Outdoor Advertising for Luxury Brands

outdoor advertisng for luxury brands cars

Luxury marketing is about selling dreams and aspirations. Luxury marketing is about thinking big.

If you think about it, Outdoor Advertising for luxury brands is perfect.

Make a big statement

When people are out and about they are usually in pursuit of their ideal lifestyle. They’re often either working hard to get more pay to afford those little (or large) consumer luxuries in life, or they’re out in pursuit of their desired lifestyle in the malls, shopping centres, entertainment complexes, and luxury boutiques of contemporary urban life.

There’s a temptation to think that “the masses” don’t do luxury spending and so not make Outdoor advertising a priority. But that would be a big mistake.

One signpost of why this is came from an article in the Financial Times after Christmas spending figures emerged in 2016. The article pointed out a rise in “affordable luxury” spending. Among some of the standout stats was the revelation that Lidl’s introduction of lobster to its stocks proved enormously popular with its shoppers.

Add to this the fact that 2017 is witnessing an unexpected boost in luxury spending; particularly in Europe and China, two regions that are compensating for lacklustre growth in the US. This sector covers watches and jewellery as well as clothes, shoes, and leather goods.

Things are looking especially good in Europe, where rising tourism levels are contributing to up to 9% growth in luxury goods spending. Even Britain has seen a tourism boost – at least one good thing to come from a tanking post-Brexit pound!

So here are two things to consider when engaging in Outdoor advertising for luxury goods:

  1. The local residents/through-traffic around your ad site are looking to make luxury purchases
  1. Outdoor advertising also caters to a growing tourist segment, this is something to think about in your design concepts

Advertisers in the luxury market, like advertisers everywhere, should be thinking about who will get exposure to their creatives and add that in to the mix when creating campaigns.

Millennials are changing-up the luxury market

By 2020 millennials will make up around 45% of the luxury goods market. This changes the way marketers need to approach their luxury Outdoor ad strategies. This is a highly informed, aspirational audience. It’s also a highly mobile segment, despite the rise of armchair purchasing habits.

A big factor here is the role of mobile in consumer behaviour. Luxury Outdoor ads need to drive engagements via mobile. This means, among other things, exploring avenues for social media engagement, and a focus on digital Outdoor where possible.

Outdoor is increasingly the arena in which all these different aspects of the consumer experience are tied together. Add to that the fact that not only will luxury brands be reaching a mobile audience close to the point of purchase, they will also be able to make the big impact that luxury marketing needs to make if it is to succeed.

The luxury car sector has always embraced the possibilities of Outdoor advertising. Perhaps this is not surprising as people in their cars are going to get exposure to their campaigns.

A great example was a 2015 campaign for Lexus which used road-spanning digital billboards to cheekily goaded non-Lexus drivers.

The brand used high-tech digital advertising assets to track the brands of passing cars, offering personalised messages such as, “hey white Evoque, it’s never too late to cross over”.

This was Outdoor luxury advertising aimed at a savvy, young, and aspirational audience.

Outdoor is a canvas on which luxury brands need to paint their visions big and bold.

The 2015 “Art of You” campaign from Pandora jewellery focused on women’s empowerment.

The impact of the above creative is something that can only be achieved on this scale via Outdoor.

The woman’s fists breaking through the confines of the billboard is both a striking visual effect and potent metaphor.

Despite the rise of a more savvy and harder to please segment of audiences, the old tricks are sometimes the best.

Celebrity endorsements are an effective short-cut to selling a luxury lifestyle, especially to an audience that’s just as likely to be watching Netflix as sipping Champagne in an infinity pool.

This was perhaps exemplified in 2012 when Chanel booked their first male brand rep, Brad Pitt of course.

Luxury Outdoor advertising at airports

It’s not just ecommerce that is outdoing brick-and-mortar retailers, the airport sector is growing hugely, so much so that it is being dubbed “the sixth continent of luxury”.

With a rising influx of affluent, influential consumers, it’s a no-brainer for Outdoor marketers.

Rolex’s sponsorship of clocks in airport terminals is particularly canny. They seamlessly connected their brand’s raison-d’etre into the prime concern of jet-setters everywhere: time keeping.

Since 2009 Heathrow has seen luxury goods spending take off by an incredible 72%. That’s partly due to the popular airport’s integrated focus on retail and advertising. “We’re not just putting shops into airports, we’re making [these stores] brand experiences,” said Kim Gray, Heathrow’s head of retail strategy. Add to that the insight that a majority of consumers (73%) enjoy shopping at airports, and 69% of people make impulse purchases at terminals and you have a potent recipe for effective advertising.

Mall advertising for Luxury Brands

Mall advertising sites like “sky banners” bring luxury brands like Gucci into the aspirational environment of the modern shopping centre.

It’s a great way to make a big splash and cut through an often crowded advertising environment and windowscape campaigns are highly effective when it comes to grabbing the attention of audiences as they enter populous retail spaces.

Bus stop ads

Brands like Burberry are at the cutting edge of a crossover between traditional luxury audiences and newer, less class-bound shoppers.

A bus stop ad may seem an unlikely position for a luxury/quasi-luxury brand like Burberry to place ads, but only to advertisers who haven’t got with the programme. Not withstanding the broad demographic of bus commuters (not to mention those who walk past bus stops) increasingly, consumers are looking to make luxury purposes to realise aspects of the luxury lifestyle to which they aspire. There’s a degree of escapism operating here too, which drives consumer purchases.

So it increasingly looks like passing up a chance to invest in Outdoor advertising is a luxury you can’t afford.

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