Talon Creative Solutions Grand Visual
From today, Talon’s award-winning Creative Solutions team will join industry-pioneers Grand Visual to offer a full suite of Out of Home (OOH) and Digital Out of Home (DOOH) creative services to advertisers, media agencies and creative agencies through the Grand Visual brand.

Grand Visual’s offering expands – from a unique production agency providing creative services for DOOH – to include creative and experiential executions for static OOH and DOOH, whilst continuing to dominate environments and turn OOH campaigns into truly immersive experiences generating a unique social amplification opportunity.

Under the new structure, Grand Visual’s team of creative, technology, production, project management, storytelling and digital marketing experts will be led by Jay Young and Dan Dawson as Chief Client Officer and Chief Creative Officer respectively. Ric Albert stays in role as Creative Director, with the entire Talon Creative Solutions team moving to Grand Visual.

Talon Creative Solutions Grand Visual

Grand Visual’s services will integrate Creative Solutions offering and their existing services into three categories delivering added value to existing and future clients offering the best in creative and digital OOH concepts through one funnel:

Solutions 

Digital 

Experiential 

The Talon Creative Solutions team will move to be contactable via Grand Visual, with email structure firstname.lastname@grandvisual.com. Please update all contact details and look forward to receiving an extended response to briefs soon.

Grand Visual was acquired by Talon Outdoor in 2019 and is part of the Talon family.

Creative Personalisation of Ads - and Scale? Dan Dawson

This piece first appeared on LBB 

LBB> What was your first experience of leadership?

Dan> One of my earliest professional mentors was a creative director called Jon Laurie. Jon is a fantastic leader for many reasons, but foremost from a creative and guidance perspective. He provided me with active experiences around making the most of a creative brief, exploring avenues and allowed the whole team to develop skills while answering the briefs. This leadership is something that has been priceless to me as I forged my own path and offered me a sound foundation for creative leadership in the professional world.

LBB> How did you figure out what kind of leader you wanted to be – or what kind of leader you didn’t want to be?

Dan> I think it’s simple. Be the leader you’d like to be led by and start from there. I really do think that leadership is about evolution, rolling with the changes, people, tides and times. Fundamentally though, I try to lead and communicate with people in the way I’d like to be led or communicated with. I always aim to provide my team with an environment where they too can challenge me and each other in a pragmatic, calm and candid way, while respecting each other’s boundaries, beliefs and skills.

LBB> What experience or moment gave you your biggest lesson in leadership?

Dan> I have spent the majority of my career working with one of the best leaders in our industry, Neil Morris. Over the last 17 years of Grand Visual Neil taught me so many lessons in team building, bonding and growth. There’s not one big lesson… everyday was a school day!

LBB> Did you know you always wanted to take on a leadership role? If so how did you work towards it and if not, when did you start realising that you had it in you?

Dan> No. It kind of fell on me as our company grew. In order to scale effectively we really need to build a team that shares our company vision and culture…. And I’d be lying if I said it was plain sailing. I think we failed on lots of efforts, and finally found our flow through being more self critical. For me that’s one of the most important things about leading in anything. You need to prepare to fail, fail fast, learn from it and move forward using those failures as lessons.

 LBB> When it comes to ‘leadership’ as a skill, how much do you think is a natural part of personality, how much can be taught and learned?

Dan> I’d say it’s got to be equal. I think good leaders get lots of their skills naturally…. However as with anything the more you open your mind to learning and education the better you get at it. EG I’m a keen golfer… I’ve always had natural hand eye coordination so when I first picked up a golf club I was able to connect with the ball. However my game only really turned a corner after hours and hours of practice, watching lessons online and working on my game in the range and then the course. There are natural, emotional and physiological skills everyone possesses and with some extra effort, and some craft those skills can be forged into a real tangible asset if you put that effort in.

LBB> What are the aspects of leadership that you find most personally challenging? And how do you work through them?

Dan> I’ve a tendency to think and act fast. I think it’s a product of the work we do and the fast paced environment that a busy creative studio gives you. I’ve been working on slowing down and trying to separate creative executive decision mode from business and people mode. But obviously in our world those lines are often quite blurred.

LBB> Have you ever felt like you’ve failed whilst in charge? How did you address the issue and what did you learn from it?

