Integration Matters Neil Devlin from Mixtape Marketing looks at how integrating innovative OOH media and activation makes sense for advertisers.
hen I played rugby in the early nineties (briefly and badly) the backs generally
didn’t communicate with the forwards too well. Donkeys and pretty boys. Same team, different ideas. Not too much joined up thinking. We had a common goal but we generally had differing opinions about getting there. The book, ‘From There to Here’ by Brendan Fanning charts the journey of Irish rugby and its success from an amateur sport into the professional age, but I see it in much simpler terms. The backs and forwards now understand each other and there is more of a joined-up approach to Irish rugby and the way it is played. The end result has seen the benefits of moving from a 10-man game to a complete 15-man approach that has produced silverware at both provincial and international level, and with it a move towards total rugby. The move to a joined-up approach in Irish creative agencies is alive and well. Many of the top players now have a one-stop shop for clients, providing a solutions-based offering rather than a service-based one, integrating above and below the line with digital. It makes sense, and adaptation is the name of the game. The same approach needs to be taken with activations and out-of-home media as there is a natural fit and much cross over between the channels. More and more media agencies are looking to integrate sampling into their planning. This is smart thinking and an excellent way for brands to make their OOH campaigns work harder and more efficiently. There are a number of factors required to make this integration work. Firstly, a harmonious relationship between the agencies working on the campaign needs to be a given. It goes back to the power of 15, rather than eight and seven running in different directions. The activation agency needs to have a genuine understanding of how OOH media works and the media specialist or agency needs to rely on the activations agency to produce the goods and make sure the last part of the customer journey is an influential and meaningful one. The second factor is communication; If there’s none, forget about it. The left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing. There needs to be true collaboration. Don’t try to bamboozle each other with nonsensical industry speak. We’ve all
More and more media agencies are looking to integrate sampling into their planning. This is smart thinking and an excellent way for brands to make their OOH campaigns work harder and more efficiently. been there nodding and not really knowing what our opposite number is clap trapping about. Lastly there needs to be the X Factor. It’s the bit that will hopefully get the campaign some notoriety, get you into the papers and magazines, make your client famous, and make them happy. Just like every team needs that moment of magic in a match from a Messi or an O’Driscoll, both OOH and activation campaigns can set themselves apart through innovation. It is often the catalyst to get the whole campaign noticed and can create a focal point for its publicity. There have been a number of recent stand out campaigns. Paddy Power’s Sky Tweet campaign in the Ryder Cup showcased excellent integration of OOH, digital with real-time activation through an innovative ambient media execution. Possibly the tipping point that won the Ryder Cup! Well maybe not, but it sure was pretty impressive. Turning Buckingham Palace into an all-singing, all-dancing beat box for the Queen’s Jubilee cleverly merged British tradition with the new outward looking persona of the Royal Family. A personal favourite of mine was a campaign from Mumbai, India, where Aircel, a mobile phone company, erected billboards with real life boats attached to them with a message,
’In case of emergency cut rope’. During the monsoon season the boats were used to rescue hundreds of stranded city dwellers creating a unique PR story for the advertiser while building strong personal relationships with locals; a coup for any big brand. Closer to home, we have recently created special builds on Bus shelters and at Luas stations creating sampling hubs for brands such as Juicy Drench and Belvita, integrating the OOH campaign with an experiential sampling activity. In the case of the Juicy Drench Luas Kiosk, by adding a memorable experience within the Luas commuting environment, the campaign recall amongst Luas commuters went through the roof at 75% (source: PML Group Poster Impact) . But the real test for integration however is the bold move of a bunch of Dubs moving into the Royal County. So far, so good and we haven’t been kicked out just yet. Neil Devlin is a co-founder of Mixtape Marketing, a provider of activations, sales promotion and ambient media which is based in Dunboyne, Co Meath. In association with the APMC.
22 | IMJ OCTOBER 2012