REI’s Anti Black Friday Campaign: #OptOutside

Black Friday is a tradition in the United States that isn’t always thought about in a positive way. In fact, when talking about the day, most people first think of shoppers getting in physical fights over good deals on random products.

Companies constantly try to outdo each other with better sales, earlier opening hours, and other stunts. But, one company managed to rebel against the practice, and they did so in a spectacular way.

Not only did REI skip the discounts on Black Friday, but they didn’t even open their doors. And people loved them for it.

rei-black-friday-final-hed-2015 (1)

Inside the #OptOutside Campaign

REI is a major retailer that sells high-quality outdoor equipment, and they’re a perfect example of the type of company that could take advantage of Black Friday. They could generate publicity and get customers through the doors by offering extreme discounts on expensive merchandise, and many of their competitors do just that.

In 2015, however, REI went the opposite direction. They decided to close all 143 of their retail stores, as well as their headquarters and distribution centers.  This isn’t completely unique since other companies have been known to do the same, but they took it one step further. The company decided to pay all 12,000 of its workers as they would any other work day.

Why Did They Do It?

It does sound a little crazy, right? After all, it makes sense to be closed on the day after a major holiday so that employees can spend time with their families, but why pay them?

It was part of their bigger campaign: #OptOutside. They really value getting into the great outdoors (the reason for selling the products they do), and they wanted to encourage their employees to take their families and friends into the wilderness for the day. A paid day off is a good way to make that happen.

Two Years in a Row

The campaign was such a success the first time around, that they decided to continue it again in 2016. They boosted awareness of their cause the first year by giving plenty of advice on hiking trails and other ways people (not just employees) could get outside, and they still maintain the #OptOutside website that hosts all this information.

It looks like this is an REI tradition that won’t go away anytime soon.

rei-one-show-hed-a-2016 (1)

Plenty of Free Marketing

It probably won’t shock you to learn that this whole campaign has generated tons of media attention, or in other words, plenty of free marketing. The #OptOutside hashtag allows people to communicate about it on social media (with more than 1.2 billion impressions in the first year), and plenty of news outlets covered the initial announcement and follow-up activities related to it.

Taking it one step further, REI has teamed up with a large number of brands and non-profit organizations to help turn the concept into a movement. News organizations will take notice when Subaru or national environmental organizations get involved, but they’ll always mention how the idea was started by REI.

Even though the purpose wasn’t just a marketing campaign, it’s safe to say that REI didn’t mind all the positive attention.

How It Matches REI’s Message

An important aspect of this campaign is that it wasn’t just a completely random publicity stunt. Any retailer could easily have given their employees a paid day off and received some positive recognition for it. But, it was key that it matched REI’s message.

The company is known for caring about its customers, employees, and the outdoors, and it often contributes to helping preserve nature. That’s what really made this so memorable. They found a genius way to put their money where their mouth is, and people loved them for it.

Benefit of Multiple Forms of Advertising

Another key takeaway from this campaign is how it was so successful because of multiple forms of advertising. They had signs in and out of their stores, online content, a social media hashtag, and much more. Using this made it easy for the idea to make it to a diverse group of people, and it helped spread the message far and wide. If they had promoted it in a way that was too basic (such as using only one advertising channel), it may have only resulted in a program that made employees and loyal customers happy, without managing to tell the general public about it.

What Movement Can Your Company Start?

This success story should serve as an inspiration to you. If you find a cause that closely matches the value of your company, then a little creativity can turn it into a brand-defining campaign. And if you use the right marketing mix to spread the message, you could end up getting tons of free media attention for years to come.

REI has decided to #OptOutside. What can your company do?

Ikea Red Cross Campaign

A Syrian Home from IKEA

Most people would like to help a good cause if they are able, but sometimes they’re not sure how to go about doing it. Instead, they go on with their daily lives and tune out the misfortunes of others. But, since they don’t really think about it, their conscious remains clear.

However, one major retailer recently teamed up with a large charity to bring a war zone to a peaceful country. Shoppers in Norway went to buy furniture and housewares in a local IKEA, and they encountered what it feels like to live in the middle of the war in Syria.