Dan> EVERYDAY! I’m my own worst critic and enemy. But I think that’s ok. Self assessment is part of growing and understanding yourself.

LBB> In terms of leadership and openness, what’s your approach there? Do you think it’s important to be as transparent as possible in the service of being authentic? Or is there a value in being careful and considered?

Dan> I’m open, honest and candid as can be…. But there will always be parameters to the information that could be shared and that needs to be shared… and the effect it may have on people in your team.

LBB> As you developed your leadership skills did you have a mentor, if so who were/are they and what have you learned? And on the flip side, do you mentor any aspiring leaders and how do you approach that relationship?

Dan> I’ve had many unofficial mentors [see above for examples], and only one official mentor. Although my official mentor claims he was never my mentor… we just had some ‘chats’. I think that’s what made him a good mentor for me… it never felt forced, I never took notes, just two humans talking about making the world a better place to work in.

LBB> It’s been a really challenging year – and that’s an understatement. How do you cope with the responsibility of leading a team through such difficult waters?

Dan> In some ways this has been the most difficult 18 months of my career… some of the decisions we’ve had to make from a commercial perspective have had a profound effect on the people in our care, our colleagues and our friends…. as well as us as leaders. I think with anything you need to give yourselves the oxygen away from the office to keep the fire burning in the office. For me that’s my family life, sports and sometimes just getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors on my mountain bike.

LBB> This year has seen the industry confronted with its lack of action/progress on diversity and inclusion. As a leader how have you dealt with this?

Dan> We must always be doing more in this area. Our work will never be done, or done fast enough. Always learning and ever evolving… as people and as an industry. Coming from a mixed race family, and experiencing first hand some of the worst sides of our fellow humans, I have always and will always ensure my team, and place of work puts a lot of emphasis on making sure our work environment is reflective of our great community. In the creative industry I think this is most important. When we work on briefs at Grand Visual and Talon Outdoor, we pull ideas from all over our business, with input from our people from all over the world, with different beliefs, backgrounds and from different cultures. I believe, having a diverse workforce offers us greater insight, knowledge, research and experience which ultimately helps our creative output.

LBB> How important is your company culture to the success of your business? And how have you managed to keep it alive with staff working remotely in 2020?

Dan> It’s everything. The Grand Visual trajectory as market leader was only possible through the people who powered it and the culture they subscribed to from initial contact to exit. We had lots of remote sessions while we were all locked in… but there’s no real substitute for getting the team back together and being a bunch of humans interacting.

LBB> What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help you along your leadership journey?

Dan> Talk and listen to others. There’s not always a book, a course, a roleplay or one pager to answer your leadership issue. I think I’ve learned more from talking and listening to others than from any organised session.

With cinemas now open and a pent-up thirst for new movies to cater for, it should come as no surprise that the UK and Ireland’s box offices are booming. Cinemas took in £18.7 million last week, £10.9 million of which was taken in just over the weekend, showing that cinema-goers are back!

So, with a huge backlog of films to be released, as well as movie debuts on VOD platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, how do you stand out? With a vast amount of Out of Home campaigns for films under his belt, Grand Visual’s Creative Director, Ric Albert, knows a thing or two about nailing a movie launch. 

In recent months, Ric and his team have been behind some fantastic OOH launches, including collaborations with Warner Bros and Amazon Prime. Pre-pandemic, the team also collaborated on movie launches with the likes of Sony Pictures and Disney. So, grab a refreshment and get comfy because we’re about to dive in. 

Post-Pandemic OOH Advertising for Movies 

Warner Bros – Wonder Woman 1984

Set to be released in June 2020, the release of Wonder Woman 1984 was delayed due to the pandemic. This led Warner Bros to rethink its launch strategy and draw attention from cinema audiences with an epic OOH stunt. 

Choosing the largest digital OOH canvas in the world, standing at 828 meters high – the Burj Khalifa would definitely garner interest. A video of the stunt was shared widely online, receiving over 3 million views in 24 hours on Gal Gadot’s Instagram account. 

So, Ric. What do you think?  

“I don’t think there is a more exciting Digital OOH canvas to display your work than the tallest building in the world. Genuinely a bucket list job. Even for A-list Hollywood stars it seems!   

Look out for more of these giant-scale activations in the future – studios love the idea of epic proportions advertising their latest blockbusters.” 

