How do you up the marketing ante and offer an immersive experience to potential customers at the same time? Make outdoor advertising that stands out and let the streets do the work for you.
More advertisers are turning to this type of guerilla marketing to show that walking on the wild sides, pays off. Wild posting is a strategy that uses a series of posters displayed on street-level boards—construction site barricades, building facades, alleyways, etc.—to promote an event, a new service, products, or brand.
The highly-visual medium brings brands to life by placing them almost everywhere—where people can meet and interact with them through their everyday endeavors.
One example was Apple’s massively successful wild posting campaign back in 2003. Apple’s iconic silhouette ads featured dancers in front of neon backgrounds, capturing the cool of the iPod brand. Young, hip, urban dwellers walked past city walls plastered with the silhouette ad posters. Apple enjoyed mass-market success because of the wild posting campaigns.
What makes wild posting efficient for big and small companies alike? For one, it is cost-effective in comparison with traditional advertising but still achieves optimal results in terms of brand awareness and recall. The posters cost a tenth of the price of a magazine or TV ad, but can grab as much attention. Location is everything for this strategy—place the ads in heavy foot traffic areas and make it work with the environment.
The costs of this outdoor advertising technique can increase depending on the location, but they remain very efficient for media campaigns by lowering overall CPM (cost per thousand views). Poster sizes, meanwhile, may vary—24 x 36 inches, 48 x 72 inches, etc—and can be placed either horizontally or vertically.
The costs of the campaigns also vary, common guerilla marketing style locations include New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Berlin. These cities provide the best foot traffic, but will probably be a little pricey.
Timing is also of the essence when it comes to wild posting campaigns. You would not want to post your campaign for such a short time that viewers won’t be able to recall your brand actively. Posting it for too long, however, also has adverse effects, including running the risk of being a nuisance and visual pollution.
To ensure that it makes an impact on consumer memory, a wild posting campaign must be up for a minimum of one week and last for up to two weeks. Typically, an outdoor advertising campaign requires a minimum of 250 posters, and these are posted in about 20 locations.
Another advantage of wild posting campaigns is that it is designed to target specific demographics, neighborhoods, pedestrians, and motorists. Many industries have resorted to this kind of advertising because of its potential for a wider reach. From fashion and music to automobiles, electronics, and food, just about every category has used wild posting.
Wild posting campaigns attract marketers and consumers because people get to interact with products in an unconventional way and be exposed to brands repeatedly as part of their everyday routine. Eye-catching posters are a great viral backdrop for social media and influencer campaigns. People become attached to the marketing, take photos of it, and share their experience publicly.
So how do you make outdoor ads that stand out at a time when people are constantly bombarded by messages everywhere, including online?
Creativity is the name of the game when it comes to wild posting campaigns. Yours should be not only massive but also different in a way that people will stop and actually take a look at it. The idea is to design it in a way that makes people want to learn more.
One good example of a wild posting campaign that generated buzz for its creativity came from fashion brand Claris Virot. The brand showcased its stunning purses through posters in the streets of Paris. The Photographs arrangement made people notice the campaign. The circular orange purses were placed alternately with rectangular yellow ones, creating an elegant visual look.
The design is a make-or-break factor, as it will decide whether your brand will generate the attention you are aiming for or not. Big and bold colors do the trick, but it all depends on your messaging and strategy. It’s about making interactive experiences that are memorable and shareable.
In 2009, Weight Watchers used a simple yet unique wild posting campaign. It highlighted an interactive experience to create a different kind of brand recall. The campaign featured tear-off contact details that make the model on the poster lose weight with every tear.
This campaign by Public Mobile in Canada made people think of the pros and cons of switching their cell service in a witty and thought-provoking way. To amplify their campaign dubbed “Less for Less,” they expanded their out of home reach by using like-sized posters in different colors. The prints highlighted the pros and cons of using the brand while emphasizing that with fewer frills come bigger savings.
Where and how you post are also important considerations that determine the success of grassroots campaigns. Make sure you check vital aspects of your logistics. You can keep your posters up through staples, tape, glue, and adhesive paints. Most advertisers, however, prefer wheatpaste to ensure that the signs are fixed on concrete surfaces.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to legalities and locations. Ensure that you get all the necessary approval from property owners and all stakeholders concerned, too. It’s good to stick to best practices to make the most out of your wild postings’ investments. Know the relevant rules and regulations, and which public areas require permissions to post.
Building and working with a great team will also help ensure that your wild posting campaigns will be effective. Don’t waste resources, find an agency or organization who knows the value of taking time to get it right. A good team with experience will know the strategies that can provide that shock value, and will not be afraid to go for out-of-the-box and imaginative ideas.
Wild posting campaigns continue to gain popularity because they give brands a hip, urban feel that appeals to the hard-to-reach youth market for a fraction of the cost. It can be controversial at times, but those who take a big leap reap the benefits in terms of savings, brand awareness, and the huge potential to be viral and reach a variety of audiences.
With careful planning, research, and a bit of aggressiveness, you will be able to find the right agency and approach to launch your outdoor advertising campaign legally and effectively.
Margaux is a content writer who loves learning anything about marketing and advertising. She spends her free time exploring different ideas that provide inspiration and boost her creativity.