Like many other industries and niches, the luxury shopping market is becoming increasingly fixated on OOH marketing opportunities. There’s arguably a good reason for this, with online sales growth for women’s luxury apparel alone thought to have peaked at 18% in the UK last year.

This is part of a wider global trend, but while it would be easy for luxury brands to eschew offline marketing campaigns in favour of digital channels, this is extremely counterintuitive and can have a detrimental impact on sales.

In fact, outdoor advertising channels offer tremendous value to luxury brands, particularly when they’re used as part of an integrated marketing campaign. Below, we’ll ask why this is the case and consider the benefits of out-of-home (OOH) advertising for luxury brands.

Why Should Luxury Brands Use Outdoor Marketing?

Outdoor advertising certainly represents incrementally growing business in the UK, with eMarketer estimated that nationwide expenditures increased by 1.4% on average in 2017.

Both traditional and digital OOH media channels can add value to luxury marketing campaigns, however, primarily because they enable brands to make big and bold statements.

Harron Homes

This is particularly true in the case of 48 and 96-sheet billboards, which are larger than life and allow brands to promote their messaging vividly and in a way that captures the imagination of customers.

To understand this further, let’s take a look at an ambitious campaign by Corona launched last summer in the UK. This saw the brand make a bold and impactful statement regarding global pollution while encouraging passers-by to discard their own litter at the site of the installation.

This large, colourful and high-resolution ad was erected in London’s Old Street, while it made the most of the canvas by featuring actor Chris Hemsworth surfing on a wave of plastic collected in the UK.

The bold use of imagery certainly made a concise and important statement in the minds of customers, while also raising brand awareness and cultivating a sense of positive sentiment in the eyes of customers.

At the same time, the subtle use of colour and scenery aligned itself holistically to the brand’s visual identity, which often features beaches and aspirational images to underpin its advertising campaigns.

The advert also generated significant conversations on Twitter, highlighting the impact of the message and the importance of integrating on and offline marketing channels.

While this campaign was exceptionally well crafted and managed, however, it all began with the use of a large and prominently placed canvas. This lends itself naturally to the publication of big statements, which resonate with customers and drive further brand interaction.

The Ability to Leverage Location

Luxury outdoor ads not only tend to make big statements, but they also share aspirational messages that can help to increase the reach and exposure of your brand.

The term ‘aspirational marketing’ is often misunderstood, but in simple terms, it refers to the process of targeting idealised customer profiles that will help to drive commercial growth in the future.

Whether you want to target a younger demographic that can sustain the longevity of your brand or engage the grey pound and its higher levels of disposable income, aspirational marketing will play a central role in helping you to achieve these objectives.

The ground-breaking and award-winning “#Thisgirlcan” campaign perfectly embodies the principles of aspirational marketing, as it utilised prominent images of confident and everyday women to break stereotypes and encourage different demographic to exercise.

Location of billboards

Location is also widely used as part of aspirational marketing campaigns, while it’s also central to the premise of successful outdoor marketing. After all, the use of strategically targeted advertising locations enables brands to engage specific demographics with their messaging and make the most of their marketing spend.

Luxury brands (particularly those in the fashion industry) have always associated themselves with glamorous and aspirational destinations, namely London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. These locations synonymous with wealth and luxury shopping experiences, and large format billboards are ideally placed to bring these to life and share them with a wider audience.

A similar principle can be applied to large-scale outdoor advertising campaigns at UK airports, as these locations serve as gateways to the world’s most exotic and aspirational destinations.

Not only this, but statistics suggest that Heathrow has seen luxury goods spending increase by an incredible 72% since 2009. This reflects the relaxed and impulsive mindset of customers when they visit airports, as 73% of consumer enjoy shopping for high-end goods at terminals and are therefore more susceptible to targeted and aspirational marketing.

With these points in mind, it’s easy to see how luxury brands can leverage location and large format billboards to underpin their aspirational marketing campaigns, in order to target new demographics and ultimately optimise their levels of exposure.

Reduce your Marketing Spend without Compromising on Quality

We spoke earlier about the fact that luxury brands are becoming increasingly active online, with an estimated 50% of all high-end hospitality adverts published through digital channels last year.

This represented an increase of 47% in relation to 2017’s figures, while it highlights the fact that brands will invest more of their marketing spend online in the years ahead.

Not only does this restrict the amount of money available to spend on other channels, however, but it may also restrict the effectiveness of luxury campaigns going forward.

After all, while it’s estimated that Millennials will account for around 45% of all luxury goods spending by 2020, this demographic is becoming increasingly cynical when it comes to digital marketing.

This is borne out by the figures, which confirm that the rate of downloads for ad-blocking software is estimated at 34% for Millennials. In comparison, the average rate across Britain is just 15%, suggesting that Millennials are looking to eschew saturated digital channels in favour of less intrusive mediums.

BMW Luxury car brand

This includes outdoor advertising channels like billboards, which meld seamlessly into the natural environment and are capable of engaging Millennials as they go about their daily business.

Traditional billboards are also relatively affordable and cost-effective, so they can help luxury brands to significantly reduce their marketing spend while also targeting influential consumer demographics.

This can also translate into superior returns and far greater value for money, not least because traditional billboards do not require brands to share advertising space with competitors. They’ll also play an integral role in your integrated campaigns, by driving assisted conversions and higher rates of engagement through mobile and social media channels.

The Last Word

While the lure of digital is overwhelmingly obvious for luxury brands, it’s ultimately integrated campaigns that will deliver the best results and return on investment.

The integration of outdoor advertising is particularly important for luxury brands, who can leverage strategically placed 46 and 96-sheet billboards to reduce their marketing spend, share aspirational messaging and target brand new demographics.