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Chinese citizens, the largest tourism population, are now free to travel internationally after three years of strict “zero Covid” policies. Talon International explains what this means for Out of Home (OOH) advertisers.

After three long years of restrictions, Chinese tourists are now free to travel. Pre-pandemic, Chinese tourists spent $255 billion, making them the World’s biggest spenders. Now they can travel internationally, what does this mean for the tourism industry and advertisers looking to reach them on their journeys?


In December 2022, China announced it was abandoning its zero Covid strategy. The next day, recorded a +254% increase in mainland China’s outbound flight bookings (compared to the previous day). Flights bound for Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand led the surge, making them the top five destinations following the change.

Three of these airports were announced as the world’s top 10 airports of 2023, with Singapore Changi regaining its spot at number one. A light-filled, green haven that brands itself as its own “destination” the airport provides great OOH and DOOH opportunities for brands looking to reach travellers in their favourite airport. 

A staggering 308 million tourism trips were made in the first six days of the Chinese New Year, with Shanghai’s Plaza 66 mall seeing long queues form outside luxury stores, generating over $55 billion in revenue. Their understandable desire to travel and celebrate their freedom plays a key role in this. 

2023 is set to be a big year for Chinese travel, with 60% of Chinese tourists planning to travel outside of mainland China. A survey revealed that 40% of respondents plan to travel outbound in the first six months of 2023, the majority within Asia, as well as France and Australia. 42% said they would travel outbound in the summer months of July and August, whilst 32% are planning an autumn Golden Week getaway outside of mainland China. 

The China Outbound Tourism Research Institute estimates 18 million will travel internationally in the first half of the year, followed by 40 million in the second. Luxury shopping is the third main purpose for taking a trip, behind relaxing and experiencing art, culture and history. 

Revenge Spending 

After three years in lockdown, Chinese travellers are ready to “revenge spend” after saving a record $2.6 trillion in 2022.  

KPMG’s “Luxury Redefined” research study found that Chinese consumers can be split into five different personas – luxury newcomers, status reflectors, approval seekers, luxury connoisseurs and new luxury pioneers. Across these personas, Chinese consumers were found to have the confidence to spend and are eager to purchase luxury as a means of social advancement and self-differentiation. Key themes that also emerged were digital transformation, sustainability and the need for experiential retail. 

The return and rise of the Chinese traveller, is placing travel hubs and airport environments back at the heart of clients’ media strategies to influence purchase decisions. Insights such as these from KPMG, can be used to understand exactly what these consumers want to see from brands, such as sustainable initiatives, experiential activations and brand stories. 

Across all the personas, there is a clear desire for interaction with brands. Whether it be through providing strong brand stories, in-store sales activation activities or showcasing trendy items, all of this can be achieved through OOH. 

Reaching Chinese Consumers with OOH 

As highlighted above, there are numerous touchpoints that we can use to help brands to reach their target audience: 

1. In mainland China 

After being stuck indoors, people are eager to get outside and reclaim their lives. This presents an exciting opportunity for brands to capitalise on the large inventory of OOH sites around the country and busy city areas to reach these audiences out of the home. 

Abu Dhabi was one of the first brands emerging to target Chinese audiences after restrictions were lifted. Capitalising on their newfound freedom and desire to experience new things, Abu Dhabi promoted its exciting experiences on some of the largest digital OOH screens in Beijing and Shanghai. 

 2. Airports 

With Chinese airport passengers up +35% in January and set to increase even higher throughout the year, airports are an obvious choice for brands wanting to reach Chinese audiences.  

Although there are classic OOH formats throughout the airports that brands can advertise on, experiential and sustainable initiatives will be key to attract the new personas highlighted by KPMG. It’s time to think big and think outside of the box, capitalising on the excitement of travellers looking to experience new things. 

Kicking off 2023, Johnnie Walker launched their campaign on the most impactful advertising installations on the global airport scene in Spain, Dominican Republic, UK, UAE, India, South Korea and Singapore. The ultra-premium blended whisky used some of the most eye-catching formats to reach the global travellers.  

3. Destination Cities 

Of course, airport passengers must be going somewhere. Whether they are visiting new countries for work or pleasure, there are some incredible OOH sites and activation opportunities across the globe. As travellers are “taking it all in” in these destination cities, brands can make sure that they are seen with effective OOH executions. 

De Beers announced Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o as their global ambassador with an exciting 3D activation in the iconic Times Square. The digital OOH execution was unmissable in the iconic hotspot, popular with tourists. 

Upcoming Opportunities 

Looking ahead, Golden Week and the Chinese New Year are peak travel periods for China. Before the Pandemic, domestic tourists splurged some 650 billion yuan ($91 billion) during the 2019 Golden Week – over a quarter more than during the Chinese New Year festival. 

With 32% planning an autumn Golden Week getaway outside of mainland China, there are lots of opportunities for brands to reach travellers as they celebrate the holidays. 

The travel industry is looking optimistic. Brands are increasingly interested in targeting the global traveller and being even more present in premium environments with high dwell times. The customers’ expectations around sustainability and experiences are making the airport space extremely relevant, and some brands are already taking advantage of it.  

Airports have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to renovate and enhance their space, to propose more flexible solutions that are continuously more aligned with customer’s expectations.  For more information, please contact or get in touch with your Talon International representative to discuss OOH opportunities targeting Chinese travellers.

As part of PepsiCo’s commitment to excellence and innovation in marketing it has appointed Talon  as its partner for Out of Home (OOH) Media Buying. 

