McDonald's McWeather Digital OOH
McDonald’s launched a national digital outdoor campaign that used MET Office real-time data to bring to life April’s unpredictable weather conditions.

In order to take part in Britain’s favourite topic of conversation, Leo Burnett London turned the McDonald’s menu into weather icons to represent the live temperature and 5-day forecasts.

For example, an unwrapped burger represents the sun, while an upturned box of fries signifies rain. There are eight different icons to show how volatile April weather can be.

Breaking on 26 April, the dynamic campaign ran for three days with media planning and booking by OMD and Talon, production by Grand Visual, and campaign management and distribution through OpenLoop.

Hannah Pain, Senior Brand Manager at McDonald’s said:

“We are very excited to be using some of our most loved products to join in the very topical April weather conversation.”

Ben Newman, Creative at Leo Burnett London added:

“Don’t trust the weatherman. This April, McDonald’s has got you covered.”

To announce the return of the hugely popular Monopoly prize game, McDonald’s has kicked off a revitalised, tactical, copy-led digital OOH campaign to encourage consumers to ‘Peel and Play’. The UK-wide dynamic activation contextualises copy using date, weather, and prize data and will run across Retail, Roadside and City Centre locations for four weeks from 21st March – 19th April.

The revamped style creative uses retro comic speech bubbles announcing, “Winning feels as likely as getting caught in the rain without an Umbrella” on a bad weather day, for example. Bursts of activity run across the month and tap into date, weather and prize data with copy lines that play on the real-time conditions experienced at each billboard. A live counter also reveals the number of prizes claimed so far with the added call to action to “Get peeling for that winning feeling.”

The revamped campaign was created by Leo Burnett, produced by Grand Visual, with planning and buying by OMD and Talon. Dynamic content is managed and delivered by QDOT, using ad tech platform OpenLoop, to analyse Met Office data and trigger the geotargeted playout of messages.

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Technology Officer at Grand Visual, added:

“The retro, sixties style vector artwork combined with the dynamic and contextual messaging makes this a simple, eye-catching and engaging execution that remains fresh and relevant throughout the duration of the campaign.”

Vicky Marshall, Client Director at Talon, adds:

“The brand’s successful Monopoly OOH campaigns have evolved significantly to drive real consumer action and engagement using smarter digital OOH that is dynamic and contextual. This supports wider brand activity that really stands out and elevates people’s experience with McDonald’s.”


McDonald’s launched a nationwide Digital OOH campaign to support its much loved McDonald’s Monopoly game which gives consumers the opportunity to win millions of prizes.

The extensive DOOH campaign ran on digital 6-sheets across roadside, the underground, shopping malls, and city centre locations across the UK. Produced by Grand Visual, the dynamic DOOH campaign, which provides real-time updates on the number of prizes collected alongside geo-targeted calls to action such as “Birmingham could you be lucky?”. The campaign was delivered through OpenLoop to JCDecaux, Clear Channel & Signature Outdoor Networks.

The DOOH campaign forms part of a wider multi-media activity comprising of TV, press, radio, and in-store activity. It was created by Leo Burnett and produced by Grand Visual with planning and buying through OMD UK and Talon.

Continuing its campaign to hero ‘The Big Mac’, McDonald’s launched an innovative, live, one-day Digital Out of Home stunt. As people walked below a giant digital billboard situated at a busy London junction, tantalising ‘Thought Bubbles’ featuring McDonald’s flagship burger magically appeared above their heads and appeared to follow them along the high street.

The playful campaign saw ‘The City of London Gateway’ billboard, owned by Outdoor Plus, taken over and turned into an interactive spectacle on Aldgate High Street. Created by Leo Burnett with production and creative technology from Grand Visual, the campaign featured a picture of the iconic Big Mac alongside the caption “See one. Want One”. The digital activation used Grand Visual’s ‘Agent’ platform to enable live interaction between a tablet (and mobile) device and a Digital Out of Home screen and was controlled by on-site operators. Thought Bubbles could then appear on cue and glide above the heads of the crowds with the content on-screen perfectly synched with the speed and direction of passers-by.

The one day event delighted hundreds of commuters and city workers who were seen sporting Big Mac thought bubbles, just moments away from McDonald’s nearest restaurant on Commercial Street. The cheeky Digital Outdoor execution was planned and booked by OMD and Talon. A video of the humorous footage was posted online to watch and share here.

Collage of Cannes Contenders in article by Dan Dawson and Hugh Todd

Our very own CCO, Dan Dawson and his Behind the Billboard co-host Hugh Todd discuss the best OOH work over the last year and which ones they believe could be Cannes Contenders including British Airways, McDonald’s, Warner Bros; Wonka and many more!

See the full article on here!

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)

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. 


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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. 

Pepsi Max interactive digital OOH
OOH on its own is an incredibly strong advertising medium, however, when used in conjunction with other channels it’s been proven to extend the reach and effectiveness of a campaign.

Consumers today spend 70% of their time outside of their homes making out-of-home (OOH) advertising a prime channel for reaching your target audience. With a low CPM and high ROI, what’s not to love about the traditional channel?

OOH & Online Ads

You might think of these two advertising mediums as occupying two completely different worlds – one physical and one in cyberspace. But with 27% of our year spent online, both mediums actually do a pretty similar job of catching us in our everyday lives.

When OOH is combined with online ads, brands can elevate the effectiveness of their overall campaign by 31% and increase the overall reach by 68%. Used together as part of the marketing mix, these two channels thrive.

OOH & Mobile

Did you know there are more mobile phones in the world than there are people? We’re clearly obsessed with our handsets. So what happens when a relatively new channel like mobile is combined with a traditional channel like OOH?

