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A new report from Outsmart, the trade body for the UK Out of Home (OOH) advertising industry, finds that OOH is the most sustainable advertising platform for brands when compared to other major media.

The findings, produced by KPMG, are outlined in ‘Low Carbon, Low Power: An analysis of OOH energy consumption and CO2 emissions’, published today.

KPMG’s research found that out of all the media measured (Online, TV, Radio, Print and Email), the OOH industry produces the least amount of carbon emissions per impression.

OOH represents 3.3% of the UK’s total advertising power consumption, and just 0.067% of all the power consumption in the UK. This means that OOH advertising’s power consumption is lower than its share of all advertising spend (3.8%) * (AA/WARC 2023).

The findings reveal that OOH makes up less than 3.5% of the total carbon footprint of the UK’s advertising activities.

This positive report card for OOH alongside the sector’s ability to improve sustainability is in great part due to OOH media owners having control over the entire supply chain and end-to-end operations.

OOH media owners Clear Channel, Global, JCDecaux, and Ocean Outdoor contributed their data to the new report, with other media owners providing examples of their ability to reduce emissions across business operations.

Sustainability initiatives include maximising the recycling rate of materials, converting to more energy efficient lighting, optimising logistics routes, and most importantly, appointing suppliers based on their environmental credentials.

Tim Lumb, Director of Outsmart, said: “When we look at either the power consumption or the carbon emissions advertising “pie”, OOH is an incredibly small slice. Media owners have control over their supply chain, delivery and end of cycle processes – controls that result in demonstrable reductions to climate impact, at pace.”

Stéphanie Taupin, Global Strategy Director at KPMG, added: “The study results are consistent with a similar study we did in France: OOH allows brands to execute more environmentally friendly campaigns than other media when measured by contact or pound invested. Furthermore, OOH has opportunities to reduce its climate impact because it benefits from several reduction levers.”

Another recent study from Outsmart and Legacy reported that OOH is in a strong position across several key ESG metrics, performing especially well across environmental factors. Outsmart also recently announced that the UK OOH sector contributed £411m to support public services, infrastructure, communities and employees in 2021 – representing 46% of its advertising revenue.

“Of course, sustainability efforts have no end point, but the OOH sector is committed to improving and innovating across environmental and social sustainability, as shown in the initiatives from Outsmart members”, Lumb concluded.

This article first appeared on Outsmart.

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Yours sincerely, Ellie Reeves, Effectiveness Executive.

We’re all familiar with the fact that once you work in Out of Home, you can no longer enjoy being out of your home. Each bus shelter, tube car panel, and taxi wrap are a reminder of emails unsent and decks awaiting. For me, as someone who lives and breathes campaign effectiveness in their day job, the sight of each OOH ad renews a deep-seated rage, as I question why is every brand logo hidden in the bottom right corner? 

What is an advert without a brand logo? Wasted space, wasted money, and fundamentally an ad for your competitors if consumers can’t attribute it to you. Over the 8 years we’ve run creative testing – 575 campaigns to be exact – Talon have produced one truly illuminating statistic: brand logos are only noticed by viewers 42% of the time. 

Our creative testing relies on an online sample, who have nothing to do but stare at an image on a screen for five seconds. That means that even if we remove the chaos of the outside world, limit anything else that could be grabbing their attention, and put a creative right in front of them, less than half of the general public end up noticing the logo on a creative. When they do notice it, it takes 2.34 seconds for their eyeballs to actually hit the logo. Now that may work when we’re looking at commuters waiting a few minutes on a platform, but when roadside D6s see an average dwell time of 1.1 seconds, that 42% starts to look a lot smaller.   

This doesn’t mean that media investment is pointless – far from it. But it does mean that we can sometimes forget the fundamental rules for creative effectiveness when designing for OOH. Learnings from our creative testing aren’t particularly sophisticated – they reflect essential guidelines for creativity to simplify and centralise. They’re common sensical, but also anecdotal, and when we can provide bespoke, quantitative data to our clients to show what’s not working, it’s much easier to fix. Giving clear advice on what needs to be altered, we’re able to optimise creatives pre-campaign or mid-flight to ensure the strongest impact for our clients.

Rule one: keep it simple. The more features that are added to an ad, the more fragmented viewer’s attention is, and the less likely people are to notice a logo. We see that when creatives include 3 key features (i.e. a headline, image, logo), attention rates for logos are +15% stronger than creatives that include 4 key features. 

Rule two: people look at the centre of a creative first. Portrait creatives see gaze go from centre, to top to bottom, while landscape inevitably see gaze shift centre, to left to right. Using common sense, we can therefore imagine that the lowest levels of attention are in the bottom right corner of any given creative. Thankfully, we also have the data to back it up. Alignment on the left means logos over index by about +3%, while placement on the right under indexes by -17%. When placed in the centre, brand logos over index by +33%.

