Today: From a W&V interview about DooH

W&V Mr. Hothum, is DooH a difficult medium with regard to the creative process?

Hothum No, not really. The main problem is that it is often not viewed as a separate medium, but rather as a kind of “adaptive space”. In many cases, existing TV ads are transposed to public spaces with the reasoning that “... all you need to do is omit the sound.”

W&V Why does this approach not work?

Hothum A traditional TV ad will always be a linear advertising medium that, ideally, people sit through from start to finish. You see, we don’t have this scenario in DooH. Here—whether they are moving or waiting—people must be able to join and leave the ad at any point without missing out on important messages.

W&V Especially because, other than with TV, there are many other stimuli in the environment...
Hothum Exactly. But apparently, there’s the assumption that people at touchpoints are so bored that they have nothing else to do but to look at the screen. Or, the emphasis is placed on movement, thinking that someone will stop and give the add their full attention. That just isn’t the case.

W&V So what does this mean for the creative process?

Hothum First of all, the ad should not be long. It should include a permanent brand or product presence. It’s also important not to build the ad in a linear fashion, with a resolution at the end. Instead, it should be divided into several sequences that can stand on their own. It’s also a good idea to produce smaller ad series that can entertain people who have time—perhaps while they are waiting—and hold their attention. Finally, DooH ads must be more memorable and assertive than TV ads just because of their busy surroundings.

W&V This mostly applies to TV ads. What about animations?

Hothum We notice two tendencies in this area: Animations are either created in an overly static manner, or—this is the other extreme—the approach attacks the viewer with a slew of impulses that renders the ad altogether unconsumable. Sometimes, eight or nine animation effects are squeezed into just two seconds, with the meanings of effects sometimes canceling each other out. This exceeds the limit of what any person can perceive, both implicitly and explicitly.

W&V So just like classic billboards, can we say that less is more?
Hothum Yes. Or several smaller animations complement each other in a way that adds to a major effect, a hyper-sign. However, you shouldn’t leave out animations altogether, especially in passage areas: You want to use strong impulses here that strongly capture the viewer’s eye. But this shouldn’t get out of control and turn into an animation bombardment.

W&V Is the portrait format that is often used in this type of advertising, a problem for the creative process?
Hothum It’s only difficult if you come from TV or movie thinking patterns. As soon as you start thinking about this display type independently, it is not a problem. To the contrary. In classic outdoor advertising, portrait-format backlit billboards are often better designed than landscape-format 18/1 surfaces.

W&V So why then do so many creative artists dread DooH?
Hothum They often are not aware what the technique has to offer and which great possibilities are available to them. And then, customers and agencies often decided to just go with existing ads. But this is saving money in the wrong place.

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