4 tips to create modern out-of-home experiences

With so many digital distractions in our society, brands have a very small window to connect with consumers in a meaningful and memorable way. Today, consumers are glued to their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, leaving brands only seconds to catch the attention of a potential customer. I'd like to offer a few tips to leverage these circumstances and create a modern out-of-home (OOH) experience.

Connect through all the senses

Let's picture a pedestrian at an intersection surrounded by moving cars, deafening horns, and numerous other visual distractions. To grab their attention you must surprise them with a sensory alternative. For example, instead of creating another visual or sound disturbance, appeal to the consumer's sense of touch. In Argentina, the chocolate brand Milka developed a unique vending experience that "reconnected" people by making them hold hands in order for the machine to dispense chocolate. The stunt combined touch with taste and was incredibly successful for the brand.

This is just one example; creating a connection between consumer and brand can come in different forms, but it must always incorporate a combination of sensory elements. From smell and taste to touch and sight, this is where the real brand experience begins.

Don't shy away from shocking

High-impact is the result when you effectively combine sight, smell, touch, and hearing simultaneously into one ultimate sensory surprise. To achieve high-impact, you can't be afraid of taking risks. For example, McDonald's created an OOH campaign that made it look like the ingredients of a hamburger on a billboard were dripping onto a car parked below. The car, covered in pickles and mustard, grabbed people's attention and embedded the brand's message by leading viewer's eyes up to the billboard.

In another interactive vending machine example, the coffee roaster company Douwe Egberts created a coffee-vending machine with facial recognition software that would pour customers a cup of coffee every time they yawned. Placed in an airport, you can imagine the shock when a customer would get poured a free cup of fresh coffee on their layover!

Appeal emotionally first and logically second

Memorable moments are created first and foremost through our emotions. As such, our marketing strategy must target emotions first in order to hold a place in the conscious and even subconscious minds of consumers. We want to awaken people's deepest desires. We want to appeal to a consumer's highly sensitive fibers that inspire a purchase and eventually a long-term loyalty to the brand.

When you are conceptualizing your campaign, think about what type of emotion you want to convey -- is it excitement for a new TV show, nostalgia for a popular brand? Make sure your concept and execution are always centered on this key emotion.

Entertain, entertain, entertain

Our responsibility as marketers is to engage, and what better way to do this than by utilizing OOH media as an entertainment tool. Inject storytelling into everything you do. Whether it is street furniture or a billboard, find a way to amuse potential customers through dynamic visuals and messages so that the brand becomes a source of entertainment. Interactive games or original characters are great ways to transmit emotions and are often much more effective than using a simple logo or tagline.

For the DVD release of the film "Transformers," an 11-foot Optimus Prime model was created that had a crane connected to his arm that would lift people up for a fun photo opportunity. This is a situation where the OOH campaign was so entertaining that the potential customer got lost in the experience and made for a memorable moment that they could share with friends and family.

For your next OOH advertising project, remember to think extraordinarily and captivate your viewers through multiple touch-points.

Ricardo Rojas  is the CEO and founder of Big Bang Global.

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