Ambient media and installations aren’t new. But with print capabilities and digital solutions constantly innovating, the employee engagement possibilities are exciting.
Ambient media is the placement of communications or adverts in unexpected places and unusual formats. For example, transforming the outside of an elevator via the clever use of elevator clings, or producing oversized, giant collateral to make a point. If you’re looking to communicate a key message or a new strategy in an impactful way, it may sound obvious and terrifically tactical, but exploring the benefits of an ambient media installation might just lead to the perfect solution.
In a world of information overload where emails and intranet articles can get lost in the noise – your best bet to capture attention is with novelty. Striking visuals with unexpected, high impact messages are hard to miss when placed strategically around the workplace.
Your people have limits on their time, information, and attention. What does that mean? Too many calls to action, embedded links, and ‘asks’ turn them off. But well-placed hooks, reminders and otherwise persuasive ambient media can accomplish the most important thing of all: Keeping what you have to say top of mind. After all, the information that is most readily accessible in our mind is often what we use to make decisions and prioritise where we act.
You may be talking about your strategy or vision in your town halls, encouraging colleagues to go away and find out more, or to click through from an email, but when people are busy, it’s just another thing to remember. That’s why investing in a simple, clear and clever ambient media installation can provide that all important cut-through.
Top tips to for a strikingly successful installation:
It’s easy to get excited about ambient media and slap images and messages all over the walls, but it’s crucial to define the purpose of the installation and its desired outcomes before you start. Sounds easy right? But sometimes if the subject is complex, a scoping session helps to define the key messages and any calls to action, as well as those all-important objectives.
Every IC team knows that leaders, business structure and even strategies change all the time. This is usually unavoidable and out of our hands but try to make sure your installation and ambient media has longevity where possible.
Installations can be short term, while some can be semi-permanent. A nice little wall sign pointing to where the HR team sit can be really helpful to new starters, but have you considered that upcoming desk move? Potential changes shouldn’t hold us back or we’d never get anything done, but maybe in this instance hanging signposts that can be easily repositioned would work better than a wall vinyl that would need to be removed if no longer positioned in the correct place. If the campaign is short term, make sure you use a temporary installation or ambient media option or budget to replace the media when the message changes or campaign ends. It’s not very inspiring and dilutes the impact of ambient media when the out of date strategy from 3 years ago is still plastered across the wall, in prime position.
The key to effective ambient media is making smart decisions about where to place your messages. Print and digital options are endless, but what’s the point in putting your installation somewhere no one goes? Make use of high foot-fall locations, where your colleagues can’t miss them. Lift doors, bathroom mirrors, employee breakout areas, floor vinyls in corridors are some great ways to grab people’s attention. The canteen floor may not seem an obvious option, but how much time do your colleagues spend queueing for their lunch? And don’t forget the entrance to your building or other outdoor spaces — those spaces are ideal for high-impact, oversized installations that capture attention.
Installations don’t have to be boring. Initially you may just picture words on walls, but bold imagery, bright colours and even a tongue in cheek message can stop people in their tracks and take notice of what you’ve got to say. By placing simple, clear messages in unexpected areas, you’ll find people don’t even realise they’ve taken away an important message. Research shows that our behaviour is highly-influenced by what our attention is drawn to — whether we realised it or not. Being bold doesn’t have to be big either. Some of the most effective and memorable examples can be small playful prompts in places where people physically interact with their environment, such as decals around light switches, messages on stair treads that unfold as you climb, or cut-out graphics.
Big thinking is what we do, and we love a fresh challenge. From start to finish, our team can help you find the right ambient media or installation to give your messages high impact. Get in touch to explore how we can bring your campaign to life.