Can brands make use of new research on outdoor media?

In an average day, a person will see 27 roadside posters, 14 bus ads and every time Londoners make a tube journey they will encounter an average of 74 ads according to new research – but how effective are its findings?

Mindi Chahal

Postar, the audience research body for outdoor advertising, which re-launched as Route yesterday (26 Feb), has released data that shows how many people see an advertising campaign as well as how often they do so. It can also break this down by age, class, lifestyle and shopping habits.

Each of the 28,000 participant carried a GPS meter for nine days to reveal how they move around day-to-day and in total 19bn GPS records were read – and this is set to increase by 3.3bn every year.

A reader comment on the story praises the research for its step in the right direction but also points out that effectiveness isn’t mentioned.

The importance of research is the ability to get insight brands can then use to plan and ensure they are sticking to getting the right product, to the right people, at the right time.

Route suggests that the information “can be used as the currency for planning, trading and evaluating advertising investment in the medium.”

This research might not be able to show how effective each advert is at present, but if a marketer knows who they want to target and what route they are taking, there is more of a chance of getting the attention of that desired consumer.

Once they get that attention, the brand has the opportunity to create an outdoor campaign that makes effective use of that advertising space and measure it using its own methods. In a hyper-targeted world, where spend can be more focused, the research is a starting point as it can identify ‘hyper-local geographies’.


On a different note, hats off to Heineken for sticking its neck out and targeting people aged 60 and over. At last a mainstream brand – usually aimed at younger people – which has realised the size of the wallet that this group wields. New products are still in development, but the key will be in the execution of this strategy and making sure that it doesn’t patronise their audience. Insight will be critical to this.

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