Ikea Syria Home

Syria in Norway

The display inside the Norwegian store was a 25-square-meter replica of an actual home in Damascus. It was built of realistic materials (not just false backdrops), and it was mixed in with the other kitchen displays selling Scandinavian housewares. The price tags looked just like the others around the store, but they actually contained information about how people are living in Syria right now. Since that didn’t quite meet the whole goal, they also provided instructions on how people could donate to help the Syrian residents.

The Important Partnership

This was a major effort by IKEA, but they made sure it wasn’t all about them. It was done as a partnership with the Red Cross, and that was helpful for a few reasons. First, it added a lot of depth and credibility to the campaign. It’s obvious that IKEA doesn’t have a direct presence in Syria, so they would have to partner with some organization to make an impact. Next, both brands generally have a positive image (even though they’re very different), and putting them together will build a comparison in the minds of consumers that’s likely to last a while.

Ikea Red Cross Campaign

Advertising Is No Longer Just Advertising

There was a time when advertisements were fairly simple, and their whole purpose was to increase sales. Those times are gone. Consumers now want to feel connected to a brand, and they want to know that they share similar values. Advertising has to be a way to get into lives of average people, and only then will it influence their purchasing decisions. Shoppers aren’t always only interested in the lowest price or the highest quality. We’re seeing a growing trend that people want to be part of ethical movements, and unique marketing campaigns like this can be the way to convince them.

Results of the Syrian Home

This display was set up for less than a month, from October 17-31, 2016, but it made a big impact during that time. It raised about 22 million euros of donations that went to the Red Cross in order to help in Syria. Plus, more than 40,000 people visited the display each week, so it likely made a lasting impression on all of them.

Ikea Red Cross Syria

IKEA’s Social Causes

IKEA, like many other large corporations, tries to have a positive image with regards to Corporate Social Responsibility. They often focus on sustainability issues, which is logical since they are primarily a manufacturing company. However, they also try to help people and the planet, so this matches with one of their clear goals. It wasn’t just a random publicity stunt.

Charities Can Benefit

In this case, the Red Cross could have set up a similar house on a street corner in a major city. That would’ve attracted a lot of attention, but it’s unlikely it would’ve had as much of an impact as it would in a store that many people are familiar with. Charities can usually benefit from any help that they are offered, but assistance from a popular company can turn customers into humanitarians.

Ikea for Syria Guerilla Advertising

Brands Can Bring Problems Closer to People

This was especially powerful since it was based on a real home, and the display gave information about the people who live in it. Also, the contrast was highlighted by the fact that it was next to the normal scenes of Scandinavian homes that shoppers were used to. While they were imagining they’re own kitchens and bedrooms, they faced the hard truth of seeing how so many unfortunate others are living.

Ethical Companies Have Strong Brands

Marketing isn’t always about raising sales. In this case, shoppers sent money to the Red Cross, not to IKEA. But, this will benefit their brand as a whole. Now they’re viewed as a company that helps those in need, and that will motivate shoppers (often on a subconscious level) to purchase from the company that’s trying to save the day.

Can Your Company Help?

Have you ever thought about a similar campaign for your company? You don’t have to help someone who’s on the other side of the world, and instead you could offer support to someone right here in your own community. We would love to give you the assistance you need to bring positive change to the world, so give us a call, and we’ll be proud to be part of your marketing mix.

McDonalds Pick n Play

McDonalds Pick n Play Billboard Game

From a young age, McDonald’s does a great job of pushing its image of a playful wonderland right into your head. That works pretty well, but eventually you grow up, and Ronald McDonald becomes less and less interesting as the years pass.

But, it’s not only children who like to play. Adults may be too shy to order a Happy Meal, but they enjoy having some games in their life.

A few years ago, the fast food chain managed to get full grown adults to unleash their inner child. They even managed to make it happen in a crowded square.

But, how did they do it?

McDonalds Pick n Play

A Playground for All Ages

To set the scene, take yourself back to the year 2011, and imagine you’re walking through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden. Now, look up at the giant Golden Arches on a billboard, and pull out your smartphone.

Are you ready for a game? It’s not difficult. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty similar to the game of Pong. The digital display will bring up a video game in which a ball starts bouncing from one side to the other. Using your phone, you move a paddle up and down so the ball doesn’t escape.

Who wouldn’t want to give it a try?

The Details of the Game

This stunt was put together for McDonald’s by DDB Stockholm, and it was quite a hit. Many people participated because it was so easy to do, and if they played well enough, they could win a prize.

