We break down the rules of standout out of home ad design
Guess what? If you left your house today, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced OOH, or Out of Home, media – from the billboards that line 17 Bypass to kiosks at the grocery store to wrapped vehicles or buses on the road to place-based TV ads at the gas pump and more.
This medium is a powerful, but tricky species in our line of business. Because of their massive stature, OOH makes a big statement on an audience for a client’s brand, so creatives need to make it count. That is, when OOH advertising is well designed, the visual storytelling will quickly entertain that audience on three cognitive levels: rational (logical interpretation), emotional (a reaction with emotion) and cultural (personal relevance).
Here’s our checklist of effective OOH advertising:
The Beauty of Aesthetics.
A careful eye on the detailed aesthetics of an outdoor design goes a long way on the overall image. Your photography should be high-quality, vivid and bold. And the imagery should draw on universal elements of comfort, home and family, with playful, lively elements.
Less is More.
It’s so much more, actually. Just because you have a huge blank canvas, doesn’t mean it should be cluttered with headlines, copy and a collage of photos. Outdoor advertising should be simple and succinct, with a punch of the essential message packed into one idea or concept. Because, keep in mind, that your audience is mobile (as in moving via car, bus or on foot), so you only have a few seconds to get your point across – and have them remember it. Remember, high frequency is the advantage with OOH advertising; the same consumers will be passing by your billboard on the way to work every morning.
The B Game.
It’s good practice to focus on these three B’s for successful outdoor ads: Be brief (the message and design are simple, with a call to action that guides consumers to call or visit your website or office location); brand position (the bottom right is most effective on horizontal boards and the top half for verticals); and go beyond borders (an outdoor ad’s frame can always be extended with 3D elements or design applications).
Primed for Color.
An outdoor ad’s palette should pop, with high-contrast color designs that make it even easier on the eyes at a distance. Research says, in fact, high-contrast colors improve audience recall of your ad by 38 percent. A combo of primary and secondary colors, with special attention to hues and shades, will pay off.
Typography to a T.
Your typestyle is a beautiful image in itself, so choose wisely. Go with large, legible fonts over thin, ornate scripts. It’s also a must to consider using adequate kerning, or space between each letter; a font size that will measure up (about 3 feet is readable from the road); and enough leading between lines if you absolutely need more than one line of copy.
The same rules apply to digital billboards and outdoor ads, with a couple added guidelines, such as using richer background colors over white, which, in the digital world, doesn’t look brighter, but instead more subdued. Digital ads also give you more flexibility in changing up the message of your ad weekly, daily – even hourly.
Location Makes a Mark.
Knowing your market should absolutely impact the decision of where your outdoor ad should physically appear. Will your consumers shop, eat, drive, work out where your outdoor ad is placed? If the answer is yes, it’s a go.
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