Pepsi MAX Bus Shelter Augmented Reality interactive digital OOH

AMV BBDO & Grand Visual earned a Gold OBIE Award at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America’s (OAAA) 2015 OBIE Awards. We were recognised for our augmented reality Pepsi Max bus shelter in London.

Pepsi MAX unbelievable bus shelter

The OBIE Awards are one of the oldest and most prestigious advertising programs, honouring creative excellence in out of home (OOH) advertising campaigns.

Inspired by the idea that Pepsi Max urges its consumers to push themselves “to the max” and accomplish “unbelievable” feats, AMV BBDO & Grand Visual pushed the boundaries of technical innovation. Augmented reality features were installed in a London bus shelter, and passersby became a part of a truly “unbelievable” experience as the scenery around them was disturbed by flying saucers, wild animals, and other out-of-this-world encounters.

“This bus shelter execution illustrates that OOH has become one of the most engaging, interactive, and innovative media in the world,” said Stephen Freitas, OAAA chief marketing officer. “Through the brilliance of augmented reality, Pepsi Max masterfully disrupted a standard shelter and captured the attention of consumers who passed it.”

The complete list of OBIE winners and finalists can be found at

Grand Visual, in partnership with Talon, RGA and OMD UK, took home the Grand Prize at the Clear Channel Outdoor Planning awards last night for Google Outside 2.0.

Now entering its ninth year, the awards celebrate the very best in outdoor planning from the last 12 months.

It was an exciting night as we were up for three awards, with MyMonopoly taking home Highly Commended for Best use of Digital in Outdoor, in partnership with Talon, OMD UK, Ambient and Bite PR. Google Outside 2.0 (along with Talon, OMD UK, R/GA) ended up taking the win in this category. Also up for an award, was the Pepsi Unbelievable Bus Shelter, which was shortlisted for Best use of Innovation in Outdoor, the award was won by “ESPN FC” by TPF-London.

With our recent award wins including a British Arrow Award for Pepsi Unbelievable Bus Shelter, an Opal Award for MyMonopoly, along with multiple wins at the Creative Circle awards it’s been a bumper start for the 2015 awards season.

This week saw the announcement of the winners of this year’s Creative Circle Awards and we were thrilled to be one of the biggest winners with a massive seven awards going to two of the campaigns we’ve helped to create in the past year.

There were three gold awards for the Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter we created with AMV BBDO including Best Use of Medium, Best Special Build and Best Integrated campaign. There was also a Best Digital Poster gold award for McDonalds See One. Want One created by us alongside Leo Burnett – a tremendous total of 4 golds in all!

And the winning didn’t stop there. We were also awarded two further silvers for the Pepsi Max Unbelievable work and one more silver for the McDonalds work.

We were even recognised with 5 nominations for the two big campaign winners above and including one for our work with BBH on the Audi Dashboard.

The awards scheme is run and judged by creatives and it traditionally showcases a wide range of excellent creative work across a number of different mediums. To be given this recognition by the creative community is very exciting and shows how creativity really is thriving in digital out of home.


Members of Team Grand Visual with their haul at the Creative Out of Home Awards

Wednesday night saw us pick up another haul of prizes, this time at the Creative Out of Home Awards. Five of the campaigns we worked on over the past year won awards, with a further seven garnering Commendations.

We were honoured to receive the prestigious Chairman’s Award for our work alongside Adam & Eve DDB on “Google Front Row”. Our other award winners were “Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter” in the Viral category, and “Google Front Row” for Innovation. Grand Visual work also picked up seven Commendations, including our Sydney, Australia “Into the Storm” AR activation in the International category, and “Google Outside” in the Digital Campaign category.

“Dove Ladies Day”, and McDonald’s “See one. Want one.” — activity we also had a hand in — received awards in the Multi-platform Campaign and Experimental/Ambient categories respectively.

What with our recent wins at the Mediapost Digital Out of Home Awards, November has been a proud month for GV.

Founder Neil Morris and the GV New York team with their haul of six Mediapost DOOH Awards

In July, Grand Visual opened its doors in New York City. It’s been an eventful and satisfying few months as we set about integrating OpenLoop, our dynamic campaign management tool, into the US networks, and building on the creative production work we had already been doing for American clients.

Given that we’re the new kids on the block in NYC, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised we were to receive a bunch of Mediapost Digital Out of Home Award nominations. Our surprise turned to joy on the night when last Tuesday night we walked off with six awards, including Best in Show!

