Tim Bleakley: chief executive of Ocean Outdoor
Tim Bleakley: chief executive of Ocean Outdoor
A view from Tim Bleakley

Think BR: Who dares wins

Ahead of the awards ceremony for this year's Art of Outdoor competition, run in association with Brand Republic, Ocean Outdoor chief executive Tim Bleakley takes a look at the not-too-distant future for the digital out of home platform.

Picture this. You’re on your daily commute, the skies are grey, the boss had a bad day and you’re feeling the weight of the Eurozone crisis on your shoulders.

As you pass the giant billboard on the street corner, something detects the glumness of your mood.

The billboard comes to life. All of a sudden you’re virtually transported from the pavement right into an island paradise of tranquil peace and wonder.

Your mind is transformed, it brightens the mood. A small crowd gathers. More people step into the billboard picture with you. The call to action is made.

Sheer escapism? Not really. In fact the digital out of home future is much closer than you might think.

This week, Ocean Outdoor unveils some interesting new concepts that will push the boundaries of digital out of home (DOOH), using gamification, gesture based interactions, augmented reality, live tweeting and real time films to create immersive and emotive user experiences.

Pretty impressive stuff. We just need to see more of more it.

Currently just 30% to 35% of copy fully utilises the capabilities of digital media.

With digital technology rapidly transforming the out of home experience, it’s time more agencies dared to be different.

DOOH has a specific job to achieve on the out of home plan, so identify that objective.

A DOOH campaign isn’t a replacement for the coverage and frequency of a traditional campaign, but it does provide amplification and incredibly fresh and exciting perspectives.

The most effective use of any medium embraces both digital and traditional formats.

Outdoor is no different. Modern DOOH is recognised by consumers as new, innovative and leading edge and this creates a symbiotic relationship. So play on it.

Movement increases impacts, dwell time and recall. So keep people engaged, mixing and matching advertising content with informative and stimulating material.

Depending on the environment, movement can range from subtle motion to cinema style full motion.

Even the smallest will help to create the 'moth effect', increase talk about and drive word of mouth. So understand the environment and its merits.

Day part planning provides a cost effective route into digital outdoor, allowing content managers to display messages when and where specific crowds pass.

The dynamic nature of digital means it can deliver time sensitive messages or creative executions that can handle day parting, day specific and demographic targeting.

Using 'live' copy drives relevance and response to different environments, as demonstrated by Reebok’s Zigtech campaign which featured The Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger on Ocean’s landscape format billboard at Eat Street, Westfield.

So develop different content options to respond to predetermined events such as the weather, flight availability and speed of traffic.

The relevance of the creative will turn even more heads.

Demand for DOOH is growing in tandem with that in digital and new media.

With 45% of adults now accessing social media OOH (Kinetic People, 2010) - OOH generating almost half of Facebook’s impacts - DOOH is well placed to enable this interaction. So embrace it.

And remember that the use of specific rather than generic terminologies will reinforce a one-to-one communication medium, providing dual edged benefits to the concept of outdoor advertising.

Next year, Ocean Outdoor will launch its new creative digital laboratory to champion and illustrate all that is possible in this brave, new mixed reality world.

The future really is that near.

Tim Bleakley, chief executive, Ocean Outdoor


The winners of the Ocean Outdoor Art of Outdoor comeptition will be announced at a ceremony held at the Imax on Thursday, 13 October, from 8.30-10am. Contact info@oceanoutdoor.com for more details.