Eclipses, Moon Shots and Giant Leaps

Success Under Clouds: #OreoEclipse Campaign Insights

Well let’s be upfront about this – the Gods weren’t exactly shining down on us last Friday.  Our ambitious real-time #OreoEclipse campaign with Mondelez, PHD, Grand Visual and 3 fantastic media owner partners (Outdoor Plus, Forrest and Storm) required meticulous planning, seamless collaboration and a healthy dose of luck.  I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, and despite the unrelenting cloud cover over London the campaign that ran across press, social, and digital OOH was a clear success.

Many advertisers use cultural moments to connect with their target customers – Mother’s/Father’s/April Fool’s/Valentine’s Day, royal births, sporting scandals, have all been fair game – and last Friday’s solar eclipse was no different.   Historically brands have used press to deliver their one-day message, and then social platforms started to deliver scalable audiences at a fraction of the price.  #OreoEclipse has proven that digital OOH is in a unique position to offer brands scale, impact and creative versatility unlike any other.

The DOOH element of #OreoEclipse ran on dominated DOOH screens and showed the eclipsing of an Oreo biscuit synchronised with the solar eclipse taking place overhead.  Working with Grand Visual we used astronomical data to build the creative in real-time, which created a unique opportunity for Oreo to playfully entertain people during the celestial event.

A ten second time-lapse of the campaign running on one of the London screens hit the social networks within an hour of the completion of the eclipse. Early indications suggest that Twitter users from more than 40 countries wrote about the campaign delivering many millions of earned impacts.  The campaign was further scaled up by PHD who wrapped the Sun newspaper using transparent paper in another media first.

As is often the case, the simplicity of the campaign concealed a far greater complexity but without poring through the detail of the campaign planning here are some of the resulting thoughts and insights:

  • Outside of the usual stable of data sources there are an amazing suite of free and paid-for tools that exist which media planners can use to improve campaigns. With #OreoEclipse we used data from four different websites to synchronise with the exact timing of the eclipse, design the moon’s exact trajectory in front of the sun, predict the sun’s trajectory through the sky, and identify the best DOOH sites to use to capture the synchronised creative.
  • But that said… as our CSO Andy Tilley emphasised at AdWeek data without creativity is just a spreadsheet. Grand Visual’s interpretation of the data we compiled to create multiple real-time ads that would work across multiple screens was behind-the-scenes genius.
  • And there is beauty in simplicity. The #OreoEclipse DOOH artwork was stunning in its simplicity. The message and intent was instantaneous. Many creative teams could do well to not try to over complicate OOH creative.
  • To quote Taylor Swift: “Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate” – you’re not going to stop naysayers and pessimists on Twitter but this should never stop you being ambitious and brave. In truth there was a hugely positive response to the work, but for the record, the highly inventive Jaffa Cakes campaign was actually describing a lunar eclipse…

And whilst the future is less easy to predict than astronomical events, I believe that everyone has the power to set off a chain of events to make great things happen.  #OreoEclipse required many people to say “yes” at every turn, but its origin can be traced back to a series of proactive actions taken by the Talon team.  Be proactive, and have belief – the small steps you take today may result in giant leaps for your clients tomorrow.