There’s so much going on with DTC dental startup Candid’s most recent OOH branding campaign that I don’t even know where to start. So, bullets:
- Candid, a teledentistry startup founded in 2017, just ran an über-creative campaign with Lyft.
- Specifically, Candid partnered with OOH platform Halo by Lyft, a startup Lyft bought in early March.
- Halo by Lyft essentially puts mini, geotargeted digital billboards on top of NYC’s yellow cabs.
TL;DR: In Candid’s latest “Smile On, New York,” campaign, the creative changes based on which NYC neighborhood the cab is in—because brand messaging that works in Queens might not work on the Lower East Side.
Candid’s branding effort with Halo by Lyft gets a few things right.
It plays on cultural conversation. Candid’s executive creative director Charles Fulford told Adweek that “the campaign is a rebuttal to the ‘Is New York dead?’ conversation.”
It uses user generated content (UGC) outside of social media. New Yorkers from every borough can use Twitter and Instagram to submit their own reasons why the city still makes them smile. A lucky few will see their answers displayed on a cab.
It switches things up by neighborhood. “If a cab is circling around the Theater District, its screen will display ‘Reason to smile #187: Your sopranos win Tonys.’ Once a taxi hits the Upper West Side near Central Park, its screen will show: ‘Your local park is 842 acres,’” Candid told Adweek.
The jury is still out on how effective digital OOH on top of cars is. Uber OOH and Firefly operate on a similar idea, but the space as a whole seems a bit untested.
“I would say no one has proven out if digital ads on Uber/Lyfts is feasible,” Greg Star, co-founder of Carvertise, told Marketing Brew.
“Everyone focuses on the supply (getting screens on top of cars), but the real challenge is creating the advertising demand. Lots of companies have raised money to build the supply, but not one of them is remotely close to profitability, or meaningful advertising scale.”
My takeaway: Candid’s timely geotargeting + approach to UGC contain lessons that can be applied to campaigns that don’t involve car roofs, as well.
Via Morning Brew