Luxury brands increasingly attracted to OOH

Luxury brands increasingly attracted to OOH
L'Oréal's Lancôme turned Outernet into the Louvre (Credit: L'Oréal)

Luxury brands are increasingly turning to OOH in their media plans, according to outdoor media owners and specialist agencies.

Outsmart figures covering 2021-2023 showed cosmetics and clothing & accessories were among the top-spending categories, accounting for a combined 8% of spend. This compares with 3.5% for cosmetics in 2021, with clothing & accessories not making the top-spending list.

By environment, clothing & accessories made up 3.7% of spend in roadside and 4.0% in retail and leisure last year. Cosmetics brands made up 14.8% of spend in retail and leisure in the same period — the second-largest category and more than double its total for 2021.

L’Oréal Luxe and L’Oréal Consumer Products Division were new entrants in the top 10 advertisers by environment in retail and leisure in 2023, with spend of £4.67m and £9.51m respectively.

Media owners positive

JCDecaux, the world’s largest outdoor media owner, revealed in its H1 2023 results that spend for fashion, personal care and luxury goods was up 27% year on year to account for 19% of spend — the largest proportion of any category.

Meanwhile, Clear Channel UK also saw a year-on-year uplift in revenue in Q3 2023 from luxury brand spend.

Aimee McKay, client partnership director at Clear Channel UK told The Media Leader: “Luxury has been one of the strongest growing categories for us in 2023, with substantial growth year on year. With Gen Z being the most active audience in this category, luxury brands have been tapping into out-of-home to reach these consumers; whether that’s in environments such as shopping malls or by making other media channels work harder.”

Phil Hall, UK CEO of Ocean, told The Media Leader that the company had seen luxury brands “continuing to accelerate spend” recently, using its premium locations for high-quality messaging, with a focus on brand rather than short-term performance metrics.

He added: “In the last 10 years, we have seen a definite growth in luxury brands, because our assets are well-suited for that market. We have seen year-on-year growth particularly with regards to iconic locations such as Piccadilly Lights, the Imax and the Marble Arch banner.

“This is down to the unique opportunities these OOH landmarks offer for immersive experiences, live streaming or social amplification. Our screens, together with the creativity of luxury brands, are fuelling wider opportunities for integrated brand campaigns across social media channels.”

Hall also highlighted that luxury clients are often the first to embrace new technologies and creative techniques such as the Deepscreen 3D creative format.

Brand fame

At a recent presentation to luxury brands, Danielle Klein, client development director for luxury fashion and beauty at Global, said its fashion and beauty revenues were up 40% year on year.

She added: “The last year has been an incredible year for our category, with remarkable revenue growth driven primarily by the luxury fashion and beauty sector. Global luxury groups had a record year, with huge economic profit more than the last 10 years combined.

“And although growth is expected to slow in 2024, and we’ve already seen that slowdown in Q4, I think we can all agree that the outlook for our sector and our category is a very positive one compared to every other category sector.

“2023 was also a great year for outdoor in the fashion and beauty sector. Where adspend remained completely static, outdoor saw remarkable growth of 28% as brand marketing overtook performance marketing for the first time.”

Luke Willbourn, UK managing director at OOH specialist agency Talon, echoed this: “OOH has long been favoured by luxury brands to build brand fame. Over the last several years, we’ve seen more luxury brands enter the space, activating with an audience-first approach.

“Interestingly, we now plan more luxury brands across unexpected environments — reaching new consumers in new places. Brands now appear across a wide range of formats and environments, be that premium digital, transport environments, banners to murals and projections.”

OOH a bigger part of media plans

Gayle Noah, UK and Ireland media director at L’Oréal, told The Media Leader that OOH has grown to be “a bigger part of our plans over the years”.

She explained: “It allows us to add stature and ‘brand magic’ to plans, as well as proximity targeting for key retail periods. We love the new standout formats being brought to the UK and have run some incredible recent executions.”

Noah cited Lancôme turning Outernet London into the Louvre and Maybelline running the largest 3D OOH campaign in the world, with over 280 sites used in the UK.

She added: “The UK is definitely one of the leading global markets when it comes to digital OOH development and we’re excited to see what comes next.”

Maybelline launches ‘world’s biggest 3D OOH campaign’

New initiatives

As a result, OOH media owners are doing more to attract luxury brands.

Global is promoting a package of premium large-format digital roadside inventory. Recent research by the media owner suggested that luxury brands were “ignoring” the benefits of premium roadside and found that combining large-format roadside digital screens with Tube sites had incremental impact on brand and performance outcomes, particularly for “luxury” consumers.

Meanwhile, JCDecaux has launched national 3D products across the UK as well as the first global airport programmatic DOOH offer across more than 3,000 screens with access to more than 70m passengers — an environment often used by luxury and retail brands.

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