Ged Weston of Maximus – Does size matter?

Why big brands should value big banners.


Benjamin Franklin once said: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

In a world of micro-targeting something much bigger has to happen to build and maintain a brand’s position. Standing out from the competition has never been more challenging.

With such radical change in media, where does a traditional format like Mega Banners fit in, where is its place?

One of the key themes to emerge from the recent World Out of Home Organization Congress in Dubai was the enduring importance of big advertising ideas for big brands. To be visible you need to be big.

With the gold rush towards digital and programmatic, advertisers are faced with a host of issues, brand safety being just one of them. Simple, big Out of Home messages that reach people in an engaging and measurable way overcomes such issues.

Banner ads, using the biggest and best located Out of Home spaces available to convey a simple but compelling message, are in some ways the oldest communication medium.

Standing out from the crowd is why the world’s biggest tech brands choose to commit to Out of Home mega banner advertising.

The fundamental truth is that size really does matter!

Tim Delaney of Leagas Delaney, one of the keynote speakers at WOO, wrote in these pages recently: “In most good Comms Plans, the requirement for two fundamentals are usually acknowledged: that brands need to take advantage of the micro targeting allowed by social media. But brands also need presence – broadcast if you like – that puts them in the public domain, allowing for shared experience and the power of media stature, good old-fashioned size.”

It’s not just the size. It’s what you do with it

The benefit of such a large and prominent canvas is that it means creativity can once again can take center stage. The recent Estrella campaign shows that with the right canvas amazing creativity can happen. Especially important at a time when the media industry as a whole is tying itself in knots trying to harness programmatic planning and buying in the digital universe.

This simplicity of size and creative was never more apparent than for the winner of this years Cannes Lions Outdoor Grand Prix for Nike with Dream Crazy. One of the most successful advocates of Banners globally.

There is an intuitive and instinctive reason why cave men chose walls to permanently communicate to people. In a solid and lasting way rather than a changing and transient way that neglects the brand. Not for a fleeting moment, but for the long term. It is no surprise then that every marketer would love to be on a banner, summed up by the aspirational message from Twitter at Cannes: ‘One day I’ll be on a billboard.’

Twitter’s message sums up the case for banners. A medium that takes big brands to the people as they go about their daily lives. Not sharing, not compromising, just simply owning the location and elevating the advertiser’s proposition beyond the competition at the busiest and best locations Out of Home has to offer.

At Maximus we believe the place for Mega Banners should be as the foundation of any ambitious and intelligent media plan, elevating a client’s brand above their competition through size and creativity.

Ged Weston is commercial director Maximus Maximise