Amazon Prime – The Tomorrow War

Originally set for theatrical release in December 2020, The Tomorrow War was postponed and instead released on Amazon Prime. Although it wasn’t released in cinemas, the movie still needed a stellar launch to entice audiences to watch it… and the OOH campaign did just that! 

Bringing the war to cities including Stockholm, Madrid and Manchester, the campaign featured an incredible augmented reality stunt that turned these locations into scenes of The Tomorrow War. The movie went on to be a success, scoring 1.23 billion minutes of watch time, the best opening for an Amazon original movie. 

“Creating an Augmented Reality campaign across 5 countries and 6 sites was no small feat,” says Ric. “…But we’ve always been pushing the capabilities of this medium, and wanted something different from a one-off stunt. Movie releases are global events, so it was fitting that the activation took place across multiple markets.” 

Pre-Pandemic Advertising for Movies  

A time before the pandemic feels like a distant memory, but we couldn’t not include these epic movie launch stunts. Now that restrictions have been lifted, here’s some great examples of OOH advertising for movies that’ll really draw attention. 

Sony Pictures – Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse 

For the launch of Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony Pictures wanted to steal the stage at one of the grandest OOH sites of them all – Times Square. We created an augmented reality experience that transported over 215,000 people passersby into the Spider-verse. The campaign went on to win 2 OBIE awards as well as the movie winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. 

Over to you Ric.  

“This has to be one of my favourites: prime location – tick, mass audience participation – tick, turning crowds into cartoons – tick, using facial tracking to add speech bubbles above their heads – tick. This activation had it all, and the result aligned perfectly with the film to create a unique and memorable stunt.” 

Disney Marvel Studios: Doctor Strange

As a master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange deserved more than just a static 6-sheet. Using augmented reality, we created an OOH installation across 10 markets that gave audiences the chance to harness the mystical powers of the doctor. The film went on to open in the #1 position in the US box office, eventually grossing $677 million worldwide. 

“This was the perfect marriage of creative and technology – when the stars align to create something truly special… and incredibly fitting for the movie,” adds Ric. “With some gesture recognition and live video portals, we connected people in London and LA and gave everyone the chance to become Sorcerer Supreme.” 

“At the end of the day, that is what all of these activations are about. Bringing some of the movie magic into the real world. Giving the public the chance to interact with their favourite characters and creating an emotional engagement with the next big movie release.”

Kraken - Grand Visual, Havas, Talon OOH.

Dynamic Campaign Competition Showcases Creativity from Havas U.S. Media Teams.

Talon America, a leading independent Out of Home (OOH) media specialist, this week launched dynamic Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) campaigns for two of Havas Media Group’s clients, Stop & Shop and Kraken Rum, following awarding entries for a new DOOH creative competition. Building on the existing Talon America and Havas Media Group strategic partnership, the competition called for entries from Havas U.S. media teams to submit creative, data-led, and dynamic campaign ideas that capitalize on the unique capabilities of DOOH to deliver highly impactful and relevant brand messaging.

Kraken - Grand Visual, Havas, Talon OOH.

The winning entries, Stop & Shop’s ‘Feed the Moment’ and Kraken’s ‘Tide Warning,’ were awarded digital creative development and production services to support ideation, design, and implementation of DOOH campaign concepts. Additionally, OUTFRONT Media provided premium DOOH media placements. Entries were submitted in March 2021 and judged by an esteemed panel that comprised of Peter Mears, Havas Media Group CEO; Dan Dawson, Grand Visual Chief Creative Officer; Jim Wilson, Talon America CEO; and Eddy Herty, OUTFRONT VP National Creative Director.

Stop & Shop - Grand Visual, Havas, Talon OOH.

“We created this competition with Havas to showcase the innovations in Digital Out-of-Home and tease out fresh ideas for how brands can harness the creative agility and impact of this powerful medium,” said Enza Chiodi, Senior Vice President, Client Strategy at Talon America. “The ability to dynamically adjust creative and create hyper-targeted messaging with DOOH is invaluable for marketers and the Stop & Shop’s ‘Feed the Moment’ and Kraken’s ‘Tide Warning’ campaigns leveraged the best of these capabilities with captivating creativity.”

Stop & Shop - Grand Visual, Havas, Talon OOH.

