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A trend has emerged in the luxury sector driven by affluent consumers who instead of prioritising monetary value, seek personalised, unique experiences that match their ethical values. How do luxury brands use OOH to adapt their advertising strategies to reach these new consumer standards?

Authentic experience takes centre stage

Traditionally, luxury goods and services have been defined by ownership, exclusivity, high price points, labour intensive production and exceptional quality. However, with today’s often demanding lifestyles people begin to reassess their life’s values.  For these affluent consumers, luxury is taking on a new definition - one of authentic, ethical, unique, exclusive experience and products that reflect their values.
More than ever, some kind of emotional fulfilment is becoming key in the consumption experience. Increasingly, affluent consumers are looking to define themselves by their experiences rather than by the goods they own.

New Luxury

Brands in the luxury sector are responding to this change in consumer’s values by adapting their advertising strategies to centre on the stories and lifestyle values behind their brands, and in doing so, offering unique and personalised experiences.
A 2016 study on Luxury reported the growth of luxury experiences outpacing the growth in luxury goods by 5%. Two groups are leading this growth, namely affluent Millennials and Chinese luxury shoppers (and especially Chinese Millennials).  These groups are shifting their luxury spend and lifestyle habits away from the acquisition of ‘traditional’ luxury goods. Instead, they are pursuing special luxury experiences with favourite themes being travel, gastronomy, exclusive events and all aspects of wellness.

Delivering memorable stories

A recent study about the Experience Economy explored the topic of ‘Factors that make something memorable.’  The study highlights that the key factors that create an impression are:
  1. Attention: How much attention the person is paying
  2. Novelty: How novel and interesting the experience is
  3. Emotional impact: What kinds of emotions are evoked
  4. Timing: Whether the person in a learning mode
Brands need to tap into these four factors to communicate the emotional or ethical stories behind their goods or services and to have resonance among their audience. But why do these brands chose Out-of-Home (OOH) to do so?

Storytelling in the real world

OOH is one of the few channels that can deliver on all four of the above factors that make a memorable experience.


While people are outside, they are in an Active Space – they are alert and pay attention to their surroundings, they are more receptive to new, real-life experiences than when at home, where they are normally more passive.


Luxury brands can take advantage of this receptive mood. They use the OOH environment to connect with consumers in novel and unique ways, and they pique people’s interest with relevant content. Whether using an eye-catching special build or contextual Dynamic content, brands and their story must stand out among the competition to grab and maintain attention.


Luxury brands often use the real-world presence of OOH to interact with their audience and build an emotional connection. By making an impression or forming a dialogue with their consumers directly, brands can make them feel special, form a memory and therefore ensure brand consideration in the long-term.


Finally, timing is everything. The right OOH environment delivers not only the target audience, but also their current mood. An optimal combination between the mindset of a consumer and the creative can take luxury messaging from one-directional advertising to storytelling to a captivated audience.
The exceptional reach and frequency of OOH make it one of the most effective channels at delivering their stories far and wide. Selecting specific locations, using timed messaging through Digital OOH (DOOH) and the ability to incorporate innovative executions means luxury brands can use OOH to stand out among the competition and deliver their messaging in a memorable and exciting way.
Whether they are looking to communicate on the authentic and/or ethical experiences that they offer or build a backstory that will chime with the emerging values of their affluent customers, luxury brands are capitalising on the effective delivery and connections of OOH.

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Published in For brands, about #industry insight