OOH media is an important part of PepsiCo brands marketing and media mix. OOH media is changing rapidly to reflect consumers different behaviours, new retail media offerings, and new opportunities presented by the use of data and technology. As such it is important for PepsiCo to have the best agency partner to create new future facing opportunities and take advantage of the dynamic marketplaces being created.

After an intensive competitive review led by Flock Associates PepsiCo appointed Talon to be its UK OOH partner, working alongside its long-term media partner OMD whose role is not impacted by the appointment. 

Ed Sanderson, Head of Media & Planning at PepsiCo UK said of the appointment, “We are delighted to partner with Talon Outdoor at such an exciting time in the development of the OOH marketplace in the UK. Together we will build more innovative, creative, effective and valuable out of home solutions for our brands; harnessing great research, new data and the power of technology to serve our consumers and retail partners.”

James Copley, UK CEO at Talon said, “Obviously it is exciting to be selected to partner PepsiCo’s brands on such an innovative brief and a testing process managed by Flock. We are looking forward to working with the broader Out of Home community to create new relationships, new solutions and deliver exceptional value to PepsiCo.”

2023, a new year full of new possibilities.  

A new year to grow and build a brand, whether it’s a start-up or a fully established business.  

A new year to engage with audiences in new and exciting ways. 

Although the year has already started in a recession, our opening statement still stands whatever way you slice it. With ten years under our belt, three of which we spent in a global pandemic, we know more than anyone that brand-building and engaging with consumers is more important now than ever.

It’s important to note that this is not the UK’s first recession, nor will it be our last. Since 1923, this country has faced 8 major recessions and from all of them we have bounced back even stronger. Statistically, most recessions only last 12 months – but brands must not “write off” the year and hope for the best.  

We’ve learned many lessons along the way about brands and how they behave. There will be brands that win and brands that lose but the brands that hope for the best and fade into the market will be out of sight and eventually be out of mind. As an independent, global Out of Home (OOH) media agency, we’re here to showcase what we do best and show brands how they can grow in a recession by putting OOH to the test. 

As it’s already well documented that increasing spend during a recession can increase sales during times of adversity, we won’t focus too much on that. Instead, we will bring these tactics to life and explain why it’s not just advertising that’s the right thing to do, but why OOH is the right choice to make your brand thrive, not just survive in this recession. 

To do this, we’re going to break down the three stages of your campaign plan – Strategy, Creative and Measurement. 

ONE: Strategy

In a fast-moving world of marketing and media, it’s easy to overlook the basic principles of marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These 4 principles should still form the bedrock of your marketing strategy. However, each of them should be approached differently in times of financial hardship and economic uncertainty. 


In marketing and media planning, it is vital to establish where your product fits within the market during a recession. You must also understand how your target audience will interact with it from a purchasing decision point of view. 

Typically, marketers target based on demographics, but during a recession adopting a psychological segmentation that takes into consideration consumers’ emotional reactions to the economic environment may deliver greater success. 

However you choose to define your product and segment your audience, Talon’s proprietary technology platforms can help you achieve this goal. For example, with our DMP, Ada, we can help you to understand bespoke audience segments and provide insights based on real and recent consumer behaviours to create more precision in OOH planning and buying. This results in an average of +32% increase in targeting efficiency, resulting in uplifts for ad recall, consideration and purchase intent.


One of the biggest areas of opportunity, but equally risky, is how a brand prices their product. Although it often feels longer, most recessions only last 12 months. So, although discounting may increase sales in the short term, you run the risk of devaluing the value of your brand in the long term. Put simply, the price of your product is a key differentiator in the perception of your brand. Significantly discounting a product is comparable to turning an Audi into a Ford or a Rolex into a Timex. 

By showing resilience on both the price of your product and your advertising budget, your brand can reap rewards, particularly when keeping OOH as a part of your marketing mix. In the most recent time of uncertainty, brands that continued to invest in OOH saw a 51% shift in ad recall and + 16% for purchase intent. 


The place, or where your product is available is a hugely complicated yet impactful part of your marketing and media strategy. Whatever place you decide to sell your product – OOH can help increase purchase intent by 10% on average – this figure lifts to 12% when using long dwell formats such as transport and lifts to the high 50s and 60’s for call to action and brand consideration after being exposed to OOH. 

This is proof of OOH’s role as a fantastic trust builder – even more importantly, in a recession. If your advertising preference is online, then we’ve got some news for you. According to research conducted by Outsmart, OOH is proven to drive consumers online, delivering: 

Due to its environment in the physical world, OOH is great at hitting prospective customers on the high street can influence last-minute purchasing decisions and footfall. As O2 recently discovered with their Black Friday OOH campaign, they were able to increase store visits from their target audience by more than 186%.

Although buying behaviours are heavily impacted in a recession the fundamentals of advertising theory are not… a balanced advertising and communication plan is crucial for success. Outdoor is a fantastic brand builder, but it can also significantly improve short term impact – particularly when combined with other media. 

OOH pays back in terms of ROI when OOH share of a media plan is at 17% or more (current average is 11%) and can amplify the effects of ‘Recession preferred’ mediums such as social media & search by more than 50%. 

When it comes to traditional TV, OOH is and always has been a hugely complementary channel. 70% of light TV viewers are exposed to OOH and this figure jumps even higher to 82% in 16-34 year olds. For the harder to reach 16-24 year old category, who according to Ofcom, spend 7x less time watching TV than over 65s, heavy viewers of VOD are 45% more likely to be exposed to OOH. 

