Integrated Systems Europe is the world´s largest AV systems integration show, taking place in Amsterdam from 5-8 February. Jon, Creative Technologist, and Collins, Technician went along to check out the latest cutting-edge technology. We’ve shared our highlights from the show, so if you couldn’t make it or just want to check it out again, see our key takeaways below. We’re already looking forward to ISE 2020!

MAD//Fest 2019

MAD//Fest (the ‘MAD’ stands for Marketing, Advertising and Disruption) had its debut this year in London. From their website … “MAD//Fest is all about bringing together the creatives, techies, pioneers, problem solvers, upstarts, opportunists, do’ers, dreamers and disruptors for a festival of innovation, lateral thinking and big ideas”. We went along to check it out and were blown away with the amount of interesting, educational and inspiring talks on offer. We shared the highlights from the sessions we attended, if you couldn’t make it check out our key takeaways below. Already looking forward to MAD//Fest 2019!

Last week Advertising Week Europe descended upon London for its 5th year. The event brings together an estimated 30,000 people from the advertising industry, attending 160 events held throughout the week.

A few of us from Grand Visual made our way to Piccadilly’s Picture House to hear the latest opinions in ad land…

A standout theme that emerged was hearing brands, agencies and creatives talking about the need to focus on storytelling and ‘humans’ rather than data and

On Monday we attended “Reinventing the Real World”, where panelists discussed connections – to people and to things. They made the point that brand communications need to enhance, rather than interrupt consumers lives and brands should be really clear on the role that their comms take.

On Tuesday we saw the Dentsu Aegis session “Renaissance: A New Creative Value System” where the panel discussed how the world is now more than ever powered by technology and data. They discussed the power of ideas and the changing roles that creativity and technology are playing when it comes to advertising. Tracy De Groose (CEO, Dentsu Aegis) mentioned a study by McCann Japan who pitted an AI Creative Director against its human counterpart – the human won. The panel agreed that it was best for the industry for technology and creativity to be ‘happy bedfellows’.

Our final highlight was “Realising The Human Potential: Technology’s Cognitive Capabilities” hosted by Microsoft. Ravleen Beeston kicked things off with some stats on how technology is changing adoption rates. It took TV 38 years to reach 100 million sets sold mark, Smartphones 3 years, and PokemonGo took just 33 days. The discussion explored voice, image and emotion recognition and what opportunities these technologies present for marketers.

The main takeaway this year was the shift towards ‘people based advertising’, a refreshing change after years focused on data & technology.


*Article first appeared on the Brand Republic Wallblog 5th February, 2016

Back when this all began in 2005, and the first run of screens launched on the London Underground, DOOH stakeholders were keen to see the premium ad-revenues rolling in for this new turbo-charged Outdoor offering.

Many in the industry thought DOOH would boost Outdoor’s overall market share by deflecting existing budgets away from display and mobile advertising, and this could explain our relative antipathy in the beginning.

Fast forward to 2015 and the mood couldn’t be more different.

We in DOOH now sit comfortably alongside digital and mobile, courting some sort of harmonious digital threeway for clients, inviting them to sample our wares collectively.

This just wasn’t possible in the past. Outdoor was a completely separate discipline, a different mode of communication.

Today, thanks to heavy investment in data, technology and infrastructure, DOOH is agile and connected. It shares the same DNA as online and mobile – able to deliver instant, targeted, location specific information to people on the move, and this synergy is producing some exciting results.

Digital threeway: DOOH, display & mobile

Display has long been the most attractive player in this love tryst. An easy decision for traditional agencies to make out with. So DOOH and mobile have synergised to complement Display, and help drive market share across all Digital.

A good example of this new symbiosis was Google’s landmark pilot scheme ‘Google Outside,’ powered by SoLoMo, it displayed geo-targeted search data from the engines data farm to provide information about local attractions, points of interest, and tailored results to the exact location of each screen, the time of day and even the weather.

Data is where it’s at

Spending on location-targeted mobile marketing campaigns is rocketing. By 2017, it’s set to reach $10.8 billion, a whopping 52% share of all mobile ad spend.

But, now the ‘Lo’ in SoLoMo can also be delivered by DOOH. We know where the DOOH site is, the audience it attracts and can exploit the Context Effect, by providing dynamic, data-driven and locally relevant information to the same mobile consumer. Only on a larger, high-impact, and public scale.

Marketers can double up their efforts and create powerful, cross platform, geo-targeted campaigns. Again, Google has been blazing a trail here when it experimented with the use of ad technology to buy and automate campaign workflows alongside OpenLoop for creative fulfilment – a really significant milestone for the Outdoor advertising industry.

Again, programmatic campaigns have been happening online for a while now but recent moves towards making the DOOH market programmatic, in terms of creative fulfilment and also on the buying side are helping to accelerate this shift, towards a more active, cohesive and relevant future.

Interaction & social shareabilty

It’s not just dynamic ads of course, interactivity on DOOH has embraced mobile. There is a myriad of ways in which this marriage can work – mobile as remote control, UGC conduit, bluetooth beacons, Wi-fi spots, QR codes and social interaction, the list goes on….

And then there’s co-creation of course. Using your mobile, to control and curate a DOOH screen, and creating a piece of content that is pushed back to your device for social sharing.

This is a biggy. Brands using DOOH to amplify their online and social media activity to broadcast level audiences and vice-versa – digital strategists using innovative DOOH activations to provide content and talkability for digital and channels.

DOOH is becoming aligned and in sync with online and social.

The way ahead

This is an exciting space to be in and these are just a few of the ways in which SoLoMo is benefiting from the growing congruence of digital, mobile and DOOH. Great things are happening. SoLoMo 2.0 is here. It’s getting steamy. And we don’t even have a safe word.

We attended lots of great sessions on day 3 of Advertising Week Europe, from the IPA session on Big Tech vs Big Ideas to MEC’s session on Creativity and Collaboration. Instead of summarising our take outs from every event we attended, we have decided to share our two highlights from the day.

Clear Channel’s We Love Outdoor session was one of the highlights from today. After two days full of people throwing around well-intentioned buzz-words such as ‘collaboration’ and ‘innovation’ it was a refreshing change to step into a room and hear something a little different. In this session we heard directly from clients on how OOH is helping them achieve their business goals and change peoples lives for the better.

It was particularly lovely to hear from Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People talk about how DOOH has helped grow awareness of the charity from 13% in 2007 to currently over 20% in London. Most importantly it was rewarding to hear how the partnership between ourselves, Clear Channel & the Outdoor Media Centre has helped reunite missing people with their loved ones. Since the campaign began in 2012, we have delivered over 500 regionalised campaigns, and over 50% of the people featured in these campaigns are now reunited with their loved ones.

Also speaking about some great OOH campaigns they have run in conjunction with Clear Channel was Glen Wilson from Posterscope. He spoke about the delightful Art Everywhere project which delivered on its promise to make England a little more attractive – a concept which is now being taken on around the world.

The Princes Trust gave a powerful testimony as to how, through OOH, they are now not only able to reach young people who are in need of their services, but also to reach those crucial donors through great creative and the extensive reach that OOH offers.

A real heartwarming presentation. #WeLoveOutdoor.

Another great session of the day, was from Andrew Millstein, President of Disney Animations who revealed a few secrets about the art of storytelling with Disney. Talking about the so-called ‘dark days’ of Disney from the mid-nineties to early 2000’s, Millstein discussed how, after the Pixar acquisition, they weaved together two distinct strands of success in order to build the Disney we have today.

It was inspirational to hear how they have maintained that creative spark after 93 years, and how they keep pushing themselves to create the stories which inevitably become part of the tapestries of our lives.

Collaboration has certainly been one of the keys to Disney’s success. They maintain this is by instilling ownership of each project within all teams working on Disney films, a process which brings out in everybody a real passion and desire to find the best solution. This process takes time but ultimately it is one of the key elements leading to Disney getting the story right time and time again, and it’s something we can certainly attest to after working on many projects with them.

It’s been such a full on week so far, one more day to go.