A Landscape of Possibilities: Out of Home Inspires a New Wave of Creativity

Creativity may be difficult to define but you know it when you see it, and in advertising it is being seen most vividly in Digital Out of Home. OOH can be the most exciting and creative medium for advertisers and there is real science behind it that underlines the infinite and awesome possibilities OOH offers.

OOH Creative Science: Capturing Hearts and Minds

The key to great creative is understanding how people engage with the millions of messages that bombard us every minute. In ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’, Kahneman estimates that we take in 11 million bits of information every second but only consciously process around 200 of these. While our subconscious quickly takes in the emotional information (the heart), our conscious mind steadily processes the rational information (the head).

In their celebrated work for the IPA (The Long and the Short of It) Les Binet and Peter Field showed that in advertising the best results come from a mix of both head and heart. And OOH creativity delivers both of these really well: it both competes with and complements TV at branding and is increasingly brilliant at prompting immediate behaviour change.

One reason for this is a process called epistemic vigilance, or how we view our surroundings to focus on what grabs our attention. In animals this translates as danger and reward, but for modern humans it is whatever we find attractive, relevant, interesting, or entertaining. In a world saturated by messages, real OOH creativity cuts through the ordinary to grab people’s attention. And to be effective, it has to!

At Talon, we have built this knowledge into our own scientific theory: e=mc3. We believe Effectiveness is the product of the Medium you choose, combined with the Context of that medium, the Content it includes, and the Creativity through which the content is presented.

Where OOH can really capitalise on its relationship with people and brands is where creativity is delivered by combining the content, the context and the medium itself. Because OOH is such an exceptionally versatile medium it allows messages to be personalised in infinite ways, so that you can always deliver the right message, to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. All reaching people in the moment, whether shopping, commuting, planning or at play.

Increasingly our role is to explain, explore and inspire the art of the possible with OOH, promoting how creativity and the medium can work together to deliver really engaging messages, especially when the brand is put at the heart of the creative. The perfect example is our transformation of the iconic lettering on London’s OXO Tower into the buttons of the Sony PlayStation; only OOH could do that with such impact

And for the recent series of ITV’s The Voice, we used motion sensors to make the coaches and chairs on our digital screens swing round as people passed, really grabbling their attention in a way only OOH can deliver – all with an element of surprise.There are many examples where content and context fit seamlessly together, not least for our award-winning campaign for Oreo around the UK’s last Eclipse. And in the past few months alone, we have amplified real brand connection reacting to significant news events, including Specsavers referencing the Oscars fake announcement for Best Film, and Kaspersky’s reference to the NHS/global cyber-security intrusion.

These are just some of many examples of how the OOH medium is being used to deliver brilliantly unique and attention grabbing creative. What is especially exciting is that with so much versatility, the only limit to OOH is imagination; and if it doesn’t exist it can be built. And we know it really works. More on that to come.