Weather Reactive Digital OOH - McDonald's McCafe Iced campaign
To promote the cold drinks available on its McCafé Iced menu, McDonald’s has launched a weather reactive digital OOH campaign.

Weather Reactive Digital OOH - McDonald's McCafe Iced

The UK-wide campaign showcased the brands’ latest cold drinks, just in time for Summer. Created by Leo Burnett, the bright campaign creative featured two cold drink products, “Strawberry Lemonade” and “Millionaire’s Frappe.”

When temperatures rose above 22 degrees Celsius, campaign creative was played out on screen. If temperatures rose above 25 degrees Celsius, campaign creative updated to also include the live temperature and city name. During the evening as the temperature dropped, the live temperature and city name was removed from the creative.

The campaign was produced by Grand Visual, with planning and buying by OMD and Talon. OpenLoop, the DCO ad server from ad tech specialist QDOT, took the weather API feed to update creative in real-time. Live from 27th May, the campaign will run through to 28th July 2019.

McDonald's McWeather Digital OOH
How to Deliver Dynamic Creative Content

This article first appeared on Digital Signage Today on 14th June 2018.
By Dan Dawson, chief creative technology officer, Grand Visual

Originally used in display advertising, dynamic creative is simply another term for “personalized content,” where the content of an ad is matched to the active audience, condition or mindset. Thanks to the explosion of data sources, plus advancements in the software and hardware systems for processing data, marketers are now better equipped to deliver the right message, to the right audience at the right moment via the best channels.

Hiscox Cyber Live digital OOH

It’s the same for OOH. By simulating the cookie model from the display world, DOOH can layer real-time first and third-party data with local offline data such as time of day, day of the week, geographic location, to build, optimize and render ads that react to the environment, the audience and other factors. Add in machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence and data science, and you really start to see just how transformative data insight will be to the future of DOOH.

What’s more, is tech-savvy consumers have come to expect this level of intelligence and responsiveness in digital communication. Having been used to seeing personalized and relevant ads online and now even during TV ad breaks, consumers expect digital OOH ads to be plugged-in, smart and responsive. As a one to many medium, DOOH can deliver tailored, contextually relevant messaging that achieves a deeper level of communication whilst avoiding the pitfalls of more invasive personalization in the online one to one world.

Rather than the creative agency designing a hero 48 sheet poster for OOH, now it’s about designing a master layout with thousands of permutations, iterations and levels of dynamism. Where data science informs every stage of the creative process, from planning, buying, concepting and production, through to execution and distribution.

Where people in different parts of the city, country or world will see different pieces of creative based on their surroundings and context. Dynamic creative ads can be rendered or created in real time, when a data source instructs. From a specific location to a recent arrival in an airport, or the weather outside, an ad using dynamic creative can serve content that is relevant to the audience context. Where the creative is so flexible, it can sometimes be quite startling to see ads that make you go “Wow…I was just thinking that.”

What Needs to Happen?

Creating campaigns that truly deliver on the medium’s creative potential will naturally mean a degree of complexity. To implement dynamic creative optimization (DCO) for DOOH requires longer lead times, involves cohesive multi-stakeholder working, and a budgetary commitment. To see DCO successfully adopted, some standardization in reporting across the DOOH world will also be needed. Advertisers need to know which version of the ad has played, when, and where, to help the campaign be as effective as possible, and to help the machine learn more.

This is why the role of the OOH specialist will become even more important going forward, indeed some of our best work has come when the OOH specialist has played an active role in both the media and creative discussions. The unique data, insight, and decades of experience in OOH planning that specialists have, will play a key role in the success of delivering synergized OOH and online programmatic campaigns.

Collaboration between agency, OOH specialist, production house and media owners is paramount and the most successful projects will always be those ones that see all parties truly working together… Driven by data, created by humans, delivered by machine.

Specsavers more important than... digital OOH

The Trailblazers

It takes brave agencies and clients to spearhead this new way of working. But, with the large amounts of data now available, it’s possible to take the guesswork out of the decision making and embrace a more fact-based approach to advertising content.

Google has been blazing a trail in tactical data-informed DOOH creative. In the UK their permanent hoarding on London’s Silicon roundabout runs localized content about cafes, weather, traffic updates, and provides information on what people are searching for.

For the launch of Pixel 2, Google ran a U.K. wide campaign that integrated traffic, rail, time of day, and location data, to bring to life the phones key features at the most appropriate time. And, in the U.S., Google Play Music ran a multi-market DOOH campaign to replicate the music app’s ability to suggest the perfect soundtracks based on the consumer’s mindset in that moment.

Food, fashion and retail brands are also making creative inroads. Fast food giant McDonald’s has been honing its messaging, promoting McCafé’s Iced Frappes when the sun shines, and diverting commuters stuck in traffic jams to their nearest restaurant. The online bidding site eBay has also promoted products and deals based on hyper-local real-time weather conditions.