The game didn’t require an app download or any other complicated procedure. All people had to do was go to the website that the billboard advertised, and it used their location data to make sure they were actually there.

Consumers got to play, and they had to survive for 30 seconds. If they did, they were rewarded with a coupon for free food at one of the nearby restaurants.

McDonalds Billboard Game

Lack of App Was Key to Success

One of the major reasons this campaign was successful was because of how simple it was. When doing something like this today, many people will instinctively decide to ask consumers to download an app to play along. They even try to build that app in a way that the users can take it with them and play later, and it’s seen as a great reminder of the brand.

While that method can work, it causes a major entry barrier to anyone thinking about participating. That was the real beauty of this one. There weren’t any downloads necessary, and the players didn’t have to register. They just visited the website, played the game, and (hopefully) won.

Then, they popped into a McDonald’s to enjoy their delicious trophy.

Gave Unexpected Interaction to Customers

Another great feature of this campaign was the interactivity it offered. Billboards are often used to advertise a competition or communicate results of something happening, but they’re very rarely the actual game board. Good signs are passively seen and melted into the subconscious of the potential consumers, but it’s proof of a great idea when people want to stop and actively discuss it with each other.

Pick n Play Billboard Game

Free Prizes!

An additional clever aspect of this plan was the call to action that was disguised in the form of a prize. Instead of just suggesting that customers stop by for lunch, they gave them the incentive of free food. They may or may not buy lunch during that visit, but they’ll remember the location (and hopefully the good experience they had) next time they’re in the area.

Also, bragging to friends about winning something for free is always a great way to encourage word-of-mouth communication.

Do You Use Mobile in Your Campaigns?

If you haven’t ever tried integrating mobile experiences in your campaigns, this is a great example of why you should. Don’t forget that it can go far beyond mobile ads or having an app that makes it easier for your customers to interact with your company. Smartphones are a major part of life in the 21st century, so consider them just as strong of a medium as billboards, radio/TV, print, and online channels.

 Not The First McDonald’s Billboard Game

A year before this billboard happened, the same agency created a similar sign for the burger chain. It was less interactive because it only required customers to snap a photo of fast moving foods, and they could show that for a real version of the item for free in a local McDonald’s. As mobile technology improved, the fancier version was possible. Just imagine what we can do now!

Game On!

Have you ever had a similar idea for your business? At bMedia Group, we love to be a part of making these amazing concepts come to life, and we’d be happy to talk about how to turn your creative thoughts into a reality.

Chicago Cityskyline

Puerto Rico Melting the Chicago Snow

Chicago is a great city, but you’re going to have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t complain about the brutal winters. The intense cold and constant days of snow really start to get to the residents, and they eventually begin to dream of an escape. Naturally, many think of sitting on a sunny beach somewhere, and they imagine feeling the sand against their skin.

Well, if that’s what they want, then why not give it to them? Puerto Rico figured out a way to do just that, and it let to quite a few residents of the Windy City throwing sandals and sunscreen into a suitcase.

A Competitive Problem

Chicago Cityskyline

Like most islands in the Caribbean, the warmth and sunshine of Puerto Rico make it a popular place for tourists to visit. Not surprisingly, many of these people come fleeing the colder winter months in the US, and a lot of them call Chicago home. But, the challenge for Puerto Rico Tourism is always how to motivate people to come to their beaches when so many others are about the same distance away.

Many times, the plan has been to go after the ease which US citizens can visit, and they highlight that it feels like an international trip, but a passport isn’t required. However, this message tends to get less exciting over time, and it can really pay to try a new strategy every now and then.

Fortunately, JWT Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Tourism came up with a clever solution for this problem.

Puerto Rico Melts the Midwestern Snow

Puerto Rico Melts the Midwest Snow

February of 2016 saw a van driving through the snowy streets of Chicago. The pictures on the side showed a tempting beach scene, and there was a very strong contrast between that feeling of warmth and the cold air outside. But, this particular campaign was more than just a rolling billboard.

The van was loaded with sand that had been shipped from Puerto Rican beaches, and it was held in specially designed little buckets. These were handed out to the cold residents, and the lid proudly proclaimed that “Puerto Rico Defrosts Chicago.” It went on to talk about the average yearly temperature on the island, and it had some special offers for anyone thinking about making a trip.

