Marketers Are Taking Out-of-Home to the Next Level With Digital Activations

Coca-Cola and Jimmy Dean among the brands seeing results

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Out-of-home experiential advertising can be a boon to brand awareness, but recent campaigns from Coca-Cola and Jimmy Dean show how marketers are trying to magnify the effect of these efforts through connected digital activations.

Coca-Cola recently worked with Clear Channel Outdoor on an interactive billboard as part of the bigger #ShareACoke campaign. In exchange for sending a text message, a billboard displayed a bottle of Coke with the consumer’s name on it in real time. The campaign generated 110,000 submissions and 820 million impressions, which measures how many consumers saw the ads.

On a smaller scale, Jimmy Dean and TBWAChiatDay in Los Angeles have seen 6,000 impressions so far from an activation that rolled out on Sept. 8 along Hollywood Boulevard. The campaign centered around a sculpture that used sunlight to create GIFs of brand images, which were then uploaded to social media. The brand is now using the idea to drive a bigger user-generated content push based on the same theme.

“Experiential out of home has not been part of our plan in recent years, but we felt with this big announcement and launch that there was a real opportunity to do something different,” said Karmen Conrad, director of marketing at Jimmy Dean Frozen.

Research from BIA/Kelsey backs up the move toward digital out-of-home activations. Out-of-home spend will hit $7.8 billion this year, with $3.3 billion coming from digital. By 2019, digital will make up $4.4 billion of a $9.2 billion industry. “It probably makes sense for brands to be pushing it a little bit to see what works—you have to break through the clutter somehow,” said Rick Ducey, managing director at BIA/Kelsey.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.