As a society, we’ve grown up with Out of Home advertising. Whether it was the humble 6sheet with no digital capabilities or the nowdigital landscape that we’ve become accustomed to, OOH has always been a part of our lives. Across various generations, we’ve seen brands such as Coca Cola build their empires through heavily investing in OOH. From paper and paste to the pixels and screens, OOH truly is a proven fame maker. 

Whilst some may argue that the traditional OOH medium isn’t as effective at building fame as online channels; at Talonour Creative Director, Ric Albert and Head of Creative Solutions, Jay Young, think differently. With an incredible portfolio of some of the best in OOH campaigns under their belts, such as BBC’s Dracula, Pepsi MAX and a range of work with Warner Bros, there’s no better people to ask… 

Why is OOH so highly regarded in terms of fame making? 

Ric: “OOH has the ability to connect with the public in ways that other channels simply cannot. Firstly, you have a broad audience to tap into. OOH can take advantage of its environment and therefore its audience’s mindsets, to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.  

Beyond that, the sheer scale of the billboard or screen creates a canvas unlike any other. In a world where most content appears on small screens in front of our faces, being able to put your message out at this size really helps OOH to be a unique proposition for fame making.” 

An amazing example of this was when Warner Bros took over the world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa, to promote its latest movie Wonder Woman 1984. The campaign showcased the movie on the largest digital OOH canvas in the world, at 828 metres high! The video received over 3 million views in 24 hours on Gal Gadot’s Instagram account. 


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A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot)

Jay: “OOH is the perfect stage for brands to perform on. It’s big, it’s un-skippable and it exists in the real world. You can close a newspaper, turn off your phone or fast forward TV, but OOH stands tall regardless and with that comes an overwhelming sense of power and impact.  

You can see a cultural moment blow up on Twitter at 9 am. You‘ll get a reactive ad on DOOH across the country by the time you log off for the day. I still love the Specsavers campaign we ran in reaction to the Moonlight Oscars blunder. We could never have achieved the same impact with static OOH going live days later. 

Combine this with the fact that we can reach 98% of UK adults every week. It’s a fame machine.”

Specsavers Academy Awards Out of Home (OOH) campaign

So, we know why OOH is a “fame machine,” but what does it take to create an impactful campaign that lives beyond the billboard? 

Taking this campaign, featuring K-Pop singer Wooyoung for his birthday on a screen in Times Square as an example; living anywhere else in the world, you wouldn’t have seen it. However, because a fan connected with and shared the campaign on social media, it has now been viewed over 110k times – amplifying the campaign and building fame.

Wooyoung Out of Home (OOH) Campaign in Times Square 

Jay: “As humans, we are ruled by emotions, we don’t just buy products and services, we buy feelings. The most impactful ads make us really feel something! Do something unexpected to get noticed. Use context to optimise your message and use emotion to make the audience feel something. Emotion makes it memorable.” 

Ric: “Can the billboard start a conversation? Can it get people talking or thinking so that the message lives on after the billboard? Creating a campaign that can emotionally engage with the public is key and isn’t always down to the location of the billboard.  

There are some locations such as Times Square that are just iconic and there are some locations that you have to think outside of the box and make it iconic; so that even if the advert is 10m tall or 500 other people are also looking at it, does it speak directly to you. This can be done with messaging, imagery or even just the sentiment behind it.”

What campaign stands out to you as a fame maker for OOH? 

Jay: There are so many campaigns I love for different reasons. The sheer simplicity of the BBC Dracula shadow billboard, the innovation behind Pepsi’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter and the always-on and always awesome ads from McDonald’s. As advertisers, they have all reaped huge rewards from constantly challenging themselves and not settling for cookie-cutter planning. 

For reference, Dracula and Pepsi MAX’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter have received over 15 million views combined and remain two of our most popular OOH campaigns of all time…

Ric: One that comes to mind is Nike’s Dream Crazy campaign with Colin Kaepernick. It won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix and for good reason. Using such a large canvas, and public space to broadcast a bold, daring and important message… It used OOH’s unique abilities to provoke conversation, publicity and make the public think, and feel. It wasn’t putting the product front and centre, but something more important for us all. 

Another example of fame building and amplification online, is when a celebrity themselves, shares their billboard with their followers. Molly Mae Hague, a popular UK based influencer, shared her billboard to her fanbase of over 340k Twitter followers and 5.3m Instagram followers.

