Each year brings its share of new products noticed in the world of advertising. The innovations are so intertwined that it would be difficult to know what tomorrow’s advertising displays will look like. Communication professionals are full of ideas to tell the world about you, so here are the 2018 trends in billboard advertising.
Interactive digital displays
What could be better than to contact your potential customers directly? This is what several advertising campaigns offer, where posters react to their environment. Tactile, motion detectors, sensors of all kinds, these billboards of the future react to the presence of a passer-by, the arrival of a metro, the weather, etc..
Some major brands have adopted advertising strategies over the past few years that go against the trend of marketing habits. It all starts from an observation: the consumer is constantly provided with visual information. The sleek ads make a lasting impression by offering the eye a resting area. Less is the new more, would be the new advertising slogan.
The giant LED displays
Nowadays, it is difficult to make an impact with a flat and lost display in a teeming urban landscape. To convince, take up height and space, opt for a giant LED display! Outdoor LED screens are beginning to appear in France, especially in metros in large cities. Often a symbol of modernity, these screens are nowadays tending to become more and more imposing. Will France soon have its own Times Square where to centralize its hundreds of LED displays?
Advertising displays on the ground
A trend in peril but a trend nonetheless. In 2017, several major cities in France opened their sidewalks to advertisers. These can now (in theory) be made visible on the ground thanks to a system of stencils passed to the karcher. Many local residents’ associations have opposed this “visual pollution” and today the system is not in place in any French city.
New trends in billboard advertising
The world of advertising is changing; first of all, a technological mutation that sees the emergence of digital formats, and a legislative mutation in France that imposes constraints on traditional advertising posters (especially 4×3 panels).
The draft decree implementing the Grenelle 2 law imposes reductions in maximum poster sizes (12m² instead of 16 currently) and at the same time the City of Paris has adopted its new local advertising regulations which now prohibit 4×3 and reduce advertising space by 30%.
The search for ever closer proximity to the consumer, coupled with a quest for the personalization of advertising, is supported by digital formats and their coupling with mobile technologies. There is still a long way to go before our lives are overwhelmed by targeted advertising on our mobile phones. In the end, unlike traditional advertising, which is imposed on consumers (you are always free to look away), the advent of the digital age will depend on the goodwill of consumers. Where is the borderline between spam and advertising, and consumers may turn away from these intrusive formats, thus signing their death warrant.
With all these constraints, it is interesting to note the emergence of classic variations of more traditional advertising formats. Advertising tarpaulins have thus become very “trendy” and offer an interesting alternative to the sight of a construction site that distorts the landscape. The variable dimensions of this format also make it a support that can be seen as these examples that I have photographed in recent months, including a gigantic one in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
The trends in advertising creation
After a very political edition, let’s take a look at the major trends in advertising creativity by betting on creative directors.
Ultra-personalization and “precision marketing
After years of social media campaigns where the user was – and still is – at the heart of the thinking, a migration to data and “the ultra-personalization of campaigns has become a matter of course” for Damien Foui and Fabienne Fiorucci, creative directors at the Dare.Win agency.
In a context “where entertainment giants like Spotify and Netflix” – both Dare.Win customers – “are constantly trying to offer their users the best playlist or series at the right time, communication must also aim for this type of customization” as Damien Foui explains (see the optimization of Netflix series illustrations according to user data).
If data “is a big word, a catch-all, the challenge is to take advantage of its new tools to create and deliver campaigns to the right person, with the right message, at the right time, in the right place”. However, this ultra-personalization must “be done in an extremely faithful, fair and pedagogical way, without making it uncomfortable to go too far”, warns Fabienne Fiorucci.
For Louis Bonichon, MNSTR’s associate creative director, “classic formats will increasingly be inspired by programmatic advertising, with the same message adapted for several target groups through personalization and micro-targeting”. And he cites in particular the case of Toyota, which has deployed a campaign targeting several ethnic groups in the United States, with protagonists reflecting each target. Which, let’s face it, could be badly perceived in France….
Another symptomatic case of this trend is the Axis whose campaign used 100,000 variations of the same advertisement.