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Wild Posting Vancouver

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.

Vancouver offers fantastic opportunities for wild posting campaigns.  It ranks high on standard of living indexes, meaning its residents are amenable to sales campaigns.  They have a high level of disposable income and are surprisingly diverse.  As this Telegraph article points out, it’s also a foodie’s mecca.  Where there are a high concentration of restaurants, footfall, and traffic increases, and that puts more eyes on the street.

It’s a very hip city, with notable works of public art including Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca, the Girl in a Wetsuit and, if one local eccentric gets his way, even a 32-foot high statue of Jimi Hendrix.  The unexpected pops up all over Vancouver, making it a great place to try something adventurous and new.

It’s also just a short hop across the border from one of America’s hippest cities, namely, Seattle.  Traffic between the two is common and easy, with regular flights and low-cost train services.  Seattle-based travel blogs even treat Vancouver like a cool northern suburb.  What this means is that your campaigns can actually draw the attention of the hipster denizens of two cool cities.

Why Wild Posting?

Wild poster and street-level campaigns 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.

Vancouver is a perfect city in which to mount a guerilla campaign such as wild posting.  Greater Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan areas in Canada with a population of 2.46 million, according to the 2016 census.  The city itself had 641, 486 in 2016, with a population of density of 5,400 people per square kilometer, the highest in Canada.  This translates to a high footfall measure on downtown Vancouver streets, maximizing the exposure of your posting campaign.

The 2016 census also highlighted a comparatively high retired population as well as an even population spread across all working ages from 15 to 64. This demographic breadth allows you to hit a wide cross-section of working age Vancouverites with street-level campaigns.

In terms of tourism, Vancouver is a growingly popular destination.  According the The Telegraph, in 2016 Vancouver scored a record 10 million overnight stays, an uptick of 9.8% on 2015.  Although this growth slowed a little over the following half decade, growth was still projected at between 2% and 3.3% in 2019.

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.

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:

  • Well-located ads
  • 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 Vancouver

Striking monochrome poster for the band Ween, pasted to street furniture, downtown Vancouver.

 

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 Vancouver for Wild Posting

Here are just four of the best spots we’ve found to position wild-posting campaigns:

  • Downtown: with its close proximity to both the major hotels and the financial district, the zone bordered by Burrard, Howe, Hastings and Georgia is a prime site.  If your campaign should appeal to well-heeled shoppers, this might be the location for you.
  • Gastown – the city’s oldest neighborhood, dating to 1867, still enjoys a vibrant scene.  You’ll catch the eye of both fashionistas and partying younger Vancouverites here.
  • South Main (Mount Pleasant).  South Main has undergone a revitalization of late and has become a young bohemian enclave with ethnic food stores, boutiques, cafes and microbreweries.  Perfect for attracting a hipster crowd with disposable income.
  • Davie Village/West End – A welcoming neighborhood for the local LGBTQ+ community, this area is popular with foodies too, and close to the West End’s history, shopping and eclectic architecture.

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.

Vancouver is a great city in which to try street-level campaigns.  There is a large local appetite for surprise, steady footfall, and a young crowd with a lot of disposable income.  Tap into this resource for your grassroots advertising and you’ll get immediate results.

Why not get in touch and let us show you how to reach your customers through wild posting.

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