We often hear the debate of which is better for marketing, billboards, or social media. The answer is that it depends on your specific campaign and what you are trying to achieve.
When thinking about how to get the most return on investment for your advertisements, one of the key factors is putting your ads where people are most likely to see them or a strategy called location based ads. One such place-based media ad is a mall. But how do you go about advertising in a mall? And just how much does it cost to advertise in a mall?
This guide will help answer those questions by going over types of mall or shopping center advertisements as well as what factors may cause mall advertising costs to fluctuate. Plus, we’ll include a few bonus tips that’ll help your brand’s ad stand out in shopping centers, thereby increasing its visibility and its impact.
Benefits of Mall Advertising
If you’re skeptical of shopping mall advertising, it’s not entirely unwarranted. For many years, the rise of online shopping seemed to spell doom for many of the malls that popped up in previous decades. However, there are reasons to believe that this trend is making an upward turn. There are multiple reasons why this may be the case:1
- Social benefit – People are attracted to the social aspect of malls. Especially in a time when remote work is on the rise, the mall’s ability to be a gathering point for friends and family is adding to its appeal.
- Convenience – Malls offer a level of convenience when it comes to quick purchases, especially gift purchases. Whereas even the fastest online shopping will require you to wait a day or two for shipping, brick-and-mortar stores in a mall give you a quick in-and-out option.
- Entertainment – Malls are more than just retail stores. Most malls have attached cinemas and restaurants that can draw people to them. This means a trip to the mall can be a full-day excursion, packed with dining, shopping, and movie-going.
- Comparison shopping – While you can look at multiple items online, you can’t get a full feel for what you’re about to buy like you can when the item is in front of you. Malls also make it easier to search different stores that are all in the same location.
With all of these reasons pulling people back to malls, the opportunity for your advertisement to have a large community reach is available.
Type of Mall Advertising
Now that you see how it could be beneficial to advertise in a shopping center, where do you begin the process? Choosing the right advertisement can mean shoppers and consumers are certain to notice your ad. They may even use it as a landmark where they can meet up with friends and family. Of course, to achieve that goal you first have to choose the type of advertising that will work best for you. The types of shopping mall advertising include:2
- Mall kiosks – These are the large displays you’ll generally find in mall walkways. They are often backlit or have LED displays and tend to be freestanding. Mall kiosks are a great way to promote products. Your brand will be given the opportunity to do promotional displays and product demonstrations.
- Escalator or elevator wraps – As the name suggests, these are advertisements that wrap around either an escalator or elevator. For multi-level malls, they are an effective way to get your ad into a place that’s likely to be heavily trafficked by consumers.
- Sky banners – These are attention-grabbing ads that hang from the ceiling. They break up what would otherwise be empty space and, because of that, are very successful at drawing eyes.
- Banners – Available in both small and large sizes, these ads are similar to sky banners but are generally thinner and don’t hang from the ceiling but instead make use of the existing structures of the mall. Think of an ad that is posted on the side of an elevated walkway as an example.
- Spectaculars – These enormous ads are placed outside the mall for passing motorists and mall customers alike to see. They tend to run around 60 feet wide and are best suited for large brands looking to make an eye-catching impact.
- Tabletops – Used in mall food courts, these take the place of any tabletop design so that people see your ad while they eat or as they pass through the area.
- Digital – These are ads that incorporate digital elements like video. They can be static advertisements or they can mix in an assortment of dynamic elements so that people are more likely to watch.
- Cinema advertising – This is when brands use the mall’s movie theater for advertisements. This may be done through various technologies, from static posters to digital ads.
Cost of Mall Advertising
With such a variety of advertising types available in malls across the globe, it can be difficult to pin down an exact cost for mall advertising. It depends on what category of advertisement you’re interested in purchasing. You’ll also find that it depends on where, exactly, you’re purchasing and placing your ads since malls in large cities will likely be more expensive to advertise in than malls in suburbs or more rural areas. However, some general price ranges to give you an idea of what to expect are as follows:3
- Tabletop – $75 – $300 per display for four weeks.
- Escalator or elevator wrap – $550 – $1,500 per display for four weeks.
