The COVID-19 pandemic created a shift in how Americans consume food, with more people choosing to cook meals and home and dine in instead of dining out. However, with growing vaccination rates and patrons ready to return to restaurants, consumers—especially younger generations—are “hungry” for new and exciting meal-based experiences. Enter the current food industry trend of “food adventuring.” 

But what is food adventuring—and what does this mean for food brands? As more Americans leave their homes to gather and share meals at their local restaurants, it’s time to plan an OOH campaign as part of your overall food and beverage marketing strategy.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of OOH advertising and how to best plan a food brand campaign that embraces current industry trends.

The Benefits of OOH Advertising

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America defines OOH advertising as a “dynamic mix of billboards, digital displays, transit, street furniture, cinema, and place-based media.” Consumers spend 70% of their time away from their homes during the day, creating the perfect condition for viewing this OOH medley of media. The OOH market is forecast to grow by more than 11% in 2022: a crucial fact to consider as you formulate a media strategy.

In addition to a broader audience reach and the opportunity to increase the frequency of exposure and engagement, OOH advertising also offers businesses the ability to “disrupt the scene,” as with eye-catching billboards that demand attention. Such OOH approaches enable businesses to dynamically reach their consumers while they are on the go. 

By this year’s end, U.S. advertisers will have spent approximately $7 billion on OOH advertising, thus showcasing the appeal of this advertising medium.

How to Plan a Food and Beverage OOH Campaign

As it is with any marketing strategy, including OOH,  businesses should first seek to understand the current trends in their specific industry.

Current food industry trends are as vast as they are varied—and this year, they run the gamut. Consumers today are pursuing all kinds of food and beverage trends which include international cuisines, plant-based substitutes, mindful drinking plans, flexitarian diets, healthful indulgences, local products, grain innovations, immunity-boosting foods, and choices that help lower their environmental impact. Food and drink businesses should align their products or services with the trends their consumers are following to stay competitive in 2022. 

Once aligned, businesses can plan their food and beverage advertising to include OOH. According to Think Marketing Magazine, here are the critical steps to planning, executing, and evaluating a successful OOH campaign.

Step 1: Set Goals and a Budget

While increased brand awareness and audience reach are the initial goals of most advertising endeavors, these are not the end goals—advertising is all about getting consumers to embark on a journey and ultimately make a purchase. Advertising should be specific, motivating, and enticing, which means businesses must determine their primary goals for their OOH media campaign. What is it they want their audience to think, feel, and do after seeing their ad? For example, if a business’s new international cuisine website is finally live, then its OOH strategy should focus on driving traffic to that website.  

The more expansive the OOH campaign, the greater the investment needed. Working with a top media buying agency like MBI will help ensure a business receives the best rates to maximize its budget.

Step 2: Observe  the Competition

Businesses should be on the lookout for the OOH campaigns of other food and beverage companies, like billboard designs or text features. What competitive messaging are they using? How can your business stand out and cut through the noise? This question should drive your observations. Additionally, businesses should note the absence of critical content to create a competitive advantage in their respective campaigns.

Step 3: Understand Your Target Audience

If a food and drink business wants to remain competitive in the industry, its brand leaders should continuously look to understand its ever-evolving target audience. For example, after discovering that many of its social media followers have switched to a plant-based diet, a local brewery can pivot to meet its followers by developing transit advertisements showcasing a new plant-based menu. By using information gleaned from sources like social media, businesses can develop unique themes for their OOH advertising.

Step 4: Choose Media and Locations Purposefully 

While determining the creative spin of the OOH campaign, businesses should choose OOH media that best serve their brand message and that align well with audience-specific locations.  For instance, if a local restaurant wants to advertise its new immunity-boosting smoothie line, it might choose to use a vibrant billboard on a road that is both close to the restaurant and to the demographic the restaurant serves.  

Step 5: Evaluate the Success

Businesses must track analytics and review post-campaign reports as they are vital to determining the impact of an OOH campaign. For instance, the gas station and convenience store chain of RaceTrac adopted a billboard media OOH campaign, and its attribution study reported a 244% increase in-store visitations. Without such data, RaceTrac would never know the success of its OOH campaign.

By incorporating food and beverage industry trends into a detailed OOH plan, today’s food and beverage brands can reach more audiences with unique messaging, yielding a more significant ROI. All it takes is vision.

MBI: Visionary Leaders

MBI is a full-service media planning and buying agency with over 30 years in the industry. Our media strategists are true visionaries involved in every step of the OOH process, including market analysis, planning, negotiating, placement, and analytics. We have over 4,500 extensive relationships with innovative OOH vendors, and we are eager to see your food brand benefit from such connections. Contact us today to work with media buying leaders who understand the vision behind your food and beverage advertising needs.