Google Data-Driven Digital OOH
Google extended its “Make the Most of Summer” campaign with a responsive, data-driven, nationwide, digital OOH push that demonstrates the little ways in which Google is there to help you enjoy the summer.

The campaign showcases Google’s Search functionality with popular city-wide summer search terms, such as ‘Best ice cream in Glasgow,’ or ‘Parks near me,’ for example.

Full motion sites across London, Manchester, and Birmingham, also list the results for search terms, including star ratings, opening times, and map directions with creative also reacting to time of day and local weather conditions, to provide the most relevant creative in the moment.

At Old Street EC1, Google’s long-term digital holding in London, creative features additional location-specific, weather, time, day, and temperature triggers, and also taps into cultural events such as The Ashes, to contextualise creative during the campaign.

Google Data-Driven Digital OOH

Created by 72andSunny Amsterdam, and produced by Grand Visual, the campaign was planned and booked by OMD and Talon and runs across transit, retail and city-centre locations until the 25th of August, with an extended run at Old Street roundabout.

Dynamic creative is delivered via OpenLoop, the Dynamic Creative Optimisation ad server from ad tech specialist QDOT.

Graham Bednash, Director of Consumer Marketing at Google UK, said: “There’s something unique about the British interest in the weather and the way we react to summer. We love the way this campaign really captures that and shows how Google Search and Maps can help people make the most of it.”


“Dynamic campaigns of this scale are archetypical of where the OOH market is headed following years of digitisation and investment. It’s awesome to see Google marketing continuing to lead and believe in the DOOH space with an epic campaign that is tactical, reactive and responsive.” Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Officer.

This article first appeared on OOH Today on 29th May 2018.

Our Chief Creative and Technology Officer, Dan Dawson, and Jon Conway, the Chief Strategy Officer from Talon sat down after their panel session at the GO2018 OOH Conference and discussed their highlights from the Texas event.

Both OOH experts were part of a panel which explored data-driven creativity, here are their thoughts…

Why were you there?

Dan Dawson: Grand Visual has been attending the OAAA/Geopath conference since we opened our New York office in 2014. There is no other event like it for bringing together all the stakeholders from across the OOH landscape for some great knowledge sharing, debate, and networking.

Jon Conway: We recently opened Talon New York, our first office outside of the UK. The conference felt like the ideal opportunity to see the US industry up close and under one roof. Talon has established itself as a leading out-of-home agency in the UK, but the US is in a league of its own in terms of scale and opportunity and it was so valuable to hear from the major players and understand more about the issues keeping them up at night.

data-driven creativity talon grand visual digital OOH

What was your #GO2018 conference highlight?

Dan Dawson: For me, the highlight was Nancy Fletcher’s keynote. Whilst summarizing the successes, the phenomenal rate of change and the growth potential of the industry, Nancy then got to the heart of the matter, with a rallying call for more meaningful industry collaboration between vendors, owners, agencies and specialists. It’s no longer ‘speculate to accumulate’, but ‘collaborate to innovate and innovate to accumulate’. For me, that really is the crux of it. All the best work we’ve produced over the years has come out of a cohesive, close-knit, multi-agency relationship, where all parties are collaborating from the start. Another highlight was the social side, meeting and catching up with industry friends, sharing OOH stories, and indulging in Austin’s finest Salt Lick BBQ, possibly the best #AustinBBQ ever… #Ribs #Beer #Repeat.

Jon Conway: I thought the whole event was impressive and the high production values created an atmosphere where people felt proud to be part of the industry. I found Geopath President Kym Frank’s keynote on the evolution of OOH measurement powerful. I believe this is a critical issue for the industry today. As Kym said, advertisers are demanding independent measurement and they do not want to transact media based on a currency generated by an agency or publisher. The work that Geopath is doing to refine audience measurement and provide a trusted, universal currency addresses advertisers’ needs will help the industry to thrive.

What was your conference breakout session about?

Dan Dawson: The focus of our session was ‘Right Audience, Right Moment and Right Message.’ 3 simple rules that we believe makes an effective digital OOH campaign… but in essence, they are the foundation of any OOH campaign.