TWO: Creative 


During a recession, trust in institutions tends to decline. So, brand building and promoting a product goes a lot further than simple visibility. As we saw in the pandemic, reassuring simple and strong creative is important for building brand trust.  

With OOH, over 98% of the UK and US population is reached by OOH ads every week, making it an excellent channel to communicate these simple and strong messages. Reassuring messages that reinforce an emotional connection with the brand and demonstrate empathy (for example, by conveying a sense that “we’re going to get through this together”) are vital. 

The best way to drive trust is through a strong brand presence and strong creative messaging. Tweaks to your creative messaging can have a hugely positive impact on campaign performance. For example, in 2021, McDonald’s launched a campaign with a simple reassuring message of ‘We Deliver.’ This was an incredibly valuable proposition at the height of the pandemic when public places such as restaurants were not as appealing to customers. 

Home delivery during the pandemic was a practical message, but emotional messaging can be equally impactful – particularly when using large format OOH which is proven to increase emotional intensity by 43%.  

#SendingLove was another campaign that was live during the pandemic, that utilised emotional messaging. We along with Talon International and Grand Visual launched a global initiative to promote messages of love and raise money for the global COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The user-generated messages of love and unity were displayed on digital OOH screens in 38 countries worldwide with social media amplification ensuring the messages were seen both in and outside the home. 

If truly authentic, purpose-led marketing can assist brands in standing out against undifferentiated competition – which could be essential at a time of price sensitivity.  

For example, with sustainability a key responsibility for audiences and brands alike, OOH can be used to supplement an authentic sustainability message for brands in various ways. 

THREE: Measurement 

Measuring the success of your campaign should be the staple of any activity – particularly when budgets are under increased scrutiny.  

At Talon, we offer bespoke measurement services as we know that understanding client objectives and KPIs is vital. Once the KPI is identified the measurement option, requirements, feasibility can all be discussed to ensure the measurement is bespoke to the campaign. Talon’s measurement studies can identify uplifts in footfall, brand perceptions, and sales following exposure to an OOH campaign.  

In addition to bespoke measurement options, we can provide performance norms due to our ongoing benchmarking project. 

And lastly, recessions are temporary, but decisions brands make can be long lasting. It’s up to you whether you grasp with both hands the possibilities that come with a new year. It will be whatever you make it. By taking the initiative and focusing on brand building and engaging with consumers, your brand can use this opportunity as a jumping off point, to build a brand that thrives not survives for years to come.

By Melanie Lindquist, Managing Director, Talon APAC.

The World Out of Home Organization  (‘WOO’) hosted its APAC conference in Malaysia in October 2022. We listened to updates from around the region for two days, including Korea, Japan, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Australia, and Singapore.

I had the pleasure of presenting with Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific‘s Chloe Neo on behalf of the buyer/agency side to give insight into the view we see of OOH, not just as a medium but in context with the total media mix. The following is a summary of the presentation (with a few new updates), and if you would like a short version, take a look at this article by Campaign Asia Pacific.

For context, the Asia region is of considerable importance to marketers regarding diversity, size, and affluence. Marketers can grow market share, revenue, and ROI if targeted effectively.

Projections show Household Income (HHI) and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (uHNWI) in the region will grow over the next five years. Asia’s consumers are at the forefront of global consumption, with projections that this will continue over the next decade.

McKinsey “Meet your Future Asian Consumer”, 2021

Over the past few years (including the two years of covid), a few key trends are emerging that are impacting the consideration of OOH media in the marketing mix and influencing investment in OOH. Research shows that including OOH in a campaign can uplift effectiveness and impact and drive consumer advocacy, consideration, and purchase intent. However, marketers will remove OOH from a schedule without consistent proof points. This leads me to my first point.


There is a persistent demand from marketers for proof.

OOH media needs to invest in ‘proof’ continually. Without proof points (pre and post), OOH is at risk of being removed or reduced on the plan. It is a persistent and growing requirement for considering OOH in the media mix.

Pre-proof can be in the form of audiencemovementpsychographic/ behavioural, and buyer-graphical data. It can also include neuro-impact scores, traffic countspopulationdemographicreach, and frequency.

Post-proof can be through campaign verification (physical, digital, and programmatic), researchcase studies, and campaign analysis.

It is also cyclical. Campaign verification, analysis of results, and post-campaign recommendations should be a discipline that folds into the proof points for future campaigns. Verification, including physical, digital, and programmatic, post-campaign reporting, benchmarking research (claimed and transactional), brand metric measurementconversion results, and results against agreed performance metrics, all contribute to proving the performance of OOH.

“If there is no trust or recency in the ‘proof’, OOH risks reduction or removal from the media plan. That lessens the opportunity to demonstrate the power of OOH and the opportunity for the industry to grow.”

Thankfully, OOH is measurable. Continual investment in research, data, and reporting with verified, validated data that is recent and relevant will contribute significantly to OOH remaining on the plan.

Equally important is industry collaboration to build unified platforms like Outdoor Media Association‘s MOVE to provide standardized industry benchmarks that marketers and their agencies accept. It will also increase trust and acceptance from marketers inside and outside the region.


The media-buying world is rapidly moving to self-service with a growing demand for faster access and engagement with media owners. Pace does impact media investment, whether it is speed to market, speed to respond, or accessibility via technology to speed up processes.