But, Why Sand?

It may seem strange to go to the trouble of sending sand such a long distance, but they had a specific reason in mind. The aim was to let the residents use the salty substance to melt the snow on the walkways in front of their houses. In fact, many people returned home to find a bucket sitting there waiting for them.

Extra Points for a Clever Name

Puerto Rico Melts Winter Away

Their message that “Puerto Rico melts winter away” is witty because it follows an unusually literal strategy. It’s easy for a tourism organization to make a claim about that, but when it’s a fact (not just an exaggeration), people really start talking about that.

Take it as a lesson to search for similar sentences in your advertising.

Who Need’s Fancy Technology?

A lot of the hottest ad campaigns use cutting-edge technology, but this is a perfect case to show why that isn’t always necessary. The fanciest bit of machinery in this one was a van, and the primary piece was sand. Sand is basically free, and it’s the complete opposite of the fancy tech we have in the 21st century.

In other words, spending a ton of money isn’t always necessary to get some attention.

Media Mixtures

Another aspect of this campaign that really made it stand out was the mixture of the types of media involved. Usually, the only way to demonstrate travel is with photos or stories. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to bring anything to potential customers or interact with them in any other way. So, this was a genius way of doing it.

Plus, it’s always great to have many different dimensions for campaigns. Your customers can see your billboard, read your email, get a coupon in a store, or hear an ad on the radio, and it will all connect together to gain some loyalty.

Do You Have a Similar Idea?

Don’t worry if you don’t think your business will benefit from handing out sand – that’s not the message we’re trying to convey here. The point is that creative thinking can go a long way, and the most basic ideas can see great results.

We believe that billboards are a critical piece of any campaign in Puerto Rico, and we really love being a part of something creative and fun. If you have any ideas that you’re trying to figure out how to pull together, go ahead and reach out to us. We’re happy to do some brainstorming to help with your brand building.

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

Do you notice billboards on the side of the road when you’re driving? Most people do, but they’re far more effective if they’re something you can relate to instead of a generic ad. However, this can be quite a challenge for advertisers because of the diverse backgrounds of drivers going past the signs. There’s no way that they can make a billboard that will speak specifically to each driver and blast the right message.

Or, is there?

Yes, there have been a few different times that billboards got a little bit personal with the drivers looking at them!

The Chevy Malibu Is Better Than Your Car

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

This campaign was one that advertised the Chevy Malibu automobile, but it didn’t simply stop at showing a nice message with an image. Instead, the digital billboard had special technology to register who was watching it, and then it responded in a way that would speak specifically to that audience. So in place of the generic ad, it would directly compare the Chevy to the type of car that the person was driving. For example, it would tell drivers who have a Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, or Hyundai Sonata what better gas mileage (or other benefits) they would have in a Malibu.

Billboards Recognize Vehicles

The campaign was put together as a joint effort between Posterscope USA (an out-of-home communications agency) and Lamar Advertising Company (an outdoor advertising company). It was placed in New Jersey, Dallas, and Chicago, and the timing of the display was key to the whole process. It would change the display with adequate time for the driver to see it as they passed, and then it would change back to the original image.

Also, it’s important to know that the system didn’t save any information about the drivers!

It’s Not Always about Cars

Billboard Vehicle Recognition

This type of technology can target drivers, but it doesn’t necessarily have to talk about cars. There’s another similar example that was used in London, but it dove more into the interests of the drivers. In this case, there were three digital billboards placed right next to each other, and the whole thing was positioned next to a roundabout. This allowed for more space to deliver a single message, and it was an easier opportunity to mix images with text and logos.

This sign was developed by Ocean, a British advertising agency, and it builds a profile of a driver based on the type of car they’re in. Then it can advertise luxury goods, clothing, newer models of the same car, and other products and services that the particular group might be interested in.

Again, they made a point of saying that it didn’t store any personal information.

These Signs Can Boost Egos

There was an electronic billboard outside of an airport in Melbourne, Australia that liked to help a certain type of customer brag more than usual. Whenever a Porsche was about to cruise by, they would be greeted with the message that “It’s so easy to pick you out in a crowd,” and the Porsche logo. This one was put together by oOH! Media, and it was a great way to make a luxury brand feel even more luxurious.

