feature brought to you by Ocean
On a brisk October morning, the stars of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) assembled at the BFI IMAX for the Ocean Digital Creative Competition. In the six years that the competition has run, it has educated creative minds on the opportunities of digital out of home, recognised future thinking and innovation in the medium, and provided a platform for brands to succeed using DOOH at Cannes Lions.
Every year has seen the bar raised in terms of quality – and this year’s entries were no exception. There were more entries than ever before – and all of them demonstrated a leap forward in creative thinking, making the most of the combination of key locations and new technology that’s unique to the medium.
One of digital out of home’s greatest strengths is its ability to use cutting-edge technology to reach consumers in a public space. This year’s entries made use of everything from biometric data tracking to clever use of camera technology – doubtless inspired by last year’s winner Women’s Aid.
With the array of opportunities presented by new technologies and locations, it’s tempting to create complicated executions – but a recurring theme this year was the importance of simplicity. "One of the pitfalls with the vast array of technology available today is that the idea can get a little bit lost in it," says judge Emma de la Fosse, chief creative officer EMEA at OgilvyOne. "The key to out of home is to keep it simple." Fellow judge Tom George, chairman UK and Northern Europe, MEC, agrees. "Great ideas are best communicated by keeping the execution and the activation really simple, and making it really clear."
This year’s winners demonstrate the best qualities of the medium in a hotly-contested competition; the future of digital out of home is in safe hands.
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The Ocean View
Tim Bleakley, CEO, Ocean Group
Every year, the Ocean Digital Creative Competition surprises me – and this year was no exception. We’ve seen an explosion in creativity, in the application of data and in content across the board. We’ve received entries from out of home experts, digital technology experts, media agencies and creative agencies – representing more brands than ever.
We’re seeing the technology used in digital out-of-home mature; people are fusing existing technologies to turn them into something different and generating relevant data that pinpoints consumers at a given moment.
The average standard of every entry has gone up, and the concepts of the core ideas were stronger than ever this year. It’s fair to say that even our panel of judges – people who are in charge of large creative shops and creative teams of advertisers – walked away learning something. It’s exciting to see the creatives and tech innovators engaging passionately with this event.
1. Odeon Smarter Cinema
Agency: Talon, in collaboration with MG OMD and Grand Visual
Odeon’s winning campaign is innovative, tech-savvy and driven by a real-world business case; it uses micro-level data to serve hyper-localised ads about ticket availability to DOOH screens near cinemas.
If 30 per cent of tickets are unsold three hours ahead of a screening, Odeon activates its ads – telling passers-by that there are tickets available for showings, how long it is until a film’s starting at their local Odeon and showing directions to the cinema.
Passers-by can also snap photos of a discount promo code shown on the display, while localised mobile display ads work alongside the DOOH campaign, capitalising on digital out-of-home’s priming effect on mobile advertising.
services and independent cinemas, Odeon’s challenge is to fill up its multiplex cinema screens – but a majority of tickets are sold immediately before a film starts, and cost is a main reason why consumers stay away.
Odeon’s solution is innovative, tech-savvy and driven by a real-world business case: use micro-level data to serve hyper-localised ads about ticket availability to DOOH screens near cinemas.
If 30 per cent of tickets are unsold three hours ahead of a screening, Odeon activates its ads – telling passers-by that there are tickets available for showings, how long it is until a film’s starting at their local Odeon and showing directions to the cinema. Passers-by can also snap photos of a discount promo code shown on the digital out-of-home display, while a localised mobile display ad campaign works together with the DOOH campaign, capitalising on digital out-of-home’s priming effect on mobile.
It’s a great example of a campaign combining existing technologies to create relevant data. "You’re starting to see people fuse technologies that have been around for the last four or five years," says Ocean CEO Tim Bleakley, "They’re creating very, very relevant data, turning them into something different in their own right – a sort of pinpoint data at a given moment in time."
2. London Cycling / Saatchi & Saatchi / Help make London’s roads safer
3. Eurostar / Liveposter / Fly with Eurostar
1. NHS Blood and Transplant Blood Donation
The NHS’ blood donation drive was one of a number of campaigns among this year’s entries to prick the public conscience, standing out with its combination of digital out-of-home and the augmented reality capabilities of modern smartphones.
Passers-by are invited by a digital out-of-home display to help a person in need of a blood donation by filling a virtual blood bag using their smartphone and an augmented reality overlay.
"Out of home has always been really theatrical," says judge Emma de la Fosse, chief creative officer EMEA at OgilvyOne. "A private interaction in social media between a brand and a customer can be brought out, and made much bigger and much more public on digital out-of-home."
2. RSPCA / Kinetic, MediaCom / Play with Pooch
3. Mini / iris Worldwide / MINI Modesty
Digital out of home gets creative
In the past year, digital out of home has gone from strength to strength. New technologies have emerged and existing technologies have been combined in innovative ways – giving creatives the opportunity to make the most of the medium.
"Poster sites that interact with us, respond in real time to shifting events and change our view of what’s happening in the world around us are being used in thrilling new ways by big brands," says Campaign global editor-in-chief Claire Beale.
For organisations like Team GB, the ability to reach consumers in public spaces in real-time is vital in the run-up to Rio 2016. "Having a partner that specialises in digital media is exactly what we need given the amount of digital content we will be generating in the build up to and during the Olympics," explains Simon Massie-Taylor, commercial director at Team GB. "We are working with Ocean on a number of innovative and impactful games-time activations such as medal and record-breaking moments and also incorporating our partners’ Team GB campaigns across Ocean assets."
Twitter UK’s recent DOOH campaign for Topshop is an example of the medium’s unique strengths. The campaign invited passers-by to tweet at Topshop during London Fashion Week; the latest styles were broadcast on Ocean’s network of screens, with a prompt to buy from the nearest Topshop store. According to Gemma Proctor, research manager at Twitter UK, Twitter’s neuro-science research has revealed that "if brands are prompting calls-to-action, memory encoding levels are at their highest immediately after we engage – that’s a critical window of opportunity".
Global editor-in-chief, Campaign
CEO, Ocean Group
Emma de la Fosse
Chief creative officer EMEA, OgilvyOne Worldwide
Chairman UK and Northern Europe, MEC
Creative director, VCCP
Executive creative director, WCRS
Managing director, Rapport
Executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi London
CEO Western Europe, Kinetic
Managing director, Posterscope
"I was massively impressed by the sheer range of ideas, and the exploitation of technology linked to the screens. What I’ve learned from going through all the entries is that the best ideas are often the simplest ideas, and the easiest to get for consumers." Tom George, chairman UK and Northern Europe, MEC
"To me, an idea you haven’t seen before is the way to judge creativity. There are a lot of ideas that you’ve seen done on television, and they’ve just transposed it across. So the ideas that stood out were the ones that were their own thing; that were being done for the first time." Rob Potts, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi London