Google Multi App Old Street digital OOH
Welcome to our DOOH News for August 2019. This month, we’ve been busy working hard on a brand new campaign for Google, exploring new technology for augmented & mixed reality and much more. Enjoy!
This month… Google owned British Summertime!

Google Multi App EC1

Google extended its “Make the Most of Summer” campaign with a responsive, data-driven digital OOH push, demonstrating how Google is there to help you enjoy the Summer.

In other news…

Want to find out how some of the world’s biggest entertainment brands are using digital OOH to bring their shows to life?

Entertainment Digital OOH

Our Creative Technologist shares a behind-the-scenes look at Mo-Sy’s StarTracker technology for Augmented & Mixed Reality.

Technology for Augmented and Mixed Reality

Here’s our latest showreel, showcasing the creative possibilities of dynamic for digital OOH. Enjoy!

Want to know what campaigns made our Top 5 Dynamic Digital OOH Campaigns?

Google Outside Dynamic DIgital OOH

It was amazing to see our key digital OOH moments highlighted in this piece from Campaign Mag.

Pepsi MAX Augmented Reality digital OOH

Our CCO Dan Dawson gave us a backstage view of Outdoor Cannes Lions 2019, plus a look at Digital’s progress within the category.

cannes outdoor lions

Here’s our tips for successfully rolling out global digital OOH campaigns.

Dufry Global DOOH

We hope you’ve enjoyed our DOOH News for August 2019. If you would like to start receiving our monthly DOOH Newsletters in your mailbox, then please sign up here.

This first appeared in OOH Today on July 10th 2019.

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Officer at Grand Visual, gives a backstage view of Outdoor Cannes Lions 2019, including insight into the jury room, the winners, the USA, plus a look at Digital’s progress in the outdoor category and beyond.

Dan Dawson

It was a great privilege to be the UK creative industry representative on this year’s Outdoor Lions jury.  To work alongside fellow crafters, directors, illustrators, art directors, writers and creatives, from Thailand, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, Chile, Brazil, France and Australia, all previous winners here at Cannes and experts in their field. Some of the most famous advertising work in the world in recent times has gone across our desks… it was an exceptional gig, with exceptional people.

The Judging

The entire process was incredible, inspiring, challenging and arduous in equal measure. Together, we looked at every single one of the 2,389 entries in Outdoor this year. The categories and criteria were studied each time, evaluating entries not just on creative concept, but on craft, rationale and against the high benchmarks set by this category in previous years.

We had animated, constructive and fair discussions about the work we were judging, with everyone was given a voice by our highly effective jury president, John Patroulis, Chief Creative Officer of Grey Worldwide. We were encouraged to have creative and craft-driven discussions around the work which ensured we’d covered every angle and every juror until the voting tablets kicked in.

John promoted more creative discussion before finalizing our shortlisted campaigns, and I think the Lions we awarded were the better for it. The result of that diligence was challenging time-wise, working late into the night searching for the golds, silvers and bronzes. But it ensured we gave all the entries the respect they deserved.

Outdoor Cannes Lions Nike 2019
The Winners

Outdoor is one of the few Lions where the jury can award not one but two Grand Prix if they wish. The thought being that it’s frightfully hard to compare a ‘simple’ billboard to an ambient /immersive /interactive/ special build / technologically driven campaign execution.

However, this year’s sole Outdoor Grand Prix transcended both categories. Created by WK Portland, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” featuring Colin Kaepernick, originated from a tweet by Nike, that went on to become a Billboard for maximum impact. That impact was a thunderclap that pushed all other media to cover the story.

Post-awarding, the jurors were still swapping stories about where they’d first seen or heard about the campaign. For some, they had seen the billboard on social before the social post itself. For others, they’d heard the story on the radio or seen it in the news. For me, that’s the real power of Outdoor. Impact. Audience. Moment. Message. The brand story became real when it went Outdoor.

