- Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux teamed with mobile advertising firm S4M to let advertisers run campaigns that drive foot traffic to stores. The collaboration combines out-of-home (OOH) and mobile advertising to reach on-the-go consumers and measure the effect of campaigns on store visits as locations slowly reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, per an announcement.
- JCDecaux and S4M are offering the service in eight markets worldwide, including the U.S., France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore and Mexico. Retailers in those regions can place ads on JCDecaux's billboards and mass transit panels near their stores, and through S4M's mobile ad platform to reach a broader audience.
- S4M will connect to VIOOH, JCDecaux's programmatic marketplace for digital OOH advertising, as part of the collaboration.
With many regions worldwide lifting pandemic lockdowns, OOH advertising is due for a comeback as stores gradually reopen and people travel more freely after being stuck indoors. Combining OOH and mobile advertising is 2.5 times more effective at driving store traffic than campaigns on either channel separately, according to data cited by JCDecaux in announcing its collaboration with S4M. The goal is to reach on-the-go consumers when they're most ready to shop, eat at a restaurant or seek other nearby services.
JCDecaux has experienced the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with a record 14% drop in revenue in Q1 from a year earlier as many regions worldwide ordered people to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel. The company's revenue from mass transit advertising plunged 24%, a major reversal from the 25% growth it saw a year earlier, researcher WARC found. Much of the recovery will depend on how quickly restaurants that are heavy OOH advertisers can bounce back, though consumers are likely to remain wary of dining out because of health concerns.
Before the pandemic, OOH advertising enjoyed healthy growth as marketers combined outdoor activations with mobile campaigns to maximize their effect and urge people to visit nearby locations. Some of the more recent examples include Outfront Media's campaign for Valentine's Day that encouraged commuters to scan heart-shaped QR codes on digital billboards to activate an augmented reality (AR) filter in Instagram Stories. Coca-Cola's Fanta soda brand last year launched a campaign that let Snapchat users point their smartphone at billboards, while McDonald's deployed an OOH promotion that included an integration with the same image-messaging app. The lifting of lockdowns could spur a renaissance in OOH campaigns as retailers and restaurants seek to drive store traffic.