What is ambient advertising?
Ambient advertising it a form of guerrilla marketing that focuses on integrating ads into any environment, the space around you, often by placing ads in unusual places that you wouldn’t expect to see them. The key to a successful ambient advertising campaign is to be creative while choosing the best media format available, combined with an effective message. Ambient ads often make someone think about a certain place or thing differently.
Those bus stops you see around Calgary wrapped in $100 bills aren’t real, but they strike a chord of curiosity and make you want to go deeper into the rabbit hole of recognizing a particular brand without having a specific product pushed at you.
For instance, just a few weeks ago, I was at Mount Royal University and I saw a flat bed truck parked in a loading zone. On top of the truck was a wrecked car that appeared to have been in a serious crash. It made me think, “What the heck is that?” my curiosity drew me closer. As I got closer, there was a sign promoting safe driving and it was all an ad. It’s that kind of in your face advertising that plays a huge part of guerrilla marketing and helps organizations build brand recognition.
Who’s done it?
Many organizations have used ambient marketing to build brand recognition. One notable example was 7-Eleven’s cross-promotional campaign with “The Simpsons Movie”.
The campaign consisted in decorating 12 stores to look just like a Kwik-E-Mart, which is the only convenience store featured in the show. Products that are usually seen on the show were made available for purchase such as “Buzz Cola”, “Krusty-O’s” (which kind of give me the creeps) and “Squishees”. Even the uniforms were based of the store on the show. The campaign was a proven success.
In an article featured in The Hollywood Reporter, 7-Eleven franchisee Kumar Assandas said his sales and foot traffic had increased nearly 30%.
Take a look at this store in Burbank California:
How can you do it?
Executing an ambient marketing campaign does not necessarily require a lot of money. The beauty of guerrilla marketing is that it’s a cost effective way to reach your audience. As long as you’re creative, it can be as easy as slapping a sticker on a wall while advertising in a unique way that lets people remember your name, which then helps build your brand.
So use your imagination, think about what you or your business is all about. Your audience wants to be informed, entertained and intrigued all at once. So why not build your brand on the streets while attracting your audience?