Now some good news for FMCG brands, automotive brands, and anyone who can showcase their brand logo within a product image. Though typically placed in the centre of a creative, we see that even when product images are hidden to one side, brand logos integrated into the product see much higher levels of attention – +24% above average, in fact.

So, what does this all mean? For the sake of your ad spend (and my sanity), make sure your brand logo is placed where people will see it. When we work day in and day out on the same creatives, we can forget the bigger picture – and that’s that everything on the picture needs to be bigger.

Keep it simple, keep it central, keep it seen. And most importantly, prove that you’re doing that.

As marketers begin to adjust to a post-cookie world, we’re appreciating that measurement is important and should be done right – but it can’t just be done at the end. Pre-campaign testing allows us invaluable insight into what’s not working, so that we can optimise both creative and impact. For years, we’ve used Talon Canvas to inform and drive creative effectiveness in OOH  – get in touch with the Talon Effectiveness Team if you want to find out how we can help you maximise attention in OOH.

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Mansour Wehbe, Client Director, Talon MENA.

With technology evolving, as it always has, we’re constantly seeing new ways of how it seamlessly integrates into our physical world. This evolution of blending online and offline experiences offers an exciting opportunity to dominate through digital OOH (DOOH) strategies and experiential activities.

DOOH is facilitating an even bigger role for online to play in the offline world, embracing a future where technology enhances our lives without overshadowing the genuine essence of the tangible world. Looking ahead, we envision a future in which the online world flawlessly operates in the background, enhancing our lives with AI and AR across other physical media platforms.

In this era, brands are expected to pioneer the fusion of both worlds’ touchpoints, impeccably creating concise consumer journeys from the smallest to the biggest screen out there, elevating their targeting game and widening their creative imagination.

Brands can delve more into dynamic advertising and its advantages over traditional/static OOH. Talon’s in-house effectiveness team, sit on a wealth of data, “Talon Benchmarks”, for instance showing the impact of dynamic DOOH led strategies.

There is a +15 per cent higher brain response when viewing dynamic ads and a +48 per cent higher effectiveness versus campaigns that aren’t dynamic.

For brands, DOOH creative must be tailor-made to the format and not the other way around. Each format has distinctive characteristics, and therefore, requires specific creative ideas for smart use for ideal impact on the audience. Copy is important. 60 per cent of DOOH copy is viewed longer than traditional static copy.

For special builds and experiential activities, which can bring online strategies into the real world effectively, there is a +35 per cent higher consideration from audiences. Special built DOOH, such as 3D (anamorphic) attracts +15 per cent more attention as opposed to 2D DOOH.

As technology evolves, so are consumer expectations and attention levels. With Talon as your OOH partner, brands can harness the exciting opportunities that blending online and offline experiences offer, dominating the busy landscape through DOOH strategies and experiential activities.

This article originally appeared in Campaign Middle East, read on page 81.

Starbucks Spring

Talon and JCDecaux UK Creative Solutions deliver fantastic campaign for Starbucks at Kings Cross St Pancras Station.

Starbucks UK is shaking up Spring with their Iced Shaken Espresso coffee range in the UK this Spring, and to celebrate, the world’s leading coffeeshop is immersing coffee drinkers in a full sensory OOH experience, ‘Iced Coffee Zone’, in Kings Cross St Pancras Station this April. This campaign was delivered by Talon and JCDecaux UK Creative Solutions.

Running for two weeks until 23rd April 2023, the full tunnel take-over in Kings Cross St Pancras between the underground and the international station aims to bring to life the delicious aromas and sounds of the Starbucks Barista crafted Iced Coffee experience. Commuters will encounter a full sensory experience via sound effects of ice shaking and scent dispensers as they pass through the tunnel.

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The special build has been designed by Havas Media UK in partnership with Talon, JCDecaux and Linney, and is expected to reach 1.3m people during the fortnight it is live, directly supporting 20 nearby Starbucks stores across central London.

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Sarah Harris, marketing director EMEA, Starbucks, comments: “Who doesn’t love an iced coffee? People say it’s the future, but for us, it’s the present – even during Winter when sales remain high. As we move into the warmer months, we want to remind our brilliant customers that wherever they are, there’s always a Starbucks Iced Coffee available to them. Better yet, you can now have it in an array of different flavours.”

Andrew Darby, managing partner at Havas Media UK, said: “I’m based out of HKX in St Pancras, it’s a genuinely terrific place to eat, work and play. Every day I pass through this tunnel and pick up my Starbucks on my way to the office. The strategically selected site is not only a gateway to central London as proven by Oyster card data, but also to the country and world with its domestic and international train terminals.”

Nicci Loudon, business director, Talon Outdoor said: “Immersive brand experiences are becoming increasingly important to connect with audiences and create valuable emotional reactions, helping our advertising work harder. OOH provides the perfect platform to provide a more powerful, multi-sensory experience by adding sound and scent to enhance an already visually impactful execution creating a fully immersive experience for a new Starbucks favourite.”