Jon Conway: The growth of digital inventory has been a catalyst for creativity and effectiveness. But it is not just about digital screens, it’s also the signals we use to understand audiences and locations and the intelligent technologies used to build and deliver campaigns that respond to those signals. Speaking about this in terms of audience, moment and message makes sense, because thinking about media and creative together produces better advertising.

Dan Dawson: Good point Jon – That digital inventory is now supported by adtech platforms and workflows that allow creative to react and change during the course of a campaign. Dynamic creative, joins the dots between data-driven media planning and the mindset of a consumer at a given time, in a given place. That is powerful.

You two guys are based in the UK, what do you see as the biggest difference between our OOH markets?

Dan Dawson: The main differences are size and agility, and yes the two are linked. The UK is geographically the size of Michigan with a population around the size of California and Texas combined. The total UK OOH market is worth $1.5b (10% share of national ad spend), 47% of that is now coming from digital OOH. In the US OOH is a phenomenal $7b market [around 13% DOOH] contributing to 4.1% of the overall national ad spend. In the UK, most of the national OOH campaigns come from London-based agencies. Because of this, the budgets, concepts and innovative work streams can be done in an agile way with local inter-agency collaboration. The US market is more fragmented, which is expected due to the geographical and market size.

But both markets have consistent growth, partly fueled by digital OOH, transforming paper to pixel and opening the digital door to advertisers who want to behave smarter. Technology wise we’re largely the same – The media owners employ similar systems here as in the UK, so coupled with our API the integration for our technology stack has been relatively straightforward.

Jon Conway: There are clear differences in scale and geographical spread of audiences and urban areas, and this impacts the types of campaigns that we can deliver in the UK vs the US. Digitization also seems to have progressed more rapidly in the UK. Well over 50% of Talon’s UK media billings derived from digital campaigns last year. But, looking at the bigger picture, I think there are more similarities than differences. At the conference, we heard how the US market is grappling with the same basic challenge we face in the UK – how to capitalise on OOH’s core strengths and digital transformation to create better advertising and grow revenues. We’re confident that our approach to this challenge can work on both sides of the pond. That’s why we chose to open our first international office in the US.

Hiscox Cyber Live Data-Driven CReativity digital OOH

How can the OOH industry embrace technology to help deliver the right message to the right audience at the right moment in time?

Jon Conway: In a digital world, right audience, right message, right moment becomes more important because we’re confronted with the reality of out-of-home audiences and locations. We see people continually moving around, conditions shifting, and the personality of locations changing from one moment to the next. If we don’t respond by serving relevant ads, there’s an opportunity cost – our campaigns will be less effective at achieving their goals. How do we embrace technology to enable relevant, effective advertising? I think it’s already happening, We see an important part of our role being to manage this complexity and make it easy for advertisers to navigate the landscape and be effective. Being relevant doesn’t need to be complicated and we’ve seen time and again that these campaigns are more successful – delivering higher recall, with the positive brand associations of being useful and relevant, and driving business outcomes.

Google is a case in point. We’ve helped them to deliver world-class out-of-home advertising in the UK for products like the Google App, YouTube and Pixel and through their always-on placement in central London. Advertisers like Google are increasing out-of-home media spend year after year and producing award-winning campaigns. It’s working for them, and for our business, so we think it’s a model that could also help drive growth for the US market.

Dan Dawson: It’s simple evolution. As Jon says, the technology is helping us to be smarter about audiences and is helping to inform the creative message. By understanding audiences, you can create moments that trigger or update creative messages – crafting stories that are contextually relevant to a given location/time/audience. The OOH industry has always worked hard on its data. In fact, during Kym’s keynote at the conference, there was a very funny clip from the days when media owners would use human captured traffic data to decide where to put a roadside billboard. Today, live and legacy data is used to provide deeper insights into audience frame of mind. Now we’re able to paint a data-driven picture, we’re able to tailor messages accordingly instantly.

As we look to the future what are some tech solutions, concepts or practices that excite you and could elevate DOOH in the US?

Jon Conway: The role of technology in out-of-home – just like any industry – should be to make our work easier to produce whilst delivering better outcomes for our clients. What excites me, and what I believe can elevate out-of-home, is integrated digital and out-of-home operations. That’s about teams of people with the right mix of expertise, working together to deliver campaigns with consistent audience data and reporting. We absolutely see a future in which our people will be fully embedded in client and agency teams. They’ll work side-by-side with digital buyers and they’ll use complementary technologies to manage out-of-home alongside online investments. Some of that technology will be designed specifically for out-of-home audiences and locations, that’s a big part of what we’re focused on at Talon.

