Open canvas: thinking outside the home (March 2018)

Two experts pick their favourite out of home campaigns and explain why their chosen work makes the most of the medium

Neil Dawson, interim European executive creative director, Innocean Worldwide Europe


I worked in South Africa in 1994, the year Nelson Mandela came to power. Under the new constitution there were 13 official languages. As creatives, clever use of language was not going to cut it – we had to think visually. This has served me well over the years, particularly in OOH work.I love great OOH – its scale, the fact that it’s an idea’s sternest test. It’s a great way to sense-check an idea – how would it work in OOH? It’s the idea in its simplest, purest form. It’s not easy. Michelin’s “Hands” is a great example. Its bold simplicity is striking. No words, not even a logo.
A great test of any ad, especially OOH, is to keep removing elements and ask: “Does it still make sense?” If it does, that element is probably redundant. Simplicity gives you impact.
If you’re very lucky you can get down to two elements – image or headline and logo. Here they’ve managed a single image. “Hands” says so much about Michelin in one image. It had a big head start – a world-famous brand icon. But that could have been a curse. It would have been so easy for the client to insist on seeing Bibendum’s smiling face, or impose rules for using the character; the art direction and storytelling would have been at odds. Bravo Michelin for seeing the idea for what it is.
The use of Bibendum is sublime. He’s reduced to just what is needed – his hands. This gets the viewer involved, leaving it to them to complete the circle. This campaign works so well for many reasons, not least its scale. The hands are large within the executions and huge when up on the roadside. That sense of a big brand with a long history of keeping you safe is told deftly in each scenario.
So much OOH is reformatted press executions. How refreshing to see an outdoor campaign in its purest form. How refreshing, too, to see a campaign that looks unlike conventional advertising. Just one image that says everything necessary.

Vicki Maguire, joint chief creative officer, Grey London

Anyone who saw David Attenborough’s epic Blue Planet II at the end of last year would have been shocked by the volume of non-biodegradable waste that ends up in the oceans. Add to this the amount that is poisoning the planet in landfill sites, and it’s enough to make us stop and question mass consumerism.Every day, seemingly mundane items such as coffee pods contribute to this waste, with 13,500 hitting the landfills every minute. I, for one, don’t want to add to this waste if I can help it – or see my coffee pod on the screen, floating for eternity among the coral and turtles of the South Sea.
This ad for Halo, an ethical coffee-pod brand, stopped me in my tracks with its graphic and shocking illustration of how much waste the otherwise everyday and prosaic coffee pods produce – and the damage it causes.
In a classic case of David taking on Goliath, the provocative and illustrative approach of this campaign minnow battling the complacency of the coffee giants, combined with the choice of medium and location – how many branded non-biodegradable coffees are served every day at stations? – gave it a swagger and shock factor that would have otherwise eluded it. It revealed that there is a better way.
And with a budget that’s tiny when compared to the amounts typically spent by those multi­nationals that seem to be ignoring the problem to which they are contributing, Halo showed how, by playing smart with timing and spend, outdoor advertising can provide a scale and stand out to effect behavioural change that other, more passive, media cannot.
While I’ve changed my coffee habits as a result and can sleep at night knowing that I’ve cut my contribution to the monstrous volumes of waste poisoning the planet, the wider lesson for brands from Halo – if such a lesson is needed – is that, as an ideal medium for creating a cultural impact, OOH is ignored at their peril.

box copy

PSI publish their 2018 Global Travel Predictions

2018 looks set to be another roller-coaster year for the global travel industry.
In this piece, James McEwan, Managing Director of PSI, identifies some of the political, economic and technological factors that will impact the way consumers travel this year.
Read More….

Posterscope Belgium publish their 2018 OOH overview document

Posterscope Belgium, post an annual overview guide to the OOH marketplace.
This is their summary for 2018 covering the Belgium and Luxembourg regions.
For more detail and guidance on their perspective, please click HERE ….

