Google Pixel Digital OOH

This first appeared in Digital Signage Today on March 29th 2019.

Ric Albert, Creative Director at Grand Visual shares 3 ways to bring digital OOH creative to life.

OOH continues to outpace other traditional advertising, fuelled by fast growth in DOOH revenue which is expected to continue at a rate of 10% per annum, globally, until 2021. In the UK, digital now accounts for an impressive 50% of total OOH spend, and other markets across Europe and APAC are on a similar trajectory, with the U.S. now also at almost a third. Globally, 2019 is shaping up well for DOOH.

Creatively, for me, it is the sheer size, impact, and ubiquity, of digital screens in cities around the world that make it an exciting canvas to work with. Full motion creative is a game changer when it comes to crafting engaging stories for out of home audiences. Study after study has revealed that motion delivers more impressions, for longer, and drives ROI.

The effect of good quality creative on the medium itself also enhances the value of that media. However, I was dismayed to learn recently from one of the U.K.’s largest media owners, that just 10% of the creative delivered to their full-motion digital portfolio is animated. I’ve been scratching my head ever since.

Can it be budget constraints? Are advertisers overwhelmed by the diversity of formats, locations, and technologies that make up the DOOH landscape? Plus with so much discussion focused on what the medium can do now, and in the near future, as a programmatically enabled, blockchain assisted platform, it is easy to see how some are finding the endless possibilities daunting.

So to all those advertisers who are still unsure about how to approach the medium, or are still using DOOH as an extension of their standard print or static outdoor work – here is a back to basics guide for crafting good quality, full motion DOOH creative. Based on three simple fail-safe tips that won’t break the bank.

1. Add motion

Generate creative that works harder. I’m talking motion. Motion, motion, motion! It attracts the eye, it helps to tell a story, it delivers drama and emotion. It brings a totally new dimension. It delivers cut through. It’s the absolute must-have for visual communication. It seems so obvious and yet we still see so much DOOH advertising that is static.

If your formats have it, use it! The power of motion helps an ad come to life. Sometimes, it doesn’t need much — a sprinkle of animation can elevate the creative into something memorable. Take advantage of the video content that may exist. Seek out the TV spot or trailer. It will have shots in it that bring a depth and richness to the DOOH creative.

Digital isn’t just pixels instead of paper, it gives us the opportunity to do more. We should be harnessing the potential of DOOH and stop using it as just another delivery file. It’s all about creative impact. And sometimes, a JPEG just isn’t that impactful! We can easily push beyond traditional print with animation, videos, live and updatable content.

2. Timing is everything

Dufry International Take Something Home Digital OOH

Be mindful of your environment and duration. All signs point to shorter sharper messaging being the way to go, but depending on the environment and duration of the digital screens you are using and what you’re trying to accomplish — longer form copy can work too.

Consider the difference between a five, a ten and a 20-second execution. Are you giving yourself enough time to establish your brand and message? Are you using the full duration of the execution wisely? Are you putting appropriate creative into different environments? Is there the potential to deliver multiple brand messages?

DOOH allows us to build a layered and nuanced piece of communication. Delivering a complex message or a last-minute offer is something that DOOH is great at. For example, in a ten-second piece, the creative can start with a call to action, proceed to the offer and finish with establishing the brand proposition. Separating these messages into bite-size pieces allows the audience to take in each element without being overloaded. It’s digestible and impactful and works for the dwell time.

Intelligent scheduling can make all the difference. Create something for the morning commute and another message for the evening. Or communicate with your weekend audience in a different way from the midweek crowd. Subtle changes in copy can build real depth to your campaign.

3. Be contextual

Digital OOH is a connected media. We are already serving creative that adapts to real-time feeds, such as weather, traffic flow, and social media trends. The infrastructure is in place so it makes sense to get the media working hard with useful and relevant messaging that can change and evolve during the course of a campaign.

Now, campaigns can adapt and respond to conditions and real-world events, or feature last minute deals that push different products to different audiences at different times in the day. By harnessing the context effect, brands can achieve cut through and turbocharge the relevance, and effectiveness of their advertising messages.

So the challenge is on for 2019 for all of us to ditch the JPEG. To be creative. All of the time. It doesn’t have to eat up your budget, it just has to move. Let’s ditch the JPEG and get the creative working harder. Let’s maximize the potential of the medium, use the full canvas, duration, and be relevant, and contextual. Let’s capitalize on the unique creative opportunity that DOOH provides for brands and audiences alike.

Spider-verse times square augmented reality digital ooh

This first appeared in Broadsign on 28th February 2019.