Education is Necessary to Prevent Fear

One problem with campaigns like these is that people will start to be concerned about their privacy. Because of the fact that the sign is reading them, they’ll be worried that it’s using their image or license plate to store and use data about them. Since having a Big Brother feeling associated with your brand isn’t very desirable, we advise you to educate the public about the workings of any similar projects you do.

However, that can be a great opportunity for a little extra publicity. It’s fairly likely that journalists will be interested in this type of campaign, and they can help spread the message that it isn’t storing data or invading privacy in any way.

Technology is Only Increasing

Billboards like this were technologically impossible just a few years ago, but all of these campaigns managed to do it in different ways. And as the technology improves, it also becomes more affordable. Don’t rule out any sort of advertising ideas as being too expensive until you actually check the prices.

Are Vehicle Recognition Billboards the Future?

These vehicle recognition billboards are pretty incredible, so it’s pretty easy to think that they could be the future of outdoor advertising. That could very well be true, but it’s also very difficult to tell. One of the biggest problems is that a busy road probably doesn’t allow time for every driver to get a customized message, but it still can be really noticeable for the others to see multiple signs in the same place while in their cars.

Use Only What you Need

Using Outdoor Media to Save the Planet

If you’ve ever visited the state of Colorado, you’ll know that it’s an extremely beautiful place. Unfortunately, if you were there in the summer, there’s a good chance that you encountered how dry it is. It may seem like lack of water is something that couldn’t be helped with billboards, but Denver Water has gone above and beyond to prove that wrong. They’ve been so successful that they’ve actually made people excited to talk about watering grass and fixing toilets.

So, how did they manage that?

Use Only What you Need

Lack of Water in Colorado

It does go back and forth over time, but quite a few recent years in Colorado have been spent in drought conditions. Unfortunately, this has caused many devastating wildfires and other environmental impacts. It’s something that residents of the state are having to get used to, but the water companies are realizing the problem of not having enough supply to serve their customers. They knew it wasn’t an option to just walk into houses and turn off taps, so they decided it was time to get creative.

The Use Only What You Need Campaign

It’s not very easy to convince people to give up on something that they’re used to always having, but this campaign did a great job of pointing out that people are using far more than they need. Often companies go the angle of talking about how much money the customers will save, but this plan managed to avoid that completely, and it kept things fun. The whole theme was to “Use Only What You Need,” and it generally had two comical ways of showing that people were using too much.

The first method was to show to objects, such as fire hydrants or newspaper boxes, and one would be much larger than the other. The big one would say something like “How much you water your lawn,” and the little would state “This is how much it really needs.” The bright orange installations were such a different way of looking at everyday objects that people loved interacting with them.

The second method was to take an advertising medium, often a billboard, and show that it isn’t necessary to use the whole thing. The majority of the sign would be empty, and there would just be a little spot left with the “Use Only What You Need” message.

Denver Water Outdoor Media

Everything is a Canvas

This campaign has been running for quite some time, and it has successfully shown that anything can be a starting point for an ad. It’s already been mentioned that they used fun objects of everyday life, but they also got people excited to see billboards and posters at bus stops. Let this campaign serve as a reminder that any part of your sign can be integrated into your campaign.

For example, if you’re making a campaign about not using too much water in your grass, why not change the pole that holds the billboard into a giant garden hose? Making your ads burst out of their normal constraints and into the lives of consumers is a great way to get the reaction you’re hoping for.

Denver What Use What you Need

Surprise Your Customers

Having a shocking advertisement can many times (but not always) be a very successful strategy. However, it will have even better results if you manage to break a few of the traditional barriers. This campaign used a lot of similar tactics to guerrilla marketing campaigns. One of the main characteristics of that form of advertising is to break the rules, and it also makes sure to get onto the same level as the customers (making them feel like it was created by their peers – even when it wasn’t). So we advise taking a page out of the playbook of this campaign, and give this sort of feeling to your ads in the future.

Ethical Advertising

This campaign also helps to shed a different light on advertising as a whole. It’s an area of business that’s often viewed as evil and manipulative, and this generally causes people to resist the messages that are given to them in ads. However, this campaign was all about helping the environment (commonly believed to be a worthy cause), and one of the results is that it convinced people to be more open minded towards the ads they encounter every day.

