Consumer alertness leads to lasting brand impressions: OOH

Rosanne Caron, president of OMAC, breaks down new U.K. research on the mental state of people when they are outside the home.

By Rosanne Caron, president of OMAC

When people are out of their home they have a significantly higher level of alertness than when in their home, according to a new U.K. study.

COG Research, a consumer insight company and Dr. Amanda Ellison, a doctor of psychology at Durham University utilized skin conductance readings to measure emotional or cognitive arousal along with eye tracking to show what people were actually looking at in different environments. The research showed that people are 33% more mentally alert when they are out and about, which can lead to higher absorption of OOH advertising messages.

The research also included a survey with British consumers via their mobile devices at different times of the day to measure their mood. The results revealed that when people were outside their home they felt more energetic and were more likely to take action after seeing advertising.

This new U.K. research builds on previous studies that show people’s alertness levels correlate with motivation, which can improve cognitive performance (Hull et al., 2003). When we are in an alert state of mind, our attention is engaged faster (Matthias et al., 2010). As a result, we visually explore our environment more, which means we’re more attentive and receptive to advertising.

So, how can we take advantage of the alert state of consumers when they are outside their home? First, keep in mind that our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. Through our visual sense we absorb more about the world than with all the other senses combined. Use imagery and visual branding in OOH advertising to create a strong connection with your brand.

Secondly, remember that OOH advertising is product placement in people’s daily lives as they wait at the bus stop, drive to work, eat out at a restaurant and shop. Use the OOH environment to create immersive experiences through digital OOH, mobile integration, experiential marketing, interactive touchscreens, and consumer generated content which have lasting impact on brand recognition and loyalty.