Creativity, accountability and flexibility: these are the things that define brilliant outdoor advertising and will shape the future of a vibrant out-of-home industry over the coming year.
We can already see it. Advertisers, agencies and media owners have become much better at driving creativity through collaboration, discussion and thought leadership. Playing with different data sources, full-motion techniques and location-specific ad content are just some of the ways in which recent outdoor campaigns have reaped rewards and seen the results flood in.
At a time when our industry is held more accountable than ever and brand safety is paramount, marketers want to know that they are working with responsible media companies that want to push the boundaries of what is possible and are also acting as a force for good. The public appreciate it, too. It’s hard to dislike companies that are accountable and trustworthy.
When we launched the Outdoor Media Awards (OMAs) with Campaign, we did it with the express intention of celebrating, exciting and inspiring brands about the capabilities of our incredible medium.
Out-of-home’s gold standard
Twelve years on, the OMAs (previously the Outdoor Planning Awards) continue to celebrate the gold standard in this industry. There’s no doubt that the calibre of the event, the quality and number of entries received have been on the up.
Throughout the history of the OMAs, we have introduced new categories and changed others to reflect industry shifts, acknowledging that the thinking about the possibilities in outdoor have moved on exponentially.
Having been lucky enough to be on the judging panel among ad industry experts for five years now, I feel privileged to have been exposed to the greatest campaigns that have graced both the streets of the UK and the judges’ tables. What’s even better is that what was new and winning big when we launched has now become part of the fabric of everyday in outdoor.
One of the most exciting things I have witnessed is the way that data and technology are now central to the most creative outdoor campaigns, having been more peripheral contributors even just a few years ago.
The way this industry will keep moving forwards is by ensuring that we keep driving creativity, accountability and flexibility – and we believe these are three great ways of looking at the success of a campaign.
As a company, we are constantly thinking creatively and weaving flexibility into how we do business with our partners. We strive for complete accountability to our advertisers and the environment around us. We work hard to ensure that we are making the communities you find us in better, be that through the aesthetic of the sites we build or their utility. All the while, developments in industry technology are allowing advertisers to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable.
Looking back at previous OMA winners, the best campaigns are based on a simple yet powerful creative idea, executed thoughtfully, and in a way that is absolutely true to the brand it’s representing. It’s hard to top that combination. Outdoor isn’t just good. It’s great.
Entries to the Outdoor Media Awards open on 29 January: www.clearchannel.co.uk/oma2018
Chris Pelekanou is commercial director at Clear Channel UK