Advertising Week New York Recap: OOH is Having a Renaissance with Creative Innovation Fueling its Future

Out of Home (OOH) advertising has evolved into a targetable and attributable high impact medium for brands to reach, engage, and influence consumer behavior in an effective way. But what exactly is driving OOH's renaissance and what will fuel the creative future of the advertising channel?

Talon's Group CEO Barry Cupples sat down with Advertising Week Global President Ruth Mortimer for a fireside chat at Advertising Week New York 2022 about the growing excitement for OOH as an integral part of the multi-media, multi-channel ad strategy. Barry delved into what's behind OOH's Renaissance, including how audience-first planning, intelligent technology platforms, creative innovation, and flexibility are all contributing to driving meaningful and measurable business outcomes.

Among Barry Cupples' key takeaways:

  • "OOH only accounts for 3% of total U.S. ad spend. The reality is that it's miles off from where it should be - and that's why I joined OOH."
  • "OOH is having a Renaissance. It's joining the big girl's table. We're now omni-channel capable. There have been major technological advancements. We've always had massive creativity and reach in OOH. You can tap into richer audience and behavioral insights. We underwent a digital transformation and have the tools to drive measurable outcomes. Essentially, we've jumped leaps and bounds in OOH. And it seems like the only people who don't know it are the clients!"
  • "Emerging technologies like AI, AR, VR, and 3D are massively impacting OOH. Consumers in the U.S., UK and China have begun to see bold creative jumping out of the screen - this will become the norm as the use of emerging tech continues to grow. For me, AR and VR campaigns and their ability to drive social experiences is the biggest opportunity that OOH has in the next five years."

For a discussion on the undeniable power of OOH creativity in breaking through the clutter and capturing consumer attention, Talon America's Senior Vice President of Client Strategy Enza Chiodi was joined by Jay Young, Grand Visual Chief Client Officer; Brad Simms, GALE CEO & President; and Al Dejewski, MilkPEP Vice President of Marketing. The panel of OOH, creative, and brand experts shared how craft, canvas, connectivity, and content can help marketers tap into the endless creative possibilities of OOH, allowing any brand to execute out-of-the-box campaigns that are not only location drivers, but can drive cross-channel storytelling, social amplification, consumer engagement, and measurable outcomes. And with digital OOH innovations and immersive technologies like AR, brands are entering the next dimension with visually bold and creative storytelling campaigns that deliver compelling, larger than life moments.

Among the panelist key takeaways:

OOH creativity has evolved in the last few years.

  •  "Post-pandemic, planners, marketers, and creatives, who were confined to the perimeters of a digital display ad, had a desire to do something bigger, better, and burst out of the boundaries of the billboard. There was also a desire to reconnect with audiences emotionally. As a result, we've seen some incredible OOH campaigns." - Jay Young
  • "Media is the new experiential and OOH is where people are. So, we're seeing OOH drive a different strategy lens, which drives a different creative lens, which drives a different way you think about media. On the agency side, what we've seen in OOH has been transformative - especially in the last 18 months." - Brad Simms

Tech advancements are driving creativity - and taking OOH campaigns to the next level.

  • "When you talk about the funnel, technology is one of the OOH elements that allows you to get into consideration. One of the unique campaigns we're working on with Milk involves leveraging user-generated posts from Reddit about the product, which we're pushing to OOH to show the uses of milk. That moves OOH away from static content that is up for 30 days into something that is closer to a trending conversation - and by converging these mediums, OOH goes beyond the awareness phase and into consideration." - Brad Simms
  • "When you buy OOH, you're buying screens. Digital, connected screens that allow you to take the right, contextual message to the right audience at the right location to drive the right connection with that audience. It's akin to real-time programmatic - and we're leveraging the medium in a relevant way to help us tell our story." - Al Dejewski
  • "There's lots of new tech out there. More and more cameras are being built into digital screens, which makes mass augmented reality experiences possible. The minute you do it en masse, you start to create more emotional connections. And the more you incorporate that kind of tech into digital screens, the more interesting the campaign can become. What we need is more media owners to hedge their bets by building the technology into their digital OOH screens." - Jay Young

Driving client inspiration and ideas starts with moving OOH upstream.

  • "OOH inspiration is all around. But our job is to connect the dots. We have to bring brand, media agency, creative agency, media owners, and innovative suppliers together and strategize on how we can create something special to tell the brand story. That's when the really interesting work gets made." - Jay Young
  • "OOH can't start with a media buying conversation. It has to start with the storytelling. The strategists and the creatives are thinking about the consumer and the journey - and they are baking in the decision to leverage digital OOH, 3D, etc. Frankly, we need to move the contemplation of how to fit in OOH way North." - Brad Simms

The next big thing in OOH is...

  • "In the future, I expect the continued digital expansion of the OOH landscape to better democratize the various creative uses of the medium. Also, there will be an uptick in the natural integration of OOH into the fabric of a city - where a building becomes the screen." - Jay Young
  • "OOH is at this hockey stick growth point where we're about to see epic innovation with technology, location, and integration with digital and mobile." - Brad Simms
  • "The runway is huge for OOH. Measurement will continue to be key because as we tell that brand story, I need to make sure that I deliver returns on the OOH investment - not only from a dollar perspective, but also from a consumer perspective. We have to change attitudes and sell more products - regardless of your category." - Al Dejewski
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