The Stop & Shop ‘Feed the Moment’ campaign leverages real-time data to dynamically adjust the ‘Feed the Moment’ messaging. The campaign highlights various moments in a given day and how current real-world conditions can trigger an in-store purchase.

The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum’s ‘Kraken Tide Warning’ campaign showcases the unique, nautical theme of using tidal data to alert consumers when the Kraken lurked nearby in the waters below, a component that captivated the judging panel. As each tide passed, new ways to enjoy Kraken Rum were introduced to the audience.

“This competition created new opportunities for our teams to brainstorm and bring DOOH campaign ideas to life to engage with outdoor audiences in new ways,” said Peter Mears, CEO of Havas Media Group. “We look forward to building on our innovative partnership with Talon to elevate OOH’s prominence and maximizing its full potential for our clients.”

Creative Personalisation of Ads - and Scale? Dan Dawson
Chief Creative Officer, Dan Dawson, discusses the juxtaposition of data and creativity in OOH.

There are one or two things I hear on an all too regular basis in our industry… and the worst of them by far “not enough time”. Over the years, I’ve pretty much discovered it’s actually a coded way of saying “I don’t understand, it sounds really complex and I’m outside of my comfort zone…. I need you to go now so I can get back to my advertising safe space”.

After the most challenging 12 months for OOH on record, we simply need to challenge that rhetoric whether they are in our agencies, production houses, or in-house teams. The time has come to be smarter, and that means smarter ads, on smarter networks with smarter creative messaging. But it is a real challenge, as we’re asking our teams to step right outside of their comfort zones or to trust a partner to help deliver and craft something magical.

WPPs Mark Read’s recently said, “We have to think about how we produce the right content for the right channels – producing work for Facebook or Instagram or Amazon requires distinct skills and understanding of those platforms.” His words struck a chord with me mainly because it’s something I’ve been blathering on about for years to anyone who’ll lend an ear – Let the craft masters do what they do best and the rewards will be beautiful. For us that specialism is creative production for the Out-of-Home media space, however, it goes the same across the entire advertising spectrum. We all know the saying about the Jack of all trades.

There is a  HUGE difference in using data-informed decisions to ensure an audience sees an ad, versus the ad being personalised in some way to the viewer. I think that’s where Mark was going with this second soundbite: “We spend a tremendous amount of time worrying about media targeting, programmatic media and optimisation but we don’t do nearly enough, I’d argue, to think about how to personalise the creative messaging that goes to consumers and that has to have equal weight.” 100% agree Mark.

In OOH terms, when we say “personalise’ we of course mean making adverts resonate with an active audience, making creative messages relevant to a group at a particular time or location. Perhaps based on their mindset, situation or current need state – We’re not talking single person personalisation it’s group audience personalisation.

On the media side of things, lots of work has gone into algorithms and systems to seek consumers behaviour and tracking them across platforms and devices, in order to inform platforms to serve ads that might be relevant based on their online habits and or published demographic profiles. But how will all of this stand up to the ‘cookieless’ future we’re being told about?

In the OOH media space, huge efforts have been undertaken by agencies on tools and platforms – such as Talon’s Ada – built to supercharge OOH media by providing priceless audience information and insight for clients. For me the promised land is aligning this intelligence with smarter creative, where each message permutation has been given the craft treatment tailored to an active audience. Live data and audience planning tools help us understand the audience, but all too often producing a creative message matrix for each of the potential live data outcomes is something that falls into the ‘not enough time’ conversation. Because… it’s doesn’t sound easy… and I’m out of my comfort zone.

Sir John Hegarty told me recently on our Behind The Billboard podcast, that he feels audiences are being “stalked, not seduced” from an advertising perspective. We’re being hunted by our cookies, and shot in the face with shouty messages. He was talking about the need for the crafting of messages here. We discussed the need to apply our craft to the new digital technologies and techniques in order to ‘personalise’ ads in the OOH space. I pushed John Hegarty on why he feels it might be that we don’t apply enough of it on Digital OOH, he went on to talk about how ‘disposable’ digital advertising can feel. We talked about digital adverts being pulled, replaced or updated mid-campaign based on their efficacy – which in turn makes them feel disposable, less permanent to creatives. Another reason for this disposability is some online platforms allowing the ‘creation’ of ‘adverts’ as part of their offering – For example, you could sign up to a social network today and have an advert for your business on their platform by tea time. I mean, it looks terrible, but each to their own.

