Ambient advertising is a concept that counteracts this development in traditional advertising.
Basic idea behind ambient advertising
- Bring your advertising closer to your target group.
- Consider their daily routine.
- Entertain in smart ways.
When using ambient media, the primary goal is not to achieve reach at any cost. Rather, the focus is on generating first-rate contacts, without expensive wastage.
Ambient promotions are usually (communication) installations that offer entertainment value or an experience. They invite us to engage and find out what lies behind them. Ideally, they are also photographed by the target group and posted on various social media platforms. This is a very positive and personal way to rack up contacts.
You are a regional toy retailer and want to make people aware of your city centre store. They should remember your store’s name and ideally go directly there.
City centre advertising columns are excellent for this. By displaying a poster with an “add-on”, you can encourage people to linger and read, but also, most importantly, to act, since the advertising is literally within easy reach.
In our example, a prize draw is used to encourage customers to visit the store. The tickets are stuck on so that passers-by can easily take one. In addition to the advertising column’s unusual look, this immediately says: I’m a bit different to your usual boring advertising – the target group can actively engage in the process, take something away with them and be a part of what is going on. This is more appealing and interesting than yet another flyer – even though it’s essentially the same thing.
You have an international presence and would like to greet your guests after a tiring flight. In doing so, you’d ideally like to put a smile on their face.
Ever been travelling for 20 hours and then had to wearily wait for your luggage to appear? Anything that can make this wait feel a bit shorter is welcome – even more so if it gets you smiling. After all, your contact with the brand is then very positive. There’s a good reason why car hire companies really like to use this form of advertising.
In our case, business travellers were attuned to the topic and welcomed with a huge Star Wars visual above the baggage carousel – and then amused by the friendly R2D2 going around on the conveyor belt in a suitcase. Again, the advertising message in this instance is right there in front of the audience and encourages engagement.
Of course, you really have to consider the circumstances of the particular location when advertising. In the case of the second example, for instance, you have to make sure that all business travellers are directed to precisely this baggage carousel and that the R2D2 suitcase is there on time. Or, with reference to the first example, that the advertising columns are easily accessible in public spaces with high footfall.
One constraint that must be mentioned is that such promotions require a great deal of creativity and a high degree of organisation and preparation. But most importantly, as the advertiser, you need the courage and resolve to push the boundaries.
Whether you want to reach a global target group or regional city centre visitors: both promotions are a good example of how you have to consider the daily routines of your target groups in order to raise your brand’s profile among them through an entertaining promotion. This then leaves a direct, positive impression of your store, (major) event or company in general.