Emerging and existing technology will help extend OOH’s buying capability. OOH media owners need to open up and automate access to inventory, access to avails, access to specifications, and access to long-range planning. It will remove complexity, fuel self-service, and contribute to a position for OOH on the plan, whether traditional buying or programmatic.

OOH media in the APAC region need to invest and adapt to buyer demand and build the capability to respond to the global pace of business. It will allow brands and their agencies to self-serve to a level of autonomy not yet seen in the region.

“We are in the era of self-service. Technology is fuelling this expectation. Media that does not embrace it will be left behind.”

While we always strive for more time, short-termism is still in play. ‘Post-pandemic recovery’ remains a mindset with less long-term planning and more campaign-by-campaign orientation.

Removing complexity, systemizing and automating processes, opening up access to inventory, and connecting to platforms (via partnerships or collaboration) will contribute to a position on the plan for OOH.


Innovation is a permanent trend, and OOH inspires in many ways. From printing techniques, digital screen tech, data-informed creative, use of public space, or hardware innovation. It all contributes to using OOH media beyond simple spots and sites. 

OOH has always had the flexibility and creativity to work independently and create message layers and multi-sensory impacts. The most recent campaign using multi-sensory layers is the stunning The Coca-Cola Company Christmas campaign on The Piccadilly Lights from Ocean Outdoor in London. It includes live carollers, screen domination, interactive creative (song lyrics), and a mobile Coca-Cola truck driving past the site. All beautifully contextual leading up to Christmas.

“The OOH industry has an album full of innovation examples. Simply put, OOH innovation allows brands to transcend spots and sites. When Talon APAC advocates for OOH in the media mix, we can easily demonstrate impressive innovation in the APAC region.”

Product innovation is epitomized by Dole Food Company , screen-printing posters using ink made from real fruit waste (here) to authentically demonstrate their charter of zero-waste. 3D, anamorphic screens across APAC, including Big Tree’s CUBIG@ KLCC Junction in Kuala Lumpur to oOh!media’s Bourke St Mall in Melbourne and Ten Square, Landmark of Good in Singapore; create iconic, brand-enhancing campaigns.

Continuous innovation, including AR, VR, and 2D extensions, will grow the OOH APAC industry and significantly drive results for clients.

Data innovation to inform locations, target audiences and identify the best placement is not new. However, applying data to inform creative and develop deep connections with consumers through contextual relevance should be continually innovated.

In the last ten years, OOH has used digital to create contextual relevance, which research has shown to be at least 19% more effective. Brands. Agencies and media should look to ways data can inform the development and execution of campaigns. It creates impact and attention that positions OOH as a media leader and heightens consideration when planning campaigns.

Of course, this data should always comply with local privacy regulations and appropriate use of data. Here is an excellent article from ForwardKeys on using data to inform OOH campaigns.

Hardware innovation in OOH is uniquely positioned to affect public spaces positively and comes with great responsibility. Innovation in hardware, structure, and the physical build of OOH will attract brands and have a lasting impact on our environment.

Hardware innovation in OOH is uniquely positioned to affect public spaces positively and comes with great responsibility. Innovation in hardware, structure, and the physical build of OOH will attract brands and have a lasting impact on our environment.

Hardware innovation in the APAC region has included:

This innovation leads me to my final point and onto a significant trend impacting OOH investment and inclusion in media planning – PURPOSE.


Consumers are more aware of purpose when deciding to buy. Equally, there is pressure on brands to deliver on purpose and demonstrate commitment to DEI – Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, and ESG – Environmental, Social, Governance, and Sustainability practices.

It is often considered a ‘Gen Z’ driver of consumption. If you look at the statistics below, you will see that while Gen Z is leading increases in preference to buy from sustainable brands, the uplift is across all generations.

Purpose is here to stay.

World Economic Forum + “State of Consumer Spending” – November 2021

At the time of the WOO conference, Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific announced a partnership that illustrates where ‘purpose’ is leading the media industry. They “expect to see more stringent, measured frameworks for pitches, proposals, and partners over time. As well as the creation of standardized metrics such as carbon footprint across clients’ media selections, supporting brand sustainability plans in the long term.”

The physical manifestation of purpose within OOH media is developing rapidly, with APAC emerging recently with impressive developments. For OOH to maintain relevance in the region, it is essential to persist with a purpose-driven product, business, and action that addresses ESG and DEI and improves the public spaces in which OOH resides.

What does this look like now and in the future?

Living Walls using live plants improves the site’s visually and contributes to an improved environmental impact by eliminating up to 10kg of CO² per sqm per year.

Eco Paint providers, such as Airlite, offer air-purifying paint to paint advertisements on walls or create bespoke murals.

Latex Ink – Revolution360 is now using HP Latex Ink, which is 65% water-based, and completely biodegradable, with no heavy materials or hazardous air pollutants.

Poster Evolution in many production companies has resulted in switching out traditional PVC banners for non-PVC materials and reducing the harmful effects of the disposal of PVC products. Urban Vision s.p.a. was one of the first media owners to introduce pollution-eating banners. The posters include a pollution-absorbing layer, creating a more eco-friendly product. Lightweight polyethylene vinyl billboard skins are routinely reused and repurposed at the end of their life cycle into various finished products like benchessleepers, and bollards.

Green Roofs on bus stops increase biodiversity and support nature recovery. They can also absorb rainwater, urban heat and contribute to cleaning the air. Including solar panels also means that transit stops can run on green energy. JCDecaux Middle East is leading the way with the use of green energy to power the majority of their digital portfolio across airports and roadside.

