Creating the most cohesive package for your clients

Photos courtesy Movia Media

Drake’s 2015 billboard displaying a cryptic message—located aside the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

By Casey Binkley

Every company wants to be able to say they got the most bang for their buck when it comes to investing in advertising. Proof of placement (POP) is one way companies can look at tangible evidence that shows them they have gotten what they have paid for. This can come in different forms, such as daily delivery logs, in-depth impression analytic reports, GPS and satellite tracking, photography and video footage, and more. This is a time where translating data into proven results is not only encouraged, but imperative for any company.

So, what exactly are companies looking for when it comes to POP? What’s effective? What drives the most success? And, what stands out?

Many advertising agencies require POP reports with photos as part of their contract be provided before payment. In the out-of-home (OOH) field, presenting the best possible image of the agency’s OOH inventory is crucial as it also represents the image of the company itself. When an advertiser chooses to advertise using the OOH medium, the agency that has been chosen takes photos of the campaign and presents them as a POP report. The images of the campaigns are meant to be high-quality photos, which can also be used to promote the advertising agency, by being used on their website (case studies), social media, content marketing, and email marketing.

Importance of beauty shots

Having high-quality photographs can have a major impact on how a business is perceived in terms of value and trustworthiness. Visual content is of high importance in the marketing and advertising world today and, is therefore, thoroughly judged. In fact, people remember only 20 per cent of what they read, but 80 per cent of what they see. This is because the human brain processes visual cues better than written language. It is also why business owners often use the power of photography when promoting products and services on their website. It helps to accurately present the quality in order to generate sales.

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In the case of OOH, there are certain guidelines, that if followed, can qualify an image as a ‘beauty shot.’ When photographing an OOH campaign, whether it is a static or moving billboard, it is important to capture the billboard in the way that it is intended to be seen live, front, and centre in the frame. The content of the ad must appear legible in the image so viewers can understand the message of the ad as well. For this to happen, the position of the camera should ideally be at the same level as the eyes of the audience. In this way, the photos are taken from the vantage point where the intended impression is counted, giving buyers a true depiction of what the audience’s point of view looks like.

On a similar note, ‘beauty shots’ are meant to showcase the advertisement at its best, but you also have to make sure clients are not deceived or misled. This is why staying true to the original image is important. The environment that surrounds the billboard is what makes the image authentic—something that is highly valued by any business.

Bloomscape’s one of two holiday campaigns in Austin, Texas, targeting 85 million impressions.

The location plays a major role in adding those extra features to an image. Keeping a distance provides unique identifying characteristics in the frame that allow viewers to identify the area. In some cases, this is necessary, especially when the location works in unison with the messaging of the ad. For example, rapper Drake’s, The 6 God is Watching billboard was photographed with Toronto’s iconic CN Tower behind it. You will see the photograph complements the intended message behind the ad, which is the release of his album, Views, where the ‘6’ is referred to as his hometown, Toronto. The photograph portrays the message of the ad so perfectly that Drake himself used it to promote the campaign on social media.

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Additionally, location provides benefits when photographing an OOH ad during peak traffic times, which is the ideal way to show proof of performance. Whether it is cars or pedestrians, showing real traffic in a photo of an OOH sign gives affirmation the ad has the ability to garner a lot of impressions.

Lastly, customers like to follow the journey, as seen by the audience, by allowing the images to tell a story. This means taking continuous photos as you approach the ad, starting with a ‘long shot’ that best introduces the ad when it is first exposed to the audience from a distance.

As the audience gets closer to the ad, another shot would be taken called the ‘approach shot,’ where the ad is at close range and can easily be noticed.

Finally, the last shot is the ‘close shot,’ where the quality of the installation and the creative messaging is showcased clearly.

By providing images at every stage of the audience’s journey, advertisers can better identify the impact of the campaign ad.

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