McCafé Iced dynamic digital OOH

Transport and automotive brands are certainly not being left behind. Audi ran a tactical roadside campaign promoting the intelligent technologies available in their latest cars. Using traffic, time and weather data to trigger the most suitable technology features for the conditions such as the ‘Pre-Sense’ safety feature during heavy traffic, or their quattro-on-demand; all-wheel drive technology during adverse weather.

By exploiting the context effect, and running responsive, data-driven creative, DOOH campaigns can remain relevant, compelling and aligned with consumer mindset.

The Upshot

Data can inform the creative process and help optimize both the media and message whilst the campaign is running. The holy grail.

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.

Now we need to use it. We need forward thinking brands and agencies to collaborate and make it happen. To help forge these new ways of working, using data-informed workflows, and cohesive multi-agency teams. The machines cannot take over the world of OOH, but they can make it smarter, and more agile. Machines can optimize against the rules that humans set but in real time.

McDonald's McWeather Digital OOH
McDonald’s launched a national digital outdoor campaign that used MET Office real-time data to bring to life April’s unpredictable weather conditions.

In order to take part in Britain’s favourite topic of conversation, Leo Burnett London turned the McDonald’s menu into weather icons to represent the live temperature and 5-day forecasts.

For example, an unwrapped burger represents the sun, while an upturned box of fries signifies rain. There are eight different icons to show how volatile April weather can be.

Breaking on 26 April, the dynamic campaign ran for three days with media planning and booking by OMD and Talon, production by Grand Visual, and campaign management and distribution through OpenLoop.

Hannah Pain, Senior Brand Manager at McDonald’s said:

“We are very excited to be using some of our most loved products to join in the very topical April weather conversation.”

Ben Newman, Creative at Leo Burnett London added:

“Don’t trust the weatherman. This April, McDonald’s has got you covered.”

eBay brings colourful shopping inspiration to the streets in a UK-wide digital out of home (Digital OOH) drive designed to bring the online retailers vibrant product lines to life. Popular springtime pursuits and product lines are aligned to real-time weather conditions in a campaign that spans transit, retail and roadside environments and runs until the 8th April.

The campaign taps into those activities ritually undertaken at the start of the spring season and encourages passers-by to “shop like nobody else” and to “make springtime spectacular.” Colourful product offerings are then matched to real-time Met Office data, for example, promoting their range of gardening products during sunny days, or suggesting a wardrobe overhaul, or some home improvements during wet and cloudy conditions.

The automated campaign is agile, adapting to Britain’s turbulent springtime weather to contextualise its offering. Dynamic content is managed and delivered by QDOT, using the ad tech platform OpenLoop to analyse real-time Met Office data and distribute to multiple screen formats and networks across the UK.

The campaign was created by 72andSunny Amsterdam, produced by Grand Visual, with media planning and buying by MediaCom. The digital OOH activity supports a broader campaign created by 72andSunny, which runs across digital, social, radio, VOD and TV and encourages shoppers to break away from “beige”.

Gareth Jones, senior marketing director at eBay, said:

“This campaign shows eBay’s vibrant and colourful wears in a way that is responsive and useful and aligned with consumers mindset and surroundings in that moment. It’s great to be able to promote our marketplace in a way that is agile and tactical throughout the duration of the campaign.”

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

“This campaign uses the medium as a real-time marketing platform that is plugged-in and responsive. Promotions are agile, tailored and contextually relevant. That is powerful.”

To announce the return of the hugely popular Monopoly prize game, McDonald’s has kicked off a revitalised, tactical, copy-led digital OOH campaign to encourage consumers to ‘Peel and Play’. The UK-wide dynamic activation contextualises copy using date, weather, and prize data and will run across Retail, Roadside and City Centre locations for four weeks from 21st March – 19th April.

The revamped style creative uses retro comic speech bubbles announcing, “Winning feels as likely as getting caught in the rain without an Umbrella” on a bad weather day, for example. Bursts of activity run across the month and tap into date, weather and prize data with copy lines that play on the real-time conditions experienced at each billboard. A live counter also reveals the number of prizes claimed so far with the added call to action to “Get peeling for that winning feeling.”

The revamped campaign was created by Leo Burnett, produced by Grand Visual, with planning and buying by OMD and Talon. Dynamic content is managed and delivered by QDOT, using ad tech platform OpenLoop, to analyse Met Office data and trigger the geotargeted playout of messages.

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

“The retro, sixties style vector artwork combined with the dynamic and contextual messaging makes this a simple, eye-catching and engaging execution that remains fresh and relevant throughout the duration of the campaign.”

Vicky Marshall, Client Director at Talon, adds:

“The brand’s successful Monopoly OOH campaigns have evolved significantly to drive real consumer action and engagement using smarter digital OOH that is dynamic and contextual. This supports wider brand activity that really stands out and elevates people’s experience with McDonald’s.”