Shark Watch was introduced into the UK’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads as a research campaign on In Your Space’s High Reach Billboard format with the purpose of creating awareness of the imaginary ‘brand’. Over 12 months the research campaign developed into an online phenomenon on www.sharkwatch.co.uk, whilst providing invaluable insights about the high reach media platform.
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Targeting the millions craving entertainment on the UK’s highways everyday, ‘Shark Watch’ attracted some attention indeed . The campaign which reached over 24 million adults every month at an average monthly frequency of 3, has created extraordinary excitement for a fictitious ‘brand’, and provided further support for the effectiveness of OOH advertising in engaging with consumers and driving action.
The Voice of the Audience
Despite the fact that the awareness campaign impacted consumers whilst they were far removed from the internet, it drove over 35,000 visits to www.sharkwatch.co.uk. Shark spotters uploaded their own pictures of the sharks, posted comments about the campaign, and also completed an online survey asking them about the campaign and the advertising
The qualitative insights gained from the audience comments inspired us to use an online survey to gauge how welcome the advertising format is by members of the target audience. As highlighted in the figure opposite, findings of the Shark Watch online survey highlighted that the format is welcome by 97.6% of the audience. When asked to what extent they agree with the statement ‘Whilst on the roads I like being entertained by creative truck advertising campaigns like Shark Watch’, 51.2% of the sample strongly agreed and 46.5% agreed with the statement.
The outstanding results are possibly explained by the fact that High Reach Billboards communicate to audiences in an uncluttered environment free of visual stimuli.
The “call to action” element of the campaign presented by the text to win telephone number allowed us to measure the impact of the campaign over time. Analysis of figure 2 below clearly shows a consistent level of responses for the first 3 months of the campaign which started in March 2008. The consistent level of responses in the first 3 months only serves to prove the high reach nature of the billboards as opposed to traditional outdoor formats. Starting the 4th month -June responses started declining as more and more of the same people were exposed to the campaign. However, the decline did not continue in July, and August. Instead of the declining pattern continuing, the increase in number of people on the motorways during these busy months reversed the trend and responses increased by 6.2% compared to June. Starting September there is almost a regular decline in the level of responses.
However as clearly shown by figure 2, the campaign which has been running for over a year continues to deliver responses, further illustrating the high reach nature of the medium. It is also interesting to note the surge in responses in May 2009, which once again reflects the increase in number of people on the motorways during summer/holiday periods.