Molly Mae Hague in front of her Out of Home (OOH) billboard

Although we’re not inside the head of the celebrity, it’s interesting to understand why they specifically share their billboards rather than various online ads they feature in. So, from your experience, why do you think celebrities share their billboards on social media? 

Ric: We’ve grown up with billboards around us. Long before phone screens, iconic sites like Times Square and Piccadilly Circus captured our imaginations and felt like the biggest screens in the world. So today, with so many screens in our lives, having our face (or work) on DOOH screens – whether small format like D6s or large format city centre ones – still triggers an emotional excitement within us.  

It’s different and it’s not easily doable. You can’t just tweet something and it goes up there. So, fame is still exclusive. It’s just not an arena everyone can participate in! 

Jay: “When brands, or people for that matter, appear on billboards they enter a relatively exclusive club. You, unlike most, have achieved a status that allows you to fill this very public canvas. It’s the “I’ve officially made it” moment. Instagram and other platforms thrive on our societal need to play status games. An image of yourself on a big iconic DOOH screen gives you bonus points for sure!”

Celebrities in front of their Out of Home (OOH) billboards

OOH is a medium that delivers scale and unrivalled creative potential, making it the ultimate ‘fame maker.’ The perfect recipe is a combination of audience understanding, contextual relevance, creativity that packs a punch; get these right and OOH can extend beyond the billboard and provide stand out fame making moments. 

To promote its latest TV series “Good Omens,” Amazon Prime Video launched a thrilling digital OOH campaign.

Good Omens Times Square Mixed Reality Digital OOH

The series, based upon Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, follows the unlikely pairing of an angel (Michael Sheen) and a demon (David Tennant) as they join forces to save the world from the apocalypse. As one of the most hotly anticipated shows of 2019, Amazon wanted to bring the surreal scenarios faced by the protagonists to life with a takeover of Times Square.

As the digital OOH roadblock took over Times Square, the crowd was plunged into terrifying Armageddon scenarios through live animations and a countdown to the end of the world. The mixed reality digital billboard towered above the pedestrian plaza bringing Good Omens to life, with Kraken tentacles, UFOs and giant fish raining down on the crowd below. Just as the audience recognized themselves on the big screen the doomsday scenarios unfurled around them. The mixed reality experience created a fun and memorable experience giving participants the ability to share the moment on social media.

Good Omens Times Square Mixed Reality Digital OOH

Supporting the apocalyptic takeover, were additional large-format digital OOH billboards around Times Square, featuring the countdown to doomsday and the start of the highly-anticipated series.

The campaign was conceived by Amazon Studios and produced by Grand Visual.

Ric Albert, Creative Director at Grand Visual, said: “The Apocalyptic AR activation stops people in their tracks in an engaging race to save the world. It provides content that connects the audience to the series storyline and immerses them in a 5-screen Times Square roadblock. The live countdowns build on the excitement and anticipation of Good Omens debut on Amazon Prime Video.”


Sky Q Summons Augmented Reality digital OOH
Sun, Sea & Digital OOH!

With Summer on the horizon, we are sharing our top considerations for digital OOH this warm season. It’s a great time of year to use digital OOH to reach your target audience, as nearly half of the population become more active as the weather gets warmer! So why not consider planning your next digital OOH campaign just as you would plan a vacation?


Who’s your ideal travel companion? Family, friends or a solo adventure? Just as you consider who you travel with, it’s just as important to consider who is the ideal audience for your campaign.

Here’s an augmented reality experience we created for Sky Q, designed to target commuters with fun and games during the school holidays.


What’s your perfect Summer vacation? A relaxing seaside break or adrenalin filled adventure? Considering the moment you want to create with your digital OOH is key. What do you want your campaign to make consumers feel, think or do?

For the cinematic release for Inside Out, we created a user-generated experience in Times Square. As the movie was centred around emotions, the campaign was designed to capture a participant’s emotions before sharing them to the digital screen.

Lasting Impression

What’s your most memorable vacation? With digital OOH campaigns, it’s just as important to consider the lasting impression you want to leave. Focus on creating a moment for your audience that will truly leave a lasting impression.

Here’s an augmented reality experience we created for Disney. The social video has been viewed over 300 million times and shared over 5.9 million times around the world. It also earned the title of the 2nd most shared ad of 2015.

Want to discuss your upcoming digital OOH plans? Get in touch!

