Ocean Digital Creative Competition returns for 2021

Digital outdoor concepts will compete for a share of £500,000 in free media space.

Ancestry's 'The old Picadilly lights by Anomaly London: a winner of the 2019 competition and a Silver Outdoor Lion at Cannes 2021
Ancestry's 'The old Picadilly lights by Anomaly London: a winner of the 2019 competition and a Silver Outdoor Lion at Cannes 2021

Ocean Outdoor’s 2021 Digital Creative Competition, run in partnership with Campaign, has opened for entries.

The free-to-enter contest is back after a pause in 2020, due to the pandemic, and offers brands and agencies the chance to have their concept ideas brought to life and displayed on Ocean’s premium, full-motion, digital out-of-home screens, with winners sharing a prize pot of ad space worth £500,000.

Ocean’s DOOH network includes a range of retail and city environments, such as Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City and Canary Wharf, plus UK-wide formats such as The Grid, which covers 10 cities, The Loop in Manchester and Birmingham city centres and the XL roadside screens, covering key commuter cities.

Entrants will also have the chance to secure a slot on London’s Piccadilly Lights, operated by Ocean on behalf of Landsec.

Previous competition winners have gone on to win five Cannes Lions, including a silver Outdoor Lion this year for “The old Piccadilly lights” by Anomaly London for Ancestry.

There are two categories: one for brands and a second for charities. Entries should combine jpeg images or a short video with a written narrative of 500 words (maximum).

The deadline is 27 August and winners will be announced at a live event on 14 October.

This year, the judging panel of experts will be looking, in particular, at how brands leverage the way DOOH has evolved during the pandemic, combining its power with social channels to amplify campaigns and deliver impacts beyond the screen alone.

Entrants have the opportunity to use Ocean’s proprietary technology, including mid-air haptics and DeepScreen, its new, forced perspective 3D activation. Ocean Labs’ technology suites also offer audience and vehicle detection, live localised data and connectivity, live video streaming, augmented reality, dynamic full motion content and interactive retail showcases.

Ocean’s head of marketing, Helen Haines, said the competition “continues to challenge screen-led thinking, inspiring the advertising industry to redefine human engagement, using DOOH as the centrepiece of that work".

She added: “For 11 years, globally award-winning ideas have been submitted by the media and creative industries, placing DOOH at the centre of creativity and the media plan. More recently, DOOH has demonstrated how it delivers brand value well beyond the physical screen, becoming one of the most amplified communications channels of the year. These are the kind of concepts we’re looking for. All you need is an idea and, if you win, we will make it happen.”

For more information and to enter, click here.