In fact, I’d go further. The Grand Prix was a ‘Dynamic’ campaign. It used insight and data to decide on where the media was placed. It was placed in reaction to an online audience’s appetite for the message, it was reactive to a moment in time, a culturally sensitive moment in a country where the conversation on the subject was waning. It used this contextually relevant subject to convey Nike’s all-important brand message… To Dream Crazy…

Get ‘Outdoor’ in the USA

The US market was rich in this category as always. With two-thirds of the top awards heading back across to the shelves of US agencies. There were some huge budget campaigns whose activations spanned traditional, digital, and ambient outdoor categories. There was excellent and well-publicized work from Skittles, Dominoes, and Adidas, that had it not been for Nike’s thunderclap would have been fighting it out for the Grand Prix.

Digital Out of Home

In 2018, Cannes’ Outdoor awards program underwent a complete overhaul. I was part of the committee that helped rewrite the Outdoor Lions categories to ensure Digital became more a more ubiquitous part of the program, mimicking what we are actually seeing on the ground.

It’s great to see this has been embraced by the entrants, with both winning entries showcasing their work on DOOH screens around the world as part of the media placements, and as hero shots for their campaigns. I was impressed by both Nike and Adidas’s winning entries, traditional campaigns that used digital to add context and convey the message, proving that digital billboards have become part of the fabric of OOH.

In fact, I saw some great DOOH work at Cannes in alternative award categories. Notable examples included Volvo’s “Competitors’ Sale”, a DOOH push which used contextualized creative to help motorists sell their existing vehicles, to buy a Volvo XC60, genius. Netflix’s Censors Cut, used DOOH in Thailand in response to market and cultural conditions around content censorship, and XBOX’s “Football Decoded” did well at the festival – dynamic, data-driven, and contextually relevant. Outdoor at it’s very best, but for some reason, this work did not make it into the Outdoor category.

cannes outdoor lions

The Upshot

A really impactful billboard or poster is understood in a matter of seconds, milliseconds even – heck if it’s not then it’s not doing its job. The judging process is similar – but the static creative served straight-up. For an ambient entry, setting the scene, showcasing the activation, understanding the concept and how it was received can take more time. The greater the immersion, the greater the need for a jury to understand its impact.

It’s an interesting task and it’s difficult. Rather than just submitting your poster or billboard, ambient entries need to convey their story in the form of a ‘case study film’, with more time given to process. The quality and craft of the case study film is therefore paramount, it can make or break your quest for a Lion.

Although this year’s Outdoor Grand Prix was awarded in the traditional billboard and poster category, and the work entered into digital specific categories was a little underwhelming, I don’t think this is a fair reflection of the current creative climate. Great work is taking place across the global digital OOH landscape. It’s just that those standout examples did not make it into this year’s Outdoor Lions.

So I reiterate here – Outdoor Cannes Lions has embraced Digital in the category awards, and so should you – by submitting your best projects in 2020. Just be sure you communicate the story to the jury with the same level of creativity and craft you applied to the campaign itself. Go watch ANZ’s ‘Signs of Love’ case study video and learn how to give your entry the best chance of winning.

There is a global shift taking place…. Traditional Outdoor is now Out-of-Home, a connected, multi-platform, cross-discipline creative arena. One that is immersive, ambient, dynamic, scalable and interactive. It’s more than ‘just a billboard’ and we’ll know it’s arrived when the largest global festival of creativity calls it so…. ‘Out-of-Home Lions 2020’ anyone?

Dan Dawson CCO, Grand Visual

This first appeared in MarTech Series on 21st February 2019.

Our Chief Creative Technology Officer, Daniel Dawson discusses technological advancements in the Out-of-Home (OOH) industry in 2018 and his predictions for AdTech with MarTech Series.

Daniel Dawson ADtech OOH

Tell us about your role at Grand Visual and the team/technology you handle.

I head up all creative technology projects at Grand Visual and I am lucky to have a diverse team with a broad spectrum of creative, technical and coding backgrounds to work with.

Besides working on our own AdTech platforms and systems, we also explore, implement, and hone a whole range of innovative engagement techniques such as Augmented Reality, Touch & Gesture, Face Tracking, Video, and Mobile to drive interactions. Engaging stories allow consumers to change or personalize experiences in various ways, creating greater brand recall and changing consumer behaviours. 

What were the most significant technological advancements in the Out-of-Home industry in 2018?

There have been some high-profile advancements in the testing of programmatic platforms for automated media trading. A significant and necessary step forward for the industry, in terms of connecting real programmatic media to programmatic creative — the holy grail.

