Outdoorgivesback.com.au

Here's an ad that's kind of being doing my head in. I've seen this particular billboard everywhere. And I kept wondering what it was about. Except I didn't really wonder hard enough to actually go to the website. I just checked the site and it seems to be down anyway...

outdoors gives back.jpg

So I Googled the term "Outdoor gives back" and I figured out from a Campaign Brief article that it's a campaign by the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) to tell people about the benefits of outdoor ads. 

So first off it's hard not to point out the irony of an above the line ad campaign linking to a dead website. But beyond that what bugged me about this ad was that it was, I presume, trying to generate intrigue and get people to check out the site but at least for me it didn't succeed. I only ended up checking because I kind of try to stay on top of these things.

I wonder how it performed for the average person? 

Here's what Born & Raised, the agency who came up with the campaign say about it:

"Out-of-Home gives back to the community in many ways that people are unaware of, so it was fundamental that we found an engaging way to bring these messages to life. The happy and likeable billboard characters deliver the message with charm and humility. Combined with bright and simple design that lets the message win, the campaign is a showcase for effective outdoor communication".

No disrespect to the hard work those guys surely put into the campaign but I do wonder whether it was that effective, because from looking at the billboard alone I'm not getting it. I found these other examples online and together they do tell a far better story, so I wonder why a mix wasn't deployed in Sydney.

  Did someone who was a little embarrassed of the concept of branding internally push for a stripped down version that is purer aesthetically but loses the message? I'm not sure. It kind of perplexes me! The other thing I would have done (in an ideal world, I know how hard it can be in reality) is to ask the client on a strategic level "Is this really the message you want to bring across?". Like I'm glad that outdoor funds some things but wouldn't it also be interesting to explore how ATL just is a part of our culture as a whole?   This is from OMA's list "6 things you didn't know about outdoor advertising": The public also value our contribution; 75% of people surveyed said that Outdoor advertising gives them something to look at when out and about; and a hearty 86% of people agree that Outdoor advertising makes brands and products stand out.  It might be a little dystopian, but remember the geisha from Blade Runner? The way she defined her environment? 

 

Did someone who was a little embarrassed of the concept of branding internally push for a stripped down version that is purer aesthetically but loses the message? I'm not sure. It kind of perplexes me!

The other thing I would have done (in an ideal world, I know how hard it can be in reality) is to ask the client on a strategic level "Is this really the message you want to bring across?". Like I'm glad that outdoor funds some things but wouldn't it also be interesting to explore how ATL just is a part of our culture as a whole?  

This is from OMA's list "6 things you didn't know about outdoor advertising":

The public also value our contribution; 75% of people surveyed said that Outdoor advertising gives them something to look at when out and about; and a hearty 86% of people agree that Outdoor advertising makes brands and products stand out. 

It might be a little dystopian, but remember the geisha from Blade Runner? The way she defined her environment? 

feel like there is something that could have been explored there. Perhaps optical illusions, or a number of different really strong creative ideas. Maybe an outdoor art exhibition in billboard form. 

Working mainly in digital, I don't want to sound anti-ATL. I consider myself platform agnostic. I think that there's a lot to be said for making sure your brand has as much penetration as possible. I just see a lot of untapped potential here...