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Toddle About Advertising Blog

Marketing Lessons from the M6

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At the weekend, I was driving down the M6, returning from a very fun wedding near Blackpool.

Gone are the days of a wedding every other weekend at our age, and children weren't invited, so this was a particularly exciting chance for Mrs F and me to let our hair down.

But I'm not writing about the wedding itself today. Instead, I need to share something that I saw on the journey home.

You know those billboard-style adverts that are plastered across the side of trucks at the side of the motorway? Well, I don't normally pay them much attention, but one really grabbed my attention on Saturday.

It simply said, "Have a really nice day".

My brain jolted. My thought process rapidly shifted from, "What a delightful message!" to "Who's saying this?" and finally to, "But why say this at all?"

Below the friendly message was the logo for "Radiator Outlet". It’s not a brand I was familiar with, and the marketing geek in me silently congratulated them for grabbing my attention.

But what happened next was the real genius of their strategy.

As we drove on and on and on down the M6, we passed perhaps another 6 lorries parked at the side of the motorway, each one simply plastered with the 'Radiator Outlet' logo in massive text.

I kept seeing them. Over and over. And they were now impossible to ignore.

Their brand is now totally stuck in my head - at least for the time being.

Unfortunately for them, I don't need to buy a radiator right now... I don't know about you, but it's a pretty infrequent purchase in our house... but that isn't really the point.

If I WAS on the market for a radiator, I'd definitely be checking them out.

And there are over 100,000 cars driving past those billboards every DAY. Some of those people WILL want radiators - either now, or soon - and the numbers will play out for them.

So how does this relate to you?

Well, I'm not saying you should go out and put billboard posters up on the M6.

Rather, I'm asking you to notice what made the Radiator Outlet campaign effective: namely, repetition.

Yes, they grabbed my attention with a clever ad at the beginning, and getting people's attention is critical.

But if they'd just run one advert, I wouldn't have remembered who they are.

Because they repeated their advert all down the M6, I really do remember them now.

But the power of this is more than their brand just being stuck in my head.

You see, studies have shown that repeated exposure to a brand creates familiarity. And familiarity leads to TRUST.

It's a psychological shortcut – we're more likely to trust (and ultimately spend our hard-earned cash with) brands we recognise, even if we have no other reason to trust them.

Tips for effective marketing repetition

So, the next time you're brainstorming a marketing campaign, remember Radiator Outlet! Don't settle for being a one-hit wonder; aim for a consistent presence that makes your brand a familiar, trusted friend in the minds of your audience.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Be where your target audience is hanging out
    The motorway roadside might be good for you too – but it probably won’t be the right place for you. Think about where your ideal customer is hanging out: online, in person, and what they are reading. Then advertise there.

  2. Maximise your discounts
    Most advertising media will provide discounts if you book in and commit for a longer duration, so take advantage of this. For example, at Toddle About, we give a 20% discount for annual advert bookings.

  3. Keep your message, styling and Call To Action consistent
    Each time people see your message, it needs to be consistent to encourage familiarity and trust. So make sure the design, styling, messaging and call to action all match.

Overall, remember that being the memorable brand can make all the difference. 

Till next time,