner engagement from consumers not only on the street, but also on digital platforms.
There’s no arguing that out-of-home advertising (OOH) drives engagement and revenue. Per a recent Nielsen study, OOH ads produce more online engagement (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) than any other form of media. With mobile overtaking desktop spending, and for the first time, digital passing TV ad spend, advertisers are seeking creative ways to capture the attention of today’s consumer who is primed for mobile engagement. Hand-painted OOH ads are the perfect solution for advertisers looking to create a beautiful image while capturing the attention of their target audience and driving action.
Standing out amongst today’s cluttered world of advertisements is no easy feat, but people on the street can’t help but notice a captivating, hand-painted OOH ad integrated into a city landscape. According to the study, OOH posters stand out more than any other form of advertisement (i.e. newspapers, online, mobile devices, or radio). A hand-painted advertisement with a building wall as the canvas can magnify that impact tenfold when passers-by share images of the ad on social platforms.
So, how and where are these hand-painted advertisements being produced?
Creative Cities and Revitalization Efforts
When used correctly, the power of outdoor advertising can be exponentially beneficial. For example, Chevy recently activated a series of hand-painted advertisements throughout Detroit. The advertisements were placed in high-traffic areas and painted by local artists. As the artwork began to take form, the painting process captured the attention of street traffic. Pedestrians would often inquire about the painting, and as a result, learn more about the locally-commissioned artists and their work. On top of promoting the painters, Chevy’s installations presented the brand in an artful way, while also benefiting the city of Detroit’s ongoing revitalization and beautification efforts by doubling formerly vacant spaces as art canvasses.
We’ve also seen Netflix engage with the Detroit community via a hand-paint campaign to promote the fifth season of Orange is the New Black. The campaign boosted the aesthetic of an underutilized wall for the local foot and street traffic, brought attention to local artists, and encouraged social engagement.
Back by Popular Demand: The United States of Hand-Painted Ads
This trend is not exclusive to work here in Detroit. Demand for hand paints are gaining popularity across the country, including cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and more. The common thread is these markets are young, creative and receptive to advertising that is done in a thoughtful, artistic way. When executed properly, the finished painting isn’t just an ad; it’s a hand-crafted piece of art that pleases the eye and improves the aesthetic of the surrounding environment. It’s no surprise these projects lend themselves to social sharing, and ultimately, drive brand engagement, which is a powerful tool for marketers.
As the ad landscape continues to be driven by analytics and algorithms — which have their own merits — it’s important to keep in mind that some strategies help drive digital results even if they themselves aren’t digital at all.