The Great Outdoors

September 18, 2014

In recent times there has been some movement in terms of digital outdoor advertising in Ireland, where we are beginning to advance with technology, and how we can provide a clearer, more visible campaign to clients. We have seen the introduction of NFC technology on Adshells, also the projector screen which has been added at the foot of Wexford Street to support the Dublin Fringe 2014. Exterion Media have recently been making moves to digitize T-Sides and the rail line network. However, is this still far behind where we potentially could be? In a somewhat restrictive environment, it sometimes feels like Ireland in general are behind the curve when it comes to outdoor advertising, and most prominently, digital outdoor advertising.

Ireland has a great deal of international and local client activity side by side. When planning is done for all forms of clients, considerations will be made across all countries as to how other markets are innovating. Sometimes in Ireland, we are faced with the issue that we cannot always emulate what is taking place in other markets, as we can be limited in terms of estate available to media planners. This can pose the question, are we potentially missing out on an even more effective campaign due to the lack of digital OOH space? And is there a need for prime site locations that are freely available in other markets. Paddy Power are renowned for their outdoor advertising, which has resulted in them trending frequently on social media, and are regularly active on innovative digital formats and are highly reactive in their communications.

 

Paddy Power

 

Digital billboards in the UK are located on major transport routes, such as the above in Situ image. In the UK, sites are now provided on motorways in digital billboard formats, which give access to a far greater level of visually impactful space. They’re vibrant, easily adaptable, reactive, and located in unrivalled locations where traffic levels are extremely large. Major international brands are active consistently on such sites  in the UK, and markets further afield, which gives a good indication that if this was available in the Irish market, surely these international and local clients alike would be willing to embrace these advancement in the Irish market.

 

Motorway digital

 

Some may argue perhaps we do not need this level of advertising in Ireland, as we are on a lesser scale to the UK market and population. But figures indicate there is a very strong argument for such advancements in OOH advertising. With stretches heading south on the m50 achieving in excess of 90,000 daily users, the weekly figures would almost double that of weekly visitors to Dundrum Town Centre. This will most certainly have the underlying issue of road safety, but surely this issue is one faced across all markets that offer the prime location sites.

 

Piccadilly Circus is the UK’s answer to Time Square, which faces on to one of the UK’s busiest shopping destinations, and is now one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. They have had a host of major brands who have committed long term investment to the site, with Coca Cola being present on the site since 1955 as an example. It could be argued that this is a somewhat audacious level of digital advertising, but something that surely could be just as popular with brands if tailored to suit the Irish market. Most brands that are active in Piccadilly are active here also, which gives a strong indication that there is a need to add prime digital locations across Ireland, so as to match the capabilities of other markets. With almost £50m spent on large digital outdoor formats alone in the UK in 2013, we can see there is a big appetite from brands to be active on such space. This could transfer directly to the Irish market, granted on a smaller scale, if the formats were available here.

Piccadilly Circus:                                      Potential College Green:

                                                                   

 

 

Piccadilly 1garfton

 

 

Mark Fitzharris.

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