Google Maps DOOH 2019

What are your predictions on the state of AdTech in 2019?

AdTech systems are already changing the way brands plan, book and use the Out-of-Home medium. OOH specialists have begun to buy a sustained presence across the year for heavy OOH users such as McDonald’sCoca Cola and Google, with these brand’s implementing a longer-term intelligent planning approach across their brand and product portfolios. In 2019, these backend AdTech systems will make huge steps in terms of their interoperability. This will see improvements across inventory management, transactional exchanges, data management, creative logistics, creative optimization and, of course, reporting, all areas for systemization. Consolidation of networks, agreement on standards, and system integration will show Digital Out-of-Home gearing up to be a real force this year.

How would the AdTech industry further grow with the maturity of data science and analytics?

In the Digital OOH (DOOH) space, we are rich in data. While data aggregation and uniformity is still a challenge, especially with some campaigns using up to 15 separate data feeds, we have the benefit of permanent screen technology and can, therefore, build a data picture of the location, the changing conditions, and audiences. Audience insights boost our ability to make advertising creatives contextual and relevant, and more impactful. It also enables targeted Out-of-Home ad buys, which are only activated when the conditions are right, leading to improvements in audience targeting efficiency.

Real-time campaign reporting from third-party verification platforms such as PlayTrack also offers advertisers the ability to assess campaign success and optimize creative on the go. This level of transparency and accountability is crucial for the programmatic future of Digital OOH. Further down the line again — increased data sharing through the blockchain will fuel omnichannel and omniscreen campaigns with much smarter cross-platform audience planning. With more electronic devices in everyone’s pockets, connected, cross-platform digital platforms campaigns will become a programmatic reality.

Spotify 2018 Wrapped Digital OOH

Tell us more about QDOT.

QDOT is an AdTech business designed to facilitate smart, scalable campaign management for digital OOH. These digital-asset management tools were originally developed and used as in-house processes, for Grand visual clients. But as the market grew and evolved to become a flexible, tactical, and real-time platform, just like other digital mediums, Out-of-Home required the infrastructure and creative toolkits to handle the growing volume of creative. That’s why we launched QDOT and opened up our platforms and services to the entire market.

To deliver Spotify’s Wrapped campaign, for example, over 7,640 personalized playlists were shared globally. OpenLoop, the smart campaign management platform from QDOT, allowed users to submit their personalized Wrapped stats and see them published on iconic digital billboards around the world. OpenLoop ingested the data and automated the delivery just moments later. Before OpenLoop, campaigns like this would have been a logistical nightmare. It’s about providing ease of use and driving creativity.

How did you prepare for the execution of the ‘Wrapped’ campaign?

Spotify sent us a version of their data schema and a mock-up of the creative. We tested the schema across our platforms and suggested refinements. Our software is very versatile and is able to ingest feeds to match them against physical locations and media plans. Pairing this with our creative and content development made the whole process very smooth for us and the client.

McDonald's McWeather Digital OOH

At Grand Visual, how do you combine creative technology with data? Could you lead us through your data analytics operations before launching any DOOH/OTT campaigns?

Data crafting is part of what we do. We evaluate all the sources of data that are available and decide how and what to use in order to enhance the brand story and bring the campaign to life. It’s not about using data and technology for the sake of it, we approach data carefully with the brand story always at the heart of what we do. It’s rule-based and creative-driven data science.

How do you prepare for an AI-focused world? Which technologies are you most keen to learn more about?

Grand Visual’s job is to craft creative stories based on the data sources available. So, we’re interested in Machine Learning algorithms and Predictive Analytics based on historical data. Both on a media buying level as well as content creation. If we can predict consumer behaviour — we can base messages on real-world outcomes.

Unified programmatic planning and creative optimization is the end goal, where Planning, Buying, Distribution, Playback, and Reporting are programmatically achieved using real-time audience information and data insight to drive the decision-making process. So. right now creating standards, is a core challenge for the industry. Globally agreed standards for independent 3rd-party verification of advertising play-outs (down to a panel and individual play level), will support the growth of the digital OOH market globally. Making it easier to run digital campaigns at scale across all DOOH channels.