The Importance of Outdoor Advertising in Hong Kong

What's the Importance of Outdoor Advertising in 2024?

Hong Kong is a busy place, and outdoor ads (or out-of-home ads or OOH ads) are everywhere – on billboards, bus stops, and LED displays. These ads are a big deal because they are seen by lots of people, including locals and visitors. In a city where lots of people live and work close together, outdoor ads are a super effective way to get your brand noticed. Let's explore this topic further and discuss ways you can make your campaign stand out!

Click here to learn more about what OOH is!

Know the Local Culture

Source: U-Beat Magazine

Understanding and respecting local culture in advertising is crucial in Hong Kong. The city's blend of traditional Chinese values and a cosmopolitan lifestyle means that ads need to have a delicate balance. This sensitivity can make the difference between an ad that resonates with the audience and one that misses the mark.

One important outdoor advertising tip in Hong Kong to pay attention to is cultural nuances. For example:

  • Language Usage
    While English is widely used with 29% of the population feeling comfortable speaking it, Cantonese is still the main language used with 87.7% expressing competence in the 2018 Census. Incorporating Cantonese in your outdoor ads, especially in catchy phrases or slogans, can greatly enhance reliability and connection to the brand.

  • Symbolism and Imagery
    Using colours, symbols, or images that hold cultural significance, like the colour red for good luck, can make ads more appealing. On the other hand, be careful when using colours like black which symbolizes darkness and bad luck or the number 4 which is unofficially associated with the word "death" as they sound similar.

  • Festivals and Holidays
    Aligning ads with local festivals like Chinese New Year or the Mid-Autumn Festival, truly understanding the significance and meaning of these ads can create timely and relevant marketing messages.

These are just some examples that an advertiser should take extra care of. It's crucial to conduct ample research to understand current trends, consumer behaviour, local customs, and such. Also, monitor the feedback to learn how your ads are received. Customer feedback, whether through social media, market surveys, or sales data, can provide direct insights into the cultural appropriateness and effectiveness of your ads.

Go the Digital OOH Route

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is a game-changer. Imagine an interactive ad that changes based on the weather or time of day. Or a QR code on a bus stop ad that lets people interact with your brand on their phone. This type of innovation attracts attention and makes advertisements more attractive.

Source: McDonald's Hong Kong

One memorable example that truly engaged countless participants was McDonald's Kung Fu Panda campaign.An interactive game was placed on the largeLED screen at Time Square in Causeway Bay. . Participants can access game controls on their phone and play the game remotely, under the scoreboard.

Pick the Best Spots

Choosing the right spot for your ad can make a huge difference. High-traffic areas are a no-brainer, but also consider places like local neighborhoods where your specific audience might hang out. An ad near a university, for instance, can target young, trendy audiences.

Souce: HKTVmall

For example, HKTVmall's recent ads were seen at various MTR stations and platforms. The ad campaign features 50 real-life mothers from all walks of life endorsing the e-commerce platform. Not only do these ads rake in the benefits of high visibility in traffic-heavy stations, these MTR ads also capture the right audience - commuters and city-centre workers who are often too busy to physically shop for daily goods in-store, therefore, HKTVmall provides the necessary convenience for them.

Be Easy to See, Hard to Forget

In Hong Kong's fast-paced urban landscape, effective outdoor advertising needs to combine high-impact visuals, creative messaging, and innovative technology to stand out and be memorable. Like a billboard with vivid, neon colours and engaging graphics, perhaps using LED technology for dynamic content that changes with viewer interaction, just as in the McDonald's example mentioned above. Placing these ads in strategic, high-traffic locations, like the busy MTR stations, and infusing them with elements of local culture and humour can capture the attention of passersby. The key is to create a visual and emotional hook that not only grabs immediate attention but also leaves a lasting impression, ensuring your brand's message resonates with the diverse audience of Hong Kong.

Souce: HOKA & Adintime

Mix It Up with Other Advertising Formats

In Hong Kong's competitive advertising landscape, complementing outdoor ads with online campaigns, social media, and local events is crucial for a wider-reaching and more effective marketing strategy. Syncing a billboard in a high traffic area with targeted online ads and social media posts that users encounter when nearby, tremendously increases brand presence both physically and digitally. Another example is integrating QR codes or NFC tags in outdoor ads to bridge to digital content, therefore boosting engagement.

Souce: ULifestyle

Aligning these efforts with local events and maintaining consistent messaging across all channels ensures a cohesive brand experience. In 2023's holiday season, Chanel hosted a temporary popup in Causeway Bay, titled "Chanel Wonderland". This event, in tandem with their outdoor advertising efforts, promotes the brand's beauty products. This multi-channel approach not only captures attention in multiple contexts but also takes advantage of data-driven insights from digital platforms to refine and target outdoor advertising strategies more effectively, maximizing impact in Hong Kong's changing market.

Learn more about OOH rates and formats >>

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