Dan Dawson: For me, it’s practices, not tech. I think the technology stack is there, now it is just about connecting them. We are on our way to realizing exponential growth, as systems become further connected with a programmatic OOH future not too far away. Opening up to online DSPs is an obvious way to encourage new money into OOH. But to sustain that revenue, the ad placements must prove to be effective, with the correct message and transparent, robust and agnostic reporting. That is where display and OOH differ in terms of system, so for OOH it highlights the need for specialist knowledge and tools.

We must all embrace change, technology, and collaboration. However, we have to remember that it’s the humans in our industry that will make this happen…. not the machines. I see the growth in OOH and digital OOH being designed by humans, driven by data and delivered by machine…. Creating efficiency at every step.

McDonald’s has today launched Traffic Busters, a unique roadside campaign that uses traffic data to automate contextual messages, aimed at tempting drivers to visit their nearest McDonald’s restaurant. The nationwide campaign reacts to the speed of traffic at each location to deliver tactical messages across premium roadside billboards from 6 th –15 th November.

Created by Leo Burnett and produced by Grand Visual, the campaign features tantalising shots of McDonald’s most well-loved burgers, fries and shakes, but when congestion levels rise, and traffic slows, the creative switches to display the brands iconic illuminated golden arches with the simple, relevant, call to action: “Stuck in a jam? There’s a light at the end of the tunnel”.

The media was planned and booked by OMD and Talon and spans multiple screen formats across 10 key cities and spanning 7 different media owners. The dynamic campaign is managed and distributed through QDOT’s digital OOH ad tech platform OpenLoop. OpenLoop analyses real-time data from Google Traffic API and triggers the relevant geo-targeted playout of content to each roadside location.

Katie Parker, Head of Marketing, at McDonald’s, said:

“This data-driven digital OOH campaign uses traffic speed to contextualise copy, reaching drivers with targeted and tactical messages that tap into their mindset in that moment.”

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

“This tactical campaign is a great use of the medium. Simple, tantalising, recognisable product shots stimulate the appetite during fast flowing traffic, whilst longer contextual copy lines run during heavy, slow moving traffic, acknowledging the delays to deliver a relevant and powerful call to action.”

Helen Saffer, Business Director at Talon commented:

This campaign is the perfect example of Talon’s smarter as standard approach to planning, fitting seamlessly with how the client and agency want to use media and push the boundaries. Using relevant data we hand selected key sites on the busiest roads in the UK. Through smart use of data we have used Digital OOH to the best of its capabilities to ensure a contextual, striking and relevant message for consumers.

Google is launching a tactical, data-driven digital OOH campaign to promote its second-generation smartphone, Pixel 2. The campaign uses location, audience, traffic, and moment specific data, to run contextual messaging across road, transit, and retail locations in a nationwide push from 6th November – 18th December, followed by a Christmas specific push which runs through to 31st December.

Created by BBH and produced by Grand Visual, the campaign highlights 5 key features of the new Google Pixel 2; Assistant, Lens, Storage, Battery, and Camera. The campaign brings each feature to life by responding to conditions at each location to trigger the most appropriate feature in that moment and to contextualise creative at a city and even fashion, food or nightlife hub. The campaign also takes into account, traffic delays, time of day and key dates such as Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve to provide relevance in its messaging.

On Friday night, for example, digital billboards close to nightlife hotspots could ask “Did my nightlife just get brighter?” whilst displaying the Pixel 2 with low-light camera. Alternatively, heavy traffic at roadside and transit locations could trigger creative for Google Assistant and query “Could it win me points for punctuality?” with an image of someone running for transport. All photo imagery used in the campaign was shot on a Pixel 2 and taken by fashion and food influencers.

On London bus lines, digital, geo-targeted side panels will display messages such as “Pixel 2, now at an EE store in Hackney” will display and adjust depending on the neighborhood or particular landmark the bus is passing.