Open canvas: best out of home (February 2018)

Two experts pick their favourite out of home campaigns and explain why their chosen work makes the most of the medium

Nicolas Roope, executive creative director, Poke London

When you put art in a gallery you kind of kill it. We have to create these white boxes so art’s many subversions don’t spill out onto the streets, undermining normality and society.
The frame around a poster can be seen to do much the same thing, demarcating the message from the legitimate architecture of the humdrum around it. A safe window.
It also frames a legacy, some bad old habits that no longer fit the connected world. A shame, because printed OOH ads make a disproportion­ately strong impression on millennials – surprised, I suppose, by how an image can just sit there, not swiping, refreshing or animating.
We often hear that we should “think outside the box” but, more often than not, thinking within its constraints is no less creative or fruitful. In fact, that poster frame is arguably the world’s most prolific of all creative canvases.
Tourism Ireland’s 2016 “Doors of Thrones” campaign by Publicis London really impressed me. What so easily could have been a lame print ad engrained itself in Northern Ireland’s story, driving tourism around the region. It was a lesson in how a physical object can be responsive and alive, and how a campaign can be more than just the conveyance of information and emotion.
Using similar logic, in 2017 the team created a 77m-long tapestry, again exquisite in craft and detail. In many aspects this is like a poster; flat, with pictures and stories across its canvas. But the tapestry is conscious of its historical references and significance.
Connectedness is not exclusive to cyberspace. Its tentacles reach into everything. So when conceiving an idea that engages and connects, it’s critical to get out of the frame, conceptually. We use so many resources and spend so much on ads, why wouldn’t we try to lay down those vital cultural connections if we could? And why do we have to stray from traditional formats to do this?

Caitlin Evans, senior account planner, MBA

Dear “OK Cupid DTF”,I love you. I loved you when I first saw you and I keep on falling deeper.
It might seem strange that I’m writing a love letter given you are an outdoor ad for a dating website, but you’ve caused something strange to come over me and I’m feeling all old-fashioned.
Your “Dating deserves better” campaign that aims to redefine the acronym DTF, which is currently used in dating profiles to mean “Down To Fuck”, has got me. You’re showing how people can redefine it as sweeter somethings like “Down To Farmers market”, “Down To Fall head over heels” and “Down To Feel out the dancefloor”.
While other dating platforms are likely to ask if I’m DTF in an exhausting frenzy of rapid photo evaluation and sex-crazed screen-swiping, you’re asking me if I’m “Down To Floss”.
And you know what? I am. At last, a dating platform that knows what I need. There’s something about standing next to the one you love at the end of the day with toothbrushes in your mouths, staring silently into each other’s eyes through the bathroom mirror. I like that you’ve made the small things sexy. I think we
get each other. I think we can get along.
You make the world (of dating) fresh, and I hope others see it too. I hope you change expectations and behaviours toward non-gyrating, more peaceful gratification.
Your aesthetic makes my eyes sing – you’re an art gallery, an outdoor Tumblr blog, a 10-foot monument to proper love. You’ve used serious à la mode artists from Toiletpaper magazine and you look amazing, but they don’t overshadow your story. You wear the haute couture, it doesn’t wear you. You’re new and surprising.
Outdoor is perfect for you. Like a good date you’ve been thoughtfully crafted, your grandness makes my heart beat and I can’t swipe you away (not that I’d ever want to).
OK Cupid, your arrow has stuck.