The art of producing amazing creative [and smarter] advertising at scale is not easy. It requires the perfect marriage between creative and technology, between agencies and clients, specialists and producers, tools and their operators and between the audience and the message. When you find that perfect marriage – ‘not enough time’ is never a problem. That’s when great things happen. Just ask Google, McDonald’s, Spotify, Hiscox, Specsavers, Sainsbury’s, Skoda or Virgin Trains… in fact don’t ask them, ask their agencies.

(This article first appeared in Little Black Book)

Why is Out of Home (OOH) the fame maker?
As a society, we’ve grown up with Out of Home advertising. Whether it was the humble 6sheet with no digital capabilities or the nowdigital landscape that we’ve become accustomed to, OOH has always been a part of our lives. Across various generations, we’ve seen brands such as Coca Cola build their empires through heavily investing in OOH. From paper and paste to the pixels and screens, OOH truly is a proven fame maker. 

Whilst some may argue that the traditional OOH medium isn’t as effective at building fame as online channels; at Talonour Creative Director, Ric Albert and Head of Creative Solutions, Jay Young, think differently. With an incredible portfolio of some of the best in OOH campaigns under their belts, such as BBC’s Dracula, Pepsi MAX and a range of work with Warner Bros, there’s no better people to ask… 

Why is OOH so highly regarded in terms of fame making? 

Ric: “OOH has the ability to connect with the public in ways that other channels simply cannot. Firstly, you have a broad audience to tap into. OOH can take advantage of its environment and therefore its audience’s mindsets, to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.  

Beyond that, the sheer scale of the billboard or screen creates a canvas unlike any other. In a world where most content appears on small screens in front of our faces, being able to put your message out at this size really helps OOH to be a unique proposition for fame making.” 

An amazing example of this was when Warner Bros took over the world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa, to promote its latest movie Wonder Woman 1984. The campaign showcased the movie on the largest digital OOH canvas in the world, at 828 metres high! The video received over 3 million views in 24 hours on Gal Gadot’s Instagram account. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot)

Jay: “OOH is the perfect stage for brands to perform on. It’s big, it’s un-skippable and it exists in the real world. You can close a newspaper, turn off your phone or fast forward TV, but OOH stands tall regardless and with that comes an overwhelming sense of power and impact.  

You can see a cultural moment blow up on Twitter at 9 am. You‘ll get a reactive ad on DOOH across the country by the time you log off for the day. I still love the Specsavers campaign we ran in reaction to the Moonlight Oscars blunder. We could never have achieved the same impact with static OOH going live days later. 

Combine this with the fact that we can reach 98% of UK adults every week. It’s a fame machine.”

Specsavers Academy Awards Out of Home (OOH) campaign

So, we know why OOH is a “fame machine,” but what does it take to create an impactful campaign that lives beyond the billboard? 

Taking this campaign, featuring K-Pop singer Wooyoung for his birthday on a screen in Times Square as an example; living anywhere else in the world, you wouldn’t have seen it. However, because a fan connected with and shared the campaign on social media, it has now been viewed over 110k times – amplifying the campaign and building fame.

Wooyoung Out of Home (OOH) Campaign in Times Square 

Jay: “As humans, we are ruled by emotions, we don’t just buy products and services, we buy feelings. The most impactful ads make us really feel something! Do something unexpected to get noticed. Use context to optimise your message and use emotion to make the audience feel something. Emotion makes it memorable.” 

Ric: “Can the billboard start a conversation? Can it get people talking or thinking so that the message lives on after the billboard? Creating a campaign that can emotionally engage with the public is key and isn’t always down to the location of the billboard.  

There are some locations such as Times Square that are just iconic and there are some locations that you have to think outside of the box and make it iconic; so that even if the advert is 10m tall or 500 other people are also looking at it, does it speak directly to you. This can be done with messaging, imagery or even just the sentiment behind it.”

What campaign stands out to you as a fame maker for OOH? 

Jay: There are so many campaigns I love for different reasons. The sheer simplicity of the BBC Dracula shadow billboard, the innovation behind Pepsi’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter and the always-on and always awesome ads from McDonald’s. As advertisers, they have all reaped huge rewards from constantly challenging themselves and not settling for cookie-cutter planning. 

