The Big Picture for outdoor this year is that brands and their agencies continue to use the world's oldest medium in new and exciting ways, while remaining true to the creative principles of outdoor - simple, powerful and engaging messages.
The ultimate broadcast medium, outdoor inspires advertisers and their agencies to distil advertising into its purest form. The most effective outdoor campaigns allow the imagery to speak for itself and, in some cases, require no more explanation. Great photography, art direction and copywriting - the gold standards of outdoor - are even inspiring press executions in a way they've never done before.
Outdoor also increasingly offers narrowcast solutions with campaigns segmented by region, proximity to relevant stores or tribes of people. The industry has also embraced new technology, with digital outdoor enhancing the advertising landscape by offering day-part targeting, live updates and multiple copy opportunities.
My favourite ads from this year's Big Awards shortlist made me laugh, made me dream, stopped me in my tracks and made me truly excited about the future of outdoor in terms of consumer engagement.
COORS BREWERS "CARLING CUP FINAL 2009", BEATTIE MCGUINNESS BUNGAY
As an unapologetic football fanatic, you'll have to forgive my first two picks, but as well as marrying perfectly with my own interests, they also demonstrate the strengths of outdoor in both digital and traditional formats. BMB's work for Carling uses new technology in a truly engaging way. Witty content, reflecting not only the interests but also the behaviour of the crowd, brings Carling's sponsorship to life and is the perfect showcase for the flexibility and immediacy that digital outdoor brings to the marketing mix.
ITV "WELDER", BARTLE BOGLE HEGARTY
BBH's "welder" creative, on the other hand, showcases the strengths of traditional outdoor. This powerful image, and the other executions of "milkman" and "fireman", bring to life the romantic nature of the FA Cup. Having once played in a preliminary round, this campaign is close to my heart and brings to mind my boyhood dreams of playing football against the top teams in one of the cathedrals of football. As a lifelong supporter of West Brom, my dreams of making the final, even as a spectator, are still some way off... but as a football romantic, I can still dream.
LAND ROVER "GOGGLES", RAINEY KELLY CAMPBELL ROALFE/Y&R
The "goggles" campaign is the perfect example of an image doing all the talking and encapsulating the brand's core values. It carries on the strong tradition of powerful Land Rover creative. Beautifully shot and working brilliantly with the 48-sheet format, it captures the adventurous spirit of the brand and brings a sense of escapism to the streets of London.
HARVEY NICHOLS "WALLACE IN PAUL SMITH & GROMIT IN DUCHAMP", DDB LONDON
In this regional campaign, DDB has taken two local heroes in Wallace & Gromit and placed them in the unexpected scenario of a high-fashion shoot. Beautifully shot in designer threads, Wallace & Gromit bring the feel-good factor to the streets of Bristol while driving footfall to Harvey Nichols' latest store. This creative again demonstrates the power of simple messaging - a great idea, perfectly executed; light-hearted, yet effective. While I'd like to think I look better in my Paul Smith suit, I think Wallace gives me a run for my money...
PROCTER & GAMBLE "NIPPLES", LEO BURNETT
This small-format, six-sheet campaign, which ran in shopping malls across the country, cleverly and cheekily conveys the message that Daz can achieve brilliant whites at low temperatures. Stripped to the bare minimum, this creative achieves huge stand-out for the brand and is perfectly in keeping with Daz's tongue-in-cheek advertising heritage. A great idea, perfectly formed.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON "TEEN ROAD SAFETY BOY", M&C SAATCHI
To finish, I've selected another six-sheet campaign, commissioned by TfL to address teen road safety issues. It is brought to life by the format and its relevant context on bus shelters in the UK. Hard-hitting and emotive, the strong photography cannot fail to engage passers-by and, ultimately, change behaviour.