October 3, 2011
Luxury brands such as Diane von Furstenberg, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chanel and Tiffany & Co. have covered New York in outdoor advertisements this season.
The brands have transformed a number of taxi roofs, bus stops and buses themselves into moving ads for the latest collections. Outdoor ads are most effective for increasing brand recall, and New York’s wealthy consumers are likely a good target demographic for any luxury brand.
"Out-of-home advertising reaches active consumers on the path to purchase, when people are away from home and most likely to make purchase decisions," said Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Washington.
"Unlike in-home media channels that typically reach consumers when they are in a passive state, out-of-home connects with people on the go," he said.
"Since out-of-home is comprised of many different advertising formats, the messages can be demographically targeted to influence consumers at the right time with the right message."
New York state of mind
Luxury brands are painting New York in ads.
Retailers such as Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Net-A-Porter's men's subsidiary Mr. Porter along with brands such as Diane von Furstenberg and Zadig and Voltaire have recently been seen making the rounds of New York on the top of yellow taxis.
All of the ads are easily recognizable, having been created in each brand’s signature style and colors.
For example, the Bloomingdale's ads simply say Bloomingdale's in black with additional text encouraging consumers to check out the handbags.
In addition, Saks’ ads are black and white with various designers’ campaign images to one side and the signature “available @ Saks” black text on the other.
Also, Diane von Furstenberg’s ads are much brighter. The letters DVF are large and surrounded by pink and red lip prints.
However, taxis are not the only New York transportation vehicles that luxury brands are honing in on.
Bus stops and the buses themselves have become poster-holders for brands such as Chanel, Tiffany and Saks.
Indeed, Chanel often uses bus stops, particularly those in New York’s Upper East Side district to display its cosmetics print ads.
For example, the most recent ad is for the brand’s Blue de Chanel cologne. In the past, Chanel has also advertised its Coco Rouge lipstick at the bus stops.
Additionally, Tiffany has taken over bus stops this season to display branded sunglasses and jewelry.
Saks took over bus stops and the sides of the buses to push its New York shoe salon, with the address of the store printed below.
On the town
New York seems to be a favorite location for luxury brands.
This makes sense since New York is one of the largest cities in the world and is well-known for its luxury shopping areas.
In addition, out-of-home ads reach active consumers when they are out and about in New York and therefore often not far from the retail locations themselves.
Indeed, some consumer could likely be on their way to make a purchase when they encounter the ads.
Brands can also easily break the city into various demographics by location and place their ads in the appropriate venues, as well as place ads near their retail stores to encourage consumers to stop by.
The focus of print ads can vary, but a call-to-action is important.
Print ads, particularly when QR-code enabled, can be quite effective at linking people to a social media site, per Mr. Freitas.
However, the most important aspect is that the ads ring true to the brand’s core value.
Out-of-home messages should be simple and capture the essence of a brand in a manner that is compelling, according to Mr. Freitas.
"Since out-of-home messages reach people away from home, it’s an effective media choice to complement any in-home medium," Mr. Freitas said.
"Out-of-home works well to support TV, print, and online campaigns, because it reaches viewers and readers at times when they are active," he said.
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York