World Out of Home Organization also announced the industry’s first Global Sustainability Task Force led by WOO Board member Katrin A. Robertson. WOO President Tom Goddard said about the initiative:

“There is much good work being undertaken by many [OOH] members, including some of the largest players in the business, but we must remember that we are a highly diverse industry in terms of stakeholders and owners and WOO can play a bigger role in helping members, smaller operators in particular, improve and communicate their sustainability performance.”

OOH in the APAC region will benefit from adopting and pioneering development that improves people’s lives and public spaces. It will also maintain relevance when a marketer considers media in their campaigns. It will become the standard, not the exception, in the future.

We are emerging from a two-year chrysalis that has disrupted the world forever. Marketers are more accountable than ever, and marketing plans are under scrutiny.

If the OOH media industry does not continue to adapt and make inroads into measurabilityattribution, and independent verification (proof), harness technology to create self-service, ease of planning, and speed to market (pace), persistently push the boundaries of OOH capability (innovation) and authentically commit to positively impacting public spaces, the environment and people’s lives (purpose); OOH as a medium runs a significant risk of insignificance.

Talon continues driving, supporting, and advocating for OOH in the media mix. We know from our decade of client campaigns and creative innovations with Grand Visual that OOH is innovative, builds brand awareness, consideration, and drives purchase intent, and uplifts effectiveness when in combination with other media in the mix.

The World Out of Home Organization is hosting its first face-to-face MENA Forum in Dubai from February 15th – 17th February 2022. 

After a successful in-person global congress in Toronto and Kuala Lumpur last year, the World Out of Home Organization is hosting its first in-person MENA forum in Dubai. At this forum, horizons will be broadened with an in-depth examination of Out of Home (OOH) in one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative markets.  

It’s predicted that OOH will be the fastest-growing worldwide media sector in 2023, with MENA being a vital element in that growth. With a full programme of speakers from the region and the wider global OOH industry, key topics, including Maintaining OOH’s Advantage in a Digital World, Sustainability and Measurement, will be addressed. 

On Day 1 of the forum, Talon’s Client Director (MENA), Mansour Wehbe, will join Publicis Media’s Amer el Hajj and MCN IPG’s Ziad Chalhoub to discuss the “View from the OOH buyer side: Challenges and Opportunities” from 4:45pm. 

On Day 2, Talon Managing Director (MENA), Chadi Farhat will join Talon’s Group Chief Strategy Director, Sophie Pemberton, to discuss “The Evolution and Impact of Data-Driven Strategies in OOH.” As experts in their field, the presentation will cover Talon’s wealth of experience, why data is integral and positive outcomes for brands using data to inform their OOH campaigns. This informative session will take place from 1pm. 

Additionally, Managing Partner, Adrian Skelton, will be moderating the “Qatar 2022 – How the World Cup impacts a country” session from 3:45pm on Day 1. 

We’re looking forward to an action-packed two days, meeting and learning from our friends and partners in the MENA region. There’s still time to sign up here. 

Talon International is excited to announce a team restructure to support the continued growth of our international business.

Camille Uzan, who joined the business from Dentsu in 2022, and Callum Banville, formerly Client Director, have both been promoted to International Business Directors, taking joint leadership roles with immediate effect.

The Talon International team serve as a centralised hub connecting over 20 Talon and partner offices around the world, enabling us to plan, buy and execute client campaigns in over 100 markets worldwide.

Camille and Callum will utilise their extensive experience across international client management, strategy, commercials, and operational excellence to lead the team and deliver world-class international campaigns for our clients – navigating global currencies, time zones, language barriers, audience segmentation, creative optimisation, legislative challenges, and multiple stakeholders.

The restructure of Talon International follows the departure of former Client Services Director Tom Perrett who has left to take up a new role in OOH sales.

Adrian Skelton, Managing Partner, Talon International said, “I am delighted to have promoted both Callum Banville & Camille Uzan to International Business Director. Outside thinking runs in the Talon family and the opportunity to promote two excellent individuals showcases Talon’s people-focused philosophy. Together, they will lead Talon International and ensure we continue to deliver the best-in-class service to our international clients.

I’d also like to thank Tom for his instrumental role in launching and developing Talon’s international capabilities and delivering unprecedented growth in a relatively short space of time. All of us at Talon are very grateful for his unwavering enthusiasm, passion and loyalty – he will no doubt be a fantastic success in his new role.”

For THE FINAL PART of our reflection series, the Talon team SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2023.

At Talon we’re the changemakers, the trail-blazers, the provocateurs, the pioneers of OOH. Combining a heady mix of creativity, technology and data, our senior leadership team share their expert opinion on what OOH and the wider media landscape will look like in 2023. 

“2022 has been another successful year for Talon, with the rebrand, expansion into MENA and APAC and even more campaigns that pushed the boundaries and cemented us as industry pioneers who are constantly re-imagining and re-inventing the possibilities of what Out of Home can be.

In 2023, we expect to see a lot of uncertainty due to rising living costs. However, if the last three years have taught us anything, it’s important for brands to stay on and keep the momentum going. If we can survive living through the unknown, we can prepare and plan for what is coming. The OOH renaissance is here.”

Barry Cupples, CEO

“2023 promises to be another exciting year for OOH. We expect to see continued growth in programmatic trading and a continued appetite for using the blank canvas that is OOH to deliver messages in innovative and special ways.  