For reference, Dracula and Pepsi MAX’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter have received over 15 million views combined and remain two of our most popular OOH campaigns of all time…

Ric: One that comes to mind is Nike’s Dream Crazy campaign with Colin Kaepernick. It won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix and for good reason. Using such a large canvas, and public space to broadcast a bold, daring and important message… It used OOH’s unique abilities to provoke conversation, publicity and make the public think, and feel. It wasn’t putting the product front and centre, but something more important for us all. 

Another example of fame building and amplification online, is when a celebrity themselves, shares their billboard with their followers. Molly Mae Hague, a popular UK based influencer, shared her billboard to her fanbase of over 340k Twitter followers and 5.3m Instagram followers.

Molly Mae Hague in front of her Out of Home (OOH) billboard

Although we’re not inside the head of the celebrity, it’s interesting to understand why they specifically share their billboards rather than various online ads they feature in. So, from your experience, why do you think celebrities share their billboards on social media? 

Ric: We’ve grown up with billboards around us. Long before phone screens, iconic sites like Times Square and Piccadilly Circus captured our imaginations and felt like the biggest screens in the world. So today, with so many screens in our lives, having our face (or work) on DOOH screens – whether small format like D6s or large format city centre ones – still triggers an emotional excitement within us.  

It’s different and it’s not easily doable. You can’t just tweet something and it goes up there. So, fame is still exclusive. It’s just not an arena everyone can participate in! 

Jay: “When brands, or people for that matter, appear on billboards they enter a relatively exclusive club. You, unlike most, have achieved a status that allows you to fill this very public canvas. It’s the “I’ve officially made it” moment. Instagram and other platforms thrive on our societal need to play status games. An image of yourself on a big iconic DOOH screen gives you bonus points for sure!”

Celebrities in front of their Out of Home (OOH) billboards

OOH is a medium that delivers scale and unrivalled creative potential, making it the ultimate ‘fame maker.’ The perfect recipe is a combination of audience understanding, contextual relevance, creativity that packs a punch; get these right and OOH can extend beyond the billboard and provide stand out fame making moments. 

Air Quality Campaign
Shocking new data on air pollution reveals that nearly 8 million (25%) addresses in the United Kingdom have air pollution levels above World Health Organization limits. The data comes from addresspollution.org, which has today rolled its London pilot out nationally. Air quality reports are now freely available for every UK address.

The initiative, by AMV BBDO and policy activist group Central Office of Public Interest (COPI), is also attempting to drive legal action to force the disclosure of air pollution ratings within the property industry. This would mean estate agents, property websites, surveyors and conveyancers are obliged to disclose air pollution, in the same way they have to disclose other deadly substances, such as asbestos. An explosive 20-page Queen’s Counsel legal opinion, released with the campaign, reveals a ‘strong legal argument’ estate agents will be negligent for not doing so.

Air Quality Campaign

Originally launched in 2019 as a London pilot, addresspollution.org received nearly one million visits at launch. Off the back of that success, funding was secured to commission 1.5 billion new data points from university Imperial College London.

addresspollution.org can now reveal the levels of three toxic pollutants anywhere in the UK in an easy to understand Air Quality Report (AQR). The health implications for living at the address are also given. People are then urged to sign a petition demanding that estate agents and property websites disclose air quality to buyers and renters.

Air Quality Campaign

The rating system, approved by experts at the Environmental Research Group at Imperial College London, needed to be simple. It combines information design, brand identity and graphic design to make an invisible killer visible.

Scott, Art Director at AMV BBDO, says: “We’re dealing with concentrations of pollutants measured in micrograms per cubic metre. On top of that, there are three different pollutants and they’re all invisible. We had to communicate complicated information quickly and efficiently, while nodding to the toxicity.”

 

Designer Director Mario Kerkstra adds, “Air pollution exists on a microscopic scale but its effect on lungs, the brain, heart and even the womb is profound. We needed a visceral way of expressing the different levels of air pollution in more than a coloured banded system. Spikes exist in nature as a warning sign, a sign of danger. They felt right for this.”

The agency has created a hard-hitting national campaign launching the system which visualizes the damage invisible air pollution causes. The campaign centres on geo-targeted animated digital ads featuring spiky typography which ‘breathes’ according to the air pollution at that location The ads are running across 651 digital out of home screens around the UK. The media sites were donated by Open Media, Foris Outdoor, City Outdoor, BlowUp!, JCDecaux, Clear Channel Outdoor, Alight Media and Global Outdoor.

