The advertising world is no stranger to myths and pre-conceptions. Some widely circulated ones include the idea that advertisements are manipulative, expensive or only needed if business is slow – some people may wonder if the average Joe even notices adverts in the first place.
In this myth-busting article, we’ll explore some of the most widely-held ideas about advertising and whether they hold any truth.
Advertising is manipulative
While this claim may have had a leg to stand on a long time ago, these days, advertisements must adhere to certain ethical and industry standards. The UK law states that advertising must be legal, truthful, decent and socially responsible. Furthermore, The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations state that adverts must not mislead consumers or harass them with aggressive sales techniques. Failure to comply can result in being reported to the Trading Standards office and legal action can be pursued.
But it’s not just rules and regulations keeping businesses and advertisers in check. In modern times, we generally have a greater sense of what is responsible, acceptable and ethical. This means that even without the threat of penalties or lawsuits, most advertisers are striving to share the good news of their services and products with consumers, without any manipulative or unethical motives.
Nobody pays attention
We spend a large chunk of our time commuting or travelling outdoors, whether that’s by foot, by car or via public transport and although our time spent outside certainly dropped due to national and local lockdowns, we’re seeing an increasing number of audiences returning Out of Home again. We are therefore exposed to billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising on a daily basis, 24/7 and this regular exposure to brands and messaging will invariably have an effect on consumers. In fact, most ad posters and digital campaigns will be bold, graphic and succinct in wording, resulting in attention-grabbing creatives.
Not only do people pay attention to Out of Home advertising, they actually respond to it too. According to the TGI survey with 25,000 UK participants, more than 1 in 3 people who see Out of Home advertising each week, respond to it in some way; whether that’s making a purchase online or talking to a friend about a product, people evidently notice the media and trust its messaging.
Ultimately it all comes down to location and duration. If a billboard is placed where the right audience will see it at the right time, its reach will be more effective. Likewise, it’s important for an ad campaign to run for a long enough time to be noticed by enough people and create the greatest impact possible.
It’s too expensive for local businesses
When you see modern Out-of-Home advertising, especially of the digital variety, you could be forgiven for thinking that only large, national brands can afford to go down this avenue. This is arguably the biggest myth and preconception that many local businesses have about OOH. In fact, this option is much more affordable than expected, especially when you factor in the location of the advertisement site, the campaign duration and number of billboards used. Over the years, more and more local businesses and organisations have started incorporating OOH into their media mix, such as secondary schools, local councils and smaller retailer businesses; often running cost-effective, local campaigns.
Also, being in prime position for your target market, as OOH allows, can reap great rewards. Being positioned in high-traffic areas can build your brand awareness, reputation and ultimately generate greater revenue – meaning that if you have the right strategy in place, OOH advertising can be worth every penny.
Only advertise when struggling
Think about the brands you remember. Coca-cola, Microsoft, Tesco. Did any of them stop advertising once they became popular? Exactly…
While it’s true that advertising can certainly help get your name out there and put your business back on its feet during a rough patch, this definitely shouldn’t be the only time you advertise. Even the most successful, globally-recognised brands have a year-round marketing and advertising strategy on the go, making sure they continually build their brand and stay fresh in their consumers’ minds. Simply put, advertising is not only for small businesses looking to gain traction – it’s also the way that number brands and local businesses stay at number one, just as Mark Riston says (well-renowned marketer) “Keep the brand light burning, because the cost of snuffing it out for the rest of 2020 and then trying to reignite it next year is gigantic“.
Looking to make a big impact with outdoor advertising? Clear Channel Direct are the UK’s leading network of OOH advertising spots, all in prime positions to give you the best possible reach. Whether you’re a small family business or an international leader, we’ll work with you to devise the best advertising strategy to make sure the right people see your adverts. Get in touch to discover more.