How to use Creative Out of Home to make your brand shine this winter

The coldest and darkest season of the year, winter is also one of the most magical. With plenty of celebrations, these dark nights are made brighter with illuminated pumpkins, fireworks and neighbourhoods draped in festive lighting. 

As people, we gravitate towards the light in the darkness – which is what makes winter a fantastic time for brands to shine with creative Out of Home (OOH) executions that dazzle audiences. Over the years, we’ve worked with many brands to illuminate cities, neighbourhoods and even the sky with creative OOH. 

In this blog, we’ll be exploring the ways in which we make this possible and why it’s important to break the mould to cut through this winter. 

Creative OOH Works 

Understanding the impact of creativity on consumer behaviour is crucial and catching a consumer’s eye can have a direct impact on sales. According to a Nielsen analysis of over 500 campaigns, creative elements contribute consequent purchase and sales 47%, followed by reach (22%), brand (15%), and targeting (9%). 

It’s important to remember that although a campaign may be planned effectively in terms of reach and audience targeting, if the creative is under par, this will impact campaign performance. 

Special Builds 

In the darker months, we’ve had the pleasure of creating and executing some incredible special builds for brands who want to stand out and make their creative work harder. Whether it be lighting, steam or even fire, these campaigns have ruled the market thanks to their creativity. BBC are a brand that has excelled at this time and time again: 

A special build for the TV show “Dracula” leveraged shadows to depict the vampire myth, revealing a terrifying silhouette only visible at nightfall. 

“A Perfect Planet” featured a billboard torn apart to reveal a devastating forest fire image, combining smoke machines and LED lighting for a striking effect, making it appear that the billboard was on fire. 

For “His Dark Materials,” a ‘breathing’ billboard, using steam, captured attention on dark winter nights. 

Projection Mapping: Winter’s Canvas 

Projection mapping opens doors to creativity in the darker winter months. Whether we’re delivering high impact mapped content onto iconic locations or delivering guerrilla messages at scale nationwide, we can take clients’ messages directly to their audiences in a disruptive and impactful way.  

For Nissan Formula E, innovative motion video mapping transformed the 110 The Queens Walk building into a giant, 150ft tall racing helmet. 

Glow in the Dark 

Projections can also be used in conjunction with murals, making them visibly dazzling in the dark evenings. 

YouTube Music’s artist murals, including one for the 1975 in Manchester, used projection mapping with incredible effect. 

MAC elevated its creative using projection mapping. 

Other techniques that enable brands to glow in the dark are UV-Reflective Paint, Black Light and Halo Lighting. By adding special lighting and ink onto elements of the poster or mural can help elevate the creative at night! 

For Baileys’ “HallowQueens” campaign, hand-painted murals near on-trade spots were enhanced for extra appeal. One featured glitter for sparkle, while another used metallic and glow-in-the-dark UV paint for a spooky effect. 

Experiential Brand Experiences 

Drone Activations 

Rising in popularity over the last few years, we’ve seen many brands and even the royal family use drones to captivate audiences in a unique way.

Drone light shows, using up to 1000 drones, create illuminated aerial formations, forming images and words in the night sky. The drone show from the Coronation Concert is one of our favourites.

Heated OOH: Cozy Surprises 

Embrace the chilly season with heated OOH. Installing special heating units at transit shelters offers a distinctive chance that thrives during the winter season.

John Lewis incorporated heated creative in bus stops, providing a cozy surprise with just a tap. 

Digital Creativity: Enhancing Emotional Engagement 

Strong creative messaging increases emotional engagement by 13%, especially through: 

  • Animated digital OOH, increasing engagement by +110% versus static 
  • Contextual copy displayed at the relevant moment, boosting brain response by +32% 
  • Full motion copy, twice as likely to be seen compared to static, with viewing durations up to 60% longer. 

Contextual Messaging 

Custom dynamic messaging integrates data feeds directly into the campaign creative. Updating the creative with messaging triggered by the time of day or by the weather, brings extra life to a campaign and increases brain response. 

Shake Shack’s use of dynamic digital OOH billboards in NYC for an interactive truffle hunt exemplifies this approach. 

Want to do something creative this winter? Get in touch with your Grand Visual representative or contact us using this form.