oc box
Via: Campaign

CES 2018: The out-of-home perspective

With a strong emphasis on smart cities, there were clear implications for the out-of-home sector at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, writes Ahmad Sayar, VP of Strategy and Innovation at Posterscope US.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of CES, the largest global gathering of technology and innovation, with over 4,000 exhibitors spanning across 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space. Over 180,000 industry professionals attended in 2017, 58,000 from outside the US, making it truly a record-breaking event.
In simpler terms, CES is unlike any other trade show. Since its inaugural year in 1967, when the show took place in New York City versus Las Vegas, it has set the bar for excellence in technology and innovation, and since then, has grown exponentially.
So, to say that CES 2018 had some big shoes to fill would be an understatement. How would CES 2018 kick off the next 50 years in breakthrough technologies and next-generation innovations? Despite the torrential downpour (first rain in Las Vegas in 116 days) and a two-hour power blackout the following day, CES 2018 was an absolute hit.
With a strong emphasis on Smart Cities, there were clear implications for the Out-of-Home (OOH) industry and multiple brands gave us a glimpse of life in the future.
Transportation, Smarter Cities and OOH
The way we get around is going to drastically change in the next decade. Some of the world’s largest companies are investing heavily in changing how people travel. Virgin is projecting to have three Hyperloop, electric propulsion, high speed, train-like transportation systems in service by 2021 and is continuing to expand its efforts throughout the US and Middle East. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Smart Vision EQ which completely embodies the idea of autonomous. The vehicle lacks a steering wheel and pedals and provides the driver with a fully “hands-off” experience.
But what caught my eye is what Ford is doing with its new mobility services network. Ford has partnered up with the likes of Domino’s, Lyft and Postmates to create a fully autonomous delivery and rideshare economy.
The partnership is powered by its mobility services platform and can provide users with a constant flow of data that includes efficient routes and seamless transitions between vehicles, public transportation and payment nodes, changing the way we’ll move for the better.
To improve the everyday journey, and in collaboration with Qualcomm, Ford’s Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) technology has the potential to help cities around the world create safer, more capable infrastructure and connect vehicles to a larger communications system. It is these such mobility networks that are the key component in the growth and sustainability of smart cities.
As a result, cities can reclaim space that was once solely used for cars and transform the street into a space for people that offers a place to stop, consume and connect. This presents a prime opportunity for the OOH industry to simultaneously expand its efforts and continue to play a key role in the growth of smart cities.
Imagine city centres, void of any vehicles, focused on free moving people and connected through dynamic OOH inventory, which leverages real-time data collected from sensors built into static structures, connected objects or more complex systems like Ford’s C-V2X vision.
The underlying commodity for the OOH industry is the sheer amount of data that will be available.
It is the ability to leverage real-world activities, happening in both a physical and digital space, in real-time, to create a memorable consumer connection. With so much free-flowing data available, the idea of following the consumer journey has never been more real. But the value proposition is not limited to just hyper-targeted messaging; smart cities will influence how OOH media is planned and bought. The goal is to minimise ad waste and maximise effectiveness by leveraging data to pinpoint how your target audience moves throughout the day and reach them at the right time and place.
As leaders and politicians are urged to innovate, improve the quality of life and increase profitability, cities around the world are quickly adopting the smart city initiative. As Ford showcased, there are clear transportation and infrastructure benefits, and continued investments from both the public and private sectors are being made to drive this movement forward.
New York City has seen this first hand with multiple street closures, converted to pedestrian areas, and supplemented with multi-functioning and connected OOH inventory. It is estimated that around three million people are moving to cities every week and approximately 54% of people worldwide now live in cities, up from 30% in 1950. As cities continue to grow and innovate, brands will need to compete even harder to grab the attention of their target audience, and it will be up to the OOH industry to help make that real-world and custom connection possible.
Ahmad Sayar is VP, Strategy & Innovation, Posterscope (US)
Via: MediaTel Newsline

Outdoor advertising is reaching its 'big bang' moment

Out-of-home is reaching its ‘big bang’ moment as technology, data and infrastructure are now seamlessly coming together, writes Glen Wilson, the managing director at Posterscope.

Les Binet and Peter Field’s recent IPA study, Marketing Effectiveness in the Digital Era, again draws attention to the importance of reach and time spent with a medium as key drivers of effectiveness. The fact that out-of-home, in its entirety, continues to deliver more than 90% reach and three hours spent in its company every day, underlines its importance and resilience in a transforming media landscape.