Use Only What You Need When Advertising

After seeing how successful and interesting this campaign was, you should realize how good of an idea it is to apply to your own campaigns. Use only what you need to get your message across, and do it in a way that will get your target group involved and interested. If it’s fun and creative, they’ll create the buzz around it naturally, and your business will get the boost it’s hoping for.

Have a creative idea you’re not sure about? Run it by us, we’d love to help you turn it into a great reality.

Mónica: Bringing Together an Island with Billboards

Si Se Puede

What an incredible week for Puerto Rico! Mónica Puig’s victory over Angelique Kerber in the women’s single tournament in Rio was the first Olympic gold medal for the island of Puerto Rico!!! We are so incredibly proud of Mónica and every Puerto Rican is holding their heads a little higher this week.

Attracting More Interest in the Olympics

At bMedia Group we tried to do our best to add to this incredibly special and emotional moment by using what we have to show support, our billboards! Our mission was to grow excitement for the Olympics so we started by using our billboards to show medal counts and various statistics about what was currently happening in the Rio Olympics.

Rio Olympic Medals bMedia

Keeping People Up to Date

Next, we wanted to make it easy for Puerto Ricans to quickly tune in to the score of Mónica Puig during her matches. We updated our billboards with live scoring so drivers could easily be up to date with her progress as she progressed in the tournament.

bMedia Group Tenis Score

Creating a Sense of Pride

Mónica Puig’s unbelievable performance at the tournament had many people tuning in to watch her final match. To show our support at 9am before this final game we uploaded Mónica artwork to all 80 of our billboards across the island. We wanted to create a sense of pride among Puerto Ricans and show our support for Monica during this monumentally important match.

bMedia Monica Billboards

The Final Result

SI SE PUEDE! We still cannot believe that Mónica brought the gold home to our beautiful island and we are so incredibly proud to be a part of this special community. Our last move was to change all 80 of our billboards to our congratulations artwork to show what everyone was feeling after this historic moment.

Thank you Mónica!

bMedia Monica Olympics

Mixing Advertising Mediums

Relate to your Audience – Classic Puerto Rican Commercials

How successful is your advertising? Do you even have a strategy?

Most companies do, but there are quite a few who don’t do it correctly. And the truth is, a little mistake can put you out of business, but a minor correction can drive your sales through the roof. It all comes down to relating to your audience so you can give them what they want. Do you feel confident that your company does that?

Advertising Strategy Puerto Rico

The Point of Advertising

There are many different reasons for advertising, but the ultimate goal of doing it is to increase the amount of money that your company makes. However, there are a lot of different ways to go about it. The simplest example is trying to convince customers to stop what they’re doing and go pay for your product or service. A more complex idea is building up a specific image around your brand that will influence the decisions potential customers will make in the future, and this often is done in a way that patiently waits until they are ready to get out their wallets – then it swoops in and makes the sale.

The thing to know is that you can try as many of these different types of strategies as you want, but they are only going to work if you remember to do the most important thing:  get the attention of specific customers.

Picking a Target Audience

Before being able to relate to your audience, you have to decide who they are. You can narrow them down by age, income level, interests, or a number of other factors. One of the best ways of doing it is to really think about the product or service that you are offering. Who does it solve a problem for? Once you know the answer to that question, try to figure out more about these people. It helps to know where and when they shop, how much money they make, whether your offering is a necessity or a luxury item, and other similar concepts.

Once you’ve figured this out, you’re ready to make your advertisement. You know who your customers are, why they need your product, and where and when they’ll give you their money. Now, it’s as simple as making sure that your ad speaks their language.

Puerto Rico Advertising

Risks of Not Choosing the Correct Audience

Unfortunately, narrowing it down to the exact type of customer can be difficult. Also, many managers are afraid of excluding larger groups because they think it will lose overall sales. But, advertising to smaller groups almost always leads to larger profits! This is because generic advertisements that are aimed at getting the attention of everyone tend to backfire. They ultimately get ignored by all the different groups, and their money ends up going to other companies. However, targeting a specific group means it will be more noticed and the message will get across more successfully.

What Does This Have to Do with Puerto Rico?

