A Big OOH Picture

Out of home advertising professionals gathered last week in Boca Raton, FL for the TAB/OAAA “ BIG Picture” conference. It was Grand Visual’s 3rd year attending, and it was heartening to see digital, data and technology taking centre stage. Ben & Neil have shared their highlights from this years event.

A Vibrant Canvas

As with most advertising conferences right now, online and ad-blocking featured on the agenda. Gerry Graf, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Barton F Graft 9000 said: “Online is swallowing other media but it can’t swallow Out-of-Home because it can’t replicate the real life experience of OOH.”

A sentiment shared by the creative community – with consensus across the event that OOH is still as big and bold as it’s always been and digital adds a level of agility and richness. Ted Florea of PNYC, discussed OAAA’s “Feel the Real” campaign which “delivered eight different levels and 288 individual creative messages.” A campaign which proved OOH is no longer a one-size-fits-all model and sets of creative assets should work together to create a unified whole.

Change; Building a Team for the Future

It was great to hear solutions for how the industry should navigate as it moves towards a more digital future. Futurist Mike Walsh said: “Young people expect everything in the physical world should work like magic”. Digital has the opportunity to make OOH a truly magical medium for the generations to come. He continued, to prepare for a changing future the question is, “what capabilities in your team will be less relevant in 5 years time? What skills will be absolutely essential?”
An essential consideration as the OOH medium evolves. We need to recognise that functions that have been around for years will be replaced by those enabling new digital capabilities. Holding on to old behaviours will stifle evolution just when we need be nurturing new ways of working.

Making the most of Digital

With available levels of data and digital inventory increasing, it was great to hear the question being asked if we are making the most of these opportunities. Dennis Camlek, Turner Media stated: “Advertisers like digital because it’s easy to target, deploy and report.” Whilst digital solves some problems, it also reveals others with Jennifer Seickel, from OOH Pitch stating “On major digital flights we cannot even get logs or Proof of Play reports within the flight period and when we have contextual or triggered creative reporting becomes even more important”

Whilst targeting is getting better with initiatives by organisations such as Geopath with mobile data, deployment and reporting are still far from “easy”. In order to see best use of the medium, we need to be able to tick the “easy” box on each of those tasks. As we move towards a programmatic future it is essential we get reporting right.

Whist it was great to see digital feature so heavily across the agenda, it was shame that digital campaigns are not yet represented in all categories at the OBIE Awards. Our hope is that next year digital campaigns will infiltrate all categories, and not be confined to one section of the awards programme.

At this years awards GV had a record 4 campaigns shortlisted, and we made off with two OBIES! We took home a Gold for the ‘Oreo Eclipse’ campaign which ran during last year’s solar eclipse in the UK. We were equally delighted to be awarded a Silver OBIE for our ‘Disney Shadows’ campaign. A perfect end to a great conference.