Air Quality Campaign

A blitz on Instagram will also see a number of posts exposing the high levels of pollution in different sites in the UK. The strong, eye-catching social media pieces also feature different organs, such as breathing lungs covered with spikes. Funds to get the addresspollution.org pilot live were originally raised through a successful Crowdfunder campaign, making this a truly people-powered campaign.

Humphrey Milles, founder of the Central Office of Public Interest, said: “Air pollution affects everyone. It is a dangerous, invisible killer. With this national roll out, it would be shameful for the property industry to not start acting in an honest, transparent way. Lives depend on it. Everyone has a right to know what they’re breathing. And with the public finally able to see this invisible problem, the government will need to swiftly act to bring air pollution levels down.”

The data-driven approach breaks new ground for AMV BBDO. Copywriter Ben Polkinghorne says, “Back in 2019 we were asked to come up with an idea that tackles inaction on air pollution. Little did we know we’d end up spending our time developing a rating system with scientists and uncovering legal loopholes. We’ve literally been living and breathing the stuff for years, so it’s fantastic to get this next phase of the project out into the world.”

To get a free air quality report for your address and sign the petition, visit addresspollution.org.

Sending Love Digital OOH Awards
Grand Visual, Plexus & the World Out of Home Organization’s user-generated digital Out of Home campaign ‘Sending Love’ won the Best International Campaign award at this week’s Drum OOH awards. It was also highly commended in the Best Collaborative Campaign During Covid-19 category.

The campaign was supported by 68 different media owners in 178 cities in 38 countries and by the World Out of Home Organization, the official client. The Drum awards were supported by Alight Media.

Sending Love Digital OOH Awards

The largest user-generated execution ever for digital OOH, the campaign encouraged participants to send love to those in places they couldn’t travel to, by getting creative with the heart-hand symbol and uploading their pictures and locations to the Sending Love website.

Participants were invited to donate to the global COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and then received a photo of their picture playing on-screen in their chosen city to share with friends and family across social channels.

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Officer, Grand Visual says: “It’s great recognition for the hard work and effort that went into #SendingLove and all the partners globally, including WOO, that helped make the campaign the success it was. It was particularly sweet to win for a campaign that’s all about sharing messages of love and unity across the world during such difficult times.”

Adrian Skelton, Managing Partner, Talon says: “Winning such a prestigious award, is a victory for the whole OOH industry. #Sendinglove was a great example of the OOH community coming together to deliver an innovative and engaging campaign…globally. It was inspiring to see The Plexus Network, Grand Visual and our global media owner partners’ expertise and ability, bring this idea to life so quickly at such scale. As we now focus on a post COVID-19 world in 2021, I strongly believe our best work is yet to come!”

 

WOO President Tom Goddard says: “This campaign was originated and created by Grand Visual, Talon and Plexus and we’re proud to have supported it. As with WOO’s very recent #OurSecondChance” initiative – which will be an entry in next year’s competition, the campaign shows how well the OOH industry can pull together, to produce a message of hope for the world and also demonstrate our ability to perform with agility, at a global level.”

Letter to Zion Digital Billboard

Cephas Williams, founder of the Black British Network, has launched an inspirational campaign, which features on Out of Home (OOH) digital screens throughout November and December, publicising his moving Letter to his son  Zion written in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. The move is currently supported by 19 UK industry leaders including Phil Thomas, Keith Weed, Stephen Woodford, Jude Kelly, Barry Cupples and Paul Polman.

The campaign, which is to support Williams’ crowdfunder initiative to support the Black British Network, aims to promote change and a dialogue not restricted to October’s Black History Month. The OOH campaign uses creative including the introductory line “I want to see a world where…” and includes subsequent copy such as “…people respect each other’s differences”, “…black history is not just celebrated in a single month”, and “…where black people are treated fairly”.  All taken from Williams’ letter as seen on LetterToZion.com.

The OOH industry is supporting the initiative in a campaign worth over £1 million, with the project led, planned and coordinated by Talon. The distinctive black and white creative copy-led messaging, which includes the iconic end-frame image of Cephas holding his son, Zion, has been developed and created by Grand Visual. It will run in November and December, and into 2021, across sites donated by Blow Up Media, Clear Channel Outdoor, JCDecaux, Ocean Outdoor, Open Media, Maxx Media and Smart Outdoor.