- Backlit Kiosk – $750 – $2,500 per display for four weeks.
- Banner – $1,500 – $10,000 per display for four weeks.
As you can see, the larger the advertisement is, the more it will cost. You’ll need to consider this when thinking about what advertisement will best suit your customized marketing programs and objectives. Bigger isn’t always better. For instance, if you’re advertising for an artisanal coffee shop, renting a spectacular outside your local mall could feel inappropriately large. Determine how much room you have in your budget, but also decide on the sort of advertisement that will be most effective for your business needs.
Mall Promotions That Boost Visibility
Another thing you’ll want to think about is how the mall you’ll be advertising in attracts customers. The more customers enter the mall, the more people will see your advertisement. Different types of promotional displays have been shown to affect who will be coming to the mall and in what volume:4
- Some promotions like product displays or fashion shows seem to have only a minor impact in attracting visitors to the mall.
- Community-based promotions or school displays seem to have a greater impact in drawing people to the mall. Although people who come for these events may not be any more likely to become customers, it should have a positive impact on the overall visibility of your advertisement.
- Mall-wide sales or seasonal promotions are another effective way to draw people to the location. Since this audience is more likely to be shopping at the mall, rather than simply attending an event, there could be a higher chance your ad will pop up in more places while they peruse the shelves.
None of these methods are guaranteed to help you see a high generation of leads or sales when it comes to your mall advertisement, but by placing yourself in a mall that is working to attract more customers you may see a spike in brand awareness.
Mall Advertising Bonus Tips
By now, you’ve gotten a sense of how mall advertising works and whether or not it will be an appropriate marketing tactic for your business. If you are considering it to be a worthwhile investment, there are a few bonus tips you can keep in mind in order to maximize your impact:
- Advertise in multiple locations – The more places your ad appears, the more people will see it. And if you’ve targeted mall customers as a demographic you’re interested in reaching, then advertising in multiple malls could help you appeal to your ideal buyer persona. Also, seeing your ad in more than one place will provide multiple touchpoints through which can build familiarity with your brand.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective option, you may also be able to move your ad from one mall to another at the end of your initial run. Be sure to check with advertising vendors to be sure this is a logistical possibility first.
- Consider appealing to a younger crowd – If you have a kid-friendly business, malls can be an ideal way of reaching a young audience. Not only do children often accompany their parents to the mall but they can also act as an influencer who encourages decision makers to go through with a sale.
- Keep your ads close to home – If you have a store in a mall, advertise there. It’s easier to direct people to a spot in the mall than it is to entice them to a separate location.
- Be sure to do your due diligence – Don’t buy your ad blindly. Go to the mall and see where your ad will be placed to make sure it has good sightlines and isn’t being obstructed.
There are also a few traps you should be sure to avoid:
- Don’t let cost dictate your ad – More expensive doesn’t mean better. Find the medium that is most appropriate for you, then evaluate whether it’s an affordable option that is likely to provide a high return.
- Don’t advertise alcohol – If your brand is centered around beer, wine or spirits, you may want to consider bringing your out-of-home advertising elsewhere. Since many malls prohibit the display of alcohol-related advertisements, there are many other avenues to consider that don’t.
Mall Advertising with True Impact Media
Still have questions? Get in touch. At True Impact Media, we’re out-of-home advertising experts. We’re happy to guide you through every step of the process from strategy to execution so that you’ll end up with an advertisement that showcases your brand in the best way possible. Whether you are looking for stadium advertising, bar advertising, or cinema advertising, we have you covered.
Whether it’s mall advertising or highway billboards, at True Impact Media, we have your advertising needs covered.
- Retail Leader. How malls can attract more shoppers. https://retailleader.com/how-malls-can-attract-more-shoppers
- OOH Today. 2021 Guide To Advertising In Shopping Malls. https://oohtoday.com/2021-guide-to-advertising-in-shopping-malls/
- Blue Line Media. Mall Ads. https://www.bluelinemedia.com/mall-advertising
- Emerald Insight. Assessing the effectiveness of shopping mall promotions: customer analysis. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/09590550310461976/full/html