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
Industry: Marketing & Advertising
Brand: INSITE OOH
Region: North Africa
The Art & Science of OOH
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