At the start of September, we partnered with the OAAA for the launch of their OOH campaign designed to increase voter registration and encourage people to vote in the Presidential election this November.

On September 6th, the campaign blanketed Times Square with OOH ads covering billboards, bus shelters, subway cars and more throughout New York City. The ads show that no matter what ‘labels’ Americans have, the only label that really counts is Voter.

The event in Times Square was the official launch of the campaign with a team on the ground encouraging passers-by to submit their own ‘labels’. The dynamic creative then updated, broadcasting these personalised ‘labels’ live to the thousands of people in Times Square.

Nancy Fletcher, president and CEO at OAAA, said

“We are completely nonpartisan in this effort, we are not trying to boost the standing of any party or candidate, rather use OOH, a highly engaging and effective medium, to provoke action in a way that is constructive during a time that really matters.”

OAAA Labels 940x520

The OOH ads will drive digital engagement by directing viewers to where they can access their state’s voter registration pages. An interactive label generator allows visitors to choose their own labels, showcasing what they value and believe, and share on social media.

In the lead up to election day on November 8, the campaign will roll out in major cities including Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas.

A photo of crowds enjoying the Times Square Disney Inside Out interactive activation

Have you ever wanted your face up in the lights of Times Square? Ahead of the launch of Disney•Pixar’s original new movie “Inside Out” on June 19, lucky passers-by will be given this opportunity.

This month at the Disney Store in Times Square you are able to have your selfie appear on the Disney Store’s digital billboard, along with the colourful characters from “Inside Out.” During the promotion, an events team on the ground will invite passers-by to “Meet the Voices Inside Their Heads,” using the hashtag #InsideOutSelfiesNYC.

Images submitted will then be analysed and assigned their very own Emotion from “Inside Out,” based on the facial expression in their selfie.

The digital billboard above the Disney Store will be broadcasting #InsideOutSelfiesNYC the weekend of June 13-14, and on the film’s release date, June 19.

Not able to make it Times Square? You can still enjoy the fun by visiting and taking your selfie there, which can then be shared across social media.

Creative Technology Director at Grand Visual Dan Dawson, said:

“This execution is a fun way for people to interact with the characters in ‘Inside Out,’ and getting your face up in the lights of Times Square—well who wouldn’t want to do that?”

Pepsi MAX Bus Shelter Augmented Reality interactive digital OOH

As tends to happen at this time of the year, everyone is talking about future trends, and speculating as to what the emerging trends will be for 2015. As Grand Visual enters its tenth year, it seems an opportune time to take stock of where we see the industry heading as over the last ten years Digital Out of Home has seen massive growth and transformation. Last year at GV we had numerous firsts, pushing the limits of what can be done with DOOH, and 2015 is shaping up to be no different. Here are a few trends we think are the ones to watch in the year ahead.

International: Multi Territory Dynamic and Interactive campaigns

Whilst other industries have wavered, Out of Home is one that has experienced continued growth, boosted predominantly by technological advances. The global investment in infrastructure last year enabled activations such as the AR campaign we delivered for the Xbox launch of Sunset Overdrive, a campaign which ran across 3 continents & on several different formats. A campaign with this amount of complexity would not have been possible 12 months ago due to a lack of infrastructure. 2015 will be an exciting year with more campaigns than ever before being executed at greater scale, across multiple formats and even across the globe.

Targeted: Tactical Media, Tactical Creative

The ability to play your ad at the right time with the right message is a mantra that the advertising industry knows well. A study conducted by FEPE last year showed that 62% of consumers would be interested in DOOH that had information relevant to their specific location or time of day. OpenLoop enables campaigns to run with contextualised messages, matching time of day, weather conditions & social feeds, just to name a few. Last year a good example of this hyper contextual targeting was a campaign we ran for Benadryl in the UK which deployed when Pollen Count was high or very high, minimising waste and maximising relevance.

As brands race to keep pace with demanding consumer expectations, we will see more brands using these highly relevant, contextualised messaging in DOOH.

Experience: Physical to Digital

Interactivity is by far the best way to engage deeply with consumers. Research conducted by OceanOutdoor found that “digital sites cut through because our brains are programmed to respond to changes in our environment. When sites go digital, great becomes even greater.”

