My late-night, post-Outdoor Media Awards cab journey home is always full of emotion. The overwhelming feeling is pride. I feel exceptionally fortunate to work in an industry full of amazing and creative people, all making amazing things.
I’m sure all the judges felt the same as they made their way home too. On judging day, there was a palpable sense of excitement, tinged with an element of envy. "I wish I’d thought of that," was the phrase uttered over and over.
All the shortlisted entries have played a substantial part in driving our medium forward. The winners work has evolved how out of home is used, and redefined the standards for our industry. I hope each of them feels the same level of pride that I do.
This year, the McDonald’s brand’s use of OOH rendered it the undeniable best of the best, sealing the Grand Prix for its combined efforts over the past 12 months. The brand delivered innovative, impressive, memorable campaigns that both the public and our judges loved. It’s a body of work that’s resulted from many years of commitment to the medium, education and relentless hard work.
Creativity was at the heart of the campaigns. You could see it, read it, taste it. McDonald’s went way beyond plastering posters across the UK. Reading the entries, you could sense that everyone involved was utterly determined to use OOH to its fullest. The level of in-depth planning, audience insight and data-crunching was exceptional. McDonald’s was in exactly the right places, at the right times, with the right creatives, with real confidence, and the business results show that. Perfection.
Strategic planning boosts social impact
Social Impact Award winners Slough Borough Council brought a different type of determination. A determination to deliver the best because it was going to change lives. The heavy hitting creative, produced in multiple languages, had a clear, concise, targeted message and call to action. But that’s half the story; the methodical strategic planning placed the poster in communities that needed to see it most. And it worked; saving human lives from slavery. For the relatively small campaign that it was, it really doesn’t get much more impressive than that.
With these new standards of creativity, planning and determination applied to all types of campaign, we as OOH media owners need to keep bringing the best possible technologies, the best possible screens and the best possible sites to help pave the way for the next generation of creative minds to capture the hearts and minds of the public.
It’s going to be a challenge to keep ahead of the curve, but the payback is more memorable, beautiful campaigns and creatives, as well as literally changing people’s lives for the better. The future of out of home is bright, the limits are boundless, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Chris Pelekanou is chief customer officer, Europe, Clear Channel
The Outdoor Media Awards are run by Clear Channel in partnership with Campaign. For details on all the winners visit: clearchannel.co.uk/oma2019-winners