Interestingly, the report also observes that, since the advent of digital OOH, effectiveness of the medium has nearly doubled. I believe this is just the start.

I think OOH is nearing its “big bang” moment, where data, technology and physical infrastructure genuinely and seamlessly connect to enable a new era of efficiency and effectiveness for advertisers. All of the key ingredients are in place so here’s why the medium will be bigger and better then ever.

OOH at the speed of life

OOH has been transformed by digitisation over the past few years and that aggressive digital focus will continue in 2018. Fifty per cent of OOH revenue will be digital, and digital alone will be able to reach 50% of the population.

A significant development will be the delivery of more scaled automated trading. We’ve seen lots of column inches and many promises but we’re starting to see the full delivery of automated booking across the industry, albeit at varied pace. For advertisers, the key benefit is speed.

OOH planning and buying has traditionally occurred months out from live dates with the exact sites selected, negotiated and transacted upfront. Now channel investment can be more flexible with some campaign parts confirmed days before the live date.

It can also enable upfront impression commitments but with agile deployment; automated guaranteed, in other words. This will provide a more compelling and competitive proposition to deliver more responsive and reactive broadcast reach.

More flexible, more dynamic, more effective

This more frictionless connection across digital OOH products will see an increasing application of dynamic content and ad-serving to optimise creative delivery. Messaging that reflects more closely what audiences are thinking, feeling and doing at specific moments, in specific places.

Powered by more prolific, accessible and usable data, digital OOH will be used in more dynamic ways and deliver a growing array of benefits to advertisers.

Research has revealed that dynamic digital OOH used to serve more contextually relevant messages increases spontaneous advertising awareness by 18%. Furthermore, ad-serving relevant content by audience increases the effectiveness of a campaign by at least 15%.

Ultimately, where data-driven, location-based insights reveal the customer “moments that matter”, and where OOH is planned and activated around these, it works harder and delivers significant ROI improvement.

Launch of new OOH products

Media owners’ tireless and relentless pursuit of a better product will bring an incredible line-up of new offerings in 2018.

These will include the roll-out of Wi-Fi-enabled Inlink units, a reimagination of BT’s phone boxes, Clear Channel’s smart payphone project, JCDecaux’s continued screen investment, Exterion’s full-motion Underground cross-track screens and Ocean Outdoor’s recent launch of the biggest digital OOH screen in Western Europe, the Piccadilly Lights. All of which will support more convergence with other digital media, principally mobile, resulting in better media campaigns for the advertiser and better experiences for consumers.

Closing the loop

Big strides in performance and effectiveness will come from the integration of feedback loops into the dynamic, digital ecosystem. Sales, stock levels or footfall will be used to calibrate, in real time, the weight, frequency and nature of messaging.

We’ve already seen pockets of activity across categories, such as British Airways’ flight sale campaign earlier this year where messaging changed depending on BA’s weekly “priority” routes and availability of specific destinations.

In particular, we’ll see the obvious symbiotic relationship between mobile and OOH become more of a reality. Accessibility of mobile location data, greater collaboration with location-based mobile media owners and the ability of OOH planning systems to seamlessly ingest and process this data, will enable more holistic, integrated and effective activation across both channels.

A creative renaissance

There is undeniable and enduring power and purity in a great idea, articulated with a striking image and pithy copy line – a classic poster. There is, perhaps, a perceived simplicity to this task that makes it a less alluring creative challenge in a world of one-to-one communication. The fact is, simple is hard and we must do more to acknowledge and celebrate this among the creative community.

Mass digitisation of OOH presents a new creative palette and we’ve seen only a fraction of what’s possible as the creative industry starts to embrace the new opportunity.

