Phantom Blog

April 2024

Viewing posts from April , 2024

Adventures in meatspace.

When strategists talk about ‘brand engagement’ it can sound a bit science-y.

There are terms like metrics, channels and impressions. There is data.

All of which is vital, because we understand the need to be accountable. Without a return, you can’t justify the investment.

But engagement is ultimately about adventures in meatspace. It’s what happens when humans react to something and neurons are rewired inside their skulls.

In short, it should feel like fun.

Get the engagement party started with posters.

Every street poster is a real-world event. It’s an opportunity for engagement. It’s eye candy at eye level, waiting to ambush your customers in the nicest possible way.

With a little help from our Phantom Labs team, you can make it even more fun.

You could have your poster stocked with treats, like a supersized advent calendar .

You could build the poster from your product, like Lego did. Or place poi on posters, for kapa haka fans to collect.

You could add a QR code, so people can scan to win or simply discover more. Or you could bring a new world to life with Augmented Reality.

With the power of posters (plus your creativity), reality becomes a little more
interesting. Display is good but play is better.

That’s excellent news for ambitious brands.

The ultimate amplifier.

As you know, digital media are essential for reach and targeting. But don’t stop there.

Use the power of posters to amplify engagement.

The way you do it by weaving online and offline together. So your poster creative doubles as your digital banners and dovetails with your activation strategy. (Never underestimate the power of posters to trigger a sale when they’re sitting outside a stockist that sells your product).

The real magic happens when consumers amplify your brand’s impact by snapping pictures and sharing with their followers. For the cost of some strategically placed posters, you can have a campaign that goes viral to people far and wide.

We saw this play out when Lorde fans started nicking her posters from Phantom frames. One of them shared this larceny on TikTok, and Lorde got extra reach for no extra investment.

Something similar happened when we helped launch the most recent series of The Boys. Fans organically shared Phantom’s spectacular installation on Newton Road, with images popping up on the global Reddit thread r/TheBoys (545K members).

The stats back up these case studies. Over 60% of TikTok, Facebook and Instagram users say they regularly see OOH creative on those platforms. And nearly half of them say they visit the websites of brands they see in their social feeds. Check out the research here.

It suggests that when you create an outdoor moment that engages viewers, those viewers will happily boost your organic reach. (And if they’re already your superfans, they’ll love you even more.)

It starts with fun. It ends with ROI.

Happy with ad wastage? Us neither.

One of the people who invented marketing came up with a good line. He said he knew half his ad budget was wasted – but unfortunately he didn’t know which half.

We have some thoughts on the topic.

And a few solutions.

Waste not, want not.

In 2024, budgets are being squeezed. Every dollar is under scrutiny. With research showing that 41% of digital ad spend achieves nothing, it might be time to go back to basics:

  • Where exactly are your ads running?
  • What exactly are people seeing?

Let’s tackle these one at a time.

Do you know exactly where your ads are appearing?

Sure, the stats say your campaign is being served to the audience you want to reach. But what does that actually mean?

It means your digital ads can wind up in places your brand doesn’t really want to be. That’s how the platforms work.

Annoying and intrusive digital ad experiences have been shown to create huge wastage in ad spend by turning off the audiences you hoped to woo. That’s if the ad blockers don’t get there first.

That wasn’t the plan when you allocated the budget. However, it’s always a risk with programmatic schedules. 

Solution: Poster space you own (with a photo to prove it).

The classic OOH poster format is a guaranteed haven for your message. With your eye candy at eye level, every encounter is real. 

At Phantom we minimise wastage with rigorous measurement and mapping tools to buy the eyeballs you want. Then our Account Managers use their in-depth knowledge of Phantom’s network and your brand’s objectives to develop a schedule that maximises your impact.

Every site has to earn its place on your schedule. And to prove the poster went up, we send you a date-stamped photo of every poster in its frame.

That’s Accountability with a capital A.

Wait…did anyone actually view that ‘impression’?

As the digital ad market matures, people are starting to use AI and analytical tools to look beyond simplistic measures such as impressions and clicks. 

A recent study for Amplified Intelligence in conjunction with PepsiCo Europe revealed that only 42% of brand moments were actively viewed. Just because the ad was served doesn’t mean anyone noticed it.

This is driving the development of more sophisticated analytics – but there’s another approach you could take.

Solution: Real-world encounters with unmissable creative.

When your ads are viewed by actual humans, you can surprise and delight them with your targeted creativity. 

For instance, you could arrange things so they conjure up vampires in their mind. With the right site and a fiendishly clever idea, your creative idea can come to life in the most unexpected way. 

Or what about getting people to play with your idea? We’re not talking about clicks here. With Phantom’s supersites and the skills of the Phantom Labs team, you can have your target audience opening aircraft windows, playing with poi, pouring kombucha, or collecting golden keys. 

That’s not wastage – that’s engagement

Outdoor media is one of your best weapons against ad wastage.

As marketers grapple with the need to connect spend to performance, they have an ally in outdoor media.

Posters are accountable, because strategic buying with the assistance of a team that really understands the network means you can craft a schedule that delivers ROI. With eye-opening creative placed in front of real people, you create an unmissable campaign.

The bonus? People actually like posters. Especially Gen Z. They say they find them a pleasant relief from the surveillance economy enabled by adtech.

We can show you the results we’ve achieved with other waste-averse marketers. 

And we can do it for you, too.