Special report: Creativity in outdoor advertising: Splenda displays its tempting attributes

In this special report, we invited seven creative directors, known for their talent in out-of-home advertising, to identify their favorite piece of outdoor, and then, hypothetically, to 'sell' it to the client - in about 750 words.To make the exercise that...

In this special report, we invited seven creative directors, known for their talent in out-of-home advertising, to identify their favorite piece of outdoor, and then, hypothetically, to ‘sell’ it to the client – in about 750 words.

To make the exercise that much more challenging, we asked them to choose an execution that was not their own.

The objectives of this project were two-fold: to bring examples of great outdoor front and centre; and by analyzing specific executions, to get to the heart of what makes outdoor work.

‘What are the basic tenets, the guiding principles of creating successful outdoor’, we asked the participating creative directors, ‘and how does the chosen billboard, transit shelter or mural abide by, or even transcend, those rules of thumb?’

To get things started, we asked the creative directors to imagine themselves in a meeting with the client, faced with having to pitch their chosen execution.

Todd Sloane is partner and creative director at The Agency Group, a Calgary-based advertising agency.

Agency: MacLaren Lintas

Client: McNeil Consumer Products

Product: Splenda low-calorie sweetener

The message

The objective is to reach a large market with the message that Splenda is the product that delivers great taste and minimal calories.

The general consumer is hit daily with hundreds of calorie-reduced, low-fat, low-sugar, low-you-name-it messages.

So, to ensure that Splenda be put on the consumers’ grocery list, we felt you had to play with their emotions and get noticed.

How do we deliver?

The creative

Consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages in a single day.

It is a tremendous task to have your message stand up and scream for attention.

Splenda lends itself the opportunity to create something short and ‘sweet.’ Let’s show the consumer the pleasurable, sweet, tempting attributes of Splenda, instead of highlighting the packaging or the name of the product.

But, what will the general consumer relate to?

Food. Sweet food.

The visuals used will be slices of heaven from creamy tarts to fruity pies. All visuals will be accompanied by headlines that deliver the great taste and low-calorie-good-for-you message.

When you were a small child, your mom probably urged you to clean your plate with the promise of a sweet reward – a big, tasty dessert. And, now, as adults, we still view dessert as a reward.

However, the reward isn’t quite as sweet as it once was because most adults feel guilty for indulging.

Splenda offers consumers a double reward. Consumers can enjoy their great-tasting cakes, pies and tarts (rewards) without the guilt (low-calorie sweetner.)

For outdoor to work, you must deliver your message in a few seconds. People are racing past in vehicles, and the board must contain a creatively clean and simple message.

Our creative proposal for Splenda delivers just that – a visually impactful and direct message.

The billboard displays a large, close-cropped ‘dessert’ set atop a white background with a clean and easy-to-read typeface.

The Splenda logo has been strategically positioned in the bottom right to leave the viewer with the product name.

The medium

What vehicle will effectively deliver the message and the creative?

Outdoor. Billboards, to be exact.

To maximize the effect of your outdoor medium, you must be able to deliver your message in a few brief seconds as your audience races by.

The board must be creatively clean and simple.

Our creative delivers just that.

Our world today is fast-paced and mobile.

With the steady increase in the number of vehicles per capita, and the number of cellular phones, consumers are spending more and more time on the road.

So, to reach these consumers with high frequency, outdoor presents itself as the logical solution.

There are many benefits that can be realized from choosing outdoor to deliver your message.

Boards deliver results fast with the lowest cost per thousand of any measurable media available.

Boards broaden the reach of your message because they effectively relay what you have to say to consumers that have limited exposure to tv and radio.

Billboards can be specifically tailored to maximize the impact of your message.

They can be placed in areas that will target your audience by geographic area and/or demographic group.

When initially considering which media to use, remember, when everyone else is zigging, start zagging.

Less than 16% of all products/services advertised in outdoor represent packaged goods, and that gives Splenda the opportunity to really stand out among the clutter.

Recent studies conducted across Canada looked at a cross-section of creative campaigns and marketing strategies, and revealed that outdoor advertising is an exceptional medium for generating awareness for your product/service.

By studying survey results, we can recommend billboard placements that will receive optimum grp levels.