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Fan-generated content is great for creating genuine dialogues between consumers and brands. But a reverse trend has emerged where to show devotion, fans commission the campaigns themselves. OOH is their first choice thanks to its standout position, mass reach and ability to drive the conversation.

Fan campaigns to celebrate

The fan culture in Asia, which likely originated from Japan and Korea, is impressive. These days, there are thousands of diverse fan clubs. These communities love celebrating everything about their object of devotion, from birthdays to anniversaries. They want to spread the word about a special occasion or a milestone, and they do this by booking advertising space.
Fans pool their contributions together and use crowdsourcing networks to raise funds for advertising campaigns. They chiefly come to OOH because they recognise its ability to quickly raise awareness. The mass reach and unmissable delivery of OOH campaigns increase the influence of their idols and help fans share their enthusiasm.​​​​​​​ ​
A dedicated international OOH campaign booked centrally through JCDecaux, celebrating the birthday of the Thai actor Singto Prachaya was booked by his fan club and generated impressive social media coverage
A birthday campaign in the metro was dedicated to the Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku in Korea.

Fan clubs spend millions

With a population of 1.4bn, China is now probably the biggest fan market. Fan clubs are becoming a serious business and their media spend is showing it. Their media plans can “out-campaign” some of the biggest brands on the planet. The podium-like message delivery that OOH offers is perfect for their idols. Media planning is crossing continents and iconic panels are being booked all over the world. Chinese fans abroad are delighted to see their favourite stars being celebrated on an international scale.
A recent OOH campaign booked to celebrate the 17th Birthday of a boy band singer Kerry Wang was estimated at an impressive $15 million. The campaign included bookings on Times Square as well as major cities like Paris, Seoul and even Reykjavik (Kerry once said he wanted to travel there, so the strategic placement was laying the groundwork for his visit).
This new trend is growing and becoming ever more organised. Fan clubs are hiring volunteers with expert skills, from translation to social media management. Media agencies bid for commissions and the clubs raise the money through merchandise sales. Even though most times campaigns are modest (about $2000 per campaign), sometimes game-changing contributions from wealthy supporters will give enough of a turbo boost to a campaign to land it on Times Square.
What’s interesting is that OOH is the medium of choice for fans. OOH makes an unmissable statement, and it allows fans to be explicit about their devotion by putting their idols on a “pedestal” on an international level. The messaging is further accelerated with fans sharing their excitement on social media where they even receive thanks from the stars themselves.
So, it seems that booking OOH is not just for major media agencies and global advertisers, it appears that the medium has a fan club among its own audience!
A global OOH campaign was a Birthday gift for boy band singer Kerry Wang and was estimated at $15million.

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Published in For brands, about #audience insight, #urban culture, #OOH effectiveness