The genius of the Rolling Stones has always taken the front row onstage with record-breaking songs like "Brown Sugar," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Paint It Black" and "Gimme Shelter."
The band’s new single, "Angry," on the Hackney Diamonds album scheduled for release in October, is the band’s long-awaited return to the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. This is also the first recorded performance of new drummer Steve Jordan since the death of Charlie Watts.
But while music and lyrics in the album are sure to be dubbed “iconic,” it is the images in the video of the debut song "Angry" that should have the entire advertising industry sit up and take notice.
Jagger dramatizes a lover’s squabble with a woman driving down Sunset Boulevard in a red convertible Mercedes with digital billboards overhead -- not one, but many that tell the story of the song.
“Don’t get angry with me,” Jagger sings from a digital billboard. “I never caused you no pain. I won’t be angry with you,” and goes on to explain his desperate state.
“Out-of-home is iconic, and icons themselves have always used the channel to reinforce their own status,” says Leslie Lee, senior vice president of marketing at Vistar Media, technology that powers OOH advertising. “The video captures how integral OOH is to the environment, using the billboards to capture the essence of the iconic Sunset Strip."
Lee felt the video was a clever way to feature younger versions of the band members, but it also reinforces how dominant for decades the Stones have been in pop culture, because they are on billboards. They are in the public space and are part of the public consciousness.
Alejandro Donzis, co-founder and CEO of Beeyond Media, a programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising demand-side platform (DSP), couldn't agree more. He pointed to the visual trip through the band's long history, rekindling old memories for long-time fans and sparking interest in new fans.
“Working with director François Rousselet and including Sydney Sweeney, brings a modern touch to the story,” Donzis said. “This combination showcases the rich storytelling opportunities that DOOH can offer, creating a video that connects with people in many ways.”
Also, the clever use of social media, seen in Sydney Sweeney's Instagram updates, extends the campaign's reach and impact, particularly among younger viewers. This partnership between DOOH and social media can start a chain reaction, builds a lively and engaged community that lasts longer than the initial release.
“Strategically, DOOH helps in understanding how viewers respond and engage with the content," Donzis said. "The large number of views within the first 10 hours shows the video's success, highlighting the great potential of DOOH in attracting a diverse audience.”
Mike Welch, CEO at Captify, believes that The Rolling Stones move to incorporate billboards into their video touches on the resurgence of OOH, specifically as it relates to programmatic.
“While programmatic DOOH has shown early signs of performance potential, the weight of traditional measurement has historically caused gaps in understanding effectiveness and outcomes,” Welch said. “If these billboards existed in real life, the band can now leverage much more reliable data sets such as on-site search coupled with a geo-based approach to optimize and measure campaigns, and possibly uncover a whole new set of fans altogether.
In fact, Welch said, one Captify client managed to measure a 104% increase in brand sentiment and a 233% increase in searches for a key campaign slogan post-campaign compared to populations that were not exposed.
“To get good results, marketers need to have a clear approach to mapping their audiences to specific zip codes, and the ability to use fresh datasets to measure outcomes," Welch said.
Dylan Mabin, president at Geopath, said the video combines an iconic band with an iconic medium of expression. And for a band as legendary as The Rolling Stones to create an entire video featuring billboards truly speaks to the nature of out of home and demonstrates how billboards are so tightly woven into pop culture and our society.
“Not many advertising channels are as easily featured in music videos,” Mabin said. “Billboards quickly capture attention. Billboards have a degree of virality that other ad channels struggle to replicate. We’re seeing all these attributes at play in the new Stones music video.”
Mabin pointed to the scene depicted in the video of driving down a busy street, like Sunset Blvd, with billboards of all shapes of sizes blanketing both sides of the road, perched on top of buildings, with 3D elements that extend beyond the structure, and creative that is impossible to miss, is completely and entirely realistic.
Craig Benner, founder and CEO at Accretive, said the video reinforces a couple things already know about OOH advertising—that it’s woven into the fabric of today’s culture, and an inherent cool factor not found in other media.