2020 has shaken up every single industry, and advertising is no different. While restrictions forced brands to rethink their strategies overnight, we also saw some of the most creative campaigns in advertising. As we look to 2021, I think there are three key learnings brands should take to ensure they continue to deliver effective campaigns and build brand loyalty.
First, brands need to back their words. This year, we saw many brands add purposeful messages to their ads but they all merge into one. Instead, it’s the brands that boldly spoke about the action they were taking that stood out, such as Heinz’s 12 million breakfasts ad. Without authenticity, purpose won’t build brand love, and I think we’ll see more brands walk the walk in their campaigns next year. OOH is a great platform to do so given its public reach and trusted environment.
Second, marketing teams need to be forward-looking and prepared to flex. Teams who adapted their campaigns overnight to be contextually relevant flourished, particularly in our medium where we know consumers respond better to this. Emily Crisps had one of my favourite campaigns this year. We worked with their marketing team on their first OOH ad during lockdown. It was planned pre-lockdown, so the team had to completely change the creative to ensure it was contextually relevant. By changing the content and adding humour effectively, the campaign got consumer attention online.
Third, with the lifting of lockdowns across Europe, we saw that audiences were quick to go back to the streets, as were brands. But, audiences were behaving very differently, making the need for up to date data when planning campaigns more important than ever before. That’s why we launched our proprietary mobile data campaign planning tool in the UK and Spain this year and will be rolling it out across Europe in 2021. I’m excited to see how brands embrace this new insight to make their OOH campaigns even more powerful next year.