What is ambient media advertising?

By July 23, 2015General

Do you have a media advertising strategy? Imagine a world in which billboards call out to individual shoppers by name; newspapers update as they are being read, and animated ads appear on your box of cereal in the morning.

It sounds like a marketer’s dream doesn’t it?

Well, the dream is closer to reality than you think.

In an effort to create the “unforgettable ad”, digital marketers are embracing the world of personalised ambient media advertising – a relatively new breed of out-of-home advertising, which is also known as non-traditional or ‘alternative’ media.

What is ambient media?

Ambient media advertising is about placing ads in unusual places.

The term covers a multitude of formats, such as ads on the sides of taxis and buses, shopping trolleys, pint glasses, pizza boxes, airline overhead luggage racks, and even the Houses of Parliament, (as per FHM’s projection of Gail Porter, in 1996).

Ambient media advertisements are an effective means of pushing a brand message in front of consumers. If done well, they can generate fantastic brand recall with target audiences.
Secrets to success

The key to creating a successful ambient media campaign is to choose the best media format available and combine it with an effective message.

Here are a few examples from brands that have done just that:

Caribou Coffee: American brand Caribou Coffee turned a Minneapolis bus stop into a toasty oven, complete with a ceiling mounted heating element. The clever ambient media campaign made clever use of the environment – raising awareness of new products, and differentiating them from the competition (by showing an oven heating the menu items rather than a microwave).

Smile.co.uk: The internet bank created widespread awareness at minimal cost by choosing the ambient advertising route. Having been voted best online bank for 5 years running, Smile had accumulated many happy customers and they wanted a form of advertising to illustrate this. What did they come up with? Advertising on bananas.

They placed stickers with the bank’s logo and the words “Top Banana” on bananas at Co-op stores across the UK, and as a result, the campaign, which perfectly complemented Smile’s brand image, received a ton of priceless press coverage.

LG Electronics Australia: LG wanted to showcase the ultra large capacity of its latest washing machine with an ambient media campaign, so it covered a giant billboard near Sydney Airport with 71 pieces of wet clothing that had been washed in a single load in the washing machine.

The white laundry, (including bed sheets, bath towels, pillow cases and tablecloths), was used to form the white background and coloured laundry displayed the message: “All of this, done in one“.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.