Ric Albert, Creative Director at Grand Visual discusses the recipe for a great digital OOH campaign.

“Tell an amazing story.”

To get people engaged, and to give your campaign another life, a solid story is a must. This is how a piece of digital out-of-home content goes from a simple advertisement to having a true impact on people’s lives.

Ric took part in our Broadsign Summit Creative Panel this year at ISE, along with Keith Nilsen from voodooh, and Oskar Op de Beke from Kinetic Worldwide, to chat about how creativity and dynamic content are the building blocks of a successful digital OOH campaign. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to watch the panel, and check out our Q&A with Ric below, where we pick his brain to see why he thinks is a creative DOOH campaign is important for brands to tell their stories.

Why should a brand add digital OOH to their marketing mix?

Digital out-of-home has a different type of reach than any other medium at the moment. With digital signage, we’re able to create real-life experiences and interactions that aren’t quite possible in the world of print and online. OOH can evoke emotions and can add contextuality and relevancy, much of which is lost with other channels.

Digital out-of-home is still a fairly new medium and is showing impressive growth. It’s less saturated than other media channels and has yet to encounter the same ad-blindness and scroll-past effect that online channels are currently struggling with. Out-of-home is a great tool to cut through ad clutter and is a smart addition to a multi-channel campaign.

What is the recipe for a great digital out-of-home campaign?

There is one main ingredient for a DOOH campaign to be amazing, and that’s a great creative concept. The technology or anything else involved in the campaign is merely a tool to build a story that will truly engage the audience. They are what helps the story to come to life.

At Grand Visual, we craft stories that lead to a valuable end-experience for the user, and that’s whether we’re working on a campaign for a few people walking by or a group of people gathered in Times Square. No matter the screen, the goal is to create something that the audience wants to interact with.

We often see digital OOH campaigns that are too focused on the tech aspect, not really thinking about how the creative concept will fit in. For a campaign to be a success, you need to first consider the story that needs to be told. Then you need to think of how technology will bring you there.

Now once you have your story settled, another ingredient necessary for a successful campaign is a collaboration between all different media partners. This can be a large list, from screen media owners to in-house creative agencies to developers, so it is important to select partners that are all aligned with the campaign vision.

The best campaigns are those where you don’t necessarily notice how it’s built or why it’s built – they just leave you with a smooth, creative and interactive campaign. And if you have a campaign that engages people, you’ve done what you needed to do.

How do brands determine the goal of their digital out-of-home campaign?

As with any channel that doesn’t provide a clickable link, having purely quantitative numerical results can be a bit difficult with digital out-of-home. While the launch of a campaign can definitely be correlated to values like sales uplift, an increase in store foot traffic or website visits, it’s also important to have goals based on how successful the campaign was at storytelling or audience engagement.

As one of the media channels showing the most growth, brands clearly understand the value digital out-of-home brings. With its reach and storytelling potential, DOOH is particularly strong for brand awareness and retention campaigns.

Of course, campaign goals have an impact on the type of story you want to tell with a DOOH campaign. Do you want to use your DOOH campaign to create social media buzz? Do you want participants to interact with the screen in the moment? Do you want to amplify a multi-channel campaign? These will all influence the storytelling approach you take.

The main thing brands need to do here is work closely with their DOOH creative agency or team to determine the appropriate messaging for their needs. DOOH is definitely not one size fits all and each campaign should be unique in its strategy and resulting campaign creative.

How does digital out-of-home work in a multichannel campaign?

What’s interesting about digital OOH is that it can be a bit of a chicken and the egg situation. Which comes first? A great DOOH campaign that gets shared on social media or makes the news? Or a cool social campaign that drives dynamic DOOH content?

At Grand Visual, we’ve worked on campaigns from both of these angles. Whether we’re creating an original piece for digital out-of-home, or working with existing content from TV or online, the key here is to make sure messaging is consistent across all channels, but at the same time tailoring it for DOOH.

What are some of your favourite digital out-of-home campaigns?

I love campaigns that can evoke a reaction or some sort of emotion. As an industry, we should collaborate and celebrate everyone who pushes the creative limits of the medium, from media owners to tech platforms to creative agencies.

One of my favourite campaigns in the last year was by Spotify. The campaign was dynamic, clever and used user-generated data. They were able to create a story that was completely localized in each country and delivered to digital OOH screens around the world ensuring a global impact.

I also loved the campaign for Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse, where visitors at Times Square were able to transport themselves into the movie’s animation style in real-time. There’s something so exciting about thousands of people interacting with a campaign. An advertisement that really becomes part of someone’s life is one that truly has strength.