The media was planned and booked by OMD and Talon and spans 8 cities and 7 different media owner inventories. To enhance the contextual relevancy of the campaign, artwork is dynamically triggered through OpenLoop which integrates traffic, rail, time of day, and location data, and automates the delivery of specific creative when predefined conditions are met.

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

“Using data to inform digital OOH creative keeps messages targeted and useful throughout the consumer journey. By exploiting the context effect, Google has created a compelling call to action that is aligned with the consumer mindset.”

The award-winning production and creative technology company, Grand Visual, has produced a smart, data-driven digital OOH campaign for Audi UK to enhance the brand’s agility in the digital space and increase awareness of the advanced intelligent technologies available in their latest models. The campaign runs across premium roadside screens on a nationwide scale from 16th October – 29th October.

Created by BBH and produced by Grand Visual, the campaign will bring the latest assistance technologies to life using traffic, time and weather data to trigger content that is contextually relevant at each location. For example, when the traffic is heavy, the creative will alert drivers to the ‘Pre-Sense’ feature; Audi’s in-built technology package for predictive safety. During adverse weather, creative will change to feature ‘quattro-on-demand’; Audi’s renowned all-wheel drive technology which brings safety, sportiness and performance to driving – ideal for rain, snow or hail conditions. The hero concept of “Audi as your sixth sense” will also feature.

The dynamic campaign is managed and distributed through digital OOH ad tech platform OpenLoop, which analyses Transport API’s and weather data and triggers the relevant creative for each roadside location. The media was planned and booked by Omnicom Media Group’s PHD and Talon and spans 211 screens, across 9 key cities.

Benjamin Braun, Head of Marketing, Audi UK, said:

“This is the first data-driven digital OOH campaign we have launched on a national scale. By using data to contextualise copy, we can reach drivers with targeted and tactical advertising messages that are relevant throughout the day, tapping into the driver’s mindset in the moment. That is powerful.”

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

“This campaign is a great fit for a brand that continues to be at the forefront of vehicle intelligence technology. Thanks to pioneering brands like Audi, data innovation in OOH is really beginning to take off. Data and technology coming together to complement idea-led communication and become the new creative standard.”

Ria Bradley, Client Director at Talon, said:

“This is a great example of how we can integrate developing technology for a progressive client into contextually relevant media, amplified on over 200 screens in five Out of Home formats throughout the UK.”

*Article first appeared on Exchange Wire 21st November, 2016

In the last ten days I’ve travelled extensively by plane, train, automobile and bike. I’ve been to four states, on both coasts, and encountered thousands of adverts. These ads were not viewed on my laptop thanks to an ad blocker, nor on my phone where I run very few free apps, and I didn’t see them on TV thanks to the fast forward button on my DVR.

What I’ve seen are thousands of Out of Home (OOH) ads both print and digital. This may not surprise you given that the US is the world’s largest OOH advertising market, by revenue. Impressive digital OOH (DOOH) growth continues to buoy the sector and is set to capture 53% of total US OOH ad spend by 2018, according to eMarketer.

But, as I travelled about, I got a nagging sense that the creative evolution of the medium has not kept apace with the technological advancements, and that brands are not making the most of the mediums fully expanded digital feature set now on offer.

NYC – the Digital Theatre
Back in New York City, my home for the last three years, the pace of change across the DOOH landscape is breathtaking. Driven by significant investment in the realm of nine figures, NYC is by far the most valuable OOH market in the US. Its population density and extensive public transport network, make it an atypical American city, and the scale of investment going into the city’s DOOH architecture is a testament to this.

The opportunity to turn the whole of Manhattan into a digital theatre, where a brand can tell it’s story, will soon be the biggest and best opportunity in the world. Consider what’s already there; The New York City Subway is at the forefront of the US’ transition to DOOH formats. Screens are ubiquitous across the networks platforms and stations, providing essential customer information and offering high value display advertising.

The Westfield World Trade Center recently opened with a single screen that’s over 280 feet long in addition to the rest of their downtown “DOOH District”. Intersection’s LinkNYC has new kiosks popping up everyday and with free Wi-Fi usage now surpassing 576,000 people, and still growing. Outfront have their Hudson Yard network, JCDecaux are adding more digital transit shelters to their network and other large format displays are constantly appearing.