Sustainability will be of key importance and it’s our job to communicate the industry’s efforts in all that we are doing to be kinder to our environment in 2023.”

Aoife Hudson, Deputy Managing Director, Talon Ireland

“Clearly there are some global economic headwinds that will influence our market, however, OOH has never been in better shape. The inventory and our ability to leverage data and tech platforms to drive effectiveness is continually improving.  

OOH is very well placed in the wider media landscape to improve client outcomes, and the huge steps forward the industry has made in sustainability makes OOH one of most responsible choices a client can make.”

James Copley, UK CEO

“I think Q1 is going to bring a lot of unknowns for every industry, including media. Clients are going to wait and see what the economic impacts are on consumers, before committing budgets. However, the OOH industry is in a fantastic position. The medium delivers trust to consumers. People are spending more time OOH than ever before, and the investment in technology means we can now be smarter, delivering audience-based outcomes. 2023 is going to be a challenge, but it’s one we are ready for!”

Luke Willbourn, Chief Client Officer

“From an International perspective, despite a number of political and economic uncertainties I’m confident we’ll see a return of passengers to a pre Covid level in airports and an going commitment from clients and agencies to invest in OOH globally to deliver on their strategic objectives.”

Adrian Skelton, Managing Partner

“2023 will be an interesting year for OOH, as the cost-of-living crisis continues, we expect to see more brands reviewing their media strategies and OOH represents a real opportunity for brands to effectively use media to build trust amongst consumers. 

Research from the last economic downturn clearly shows the benefit to brands ‘staying on’ during a recession, and as we enter the start of an uncertain year, 2023 represents a good opportunity for brands to evaluate strategy and ensure they have the right share of voice to stay front of mind and strengthen market positioning.”

Helen Saffer, Group Client Services Director

“Continued growth and development, plus an ever-increasing focus on sustainability and impact on the environment which will without doubt continue to be high up on the agenda for any CMO / key decision maker at client level.  

Fortunately, OOH continues to make great strides in this area and the industry as a whole takes sustainability very seriously. From DOOH screens using 100% renewable energy sources, to zero carbon vans now provided for billers, and the phased-out use of non-recyclable materials means Out of Home already has the key foundations for building on a renewable future in 2023.”

Jamie Finn, Group Client Services Director

“Even more blurring of the lines between OOH and Experiential. The two environments work well apart but when combined the results multiply even further. Media owners are investing in this space and we’re primed to support brands in this space.”

Jay Young, Chief Client Officer

Here’s to a successful 2023 and a happy, healthy and successful New Year to all our clients, agencies and partners. 

Part 2 of our reflections series, Talon’s team discuss new initiatives, launches and share advice.

Out of Home is changing fast, and Talon is at the forefront of that change. We’re passionate about OOH and are on a mission to drive the growth of this sector within the media industry – changing perceptions of it as a legacy medium to one that is highly connected, effective, creative, sustainable, and measurable for our clients. 

In this blog, our experienced team are reflecting on new initiatives, launches and sharing advice for others who are striving to work at the very edge of what’s known with Talon. 

A New Year full of new initiatives

After a turbulent couple of years, ensuring that OOH is even more accountable has been a key focus for us in 2022. At the beginning of the year, we introduced classic OOH site inspections and digital OOH verification on a client opt-out level. Bringing more effective and accountable campaigns to our clients, agencies and partners.

Group Client Services Director, Jamie Finn, explains, “We developed appropriate ad-tech to simplify and streamline reporting for both Classic and Digital OOH, allowing us to ensure full accountability for every single campaign we plan and buy and addressing any under-performance accordingly ensuring that what our clients buy is exactly what is delivered in the public space.

Since the start of 2022 we have verified the playouts for almost 350 digital OOH campaigns and physically inspected more than 3,200 classic OOH frames – providing key data and insights to our clients and without a doubt something we will continue to build upon and fulfil for our clients and agencies as we enter 2023.”

The rise of Programmatic DOOH

Over the past 12 months, the demand for pDOOH has increased from advertisers across all sectors. With flexibility and cost efficiency recognised as the key strengths of the channel, spend in pDOOH is forecast to grow in the near future.  

Group Client Services Director, Helen Saffer, elaborates, “2022 has really seen the turning point for brands embracing pDOOH and we’ve seen more advertisers using it strategically to add in a behavioural audience targeted layer to their OOH strategy alongside traditionally bought impact and fame building formats.   

We expect this momentum to continue to build as we move into 2023, with brands who have already tested the water returning and continuing to develop bespoke OOH strategies, alongside new advertisers looking to expand their online strategies to boost additional reach via pDOOH.”  

All our initiatives and launches started with our people who constantly challenge themselves and the industry at large – “to imagine what’s possible when they think outside.”   

Expanding into MENA & APAC

Back in March, we announced the expansion of our global footprint in Asia-Pacific and Middle East, with our new hires Melanie Lindquist and Chadi Farhat leading MENA and APAC respectively.  

The opening of Talon’s new offices in both the UAE and Singapore was a highlight for Tom Perrett, International Client Services Director, “Bringing further leadership, experience, and interconnected business opportunities across borders.” 

Melanie Lindquist, Managing Director, Talon APAC, added, “The APAC market is largely untapped but with huge potential. Being in the same time zone and hubbed in Singapore has allowed us to work closer and faster with clients to drive campaigns within the region but also take regional clients onto the global OOH.” 

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, our team was working hard to launch an API connection between Plato and NetSuite. This has strengthened our automated process from booking in Plato to invoicing in NetSuite for our US, UK, MENA & APAC markets.  