Most of this is known by successful business managers, but what does it have to do with Puerto Rico? Well, a lot. If you’re operating your business on the island, you will have to decide who your market is.  If you’re part of a big international brand, it can sometimes be enough to simply localize the advertising strategy in a way that pulls in Puerto Rican culture. In this case, basically the target audience is the locals, and that has narrowed it down from everyone else on the planet. The overall strategy will have already figured out how to position itself for the right types of people. Use the local lingo, show Puerto Ricans, and mix the music.

On the other hand, if you’re simply a local company, you might have to distinguish between yourself and other similar businesses on the island. This is where it helps to have a small and defined target audience.

Mixing Advertising Mediums

Mixing Types of Advertising

Another important thing to note is that it’s important to mix different types of advertising. You want to reach your targets where they are, so you can target teenagers on Facebook, but probably not their grandparents. But, it usually works best to use a few different channels. An online video can educate them about your product, a billboard can remind them every day on their way to work, and a sale can get them through the door.

Classic Puerto Rican Commercials

If you want more examples of what the purpose of this is all about, just think about some of your favorite ads that you’ve seen. There are plenty of classic commercials that have done well over time. Here are a few examples of favorites from the past, do you remember them?

Who Is Your Audience?

So, do you know who your audience is? Are you ready to reach them? Give us a call, and we’ll make sure your billboard becomes a valuable part of influencing your customers.

XBOX Survival Billboard

Survival Billboard

Video games are a fun concept for advertisers because of all the options they offer, and they often have some pretty high-tech solutions to get the attention of potential customers. But, they have started to stray away from simply advertising the graphics, and they’re trying to tap into the interests of those who would like a particular game. For the release of the new Tomb Raider game, the advertisers used a billboard to really push the limits of anything done before. And, it really got the world’s attention.

Survival Billboard

Live Survivors

Since the game follows the heroine through quite a few intense situations, they decided to have some people compete to see who was as tough as Lara Croft. Eight contestants stood on platforms on the side of a billboard, and they had to see who could last the longest. But, that would be too simple, so they spiced it up a bit – they hit them with bad weather: rain, snow, heat, cold, and many other things. To keep the audience involved, the whole thing was streaming live on the internet, and the audience could vote on the weather patterns.

Was It Real?

One of the first things that many people wonder is if this was actually a real project. The fun answer is that it was. It was tricky to pull off, but none of it was faked. The McCann London team that made it worked really hard to make it happen, and the contestants fought impressively with each other. One contestant even had to be removed and treated for hypothermia. If that doesn’t prove its legitimacy to you, then nothing will!

XBOX Survival Billboard

Full of Challenges

Building the actual billboard was a challenge because they had to meet a lot of requirements. They wanted to do it in London (the home location of the video game), but they had to work to find a location which would be noticeable without bothering normal city traffic. Also, they had to install the weather machines, as well as make sure the live streaming options were all going to function correctly. They even needed a special team of seamstresses to make sure that the letters on the contestant’s shirts perfectly lined up with the message on the billboard.

Another major obstacle was not knowing what would happen. This was essentially a reality show, so they had to plan for any different scenario to make sure the outcome was exciting. It was a lot of work, but they really seemed prepared.

The Advertisements of Putting It Together

This was a nice case in the advertising world, because the planning stages also worked to advertise the game. In order to find the contestants, they followed a similar strategy to what producers do when casting a television show. They used posters, social media ads, radio spots, and other forms of media to let potential contestants (and customers) know the whole event would take place. This alone carried the spirit of the campaign and the game around, so people were already excited about the billboard by the time it was put up. Can you imagine if your customers were excited for the day that your sign would appear?

Survival of the Grittest Billboard

Was It Successful?

Yes, it was a tremendous success. Video games are an extremely competitive industry, and this one was being released at the same time as some of its top competitors. However, this really rebranded the game and its main character, and it actively engaged potential players in a way that none of the others were able to do.

The Advertising World Loved It

It’s not a surprise to learn that even in the world of advertising, this whole show really stood out. It managed to win 17 Cannes Lions, making it one of the most awarded campaigns of the year, plus many other awards and recognitions. That doesn’t normally happen with a billboard, but it’s proof that anything can be great if done correctly.

Was it Dangerous?