Via: Campaign Live

Open canvas: creative you just can't ignore (December 2017)

Two experts pick their favourite out of home campaigns and explain why their chosen work makes the most of the medium

Paul Jordan, co-executive creative director, Mcgarrybowen


Sometimes we just need to recognise the power of the product and the platform, then get the hell out of the way.I love love love the Coca-Cola screens illuminating Piccadilly Circus right now.
I won’t call them ads, because they’re not. Not really. Not ads in the way we think of them – jaw-dropping headlines and traffic-jamming visuals.
No, these screens do something much simpler. Much more effective. They instantly make me want to buy a Coke. And I’m a cynical old adman who doesn’t particularly like Coke.
Picture it. A chilly Wednesday night. Stepping out of a restaurant at the bottom of Regent Street. Hugging a friend goodbye and BLAM! There it was, over his shoulder. A gigantic, slow-motion Coke cap flying off a bottle; that brown fizzy stuff gloriously cascading into a glass. I couldn’t work it out. Full up on London’s finest dining and now all I could think was “I want a Coke.”
Was it nostalgia for the red and white of the world’s most iconic brand? The warm glow lighting up a cold night? All I know is that, some-how, this combination of logos and pack shots worked its magic on me and raced straight to my amygdala as if I’d just necked a can of the stuff.
There was no smart wordplay or visual trickery and that was its strength. When we write ads for OOH we have this rule; nine words or less for a headline. But I don’t think these Coke ads even have words. They’re that simple; that impactful.
And that’s the point. A 4K screen the size of a tennis court gives you impact. Lighting up Piccadilly Circus gives you impact. The red and white of the world’s most famous brand has impact.
Sometimes we just need to recognise the power of the product and the platform, then get the hell out of the way.
Apple gets this. Those posters wrapping whole office buildings with the latest iPhone on them aren’t really ads either, but they work in the same way. I want what they’re selling. But you can only get away with this in large-format OOH – anywhere else, any smaller, and it’s just a bit boring.

Sarah Hardcastle, creative, Mr President


In the age of the smartphone it’s easy to only see the things we want to see. From newsfeeds that show us only the stuff we like to clicking ‘skip’ on YouTube, consumers have never had more control over messages that are shared with them.But what about the messages nobody wants to see – or, worse, can’t see at all?
In Finland, 25,000 cases of domestic violence are reported to the police every year. That’s 70 acts of violence a day, with 88% taking place after dark, out of sight, unnoticed.
It’s this alarming statistic that sits behind the thinking of this reactive campaign for the Helsinki Police department, a partnership between JCDecaux and TBWA.
Using location data collected when a report is made, they were able to target the 15 closest OOH units to the crime with a powerful poster campaign the very next day. The posters at first appear to be straightforward ads for a kitchen or beauty brand but, once night falls, a black-light transforms the image to reveal the disturbing truth taking place behind closed doors.
This hyper-local approach meant that the neighbours of victims would be faced with the stark reality of the problem on their own street, making the messaging “You can’t hide the signs of violence” all the more poignant by placing it in spots that are hard to ignore.
The beauty and impact of this idea is in using targeted OOH, as by its very nature it can’t be skipped, scrolled past or blocked. It’s a smart strategy that plays on the medium’s strengths in a bold, reactive way, made all the more effective when combined with the eye-catching creative.
At Mr President, we’re firm believers in bring-ing media and creative together like this, and I can imagine how implementing the idea into digital OOH could make it even more powerful, (for example) by incorporating street names or even the number of calls made in that location.
Many brands are using the technology in this way already – British Airways with its “#lookup” activity, for one. But however it evolves, I hope this campaign continues to become more and more impactful – until it won’t be needed at all.
Open Canvas V5

Via: Campaign 

PSI explore the psychology driving the Chinese travel consumer

China’s growing love affair with international destinations has seen a significant increase in air travel and overseas spending, with numbers predicted to rise exponentially by 2023. Inviting you to explore the exciting opportunities this offers, PSI, in collaboration with strategic partner ForwardKeys, shares a tantalising slice of insider data and outlines just some of the psychology now driving the Chinese travel consumer.
Click here to access the document.