Group Transformation Officer, Amy Horton, said, “Launching the API connection between Plato and NetSuite has been a huge achievement. For the first time, we have an organisational design that will give us a great structure for our further growth ambitions.” 

The Evolution of Talon

Another project we were working on behind the scenes was a strategic repositioning for Talon. As we approach our second decade, we commenced a brand refresh project to support our ambitious global expansion and commitment to being the global OOH media agency of choice.  

It was time to “think outside.” 

This refresh began with merging Talon’s award-winning Creative Solutions team with industry-pioneers Grand Visual to offer a full suite of OOH and digital OOH creative services. Discussing the merge, Chief Client Officer at Grand Visual, Jay Young, said, “The relaunch of Talon’s Grand Visual is of course the most exciting. We’ve now combined our creative solutions team with our brilliant in-house studio to create a creative OOH powerhouse. We now get to spend more time with clients, more time brainstorming exciting ideas and we’re winning more awards. It’s an exciting place to be right now.” 

With our full rebrand unveiled in December, CEO, James Copley, said, “Working in a business that is surrounded by great creativity, it was really gratifying to see all that great thinking and execution applied to our own brand.” 

So, with the year behind us, knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you would give to your 2021 self? 

“We are currently living in a world where things can change very quickly and are often out of our control. Don’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. Focus on what you can control, not worry about what you can’t.”

Luke Willbourn, Chief Client Officer

“When you’re leading a team, you have to spend time thinking about the mid and long-term strategy. This can sometimes place your focus consistently in the future rather than the present.

I’ve had to teach myself to avoid the allure of what might happen and to focus on the next 8 hours only. Every morning I think ‘what can I do today that will nudge us closer to our goals.’ It’s been a game changer for my mindset, wellbeing and general performance.” 

Jay Young, Chief Client Officer

“Be brave – leverage the power of the burgeoning Talon network and understand the importance of informed risk to help unlock real growth.”

Andrew Sinclair, Managing Director, Talon Ireland

“It’ll be a busy year so buckle up! But in all seriousness, we’ve learnt to be kinder to ourselves as human beings and within a team when it comes to our workloads. 

You can’t be what you can’t see so I try to be quite vocal about aiming for a work life balance. At Talon, we don’t ever sit still, we are always striving to lead the way, to grow, to learn and 2022 has been no different.” 

Hayley Tiptaft, People Director

To get the first look at part 3 of our blog, when our team share their thoughts and predictions for 2023, make sure that you are following us on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also keep up to date with the latest Talon news and views by signing up for our monthly newsletter here.

For Part 1 of our reflection series, the Talon team highlight their favourite campaigns of 2022.

With the new year approaching fast, we’re back to reflect on the past 12 months. In this series, we are celebrating the creative, data and technological boundaries that were pushed in 2022 and sharing our expectations for Out of Home (OOH) and the wider landscape in 2023.

Despite two years of recovery and re-growth, the world of OOH has changed and continues to change fast. Boundaries are being redrawn every day; with OOH becoming a more connected, creative, effective, measurable and sustainable medium than ever before. This year, OOH has seen the strongest recovery coming out of the Pandemic, with an increase of +146.2% in expenditure. The first quarter of 2022 also outperformed expectations by +7.7%.

According to the latest data from IAB, the UK’s ad market is set to grow a further +4.4% in 2023 – further accelerated by the demand for programmatic digital OOH (pDOOH), with 38% of media professionals adding to the pDOOH budget.

In this blog, we’re reflecting on some of the standout campaigns from our clients this year that reimagined and re-invented the possibilities of what outdoor can be.

Standout campaigns from 2022 

All the campaigns below showcase the best in “thinking outside” in 2022 – exemplifying independent thought and big ideas, bolstered further by Talon’s technology, data and measurement expertise.

Specsavers: Should’ve 2.0

In Q1, Specsavers made its return to OOH with three ingenious special builds. Choosing Specsavers as his standout campaign, Chief Client Officer, Luke Willbourn, said, “2022 has seen the boundary for creativity pushed to its limit, with clients showcasing fantastic executions on a weekly basis. My favourite campaign this year was Specsavers Should’ve 2.0.

A simple, but brilliant campaign, it encapsulated Specsavers’ playful side. The campaign was also a great example of how brands can use social channels to amplify OOH executions.” 

Netflix: Warriors of Future

For Talon APAC’s Managing Director, Melanie Lindquist, the Warriors of Future campaign for Netflix stood out to her the most. 

“Talon in Singapore worked with the client on a strategy to select iconic sites for this global campaign, including the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Taipei Arena, Storm Cromination and Nasdaq + Midtown Financial. This created an impactful campaign with shareable content for the client’s large online followers and fans.”

Guinness: Summer

The 2022 standout campaign for both UK CEO, James Copley and Group Client Services Director, Helen Saffer, was Guinness’ surfboard creative – a discreet nod to their iconic 1998 ‘Surfer’ TV ad, brought to life outside across the UK 

“This was a great example of creative and media placement working perfectly in sync to deliver a standout campaign that really resonated with consumers,” said Helen. “The campaign used bespoke installations to cleverly capture the iconic Guinness pint, with ‘Guinness’ surfboards placed across iconic UK seaside resorts.” 

James adds, “The Guinness special builds were a great combination of creativity, context and location that led to some stunning executions that really cut through and made an impact.” 

