BlogPost__Post-Pandemic Advertising Trends (0-00-02-18)

With the world moving fast, it is better to stay in vogue.

Imagine seeing big handbags being used for paragliding in the mountain ranges of Himachal or seeing a large watch covering the Qutub Minar. Do you think it would be possible for it to become true or should we say faux (false in French)?

In advertising, a dynamic, creatively evolving communication process is crucial. With rapid technological advancements and swiftly changing content consumption patterns from TV to digital, brands continuously explore novel and trendy marketing approaches to connect with customers. Many of us came across this new way of marketing on social media getting a lot of engagement. Some call it CGI Out -Of-Home and others call it Faux Out-Of-Home advertising, also known as FOOH.

FOOH advertising utilizes cutting-edge technology and hyper-realistic CGI to create elements that blend with the real world to craft an illusion. “Is this real?” is the question people must ask when seeing it at first sight. FOOH advertising helps creators explore imaginative ideas and bring them to life… Semi-digitally.

To know how it is made, here is an example of one method behind the scenes for the Adidas FOOH billboard advertisement created by Vertex CGI

Rise of FOOH advertising

It started with content creators exploring surrealism while making content for their social media who have been experimenting for the past eight years. People like Ian Padhgam (@orgiful) and Zach King (@zachking) are some of the artists who were the trendsetters that piqued people’s curiosity. 

When Argentina won the FIFA World Cup, Adidas commemorated Messi for winning the World Cup for the first time in his career. Adidas’s billboard at first felt so realistic many thought it might have been just a digital billboard, but later revealed that it might have been one of the first advertisements in the mainstream that used the FOOH marketing strategy. But FOOH gained traction and a name when it finally clicked with Maybelline New York’s most infamous social media post.

Maybelline – Sky High Mascara.

On July 8, 2023, the beauty industry brand Maybelline created one of the most infamous campaigns for their Sky High Mascara. The campaign is so famous that it garnered over 74 million views on Instagram, with many comments questioning whether it was a high-budgeted, real-life stunt or CGI. And now, it has over 3 million likes and over 22 thousand comments under this reel. It was also the first time people started to hear the term FOOH to explain this new phenomenon on the net. 

Stills from Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara Ad

Paint Officiel –  Arc-en-ciel de Triomphe, Paris.

FOOH serves as a communication medium and a platform enabling brands to discuss real societal change and take a stand on issues they support. It is all about sending the message loud and clear. Ian Padhgam created a campaign for Pride Month 2023 for PAINT, a French LGBTQ YouTube content channel. It sent a positive message and interaction with more than 2M views and 80 thousand likes.

Stills from Ian Padhgam’s campaign for Pride Month 2023 for PAINT

One of the main ways FOOH’s advertised is through social media. Applications such as TikTok and Instagram have paved the way for free advertising and interaction of customers with their favorite brands. Brands have started to take inspiration from these creators, put their twist on creatives, and further deepen their relationship with their customers. Gone are the days of using advertising using traditional methods such as TV, where social media can target every individual who is active on social media.

In today’s world, marketing and advertising are currently focusing on one goal – building communities. The end customers are the people who help brands build their image and set them on a stage to support real-world issues. Communities empathize, share common values, and connect with others to deepen their relationship with brands.  

FOOH advertisements are creative as creators put different brands in places you can only imagine. To create FOOH that creates this sense of surrealism aims to give people the wow factor.

Indian Advertising Markets

According to statistics, globally, India is leading with the most active social media users. India has over 470 million active users ahead of the US and China. If done right, FOOH advertising will hugely impact how advertisers showcase brands at huge events and was even seen recently during the ICC World Cup 2023.

Skybags – The trophy is not traveling this year, it is already home.

Skybags created a campaign for the ICC 2023, a suitcase in the middle of the cricket field carrying the Cricket World Cup (missed the opportunity of saying- “They had this in the bag”). This post had a lot of positive reviews from fans of both cricket and Skybags.

Stills from Skybag’s campaign for ICC 2023

PogoTV and Cartoon Network India – Diwali

Pogo TV and Cartoon Network’s collaboration for sending wishes for the celebration of Diwali has used FOOH advertising with a twist. They have used a blend of 2D and 3D, which works in their favor due to the characters having an original style. If there is a need to use different mediums in a brand’s advertisement, it is possible to blend different art styles in the concept.

Stills from Pogo TV and Cartoon Network’s collaboration for Diwali

What makes it different?

TVCs generally have a runtime of 30-40 seconds. With the world moving fast, it is better to stay in vogue. Reels on Instagram and TikTok have a span of 15 seconds, so brands must aim at crafting visually appealing and seemingly outdoor advertisement campaigns to catch people’s attention within the first 5 seconds.

What factors brands must consider to make FOOH?

These are a few pointers brands can have when commissioning content. 

  1. Understand the demographics of your audiences who use your brands, their interests, and the intent of the FOOH campaign. Create narratives around the people whom you want to target. 
  1. Choose strategic locations to align with the brand’s message.
  2. There is a good amount of time to get the most optimal output. Time taken for the project can vary depending on how big and CGI detailed you want your brand for your campaign.

Future Potential

The world of advertising is a constantly evolving space and we believe that FOOH is still in its infancy. With people having lower attention spans, advertising has slowly started to move towards creating shorter content that people can enjoy. More and more campaigns are popping up using the technology of hyper-realism.

As a studio, we aim to create narratives that can push our limits. There is a lot of potential for FOOH to grow and many unexplored stories that can help brands create compelling content and communities to build a brand ecosystem. When executed well, it has the potential to create buzz and have reach to pull more customers into your community, perhaps capturing even global attention.

Written by Suraj Sridhar