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Consumer Research


Consumer brand choice directly impacted by out-of-home ads

Consumer brand choice directly impacted by out-of-home ads

Kinetic Worldwide and Clear Channel Outdoor have teamed up with Bangor University to uncover the power of influence that Out of Home advertising delivers for consumer brands. The results of this pioneering academic research prove that out of home advertising has a clear impact on consumer brand choice.

According to the study, respondents were 35% more likely to respond to brands advertised on Out of Home media in the test locations of Brighton and Reading, than to brands that were not. This effect applied across consumer brand choice, preference and brand association, demonstrating that out of home triggers a memory and response towards a brand above and beyond that caused by knowledge of the brand itself. 

The pioneer of the research technique employed in this study, Professor Jane Raymond of the Psychology Department at University of Bangor, explains: “Outdoor advertising works and changes people’s minds.

“These results show distinct and dissociable effects of how advertisements affect brand recognition versus recognition of the specific information inherent in the ad itself.”

The research reveals how outdoor advertising can foster consumers’ emotional association with brands, reinforcing the value of brand equity, and outdoor’s ability to build this. Different aspects of creative messages resonated for different brand categories, and creative ‘equities’ from brands – such as images, colours, typeface or logos – were found to be highly effective in creating these triggers. 

Across the categories tested, the results reveal that for fast food, a product visual works strongly; in telecoms, there is an expectation of functionality and technology, but creative expression is also necessary; in the confectionery category, associations beyond the packshot increase effectiveness. 
This new research and insight is a further step forward by both Clear Channel Outdoor and Kinetic to highlight the communication benefits that Out of Home advertising can bring.

Nick Mawditt, Global Director of Insight and Marketing at Kinetic Worldwide, who commissioned the research, comments: “Beyond the impact an Out of Home campaign can have, this study has helped us understand how ads work in triggering consumers’ existing perceptions of brand and category. It will enable us to make better planning decisions across all communication channels.”

Andy Pang, Marketing & Research Manager at Clear Channel Outdoor UK, said: “This piece of research adds to our learnings.  We already know that Out of Home is an excellent medium for generating awareness and changing behaviour; this study has looked further and beyond the standard measurements of recall and produces a strong sign that the medium is increasingly relevant in today’s hectic and media rich society.”


High streets in Brighton and Reading were selected to carry advertising for brands not currently advertising Out of Home nationally. They were chosen for their similar size and for the distribution of panels on main high street locations. Each location was posted with separate advertising messages to the other location.  Using these test and control location samples we were able to isolate the influence that the advertising had on different product categories that we tested.

Using a broad sample in each location, we conducted a total of 12,096 trials providing us with robust findings.  Even fleeting exposure to fragments of the brands’ featured creative execution could trigger a memory and consumer response towards the brand.

The study used a research technique pioneered by Professor Jane Raymond of Bangor University Wales.  Respondents were shown ‘jigsaw’ pieces of advertising that had run specifically in the test locations of Brighton and Reading.  These ‘jigsaw’ pieces were prompts to identify associated memories. 

Bangor University created a unique ‘Jigsaw’ test designed to tease out the respondent’s ability to process ‘encoded’ information from tiny fragments of the advertising creative. Respondents were asked to choose from three images, which one they most felt appropriate to them or best represented a communication objective relevant to each ad. The results showed how choice was heavily correlated to advertising exposure even though they were unaware of the reasoning for the tests.


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