Three important things paid Twitter activity adds to OOH

Friday, 24 June 2016

We like to think of Twitter as something that complements and adds to the strengths of other media - a bridge, not an island. This is particularly true for Out Of Home (OOH). It enjoys a symbiotic relationship and has much in common with Twitter.

OOH and Twitter both attract a valuable, large urban audience who are regularly on the go. Both lend themselves to being consumed at speed and essentially show people what’s happening now - on the streets and in the world.

Twitter’s audience is curious about what’s happening in the world and are in ‘discovery mode’ when they come to the platform. Twitter users are effectively saying ‘look at that’ to each other throughout the day and (fuelled by the Retweet and user generosity) this helps the best, most interesting, surprising or amusing stuff get shared instantly and widely on Twitter.

And quite often what gets shared is the OOH that users see in their everyday life. In recent months campaigns from the likes of, Protein World and JustEat have been widely shared over Twitter after using the blank creative canvas and commonality of OOH to ignite a conversation.

But as well as this ‘look at that’ factor, we wanted to know specifically what Twitter advertising adds to OOH campaigns. Twitter carried out research amongst 1500 respondents during the Rugby World Cup last October with research agency MTM London(1). The research, conducted in October 2015 captured user behaviour via a travel diary to understand exactly where they had travelled so we knew what outdoor media they had potentially been exposed to, as well as exposure to Twitter advertising. This was supplemented with an online survey to understand their recall and awareness of campaigns that were present during the tournament across both media.

We found that paid Twitter activity adds three important things to OOH:

  1. Personal Relevance

    While OOH is a great channel for public relevance and broad reach, Twitter adds a strong sense of personal relevance. Research we conducted (2) previously looking at this with Neuro Insight found that when UK users were actively using Twitter (i.e., Tweeting, searching or replying), the strength of brain activity was 51% above the online norm reflecting the immersive and engaging nature of the whole Twitter experience.

    Three important things paid Twitter activity adds to OOH

    Twitter allows advertisers to increase their relevance to consumers by focusing their campaigns on consumers who are interested in what they have to offer through the use of tools like geo, keyword and interest targeting. A message targeted at people with whom it has particular resonance is more likely to elicit a strong emotional response.

    Twitter can be targeted in nuanced, specific ways (such as by passion, interest or local area) and our research shows that exposure to both Twitter & OOH campaigns means that consumers are twice as likely to feel closer to the brand and are 220% more likely to agree that the brand feels relevant to me (vs the control group).
  2. Depth

    Twitter provides an instant mobile platform for people to explore things that catch their attention - including of course OOH. Users can see OOH activity and then immediately seek out or follow a brand or hashtag, see what others are saying about it or start or join a conversation about it on Twitter. Those exposed to both Twitter and OOH campaigns over the research period were 3X more likely to have searched for the brand online (vs the control group).

    And Tweets themselves can provide greater depth, use video or link to more information. This depth compliments the high impact nature of OOH where simplicity and singularity of messaging is usually so important.
  3. Awareness (via a multi-Media effect)

    The simple, visual formats and short lines of text OOH work particularly well on Twitter, which now offers so much more than 140 characters as a creative canvas. This means that OOH materials - be they static or digital - can be transferred to and adapted for Twitter very easily to help ‘sweat’ an outdoor asset. This simple extension to a plan helps create the sense that an OOH campaign is ‘everywhere’ while adding further awareness. As a result, our research showed that during the Rugby World Cup there was as 47% increase in brand association when exposed to both Twitter & OOH and almost two thirds agreed that the Twitter element of the campaign made the brand feel ‘more of the moment.’

    Three important things paid Twitter activity adds to OOH

    So when starting with an OOH activity Twitter can genuinely add value. But because the relationship between Twitter and OOH is a symbiotic one it can work the other way around too. Specifically Twitter can be a fantastic creative asset for OOH campaigns. We’ve previously seen great examples of brands quickly repurposing their Twitter content to create impactful OOH assets.

    Brands such as KFC and Samsung have taken user Tweets and showcased them directly through OOH. We’ve also seen Cadbury show its best performing Tweet from the previous night’s Brit Awards on Transvision screens the next day.

    And for TopShop’s award winning #LiveTrends activity around London Fashion Week it analysed the key trends from the catwalk shows being talked about live on Twitter as they were unveiled on the catwalks and then showcased the look instantly on digital outdoor.

    Three important things paid Twitter activity adds to OOHWith the increasingly visual and video heavy nature of both Twitter and OOH we’ve only really started to scratch the surface of what’s possible in this space. But we’re very excited to see what comes next.


  • We worked with agency MTM London on the research, which involved a sample of 1500 (500 control, 500 exposed to OOH only and 500 exposed to both OOH and Twitter). Conducted in October 2015, we used an online survey, travel diary and simulated Twitter feed.
  • Neuro Insight September 2014