If  you have been following our News section lately, you know by now that  the month of March has had a good dose of controversial campaigns. Two  different brands were forced to change the messages of their OOH ads  because they were perceived offensive by the Egyptian viewers. Mind you:  they were both aiming at celebrating Mother’s Day, one cannot imagine  the viewers’ reaction if the campaign was a mere commercial promotion!

When you think about it, it is not a matter of good or bad luck. Getting  your message right is a matter of understanding your audience well, of  segmenting your audience appropriately by demographics, psychographics,  behaviors, product usage, media use, and so on. The more categories and  subcategories your segmentation contains, the deeper your analysis will  be. And there is no way around it: you do need to spend time on your  audience analysis. Because if you don’t, you may not get the results  that you planned for in your outdoor campaign.
So let’s explore  those segmentation categories with specific examples and see if we can  understand our audience’s perception and reactions a bit better.
First of all, we all know that demographics is the main factor affecting audience’s perception. Not only gender or  age, but economic and cultural background directly reflect on viewers’  perception and reaction to the ad. Most brands know exactly who their  target audience is, and thus create artwork and messages specifically  for them. Women’s products, high-end technologies, luxury real estate…  they all have straightforward demographic segmentation. But when we  think of the food and beverages industry, for instance, the lines  between the different segments of society become somehow blurred, and  indeed the same brand may launch different OOH campaigns to target  different segments of society.

Here in Egypt psychographics also plays a very  important role. Egypt is a cluster of many cultures – Mediterranean,  African, Arab, Muslim, Christian… therefore varied cultural and social  lifestyles have developed, merged and unfolded in beautiful ways that  make everyone feel at home, no matter their origins, race, or religion.  What they all have in common is their love for life and what life gives  us all. A positive message, a cheerful slogan, or even inspiring artwork  will gain your audience’s affection faster than any product discount.

As a result of the merging of cultures, behavior is the most difficult category to predict among your Egyptian audience.  You may think that sense of humor is a very common trait among us, and  you will be right to think so, but then again you will have to consider  exactly what forms part of our sense of humor – and what doesn’t. We  always joke about everything, but there are certain things we will never  let you joke about, like our family, or weaker segments of society, such as children, women or the elderly.

Product usage is very industry-specific, you will need to understand your competitors  and their market-shares at different levels before you can come up to  any conclusions. Launching an outdoor campaign with a good discount may  be a good idea, but only if the discount matches your audience’s  expectations. Simplicity and creative calls-to-action are your best  allies here – your audience wants to interact with you, not to buy from  you!

Media use or media psychology is probably easier to analyze, and the most helpful trait in order to  create a strategic OOH advertising campaign. However, it also offers  very wide-reaching results that are not so easy to implement. For  example, all brands want to reach out to their consumers, but it is  difficult to do so when you have so many competitors out there offering  similar products or services. And with so many media channels open for  communication, OOH has become a strategic point of touch with Egyptians,  as we spend such long hours commuting to our workplaces or homes. Many  campaigns have shifted focus from product-based strategies to  audience-based strategies, trying to offer relevancy to stand out of the  crowd. So when a brand talks about what’s going on in our country, or offers a meaningful message for a special occasion, audiences tend to develop fondness for the campaign.

Audience  segmentation is a fundamental strategy in communication campaigns, no  matter the channel you are using. Segmentation will always help your  campaign in both, efficiency and effectiveness, by measuring your  audience perception and reaction in advance.
And especially in OOH  media, which is a static space with no direct interaction with your  customer, it becomes extremely difficult to measure the results of your  campaign. As Mr. Ahmed Bahgat, CEO of OUTSITE OOH keeps reminding us, you really need to get it right in the planning,  because once your ad is on the billboard, your audience will not show  compassion if you offend them.
So remember to work on your audience segmentation and good luck with your next campaign!

Released By: Patricia Fuentes

Campaign Credits

Industry: Marketing & Advertising


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Country: Egypt

Region: North Africa

The Art & Science of OOH

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