The digital inventory is there, as well as addressability through platforms such as OpenLoop. When you combine this with the additional plug-in features such as WIFI, multi-screen synchronization, full motion, geofencing, mobile and social integration, live feeds, closed networks, and multiple attribution methods, it is clear the advertiser has a huge choice before them.

Embrace the Technology
Going beyond DOOH’s impressive broadcast capability, the infrastructure is now there to facilitate smarter more intelligent communication. It’s a much richer canvas on which to tell brands stories. Dynamic, interactive, and data-driven campaigns, reflecting real-world events in real-life environments are now possible. For advertisers looking to make a splash in NYC, it means you can connect with consumers via multiple formats, touchpoints and technologies during the course of their day.

As data becomes increasingly important there is a real opportunity to harness the ‘Context Effect’, where dynamic and locally relevant conditions can inform and drive content and supercharge campaign effectiveness. With its public, high-impact presence, DOOH is perfect for Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) and the medium deserves a fresh and engaging creative approach that resonates with context and audience mindset.

Programmatically informed creative is already making in-roads in the US. Earlier this year Amazon launched a people-powered DOOH campaign for Catastrophe, inviting the public to tweet in their favourite themes from the series, like #Sex or #Romance. A live poll mechanism then delivered trailers tailored to audience preference, continually adapting and changing over the course of the campaign according to audience interests.

Google Play Music took this a step further when it delivered the first programmatically informed DOOH campaign to span four States and multiple media vendors. The initiative saw premium roadside and city centre screens behaving in a similar way to the music app – offering perfect soundtracks based on the consumer’s mind-set in that moment.

The campaign used multiple triggers including real-time traffic data, weather, location and time of day and OpenLoop delivered the contextually relevant playlists. Suggestions included Classic Rock Wake Up Call during the hectic morning rush-hour in Chicago, The Overcast Feeling on a cloudy day, or Hot Miami Nights: Latin House on a clear Friday night in the sunshine state.

Whilst it’s not surprising that heavy weight digital brands like Google and Amazon are leading the way with smarter dynamically optimised DOOH campaigns, the same benefits can be leveraged by any brand. The scale of investments being made in DOOH infrastructure in NYC mean that this is not a medium for only the brave; the risks are low and the rewards are high. Now is the time to embrace the technology and the burgeoning opportunities that make DOOH such an exciting space to work in.

The Brave New Advertiser
DOOH has the potential to play an integral role in NYC’s modern, WIFI enabled “smart city” infrastructure. But, navigating this increasingly complex landscape, and making it all work together with brilliant creative is an artform in itself. Whilst landmark campaigns from Google Play and Amazon will help to spur the market on to thinking more about DOOH as a smart, real time, data driven medium, at present, DCO campaigns remain the exception rather than the rule.

It’s time to tear up the traditional outdoor creative handbook and embrace the brave new world of DOOH – it’s a new way of thinking. Creative agencies are best placed to drive the growth and adoption of this brave new world of DOOH, alongside production specialists and media owners who can provide the insight and know-how to handle the nuances of the medium.

One of the first important steps is prioritising your data strategy over your creative one. From a creative perspective, we can access an enormous amount of data to contextualise copy. There’s location data, 3rd party data and brand owned data including pricing, stock levels, retail stores. Through these layers of data, we can exploit the ‘Context Effect’ – providing dynamic, data-driven and locally relevant information.

To realise DOOH’s true creative potential the industry needs to adopt a new cohesive approach to working – based on a frequent interface between agencies, production house and media owners. More broadly, the market needs to attract those from a digital background, whose expertise will help to boost new creative ways of working. The most successful projects feature true collaboration with all stakeholders working together.

Looking ahead to 2017
Digital OOH, plays a key role in creating exciting, modern and memorable cityscapes. Nowhere is this more visible than in NYC, where the medium continues to evolve at breakneck speed with a sophisticated, world-leading DOOH infrastructure in place.

Now is the time to make NYC a leading light for creative excellence. To do this we must embrace a new collaborative way of working, and we must challenge every brief response with smart digital enhancements. Only then can we drive creative standards and help spur the medium onto a more dynamic reactive, and relevant future – a future which will see the city’s agencies topping the leaderboards of outdoor advertising award programmes around the world.