One of the reasons that this was so successful was because of the fact that it was dangerous. That’s something that always gets people’s attention. However, it doesn’t look very good for your brand if someone actually gets hurt. Doctors performed a very strict evaluation of each contestant to make sure that they would be able to compete, and they closely monitored them during the event to keep them safe.

Would This Work for You?

Xbox and Tomb Raider really hit the jackpot with this billboard. It’s just another example of how successful this advertising medium can be – if used correctly. Would doing something similar like this work for your brand? We’d love to hear any crazy ideas that you’d like to make a reality!

Billboards of Snow

Billboards of Snow

Have you ever been stuck in a snowstorm and started dreaming of warmer climates?  You surely have if you’ve ever spent any significant amount of time in a colder area, as it’s a common problem that everyone complains about.  Even though many people seek out tanning beds and other temporary solutions, they always daydream of warm sun and sandy beaches.

But, have you ever considered that this might just be a great way to get the attention of your customers?  You might not have the budget to send them all to a beach, but what about planting the idea in their heads?

Billboards of Snow

Cold Campaigns Can Be Cool

Mexico’s Board of Tourism was trying to attract cold people from their urban homes, and they wanted to motivate them to hop on a plane and come support the Mexican economy.  They found quite the opportunity in the third most populated city in the US, and they took advantage of the fact that citizens of Chicago hate the long and cold winters.

During a spring snowstorm, some artists took to the streets of the city with the goal of using frozen water to spread warm thoughts.  They either packed the snow on to surfaces, or they shoveled it off.  In both cases, they made it into a message of words that were easily read by viewers.  They all discussed how warm it is in Mexico to try and inspire people to book a beach vacation to warm up their bones.

Four Noticeable Slogans

It was mostly text (not images), and the words weren’t random.  They used four specific slogans:

1) “Take your clothes off.”

2) “Beaches with sand this white.”

3) “Mexico: Always a warm Welcome.”

4) “Come melt under the sun.”

Snow Graffiti for Attention

One thing that makes this campaign stand out is how simple it is when compared to many of the high-tech ads that have been turning heads lately.  All it really took was a few guys with snow, shovels, and ladders.  They needed something to put it on (or take it off of) and plenty of creativity.  It didn’t need virtual reality, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that seems to belong in a science fiction story.

Billboard Snow Campaign

Playing to What People Want

Chicago is famous as being a place with cold and bitter winters, and that fact was absolutely necessary to this campaign.  There are many cities that occasionally see snow, but a lot of them generally have temperatures that are much more comfortable.  This could have physically been done in warmer places, but it wouldn’t have been as noticeable to the residents because they wouldn’t be bordering on the feelings of desperation for anything hot.

The Results Were Hot

This whole stunt was put on by Lapiz, which is a branch of the Leo Burnett Group.  They were working with an area artist, NosE Lanariz, to actually create the messages, and this helped them connect with the local scene.  It’s been viewed as a great use of outdoor media in an innovative fashion, and it’s a nice example of how a low-budget campaign can still have very successful results.

Taking Advantage of Other Ads

There have been plenty of ads talking about the nice weather of Mexico.  For an example, just think about any commercial for Corona that you’ve ever seen.  That means this campaign was benefitting from all of those.  The image that the tourism board wanted to convey was already in the minds of customers, so it wasn’t really necessary to show it to them.  All they had to do was trigger those thoughts, and once they were pulled out of the depths of frozen minds, they were now associated with the idea of taking a trip to Mexico.

Breaking Out of Standard Media

Trying to get away from using standard media channels can be very challenging, but it can sometimes be far more successful than sticking to the same methods being used by everyone else – so it’s always worth thinking about.  This strategy can have amazing results when you have such an opportunity as they did in Chicago.

Even if you don’t have an idea this great, you can still think of innovative ways to use establish forms of media.  For example, billboards can take advantage of 3D solutions, or they can integrate some sort of technology.

Have You Made It Snow on Your Customers?

Being different and unique is a great way to get customer’s attention.  It’s made even better when it plays upon their desires to solve a problem, as it did in this case.  However, don’t make it snow just because you can.  If all you are doing is trying to be creative, you might attract attention, but it won’t necessarily increase your sales.  So make sure that when you bring the snow, you drop it on the people who are actually ready to book a flight.  If you want some feedback on your ideas, reach out to us.  We love hearing your creative plans, and we’re happy to give advice!