Areas of influence: How media giant Global uses influencer marketing in OOH and radio
Influencer’s Ben Jeffries talks with Stephen Miron of media giant Global about the expanding role of creators in out-of-home and audio advertising.
Out-of-home, audio and influencers: a three-way partnership made in heaven? / Image courtesy of Influencer / Global
Though sometimes still considered traditional media, both out-of-home (OOH) and audio advertising have seen incredible innovation in recent years.
Outdoor advertising has witnessed rapid advancements with programmatic, creative innovation, 3D billboards and special builds. Just last month, TikTok launched its ‘Out of Phone’ campaign. And with the expansion of radio stations across digital media and the rise of podcasting, there are constantly new ways to tune in to audio content.
British media company Global sits across both, operating radio stations like Capital and Heart alongside OOH work with its Outdoor Division. When I sat down with him Stephen Miron, group chief executive, told me that one thing remains the same amid all this change: “at the heart of everything we do [in advertising] is a human connection, that’s the magic of audio and outdoor and their enduring resilience.”
The creator economy can play a huge role in this kind of connection. But how is Global incorporating creators throughout its audio and outdoor strategies?
Outdoor and social go hand in hand
OOH is a highly visually impactful medium, featuring boundary-pushing experiential campaigns with enormous reach. Miron says that, “Between radio and outdoor we reach over 95% of the population. On an average journey through London, people see more outdoor advertising than they do social media, and we publish news into a billion newsfeeds every month”.
Adding creators to this mix, incorporating faces that people recognize and feel they can relate to, takes it to the next level. Miron sees outdoor and social as a complimentary duo: “digital billboards work brilliantly with vertical video, which means they seamlessly display social media content, looking incredibly natural, but in an environment that is high-impact.”
The assumption that influencer marketing is confined to social media feeds ignores the astounding resource that creators are on billboards, TV commercials, radio shows, podcasts, and events.
Here’s Miron again: “For creators, being on a billboard is a huge moment, so when they are featured in outdoor campaigns, it’s fantastic sharable content that a highly engaged fan base will join in with.” Creator-infused OOH campaigns captivate passersby and immerse an extended digital audience, tapping into creators’ audience bases. This extends longevity and campaign impact.
Collaboration is transformation
In combining OOH with social, collaboration between established media companies like Global, the brands it works with, and creators can be hugely transformative. Global has witnessed this across outdoor, radio and podcasting platforms, says Miron: podcasts with creators can support content creators (like Mr and Mrs Hinch) to dramatically expand their audiences and content offerings.
In these partnerships, Miron says, creators are “guiding audiences to the content they love”. Brands can connect with a creator’s most loyal followers, who have transferred over from their social accounts. For example, TikTok sensation GK Barry recently demonstrated her content on Global’s on-demand platform across her social platforms, bringing over her loyal fan base and educating them on how the platform works. Similarly, pop group The Elevator Boys appeared at Capital’s Summertime Ball, and Classic FM partnered with classical music creators to make the station more accessible.
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Authenticity is key
67% of social/video platform users find TikTok creator content to be relatable; 53% have purchased a product after seeing a creator/influencer video.
Where creators are brought into OOH, this relatability supercharges the campaign, leading to word of mouth. Enlisting a familiar face in a way that feels organic, Global and the brands it works with access target demographics more effectively, leaning on creators’ expertise.
For Global, this is all about authenticity – Miron emphasizes that “the creator and the content have to work seamlessly for audiences. Keep your audience and what they want front of mind!”
Global’s owned events like the Capital Summertime Ball, provide perfect opportunities to create and harness such authentic moments between creators and audiences. This summer, for example, the Ball saw one of the world’s biggest TikTok creators, Khaby Lame, take to the stage to introduce a headliner. Social media icon Joe Baggs appeared at another Global event, reacting to Kylie Minogue’s performance, and generating millions of social views.
As Miron points out, media owners like Global are positioned to harness and share these moments across different audiences, noting “We’re at the intersection of popular culture and fandoms, which means we can seamlessly integrate creators into our content.”
And while there’s strength in featuring creators in the adverts, it’s also about using creators for their reach to amplify eyeballs and conversation on the adverts.
What’s coming next?
How AI ads (like viral Maybelline and Gymbox work) will capitalize on the collaboration of social and OOH remains to be seen. Could this lead to deeper ‘brand safety’ partnerships between social and OOH powerhouses to grow consumer trust in both?
For now, the marriage of OOH and audio with marketing’s cool new addition of content creators has enabled progress on all sides. Creators increase their audience, casting a wider net with the IRL promotion, while brands tap into both wide and specific audiences, leaning on the audience expertise of creators.
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