Wild Posting Montreal
Wild Posting in Montreal
What makes for a vibrant neighborhood? It’s a combination of things – a mixture of cultures and styles, a bustling street life, and perhaps most vitally, surprise.
Montreal has cosmopolitanism in spades. As well as being the fourth largest French speaking country in the world (yes, that includes France and Belgium), Montreal is a city obsessed with festivals, hosting over 100 annually.
The Montreal Jazz Festival is ranked as the largest in the world, and in 2021 will host its 41st year of gigs and concerts. Its Just for Laughs comedy festival, in its 39th year in 2021, is a world-renowned brand. With a well-timed campaign, you can tap into these captive and receptive audiences, who will spend a great deal of time in a comparatively small section of the city.
Montreal has a City Culture Policy (spanning 2017-2022) which celebrates a wide range of grassroots art and public space visual art. As the World Cities Culture Forum notes “The Policy seeks to embrace this development and create places for learning and experimentation across the city, placing Montréal at the global forefront in merging culture with digital technology. The plan aims to be a ‘catalyst for human encounters’, from shared learning in library-based Fab Labs to events in city squares, encouraging innovation and promoting a cohesive, connected city.”
Pardon my French
Montreal is famously bilingual, of course. Although English is making gains, according to the 2016 census, 71% of English-speaking residents also speak French. You might target this audience, if you so choose, giving your advertising an immediate double-take advantage over Anglocentric media.
The eastern part of the city features the largest concentration of French-speakers, including the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Mercier, Pointe-aux-Trembles neighborhoods, where locals can be found whose first language is English. French is also widely spoken as a second language in the Plateau Mont-Royal, Centre-Sud, Rosemont, Anjou districts.
How Wild-Posting Works
Wild posters add that unexpected element, injecting color and energy into a street scene. On hoardings, in train stations, on the sides of empty buildings, these advertisements for products, events and brands add vital personality and brighten up an urban environment. They cover the otherwise ugly perimeters of construction sites and keep the public up to date with what’s happening and what’s new.
It isn’t just posters either. Event and social justice advertising can use local graffiti artists or muralists to great effect to turn walls into artworks that celebrate festivals, gatherings, and local campaigns. These are positioned in high-impact locations and can sometimes outlast the events or causes they promote to become local landmarks.
Montreal is a fantastic city in which to mount a guerilla campaign such as wild posting. The 2016 census reports that the largest age group of the city’s 1.7 million residents are those aged 25-29, with the 30-34 group close behind. This is also the group that most commonly views OOH (out of home advertising). Analyses in the same year reported a 62% viewing rate (as opposed to 48% for digital advertising) across this age group.
While it is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted this balance a little, when things open up once more, we are likely to see a new “roaring twenties”, as people rediscover the joys of high street shopping, dining and entertainment. If you want to prepare for this likely boom period, now is an excellent time to shape your guerilla, street-level campaign.
Street Advertising in Downtown Montreal, in paint, rather than poster form. Image Credit: Montreal by Luca Sartroni: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasartoni/14771088510; CC license CC BY-SA 2.0
What Wild Posting Is Not
We are not talking about gangs of shady fly-posters slapping up ugly ads on every available space without thought or permission. Pasting up street advertising without the property owner’s permission is a violation of city statutes, which could result in the removal of the posters and potentially even fines.
For this reason, reputable street advertisers ensure their campaigns are displayed on walls and hoardings where tacit or explicit consent has been given. This protects them from removal and ensures they have maximum impact, while contributing to the vibrancy of a neighborhood.
What Wild Posting Can Be
When you hire a reputable guerilla advertising firm, they work with you to create a bespoke campaign which has these five essential properties:
In the most effective format
In an appropriate quantity
That connects with the intended audience
At exactly the right time
It’s not just about having well-written copy, great photography, and striking design. It’s also about whether you use single posters, interspersed with other advertisers’ ads, or claim ownership of a whole wall with a monster ad, or a long hoarding in an epic “domination” campaign.
You can even add aspects of interactivity with tear-off strips and collectable magnetic ads that passers-by take away into their homes and workplaces (further spreading your brand message).
Traditional bill posters are applied in a technique known as wheat-pasting. This involves a non-toxic, environmentally friendly liquid adhesive applied to your posters to ensure they stick firmly in place and cannot easily be removed. It’s perfect for temporary hoardings and new campaigns can simply be pasted in place of expired ones.
Most sophisticated street advertising agencies can also produce magnetic and “guerilla cling” posters. The latter poster type utilizes a static electrical charge to temporarily adhere to smooth surfaces, rather like the seasonal window clings you might have seen used decoratively. Guerilla clings can be used in locations where wheat-pasting is not permitted.
Wild Posting enlivens a Montreal street corner; Image Credit: Montreal Street Posters by John Walker
https://www.flickr.com/photos/whatcouldgowrong/5594315901; CC License CC BY 2.0
Escaping the Digital in 2021
There’s growing evidence of disenchantment with banner ads and pop-ups in the digital realm. A whole industry has grown up around blocking this type of advertising. Furthermore, there has been a huge amount of press of late concerning the dangers of excessive social media use, particularly amongst teens, as well as screen time overload.
In contrast, street advertising is non-invasive and ambient. It works by drawing the eye with color, bold fonts, slogans and attractive or startling images. The observer is outdoors and often walking, making this a much healthier way to absorb advertising.
Wild posters don’t come to you; instead, you go to them.
Because street ads are not targeted at individuals by means of an algorithm, billboards and fly posters must have mass appeal, or at the very least, avoid offending citizens.
Why Choose a Wild Posting Campaign?
Using traditional street advertising has several advantages in 2021 and beyond:
Passers-by actually enjoy poster advertising, finding it a refreshing change to online ads
Consumers are keen to get back outdoors; they will be well-primed for your message
Street advertising brightens up dull or ugly urban locations and construction sites
Wild posting can be highly cost-effective, and easily tailored to your budget
It is flexible and quick to realize, ideal for time-sensitive campaigns
Well-chosen locations mean your campaigns are seen by tens of thousands (or more)
You can advertise in proximity to premises where consumers can shop for your products
Best Locations in Montreal for Wild Posting
Here are just three of the best spots we’ve found to position wild-posting campaigns:
The Plateau – a bustling and trendy neighbourhood with lively nightlife, full of hip, young creatives, and also a key French-speaking neighborhood
Downtown Montreal – the city’s shopping nexus, including Place Ville-Marie and the underground city, with its 2000 stores and half a million daily visitors
Gay Village (around Beaudry metro station) – to target the LGBTQ+ communities, you couldn’t do better than site your ads in the city’s world famous queer-friendly zone.
Wild Posting can target clever, impactful advertising in locations your customers already love to visit. They add real cultural value and local color to a neighborhood and give us all a breather from the digital realm, in a world rapidly opening back up to street commerce.
Why not get in touch and let us show you how to reach your customers through wild posting.