Grand Visual 2015 – Trends for Digital OOH

Pepsi MAX Bus Shelter Augmented Reality interactive digital OOH

As tends to happen at this time of the year, everyone is talking about future trends, and speculating as to what the emerging trends will be for 2015. As Grand Visual enters its tenth year, it seems an opportune time to take stock of where we see the industry heading as over the last ten years Digital Out of Home has seen massive growth and transformation. Last year at GV we had numerous firsts, pushing the limits of what can be done with DOOH, and 2015 is shaping up to be no different. Here are a few trends we think are the ones to watch in the year ahead.

International: Multi Territory Dynamic and Interactive campaigns

Whilst other industries have wavered, Out of Home is one that has experienced continued growth, boosted predominantly by technological advances. The global investment in infrastructure last year enabled activations such as the AR campaign we delivered for the Xbox launch of Sunset Overdrive, a campaign which ran across 3 continents & on several different formats. A campaign with this amount of complexity would not have been possible 12 months ago due to a lack of infrastructure. 2015 will be an exciting year with more campaigns than ever before being executed at greater scale, across multiple formats and even across the globe.

Targeted: Tactical Media, Tactical Creative

The ability to play your ad at the right time with the right message is a mantra that the advertising industry knows well. A study conducted by FEPE last year showed that 62% of consumers would be interested in DOOH that had information relevant to their specific location or time of day. OpenLoop enables campaigns to run with contextualised messages, matching time of day, weather conditions & social feeds, just to name a few. Last year a good example of this hyper contextual targeting was a campaign we ran for Benadryl in the UK which deployed when Pollen Count was high or very high, minimising waste and maximising relevance.

As brands race to keep pace with demanding consumer expectations, we will see more brands using these highly relevant, contextualised messaging in DOOH.

Experience: Physical to Digital

Interactivity is by far the best way to engage deeply with consumers. Research conducted by OceanOutdoor found that “digital sites cut through because our brains are programmed to respond to changes in our environment. When sites go digital, great becomes even greater.”

We have certainly seen a shift in the last 12 months with more brands looking to make their interactions with consumers more tangible and memorable. The PepsiMax “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” and “TimeTunnel” campaigns are great examples of how a brand has taken interaction with consumers to a whole new level, one that is engaging and memorable in a completely new way. 2015 will see greater investment in this sort of ‘clever creative’ as brands experiment with more ‘PR generating’ campaigns, that bring their brand to life new ways for consumers.


One of the great elements of OpenLoop is that it enables brands to ‘test & learn’ and then repeat campaigns on a much larger scale. We saw this in 2014 with Sky Difference and Google Outside. Both campaigns were initially small dynamic campaigns limited to a few hundred sites in London; the second iteration of these campaigns saw a much larger execution across London and the UK. With OpenLoop now integrated with 80% of USA networks, we fully expect to see bigger, highly tactical, geo-specific campaigns running here in 2015.


Every year it seems for the past several years has been heralded as being the ‘year of mobile’ and this year is no different. What does this mean? The importance of mobiles in our everyday lives increases every year and therefore, the data they expose allows for greater targeting and a better user journey. We expect to see that data and experiential elements will become more prevalent in DOOH in 2015 as our lives become ever more connected to the world around us thanks to our mobile phones.

As for general trends, we’ve come up with an acronym for the kinds of DOOH campaigns we want to help develop this year, SMART — Strategic, Measurable, Artistic, Relevant, and Technological.

By being strategic, we can create content and campaign messaging that makes media money work harder. Moving towards a measurement model for digital out of home is important for the growth of the market. We’re a creative company, so artistic flare is important — we want the campaigns we produce to stand out from the crowd. The ability to be relevant and responsive to things like location, environment, mood, weather, and time of day is where DOOH comes into its own. And finally, technology keeps pushing the medium forward, but it must go hand-in-hand with creativity — if the tech becomes more important than the idea, we lose our audience.

So I guess I’d say, this year, expect to see some even SMARTer digital out of home campaigns!