In our previous posts we already made clear that outdoor media is currently going through it’s transition phase and is growing very substantially in ad spend. In this blog we would like to talk about why this is happening, particularly, what are the most interesting psychological factors in OOH and how can you maximise your outdoor media campaign potential according to psychology.

Outdoor ads reach consumers because of their habitual origin

A study found that at least 71% of passers by pay attention to billboards.
Usually people don’t like to be advertised to. Often advertisers occupy spaces that are pushed in front of the consumers sight – like pop up ads or a YouTube video with a mandatory 5 second AD time before you can skip – most of the time the consumers attention is driven towards the skip button, completely ignoring ad content.

An outdoor media campaign, if made right, feels natural to the environment and doesn’t cause rejection. Moreover, in situations like being stuck in a traffic jam or while waiting for a bus, it can serve to a person as an object of amusement or information.

Outdoor ads generate familiarity effect

A large amount of people see your billboard on a daily basis, but what does it change?

Psychological studies on mere-exposure effects have proven that people respond more favourably to familiar things than to something unknown, even if the object is only similar to the known one. So even if consumers have never purchased from you before, most likely, after seeing your outdoor campaign people will recognize this advertised product and choose it among other ones. In fact, a marketing agency study showed that approximately 80% of customers choose to purchase a familiar brand, which also proves this familiarity thesis.

Outdoor ads can trigger emotions

Importance of emotional factor is borne out by statistics, which suggest that feelings are the cause of almost 50% of all buying decisions. A lot of these feelings are also associated with deep human needs, such as thirst, hunger and safety. Therefore, marketers can use billboards with their large presence and ability to tell the story in order to trigger these strong emotional responses. This is why the most outstanding marketing campaigns position themselves as an experience, rather than a advertisement.

How do people actually see your outdoor ad?

It’s obvious that too much text or colour that blends with the billboards environment discourages anyone from reading it.
But the science of the way we see outdoor media goes far beyond this sentence. People really aren’t likely to read large amount of letters while on the go and there are at least two reasons for it. Firstly, our eye developed predetermined patterns to read things like billboards – in this circumstance human vision moves in a Z-shaped line to perceive information. Which means that the top, middle and bottom part of the billboard should contain the most important information. Secondly, an average person can store approximately up to 7 things in his short-term memory. No matter how tempting it can be to utilize whole space of the poster, too much text can confuse your message and make the ad unrecognizable.

Although, synergy of all these factors in your outdoor media campaigns is essential to generate a great reach and impact, it doesn’t mean that just by copy-pasting all these tips and tricks into your next campaign is enough to achieve overnight success. The most important factor still and always will be figuring out your own unique approach to do things, creating a style that will make your campaign stand out from your competitors.