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You should broadly ignore most 'big advertising' but this is in the right place.
If you’re a startup or new brand, then you should ignore the marketing of most big brands. Whether it’s harking on to Airbnb stopping their performance, or it’s a splashy new double spread from LVMH in Vogue, what works for big brands will almost never work for you.
Big company marketing challenges are in entirely different playing fields, on other sides of the world, with entirely different languages, to startup marketing challenges.
But this digital out of home caught my eye recently at Blackfriars.
In my sprint of the station it caught my eye on the way out and immediately noticed the Out of Office and email template.
Another great thing, and I don’t know if this was intentional media buying from BA, or is just the default for all digital OOH was the timing. I saw the first iteration at platform level as I was leaving the train. And by the time I was downstairs, it was the ad showing at the gates. Very smart.
A fun subsection of native advertising
When we talk about native, we’re talking about advertising that is contextually relevant. In your organic social feed, screenshotting is incredibly common to repurpose some information. It exists on platform, and therefore if as an advertiser you mimic that, it’s native.
This BA ad then feels like it would be at home in an organic social feed. It’s mimicking the thing people do when they share their OOOs on their social platforms. That’s an organic thing people do, and you can ape that as a piece of native advertising. BA have taken this to a digital OOH which means its not native to the platform but still plays on the same themes.
Why this works
There’s significant psychological research that shows we favour familiar things. The faster we can process content, the more we like it. The more we’re exposed to the same content, the more we like it. By mimicking design features of things we’re familiar with therefore, we’re more likely to like it and engage with it.
Being contextually relevant is vital.
Now if I’d have had access to the design of this, I’d have pushed up the familiarity of the email design, and punched up the weighting of that section. Unless you’ve got long dwell time, you won’t be able to read this. But still, it’s one of the few digital OOH I actually noticed and that’s something.
Something about airlines
Seems BA aren’t the only airline to get in on this though. Back in January, on the other side of ‘summer’, Vueling straight lifted the Apple brightness control UI.
Alongside each other, the Vueling ad does what the BA ad does but with some extra panache and defiant contrast and brightness. I wonder how much one was influenced by the other?
Bites of the week
Thanks to the brilliant Ashore.io newsletter, I listened to this 3hr40 interview between Rick Rubin and Rory Sutherland this week (Apple, Google). Rory always comes across as one of the most well-read people in advertising, and this is gold from start to finish.
“Moses is steaming some milk” – Probiotic company Seed this week repurposed a Gwynelh Paltrow video where her son Moses is steaming milk very loudly in the background. I’d venture to guess that <1% of brands would want a video with this “error” being used as an ad, but it’s gone viral, and I’d bet a large amount of money it worked very well. Originally via the brilliant Link in Bio.
I also really enjoyed watching Paul Smith: Gentleman Designer on Amazon Prime this week. Paul seems to constantly be seeking out creative inspiration everywhere, and I think there’s a lot to borrow from for anyone in a creative field.