Smart Device Owners Embrace Interactive Out of Home
71% of smartphone and tablet owners would feel more positive about a brand that invites interaction with their out of home advertising.That's according to the latest 'Interactive Europe' survey released by CBS Outdoor and compiled by Kantar Media.The quantitative and qualitative survey, which consisted of 9,000 respondents across 6 European markets, including the UK, found that 25-34 year old smart device owners were the most enthusiastic about interactive outdoor - 74% would consider interacting with an outdoor ad. 18-24s were the next most keen to engage with out of home advertisers (72%) followed by 35-44s (70%). The least enthusiastic were the 45-54s, although almost 2/3s would still consider interaction.So the market is ripe for engaging with brands through their out of home advertising, but what technology should advertisers use to facilitate this? And what sort of engagement should they be offering?The answer to the first of these questions isn't clear cut.The most well-known technology amongst consumers was the QR code, with almost 40% being aware of it. However, only 13% had ever scanned one. Promotional text codes in ads showed marginally higher levels of usage (c15%) but lower levels of awareness.New and cutting edge technologies that marketers often use to generate PR column inches were found to have both low levels of awareness and usage. Hence, less than 15% of the sample were aware of augmented reality ads and less than 5% had used them. For the emerging mobile technology of NFC, the figures were even lower - just over 5% awareness and less than 2% usage.In fact, the most common action by smartphone and tablet owners when consuming out of home advertising was going online to get more information, which almost 1/3 of them had done according to the survey.However, simply linking a QR code or URL to a mobile-optimized site is likely to create disappointment amongst those who do choose to interact. The qualitative part of the survey found that mobile consumers wanted some form of reward for their actions - either in monetary terms, such as accessing online discount vouchers, or in terms of entertainment. Clearly, smart out of home advertisers will offer a route for consumers to access functional information about the product or brand advertised but also a means for the consumer to engage with them in other ways.The growth of smartphone and tablet ownership has revolutionised offline advertising - bringing the mass audiences that traditional media can deliver but enabling advertisers to offer them the interactivity of digital media. And out of home offers a great fit for this new type of interactivity when targeting upmarket audiences due to it's highly targeted and interruptive nature.However, no interactive mobile technology is dominant so when planning their campaigns, advertisers need to very clearly define their audience and their goals to understand which is appropriate. For example, a campaign aimed at distributing as many mobile discount vouchers as possible to encourage trial might be best to use promotional text codes. For one where takeup isn't as key as word of mouth generation, more immersive technologies such as augmented reality could be appropriate.What is clear is that advertisers who's only calls to action on a out of home ad are a Facebook logo and a mobile URL are missing an opportunity.