The Letter to Zion, written to his son as a vehicle to bring about continuous dialog and tangible change regarding the black community and wider landscape, followed the birth of his son around the time of George Floyd’s killing in the US. Cephas spent months writing this timely letter and released the letter on October 9th, his birthday.

As Cephas Williams explains,

“Unfortunately, it took the killing of George Floyd to bring about this awakening and now with companies and leaders going back into the cooler, my concern is that we have not yet successfully created something that exists independent of corporate frameworks that can be used as a tool to help bring about the change we need to see. This stance, supported by a variety of industry leaders and now the Out of Home industry in bringing my message to the wider community and beyond a single reference point, such a s Black History Month, will reinforce the message of the Black British Network, that ‘Together We Are Stronger’. The hope is to create a ‘unified knock’ that goes beyond lip service and tokenistic gestures and starts to look at primary behavioural and systemic change, to support a mission that prioritises a more reflective approach and response to the black conversation than a reactive and opportunistic one.”

Barry Cupples, Group CEO of Talon, who’s team planned and coordinated the OOH activity, adds:

“This is an unbelievably important cause that we’re very proud to be involved with alongside some amazing Out of Home media owner partners. Bringing the message to a wider audience, highlighting its importance and showcasing some extremely powerful ad content, will really stand out in this period ahead and drive the desired effect of delivering impact, action and change.”

Commitments to the Letter to Zion and the further ambitions of the BBN so far includes the support of the OOH industry through media space, plus companies like Alfa Systems, O2, Ernst & Young and Clear Channel committing to the BBN Round Table Conversations and other key deliverables proposed by the Black British Network to bring about long lasting change in this area. Clear Channel, who initially worked with Williams to amplify the ground breaking 56 Black Men ‘I am not my stereotype’ campaign in 2019 and the ‘Let’s Not Forget’ campaign in 2020, connected Talon to Cephas as part of an ongoing ambition to further unite the OOH industry in support of Williams’ message and vision for change. This is the start of an ongoing and powerful relationship that will be committed to supporting the BBN in driving the change we need to see in this country and the wider world.

 

BBC Sounds OOH
London, 5th October 2020 – The BBC is launching a new augmented reality out-of-home experience to celebrate its BBC Sounds offering.

The push was developed by BBC Creative in partnership with media agency Havas Media Manchester, out-of-home specialists Talon Outdoor, digital out-of-home production company Grand Visual and media owner JC Decaux.

In order to build an understanding and love of BBC Sounds and help make it the go-to audio app amongst 16 to 34-year-olds, the BBC has created a bespoke augmented reality bus shelter installation to celebrate the BBC Sounds brand offering of Music, Radio and Podcasts.

BBC Sounds OOH

Static six-sheets on the exterior of the shelter, which is located in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, invite people to come inside and try out the augmented reality experience. The digital screens inside the shelter are triggered by the presence of people, ‘morphing’ audiences using different filters to illustrate how Music, Radio and Podcasts have the power to make you feel moved. The changing visuals are accompanied by audio content from the three offerings.

The augmented reality technology used enables people to interact with the installation in a Covid-safe way, with no touch required. It has also been tested to ensure the recognition element still works when passers-by are wearing face masks.

Andrea Taylor, Media Portfolio Lead, BBC Sounds, said: “If sound is the most powerful sense, our ambition with this activation is to release that power on our audience. In every asset, every emotion and every interaction we create, we want to move people by the power of BBC Sounds.”

 

Lucy Barnes, Strategy Partner, Havas Media Manchester, said: “We know the people we’re trying to reach want authentic experiences, so with this campaign we needed to ‘show not tell’ why BBC Sounds is relevant to them. We are presenting the power of BBC Sounds to them in their moments of need, on their commute or their way home, with an immersive, reactive and personalised experience that should help make Sounds their audio app of choice.”

 

Nadiya Abubakar, Production Director, Grand Visual, added: “Using interactive digital OOH is a great way to really engage with the audience and a create memorable experience. This campaign with BBC really demonstrates how clever use of technology combined with eye-catching creative really brought the BBC Sounds experience to life.”