BBC: Brand Building

The BBC utilised the magic Talon OOH formula of creativity, data and technology throughout 2022 – which saw them winning both the Brand Fame award at the Drum OOH Awards and the Brand Building award at the Clear Channel OMA’s. Aiming to ensure they were at the forefront of a cluttered market; OOH was primed as the perfect platform to reach and engage with new and existing audiences to encourage positive perceptions of the BBC. 

Group Transformation Officer, Amy Horton, said, “There wasn’t really one campaign that stood out to me, however, the breath and varied executions of the BBC’s campaigns this year have been incredible. They seem to get the balance right between creative use of OOH and simple effective messaging.” 

Specsavers: Ireland

Over at Talon Ireland, Deputy Managing Director, Aoife Hudson, chose Specsavers as her standout campaign for 2022. “The OOH Industry in Ireland had been lagging in terms of data and technology compared to other markets. At Talon, we’ve been the pioneers of leading the OOH industry forward in that regard.  

With that in mind, a piece of work that truly stood out for me was our work with OMD and Specsavers – Ireland’s first multi-media-owner programmatic digital OOH (pDOOH) campaign. The campaign went on to win 2 gold media awards – Best OOH campaign and Best Collaboration between Talon Ireland & OMD Ireland.” 

John Lewis: Newness

John Lewis

No stranger to programmatic DOOH, John Lewis launched its “newness” campaign, which was delivered via our proprietary DSP, Atlas. Discussing the campaign, Group Chief Strategy Officer, Sophie Pemberton, said, “We ran a 20-week campaign across 12 cities with new copy being delivered each week on panels and at times which were specifically chosen to reach ‘Busy Inspiration Seekers’.  

The initial results were brilliant and showed that audience visitation to those stores across the campaign period increased by a whopping +47%! We’ve seen phenomenal growth this year across from across all our agency partners and an increased appetite to apply intelligent data to deliver even more effective campaigns.” 

To get the first look at part 2 of our blog, in which our leadership team reflect on new initiatives, launches and share advice, make sure that you are following us on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also keep up to date with the latest Talon news and views by signing up for our monthly newsletter.

With the year behind us, knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you would give to your 2021 self?

Looking at last year’s responses, the key themes were around, adapting, preparing for the unexpected and maintaining relationships. However, this year’s answers took a different view: 

“Continue to be proud to work in such a resilient and creative media channel,” said Jamie Finn. “It’s no secret that OOH was one of the hardest hit mediums during the pandemic – but it’s recovery and the fantastic quality of work that we are seeing shows how much brands value using OOH and I’m excited about how this can be further built on in 2022.” 

For Tom Perrett, “Being patient, but preparing to be adaptable. The audiences will return, and we have the data to be able to analyse and advise how this will happen across multiple markets. Too many times there has been false dawns, particularly over the recovery of international travel. Change and learning never stops and OOH has proven now more than ever how much of a flexible and adaptable medium it is.” 

Adding a data and insight perspective, Emily Alcorn, said, “Be prepared to do a lot of campaign effectiveness studies! Measurement will become more important than ever, even though budgets may be scrutinised to a greater degree, the need for clear evidence is at the top of all agendas. Demand for brand impact studies measuring the impact of OOH exposure on key branding metrics such as awareness, perception and consideration increased 2-fold vs 2020 and rose by 55% vs 2019 (Talon brand impact studies Jan-Oct2021).”

And finally, what would do you expect OOH & the wider media landscape to look like in 2022? 

Amy has three points to add, the first being, “I believe that the demand for bespoke OOH creative solutions will continue to grow exponentially with greater emphasis on delivering results.” In her second point, Amy adds, “Across the media landscape and OOH in particular, transparency and verification of campaign delivery will be at the forefront of client expectations which as an industry we need to work together better.” And finally on the topic of clients, Amy also suggests, “More clients will be using more digital and data for smarter targeting of out of home audiences.” 

James believes that “2022 will continue to build on a strong Q3 & Q4 ’21 and return to pre-pandemic revenues. Ada & Atlas will drive smarter execution for our clients and attract incremental revenue from digital spenders. We will continue to focus on improving our ability to measure client outcomes. OOH will play an important role in delivering young upmarket audiences to support TV schedules and provide the broadcast reach and delivery to complement online activity. Sustainability and ESG will be at the top of the agenda for clients and OOH has a big opportunity to be well placed in this arena.” 

Speaking from a TV & OOH perspective, Helen adds, “As advertisers continue to return to OOH, and at the same time factors affecting other media channels come into play (such as advertisers readying themselves for new HFSS legislation on TV) we expect to continue to see demand outstripping supply across the most sought-after broadcast OOH formats. The result of this will be a movement towards long term investment strategies from the most media savvy clients, and we expect to see OOH leading the charge as a broadcast media channel in 2022 & 2023.  

With technology and creativity at the forefront of Dan’s mind, he adds, “There has been much laudable technology and automation technique hitting the OOH space over the last few years. What the pandemic facilitated, due to the unexpected downtime, was a chance to take stock, rethink methodologies and technologies that aid the creative delivery of campaign creatively.”  

Our latest tools and techniques are ready to roll into the automated and programmatic OOH landscape that we find ourselves in, allowing creative to keep up with the ever-shifting sands of the OOH media landscape and helping ads and content be more responsive and appropriate for active audiences than ever before. Having creative tools that complement the wider Talon stack of technology stands our group in the perfect place to continue to lead the market.” 

Here’s to a successful 2022.