google digital ooh old street
Google extended its “Make Google Do It” campaign, with a clever UK-wide digital OOH push.

The campaign demonstrates how Google Assistant can help with a variety of everyday tasks. The activity runs across transit, retail and city-centre locations until 8th July, Old Street roundabout has an extended run which lasts until 3rd August.

google digital ooh old street

The ‘Make Google Do It’ digital OOH creative uses two creative threads. The first features the Google Home Mini and highlights the versatility of Google Assistant, its main product, by demonstrating how it can help to “Play it. Skip it. Time it. Dial it. Forecast it. Remember it. Schedule it. Prep it. Do it.”

The second creative thread demonstrates Google Assistant’s ability to help with everyday tasks in a Q&A style activation at Old Street Roundabout. Here copy is linked to time, day, location, and major cultural events such as the World Cup, Wimbledon, and Pride London. Additionally, it pulls in local and contextual information such as “Feeling hungry Old Street? or “Can’t find the mythical Shoreditch cash points?” to highlight Google Assistant’s ability to provide location-based relevance.

Created by R/GA London and Google UK, Grand Visual was responsible for the production & delivery whilst media planning & buying was taken care of by Talon and OMD. The digital OOH campaign is part of a broader integrated global campaign that is running across cinema, TV, out-of-home, press, display and social media.

Meg Ledger, Client Manager, Talon said:

“OOH was the perfect channel to communicate how Google Assistant can be your playful sidekick throughout the day. Working collaboratively with Grand Visual, Google, OMDUK and R/GA we were able to maximize the effect of OOH by deploying clever contextual creative assets to tap into a relevant frame of mind for busy on the go audiences”

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

“This campaign took over 100 pieces of copy to deliver. By using smart scheduling, Google has created a fresh, timely and engaging campaign that reaches a mass audience and demonstrates just how far the medium has come.”

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.”

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.


Virgin Trains on the east coast is launching an innovative data-driven, dynamic Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) campaign aimed at car drivers to remind them that there is a stress free, fast, viable alternative. The reactive campaign automates messages based on local traffic data, to add relevance and context to messages that will be deployed on premium DOOH roadside inventory in Leeds and Newcastle from the January 30 through to February 12.

In Leeds, the traffic reactive campaign changes based on congestion levels on roads in close proximity to each digital billboard site and provides tailored, contextually relevant messages aimed at encouraging drivers to consider Virgin Trains’ service. Produced in partnership with Grand Visual and Manning Gottlieb OMD, the dynamic campaign aligns with driver’s mindset in the moment by suggesting commuters should “avoid all this bleeping traffic” when traffic is heavy during the morning rush-hour, for example, followed by the call to action “Leeds to London, 2HRS 14MINS”. Live updates are managed through OpenLoop which analyses Google API’s data and automates the playout and delivery of geo-targeted content to each Media Owner in real time.

The campaign is the result of a collaborative effort between Virgin Trains, client agencies Krow, Manning Gottlieb OMD, Talon, and production outfit Grand Visual, and the media owner’s Ocean Outdoor, City Outdoor and 8 Outdoor. The DOOH activity supports a broader campaign spanning TV, Digital, OOH, Print and Radio.

The initiative represents a new marketing direction for Virgin Trains, as it pushes to innovate it’s marketing communications with intelligent use of data and technology to keep messages targeted and relevant.

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

“Clever use of data and technology amplifies campaign relevance, transforming digital out-of-home advertising networks into real-time marketing platforms. With the right team and a collaborative approach, it’s never been easier to produce engaging and responsive campaigns at an individual screen level ensuring the campaigns remain targeted and relevant.”

Last week, Advertising Week celebrated its 13th Annual gathering in New York City. With over 250 sessions held across nine different venues, it’s safe to say that plenty of different conversations developed throughout the week. Nonetheless, a general sentiment for change was consistent across seminars and workshops… A change that the industry should take in order to grasp what’s needed now, not in the future.

The theme of change was highlighted mainly when it came to the following topics:


Technology is opening the doors for more and more media channels to become digital. In the session “Technology vs Strategy: Who’s Steering the Future?”, Rich Raddon (Co-Founder, ZEFR) said “technology needs to be part of every brand… it empowers it, it super charges it”. Strategic technology decisions are making businesses more competitive and in IBM’s session “Digital Transformation in the Cognitive Era”, Bob Lord (Chief Digital Officer, IBM) explains how his company contributes to this shift, mainly by applying Watson to campaign planning and execution.

Machine learning will get better and better… But it’s important to recognize that agencies and marketers need to go beyond machine capabilities and add a layer of creativity, aiming at closing the gap between the digital and physical world. AR and VR are definitely helping to bridge these two worlds, and beyond this, location technology is raising the bar, transforming smart cities into connected cities.


In the session “The Great Debate: Agencies vs Consultancies”, Mark Barrett (President, Heat) said “the language of business is data and CMOs are increasingly speaking this language”. With all the emergent technologies and access to data, our industry needs to guide brands through what specifically can be measured, its value and how it drives a positive impact for their business. As a result, there’s a need to invest in metrics that measure performance across devices in a more connected way… in the way that it impacts consumers.

