Out-of-home (OOH) high-end auto advertising: does it work?

Can über luxury and exotic automakers such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. place OOH (out-of-home) ads to reach the correct audience, but without diluting the brand?

  • Can ultra-luxury vehicles can use OOH ads in their marketing efforts?
  • If so, what elements of an OOH ad can spark a dealership visit?
  • What should ultra-luxury automakers’ goals be for an OOH ad campaign?
  • What other OOH and out-of-dealership physical elements, such as outdoor displays, events, etc., should be used along with OOH ads for these brands?

“In my opinion . . .”

Iwas asked the above questions recently. Out of home advertising is focuses on the consumer when they are on the move and in public places. OOH advertising formats—digital and non-digital—has four main categories: billboards, transit, street seating and alternative (sides of buildings, airborne, gas station pumps, etc.).

The general idea is, in combination with print, digital and mobile, OOH ads give a “cross media” campaign a better chance of not only reaching the target customer, but those who aspire to buy in the future. Displaying simple, creative imagery on mass transit, airports, major hotel strips and buildings will help some brands raise awareness and make a memorable experience for potential consumers. That’s the theory. It works for Porsche, Jaguar and Mercedes, but then again they are not exotics and super lux brands.

As far as I can tell, OOH adverting does not work for marques such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, etc. Those who purchase such names will most likely be put off by seeing such fine machinery on a billboard. To create desire in a prospective buyer of such marques, you simply need to experience what they are all about.

Luxury? If I took you for a drive across town in a Bentley or Roller you would feel pampered and the all the part, like little else can.

Excitement? If I took you for a run in a Ferrari or Lambo (driven the way God intended), you’d come back with your eyes dilated, heart pounding, a dry mouth and a huge grin on your face that won’t go away for fifteen minutes.

For the average American consumer, such experiences would be very rare and very memorable. THAT’s what would  incentivize a person to work hard so they can own one for themselves.

So I don’t see where outdoor advertising would be effective or be justified from a branding or advertising standpoint—unless maybe you are talking about signage on Rodeo Drive, Wall Street, downtown London, etc. Anywhere else would remove the rarefied atmosphere . . . the mystique surrounding each marque and cheapen the brand.

Image credit: Digicom, Outdoor Plus


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