Posterscope share predictions for the OOH landscape in 2018

OOH is reaching a tipping point where data, technology and the OOH infrastructure are able to integrate and connect to deliver more impactful, efficient and effective campaigns for clients than ever before.
Posterscope share their insights on the OOH landscape in 2018.

Open Canvas: the best in outdoor (November 2017)

Two experts pick their favourite out of home campaigns and explain why their chosen work makes the most of the medium

Will Sharples, strategist, WCRS


Britain certainly isn’t the most welcoming place right now. A recent Ipsos MORI study reveals anti-immigration feeling as the main cause of the Brexit outcome. But it’s also a time when many people are looking for leadership to champion a more positive, progressive set of values. In a void of such leadership, brands have an opportunity to step up.
Making a political statement with clarity and authenticity is no easy task. That is why Jigsaw’s recent OOH takeover of Oxford Circus Tube station stands out. It’s immediate, relevant and left me a little happier about the world.
The posters are refreshingly direct. “♥ Immigration” is plastered in front of ethnically diverse models against quintessentially British rolling hills and heritage homes. The message is clear: immigration doesn’t threaten “British values’’. Then there’s its manifesto poster, which reads: “There’s no such thing as 100% British.”
Few media buys can give the impact an OOH takeover has at Oxford Circus Tube. The work covers the walls, surrounding you with Jigsaw’s bold statement. The location itself feels pertinent; it’s the epicentre of fast fashion, where many cookie-cutter retailers wouldn’t touch such an emotive subject with a bargepole.
Jigsaw had a modest budget; it needed to create a campaign that prompted a wider discussion. So it used OOH for what it’s best at – creating bold work that can stir a reaction among a small audience who want to share it. By presenting such an unequivocal message, so attuned to the current political conversation, the campaign did just that. “♥ Immigration” was picked up by loads of publications, podcasts and news outlets, and social media was buzzing with people’s responses to the campaign.
Jigsaw could have done some print ads featuring beautiful people in beautiful clothes. They would have looked nice and some people would have glanced at them. But instead, it has used what’s best about OOH: a chance to create something worth talking about, triggering a bigger conversation. A conversation that needs to happen.

Nina Taylor, creative director, OgilvyOne Worldwide

The truth is, I haven’t been to the toilet on my own for three years now. Not once.
He’s always there, watching me wee like a perverted furry voyeur. Sometimes he’ll even lick his crown jewels at the same time. He’s my feline shadow, and his name is Robin. I’ve always wondered: “Is this normal? Am I normal?”
The answer came to me this week in the shape of an 18ft tall ad of a woman sitting on the loo, as her cat stares up at her. And it declares confidently that I’m not mad. Because, apparently, “It’s not loopy, it’s love.”
This campaign for Lily’s Kitchen uses outdoor in the only way it should; by being super-bold, engaging and downright unmissable. Putting a picture of a woman on the loo is a brave move to sell cat food. Putting her 18ft tall is even braver. But empathy is where the genius lies in this campaign, and that’s what makes it work so well for outdoor. Any cat obsessive has been on this toilet.
The art direction is classic, while the photographic point of view is fresh and plays perfectly with the first-person copy perspective. This campaign knows that there are cat owners out there who will dish out more dough on cat food in a month than they will on new clothes. And one of those people is me. Do I get my cat to “talk” on the phone? Tick. Does my cat wake me at 4am to play? Tick. Do I never go to the loo on my own? Tick. Will I buy Lily’s Kitchen? Tick. Tick. Tick.
Simple and bold, this campaign succeeds where lots of others fail, because it knows who it’s talking to, makes them notice, hooks them in, and makes them smile. It’s a rare thing these days, but one that I’m sure eight out of 10 of us would agree makes the ad world a better place.

Open canvas russell insight

Via: CampaignLive