According to recent studies, when OOH is combined with mobile it can increase a mobile campaign’s reach by 316%.

McDOnald's Waze Mobile and OOH Geofencing

A great example of OOH working well with mobile comes from McDonald’s in the US. They utilised mobile geofencing to retarget audiences through Waze (a GPS navigation software app). Displaying the same billboard creative within the app, as they were in close proximity to an outdoor ad. This approach saw McDonald’s earn 6.4 million mobile impressions and 1.9 million unique consumers in 8 weeks.

OOH & Social Media

With 45% of the total world population using social media, social is one of the most effective channels for targeting audiences. In its simplest form, the combination of OOH with Social Media could just be a hashtag on a billboard, however, there is a multitude of ways that these channels can work to complement each other.

In 2014, Pepsi Max launched “Unbelievable,” a campaign that beautifully combined digital OOH (DOOH) with Social Media. Featuring an Augmented Reality DOOH stunt, the brand earned over 50 million views online, as well as news coverage and countless awards.

When OOH is combined with Social Media, it amplifies and extends the reach of a campaign from a physical to a digital level. Results from Talon’s 4th space research saw a 48% increase in consumer action when digital OOH was added to a social plan.

OOH is a great amplifier, and when added to your marketing mix as part of a comprehensive strategy, increases campaign performance.

This month, the topic is “food, glorious food” and how food and beverage brands can connect with consumers through meaningful digital OOH.

With Pumpkin Spice season officially here, many consumers are already starting to plan for their holiday feasts. According to research from Deloitte, 82% of these consumers’ feasts will be influenced by promotional offers. So in the messy food fight for seasonal sales, how do great brands stay relevant and cut through the noise?

Food and Digital OOH

With consumers on high alert for the best deals, digital OOH has the ability to engage these consumers on-location and at a personal level. Here are some food and beverage brands who used digital OOH to showcase their product in eye-catching and engaging ways.


Oreo leveraged the biggest solar eclipse in over a decade with this incredibly clever linear, digital OOH campaign.


McDonald’s celebrated its iconic Big Mac with this innovative, interactive digital OOH stunt.


Here’s an interactive campaign we produced for the famous chip brand to entertain shoppers and give them the chance to win a vacation!


Volvic launched this campaign in a busy mall, encouraging shoppers to “get juiced” for the chance to win refreshing prizes.

Want to discuss your upcoming digital OOH plans? Get in touch!

Google Outside Dynamic Digital OOH
Welcome back to another Top 5 countdown! Today we’ve narrowed down our favourite dynamic campaigns to just five (plus some honourable mentions). 

If you missed the last countdown, where we picked our favourite augmented reality campaigns, you should definitely check that out.

So drum roll please… in no particular order, here are our top 5 dynamic digital OOH campaigns. 

1. Spotify: 2018 Wrapped

To celebrate the end of another great year, Spotify revamped its popular campaign “Wrapped” with a dynamic, digital OOH twist! Spotify’s premium users were encouraged to sign up for a breakdown of their year in music – for the chance to appear on iconic billboards including Times Square and Piccadilly Lights. The campaign gave over 7000 ordinary people the chance to see their name in the famous lights. What an awesome way to wrap up a year!

2. Google: Introducing Explore

To encourage New Yorkers to explore their exciting city, Google launched this contextual, digital OOH campaign. Based on Google Maps’ latest features, the campaign made the public aware of new places and even reminded residents to check out places that they haven’t visited in a while! We love this campaign as it’s messaging continuously evolved based on what was going on at the time. Live in the Summer of 2018, “Introducing Explore” went on to win a silver OBIE!

3. Hiscox: Cyber Live

In a digital OOH first, cybercriminals were unknowingly behind this unique campaign for Hiscox Cyber Live. To drive awareness of cybercrime to small businesses, the campaign creative was responsive to real-life cyber attacks. As each attack took place, a spot on the poster would flash and pulse. A dynamic campaign that was truly unique, Cyber Live went on to win numerous awards including “Campaign of the Year” at the Campaign Media Awards 2019.

4. McDonald’s: The Iconic Weather Forecast

McDonald's McWeather Dynamic Digital OOH

We’ve seen a few dynamic weather campaigns over the years, but none as innovative as the Iconic Weather Forecast. Taking advantage of the ever-changing UK weather, McDonald’s decided to forecast the weather with a savoury twist. Overturned fries became rain, cheese-burgers became sunshine and chicken nuggets became snow… A chip dipped in sauce became the nation’s thermometer! The dynamic campaign was so popular in fact, that it ran for a second year in 2019.

5. Benadryl: Pollen Counts

Benadryl came to the rescue for hay fever sufferers with this clever, dynamic campaign. When pollen counts across the UK were irritatingly high, the reactive-creative alerted sufferers, prompting them to take action with Benadryl. Winning multiple awards, including a COOH award, the successful campaign was re-booked every summer for three years.

Honourable Mentions

It was so hard to pick just 5 dynamic campaigns, that we had to add these honourable mentions as well… Enjoy!

Top Dynamic Digital OOH Campaigns

Specsavers owned trending news and gossip with this hilarious campaign; prompting consumers to ask themselves if a leaking phone was more important than regular eye tests…

Exploring London was made easier than ever with this data-rich campaign for Google Outside. The digital OOH campaign went on to win two Cannes Lions later that year.

The out-of-home industry’s leaders encouraged other industries to “Get Out of Home,” with this tactical campaign.

Who would have ever thought that a camera-wearing cow would make for pure digital OOH gold…

We hope that you’ve enjoyed these campaigns as much as we do; stay tuned for our next countdown!