We all need to be aware of the fact that not all big data is good data; context is what matters most when connecting with consumers. In the session “Media Meets Creativity (Again, Always, & Forever): The Value of Getting Closer”, Jim Mollica (VP of Digital, Under Armour) points out that we all need to know the difference between data vs insights you can build an idea off of. Data is digested to get insights from which strategy is developed; there is no longer a need for long research processes. But be aware… insights are debatable; be ready to test and repeat. Even if you have access to all the data in the world, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you are looking for on your first try.

Organizational Shifts

With technology and data shaping the world we live in, organizations need to structure themselves in a way that embraces these digital foundations; this is required across the board (creative agencies, media agencies, brands, consultancies, publishers, media owners and partner/vendor teams).

During Droga5’s “Media Meets Creativity” session, Lindsay Nelson (Global Head of Brand Strategy and Marketing, VOX Media) alleges that the current structure is designed to fail; we talk about what should be done, but we are still not adequately integrated… Why? She says “follow the money”; see who is incentivized and how, and you’ll understand why most of these structures are not as flexible as they should be.

The number of times the terms “working in silos” and “lack of transparency” was mentioned throughout the week was astonishing. Put this into perspective… When it comes to technology, trust needs to be handed to the specialists. When it comes to data, if we don’t collaborate, it will sit unused.

It is “the end of marketing as we know it”, said Marie Gulin-Merle (CMO L’Oreal USA) in the session “Building Connected Stories”. She assures we are moving towards “designing experiences”; these experiences are designed by strategically adding layers of content, data and services along the consumer journey. Let’s not forget what our consumers want, it’s still all about them. The brands that are using technology and data to collaboratively identify and engage with consumers in key touch points are winning the game.

So why wait for the future? Let’s make our industry better… now. This was the big takeaway from Advertising Week 2016.

Now in its fourth year, Advertising Week Europe is the event where people from across all areas of advertising come together. At first glance, the four-day agenda can seem daunting but key themes emerged as the week progressed.

Data, Data Everywhere

The topic of Data weaved through many sessions across the week. In a stand out session hosted by iProspect, looking at Data, Creativity, Media & Content, Will Gompertz, Arts Editor, BBC, argued there’s just as much creativity happening in data and math as in advertising and when thinking about data & creativity, context is the differentiator to determine success or failure. Rick Hearst, CEO McGarryBowen, proposed that data should be seen as a tool to be harnessed and as a key element in creative ideation. The panel concluded that by having data infiltrate the advertising ecosystem it will lead to smarter, targeted, more relevant and effective campaigns.

Creative Technology

When it comes to technology, IPG’s “Evolution or Revolution” session highlighted the importance of tech being implemented to support the creative idea and enable you to impact your audience with greater effectiveness. One example given to illustrate the alignment between creative, technology and brand strategy was the Loreal Make-Up Genius App, which provided an innovative creative tech solution, user experience and garnered great results for the brand.

Creativity in a changing ecosystem

Facebook’s session on creativity, “Stop the Scroll”, examined the ‘one size fits all’ approach to creativity. The panel urged the industry to be smarter with creative production, by having all channels baked in at the production phase, to ensure we can deliver the best content & results for our clients. The panel suggested we need to evolve from old practices in order to generate better creative solutions.

Exterion Media’s session was one of the few from the week looking at the role of Outdoor and posed the question “are we making enough of digital creativity in outdoor?”. Alan Brydon from Outsmart argued that we need to communicate more about the creative potential of Digital Outdoor. Further, he urged the industry to move towards personalisation at scale through the use of dynamic creative. It was great to hear Outsmart championing a cause we are also passionate about at GV.

The Exterion session concluded by announcing the winner of their Creative Idol Competition. We were shortlisted with Rapport for our Kung Fu Panda 3 Mobile Game concept for Fox, along with campaigns for Capital FM & Norwegian from Trigger Buzz, Jerrard Wayne and Posterscope. The GV creative team were absolutely thrilled to be announced as winners! A great way to top off a week of thought leadership & creative excellence at Advertising Week Europe.

*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.

A crop of the Playstation - This is for the Players creative – Grand Visual, premier digital out of home production agency

Sony Playstation PS4, official gaming console of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ran a dynamic digital outdoor campaign for ten days in June to coincide with the international football tournament.

Created by Drum, the UK wide digital out of home activity used real-time feeds to power dynamic creative in reaction to the England team’s World Cup game results.

Using the tagline “This is for the players”, creative featured a range of images of Playstation enthusiasts combined with dynamically delivered copy. Appropriate images were selected and copy prepared in response to game results, with the creative being instantly sent to rail, underground and mall digital 6-sheets.

Media was planned and bought by Manning Gottlieb OMD and Talon, with creative provided by Drum. Media owners were Exterion Media and JCDecaux. Digital production was by Grand Visual, and dynamic campaign management was handled by Grand Visual’s campaign management platform, OpenLoop.

Swiss watchmaker Rado is celebrating its brand partnership as Official Timekeeper of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club, London, with a dynamic Digital Out of Home campaign that features live scores and upcoming match details. In a media first, Ocean Outdoor’s Digital Billboard also mimics the British weather, incorporating on-screen downpours when match play is delayed due to rain.

Produced by Grand Visual, the campaign features the official watch – a Rado D-Star 200, displaying the correct time alongside a live scoreboard ticker based on data from the tournament. The dynamic data feed is delivered by OpenLoop and will ensure that the excitement of the tournament is captured and shared with audiences in Westfield London.

The campaign runs on Ocean Outdoor’s Eat Street Screen from 10th to 17th June and was planned and booked by Talon Outdoor.