Being bolder: a statement on an open canvas

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.

Out of home: more relevant than ever

In a recent study, 75% of marketers surveyed considered that location-based marketing would be a vital part of their future market­ing. The implication is that the broader OOH ‘space’ is becoming more important in the marketing mix and OOH media an important element in leveraging the power of location.

More prolific and accessible location data helps us understand what people are thinking, feeling and doing at specific times and places. It can tell us that they are in a shopping frame of mind when they are not near shops, or where and when they make decisions about what to watch on TV. This is the hidden power of location.

Dynamic ad-serving and content can bring this insight to life through rich, relevant creative messaging delivered at this point of interest. In addition, location data is the DNA that can weave OOH and mobile together to greater combined effect. And it works:
• OOH optimised with location data increas­es campaign ad recall by an average 35%.*
• OOH using dynamic digital content boosts overall effectiveness by an average 19%.**
• Mobile display supported with location-led OOH had a clickthrough rate twice that of a Google display average.***

Russell Smither, head of insight, Posterscope

Sources: *Posterscope client campaigns research **Posterscope Virtuocity research ***Posterscope client campaigns research


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