The awards won were: Best in Show for “Google Front Row”, Platform (Augmented Reality) for “Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter”, Best Venue/Location Based Execution for “Google Front Row”, Best Park/Sports Arena/Stadium Concert Venue for “Google Front Row”, Best Execution Promoting a Brand within Industry Vertical (Beverage) for “Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter”, Best Technology/Consumer Electronics for “Google Outside”.

It was a thrill for our work to be recognised to such a degree by the US industry, and a true highpoint to our first year in the Big Apple. We couldn’t have done it without great clients and agency partners. We hope our success at the Mediapost DOOH Awards will be an indicator of great things for the future of Grand Visual New York.

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.

Adam Stephenson. Grand Visual Digital OOH Producer.
Ever wanted to see behind the scenes at Grand Visual? Producer, Adam Stephenson gives us a rare peek into the life of digital OOH production.

I think it takes a certain type of person to be a producer in digital OOH. Much like a good coffee, you have to be a subtle blend of calm, collected, smart and completely insane all at the same time. My past year working at Grand Visual has been all of these things, and damn it’s a good coffee.

There is no real ‘typical day’ in the GV office. Sure, there are daily tasks and structures in place, but the journey from initial conception through to when a project goes live is unique to each producer, and each campaign. 

During my time at GV, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a plethora of campaigns, each with their own idiosyncrasies, and I may have even given each their own celebration dance once everything is live. Whilst no project is the same, like Liam Neeson in Taken, as producers we’ve managed to acquire a specific set of skills to help us deliver any type of DOOH campaign. In my time I have helped shape the messages of various campaigns, such as the screens of Heathrow Terminals, and created a completely unique AR experience in Times Square – it’s been a wild ride pushing great work out into the world.

Into The Spider-Verse: Combined a technically complex and visually engaging campaign with actual user engagement from the streets of Times Square, a personal favourite of mine.

Unlike Liam Neeson, as producers, we can’t tackle the whole campaign single-handedly. We need a carefully crafted team of intelligent, experienced, intuitive and often maniacal people to carry a campaign from concept to delivery. My role as producer, means I manage the assigning of tasks, client expectations, status calls, quality control, delivery documents, timeline reviews, internal stakeholder catch-ups and stand-ups (…to name a few). I told you that I had to be somewhat insane for this. 

At GV I have the privilege of working with really great people who are very good at what they do, and in turn, this only makes me better at what I do. Everyone is keen to push boundaries, make better systems, win awards and exceed expectations every time. The energy is infectious and really helps when new tasks are added to the list as quickly as I’m ticking them off. Within a week, I can see a project evolve from a simple idea to an award-winning campaign.

Pepsi Max: A super cool campaign which really shows just how far we can push DOOH, on both a technical and social scale. Interesting, creative, impactful.

When we have some downtime, you’ll often find us around the pool table or chatting on the breakout bench. There’s a really nice family vibe to GV, generating enough content to give Modern Family a run for its money. It’s great for the rare times a project isn’t going smoothly, we can always take a breather and get a game of pool in.

Overall, the life of a producer at GV is intense yet rewarding. I’ve found myself placed in scenarios I had never even thought of, working on campaigns that continually amaze me, and growing faster than I would at most other agencies. So I’m going to go ahead and drink the perfectly blended coffee, I might just need it.

Grand Visual OOH

our team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
I have been at GV for just under 3 years. I am the Management Accountant, which means I report the monthly/yearly performance of the business. I also look after the day to day functions of Finance.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
My favourite campaign would be the work that we did for the film, The Accountant. It’s nice to see a film show our profession in a good light. Even if there were not enough explosions to do us justice.

If you weren’t in the Finance Team, Would you rather be in Client Services or Operations?
Client Services defo! I love eating/drinking in new places and entertaining clients. That’s all there is to it right?

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer?
Singer, it’s where the ££££ is at!

Would you rather become twice as strong when both of your fingers are stuck in your ears, or crawl twice as fast as you can run?
Crawl twice as fast as I can run. I’m quite fast at running, so my crawl would be insane! Plus I’m sure my kids would love to jump on my back while I whizz around.


our team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
Almost 6 years! I’m the Production Director.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
Our Augmented Reality campaign that we did for Pepsi Max Unbelievable bus shelter. It was truly a media first that opened so many doors for GV!

If you weren’t in the Production Team, Would you rather be in Operations or Client Services?
Client Services.

Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?
Invent the drug that cures a deadly disease.

Would you rather be completely invisible for one day or be able to fly for one day?
Be able to fly.