We have certainly seen a shift in the last 12 months with more brands looking to make their interactions with consumers more tangible and memorable. The PepsiMax “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” and “TimeTunnel” campaigns are great examples of how a brand has taken interaction with consumers to a whole new level, one that is engaging and memorable in a completely new way. 2015 will see greater investment in this sort of ‘clever creative’ as brands experiment with more ‘PR generating’ campaigns, that bring their brand to life new ways for consumers.


One of the great elements of OpenLoop is that it enables brands to ‘test & learn’ and then repeat campaigns on a much larger scale. We saw this in 2014 with Sky Difference and Google Outside. Both campaigns were initially small dynamic campaigns limited to a few hundred sites in London; the second iteration of these campaigns saw a much larger execution across London and the UK. With OpenLoop now integrated with 80% of USA networks, we fully expect to see bigger, highly tactical, geo-specific campaigns running here in 2015.


Every year it seems for the past several years has been heralded as being the ‘year of mobile’ and this year is no different. What does this mean? The importance of mobiles in our everyday lives increases every year and therefore, the data they expose allows for greater targeting and a better user journey. We expect to see that data and experiential elements will become more prevalent in DOOH in 2015 as our lives become ever more connected to the world around us thanks to our mobile phones.

As for general trends, we’ve come up with an acronym for the kinds of DOOH campaigns we want to help develop this year, SMART — Strategic, Measurable, Artistic, Relevant, and Technological.

By being strategic, we can create content and campaign messaging that makes media money work harder. Moving towards a measurement model for digital out of home is important for the growth of the market. We’re a creative company, so artistic flare is important — we want the campaigns we produce to stand out from the crowd. The ability to be relevant and responsive to things like location, environment, mood, weather, and time of day is where DOOH comes into its own. And finally, technology keeps pushing the medium forward, but it must go hand-in-hand with creativity — if the tech becomes more important than the idea, we lose our audience.

So I guess I’d say, this year, expect to see some even SMARTer digital out of home campaigns!

A photo of the Branded Cities dynamic DOOH activation in Times Square during New York Adweek

Branded Cities and Grand Visual have teamed up to create a dynamic DOOH campaign targeting creative agencies, media buying agencies and advertisers attending Adweek in New York, 29th September to 3rd October.

The campaign will run 40 times per day throughout Adweek on Branded Cities’ Nasdaq and Thomson Reuter’s digital sites in Times Square. It will feature a call to action for Adweek attendees to submit either an Adweek selfie, or text an update including their name, agency and #BCNAdweek. Submissions will appear instantaneously on the sites demonstrating the power of large format digital for social and interactive campaigns.

The agency with the most participants over the week will be rewarded with campaign space for themselves or their clients to use. They will also be featured as a winner on the boards themselves, giving the winning agency valuable exposure and highlighting the powerful reach of the sites.

Grand Visual, which opened in New York earlier this year, created the “live” feed updates via its OpenLoop management dashboard. This technology allows real time social interaction and showcases the OOH medium as the perfect vehicle for an interactive/social campaign.

Tim Kennedy, President, Eastern Region for Branded Cities Network said: “This campaign will show off the brilliance and interactive/full motion capabilities of the Nasdaq and Thomson Reuter’s digital screens. We’re looking forward to seeing how Adweek responds and to sharing the results.”

Ben Putland, COO of Grand Visual said: “We were delighted to be able to work with Branded Cities to deliver a campaign that will allow a huge number of people to get involved and, potentially win a fantastic prize. It is also a chance for us to show our target audience how our OpenLoop technology can be a hugely useful tool in creating immediate impact for an OOH campaign.”

A photo of the Branded Cities dynamic DOOH activation in Times Square during New York Adweek

Click here to download a PDF of the press release.
Click here to download a Word format version of the press release.

On Valentines Day, Disney Parks brought the romance of New FantasyLand to Times Square in an interactive campaign which ran on Disney Store’s Times Square Spectacular digital billboard. The 2,250 square foot screen featured passers-by in romantic embraces and some participants got so caught up in their ‘Enchanted Moments’ there were two live on-screen marriage proposals during the course of the day!

Grand Visual managed 3 video feeds coming from cameras stationed high up on the Disney store roof and mixed those feeds with graphics and calls to action – “Kiss the Girl”! Each interaction was captured and an image posted to a microsite. Participants were given a unique code and could pick up, print or share their Enchanted Moment from the microsite. Grand Visual built and managed the entire process from start to finish.

Check out the highlights here: