In this ongoing feature, we select noteworthy out-of-home advertising campaigns and analyze the creative and media strategies that make them impactful.
From June to September 2013, Observatoire Du Pain, a lobby group for French millers and bakers, ran a static out-of-home poster campaign with the slogan “Coucou, Tu As Pris Le Pain?” (“Hey, did you pick up the bread?”). The campaign was deployed on street furniture in 300 French towns and cities for three one-week posting cycles, and was complemented in ten major cities by a “reverse graffiti” campaign on city pavements. Paper bread loaf wrappers printed with the message “Coucou, J’ai Pris Le Pain!” (“Hey, I picked up the bread!”) were also distributed to bakeries.
Baguettes rank with the Eiffel Tower and the tricolore as among the most powerful signifiers of France. Yet though bread is accorded a place of pride in French culture, the country’s per-capita consumption of bread is diminishing in response to the diversification of French cuisine and the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets. Stopping in at a local bakery to purchase bread is no longer a daily ritual for many French people. Observatoire Du Pain sought to encourage people to make buying bread part of their routines and to recognize doing so as a means for connecting with others.
Why It Works
The “Coucou, Tu As Pris Le Pain?” campaign would not win any awards for witty creative, dynamic visuals, or clever use of novel technology. Its media strategy, however, stands out for perfectly aligning message to media format, thus reflecting a deep understanding of the advantages of the out-of-home channel.
Out-of-home media intercepts its audiences as they go about their days, and while they are near physical points-of-purchase. These attributes make it the ideal medium for Observatoire Du Pain’s campaign, which aimed to make bread-buying part of people’s daily routine. By using street furniture, planners ensured that the campaign would be seen in an environment in which its message was immediately actionable: audiences could see a campaign poster, be reminded to pick up some bread, and within the next few minutes be inside a bakery buying a loaf.
The campaign’s slogan, with its solicitous tone, is indicative of how Observatoire Du Pain aimed to modify behavior through gentle reminders rather than dramatic exhortations. By running the campaign over the course of four months, with three week-long posting cycles, planners ensured that they delivered the kind of persistent but not intrusive messaging which would inspire people to change their daily routine.
By phrasing its slogan as a quote and a question like that a family member would ask, the campaign invites its audience to think of their loved ones, and to recognize bringing home bread as an act they can perform to show they care. This message is particularly resonant for commuters, as it suggests a way to demonstrate that they think of their loved ones even while they are away from home. The campaign thus addresses an emotional need-state rooted in the locational and temporal context shared by much of its audience.
Through its intelligent leveraging of out-of-home media’s capabilities, “Coucou, Tu As Pris Le Pain?” highlights that advertising need not be flashy, visually sophisticated, or technologically advanced in order to be impactful.
Creative: Opinion Valley
Execution and Media: JCDecaux