The Genesis and the Revolution in Outdoor Media
When it comes to remembering the oldest forms of Billboards, very much surely, we confront either the movie posters or circus advertisements or entertainers’ advertisement from our nostalgic memories. Outdoor media has been perpetrated on a very large scale in the early times for such advertising only. However, when we dig into knowing the genesis of outdoor media advertising, then we shall have to visit ancient Egypt, where communication in a creative manner actually started. It is quite too clichéd to always traverse through Egyptian Pyramids for citing any historical aspects but they hold the truth for many modern marvels.
As early as BC 2750, the pharaohs and rulers of the Egyptian kingdom dreamt of making their presence through ages to come. Incidentally, their idea of building a pyramid is a sign of communicating to the world about their heritage, power and sheer architectural excellence. With such an idea germinated the thought of building stone obelisks that conveyed information to people. What other example can replace Egyptian Pyramids to fit into the fabric of McLuhan’s theory of the medium, outdoor advertising or communication is not just to convey simple words that shall be displayed on surfaces, but the actual message can be conveyed through the structure itself. Marshall McLuhan often considered the father of communication and media theories is a person par excellence pertaining to his contributions to the media world.
At the outset, the main idea behind Egyptians’ massive architectural marvels gives us some core thoughts regarding what they are most likely to convey.
We cannot ignore the fact that the Egyptian Pyramids are in fact the best of the artifacts that have survived the test of time, space and dimensions and people across the world visit with a desire till they exist! Hence, Pharaoh’s mission – Accomplished! This is one of the most important facts that many ignore when it comes to advertising – the Result or the exact purpose behind the creation of the whole advertising campaign, which is for doing good business. This leads to our fifth point in the above lot and that is, achieving the central purpose of the idea of your creation.
Especially for advertising, John Gutenberg’s invention of printing in 1450 has helped well than anything. Enter 1796; lithography was conceived and not more than half a century through, Jared Bell started a full-fledged advertisement servicing office in 1835. Then, it all took off. In recorded history, the first big billboard, meaning 24 sheet billboard was installed at the Paris Exposition in the year 1889, since when outdoor media publishing was a mainstream business.
Billboards have since their wide usage have become immensely popular and have stalled almost all the busiest roads, public places, skylines, posts, signages in the world. In the present day world, if you can just observe, one cannot escape a billboard. Since the usage of outdoor spaces as a means to convey certain information, in this case, a brand, a product or an offer, there have come immense and revolutionary developments. The whole essence of outdoor media has long since perpetrated pop culture and revolutions on various levels. However, modern day outdoor media strategies have taken new strides by giving importance to quality over quantity. Moreover, pro-scenic enthusiasts, opposing the stalling of huge number of billboards on roadsides is considered a major blow towards the whole concept of bill-boarding. Obviously, the call is to be creative in the deliverable.
In today’s scene of carrying out an advertising campaign, a ton of metrics have come into existence due to many factors that have affected the people, especially technology. The advent of internet and the subsequent social media have changed the whole world in a fraction of seconds as against the change that occurred since 2000 years. Change is fast today and hence, adaptability is the prime focus in the advertising world.
Revolution in outdoor media cannot probably be explained in simple paragraphs because it is a vast concept altogether which is characterized by creativity, leaderships, surveys and metrics. There have been many phases in the field of advertising each of which has brought out revolutionary ideas out to the world thereby changing how advertising is communicated. Okay, let’s start analyzing in the most simplest way that we could to get a glimpse of how revolution could have affected.
In terms of revolution, persona addressing is one of the strongest factors to say advertising so hectic by providing reasoning! Let us consider a classic world famous example to understand what persona is in a simpler and better way.
In 1964, American auto giant Ford had produced the muscle car, Ford Mustang under the able supervision of Mr. Lee Iacocca. Ford had faced the greatest of challenges then because there was already an array of muscle cars competing with each other in the market. European Jaguar E type, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and many other cars were flourishing in the market. However, by 1965, Ford Mustang garnered gargantuan attention that it has the distinction of the fastest selling car in the history of automotive world, which has not been beaten till today. In the year 1964, Ford sold a hundred thousand Mustangs but by the end of 1965, Ford sold a whopping 680 000 Mustangs, which is a 680% of growth in the sales.
Now what’s the main point? The year 1960 saw the inclusion of a new word into the dictionary, Teenager and the pill came along. The year 1961 saw the election of a hot rod youth as the President of the United States, John F Kennedy. So, Ford with a vision realized that America was getting younger, richer and muscular. Enter 1964, Ford Mustang! Ford Mustang is a car that would certainly not be loved by your mother, but it would be loved by your street rowdy brother and the sleeping wild side of your father. It addressed a persona. It made the difference. Mustang, a raw horse which signifies the exuberance of the teenage fire, a will to unleash your muscle has proved to be the right word for a car of such significance in the history. There it is, now a classic!
Some light has been shed, as of now. But isn’t all that enough to kindle a fire?