Outside thinking – it runs in the Talon family. We pride ourselves on being a company built on people with big ideas. People who constantly challenge themselves and the industry to re-imagine and re-invent the possibilities of what Out of Home can be. ​ 

In this series, we’ll be getting to know more about the people of Talon, their roles, advice and what they get up to outside of OOH. This week, we sat down with Anant East, Chief Technology Officer at Talon.

Explain your role?

As Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Talon my role covers the delivery of both the support and development of the tools Talon use to operate the business, as well as the many products we have developed to plan and manage campaigns for our customers.

Fortunately, I have a talented team that helps me to do this. My team is responsible for providing this to all the companies within the Talon group, covering:

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

A typical day is a mixture of ensuring the software developers and support teams have everything they need to deliver the services we provide and build new features. This includes unblocking any obstacles they may have, thinking about the future shape of the teams, helping to manage the product roadmaps and the resolution of any incidents.

What do you enjoy most about working in OOH?   

As an industry there is still a lot to do to make use of the appropriate technology for all sides of the industry; all the way from the customers and agencies through to the media owners and suppliers involved in the planning, booking and operations of media campaigns. My role allows me to play a role in the implementation of technology to deliver value to our customers and owners.

Most memorable moment or achievement from your time in the industry?

I’ve worked on both the selling side and buying side of the industry and my most memorable achievement is working together to deliver the automated trading the industry must adopt to remain relevant and more importantly, give access to new customers to OOH.

Any tips or advice for someone interested in joining the industry or pursuing a similar career path?

Having worked in manufacturing, finance and retail domains I can honestly say that media and OOH is just as challenging and rewarding, with the added advantage of your friends and family seeing the campaigns you help to deliver.

What do you get up to outside of work?

Sleep, but on the weekends and in my free time I like to hike and am a member of a large walking group. I have walked the West Highland Way three times, most of Wainwrights lakes, the Welsh 3000, Hadrian’s Wall, Jurassic Coast, SWCP, several 100km walks, and that’s just in the UK. I have also hiked in Africa, South America, New Zealand and the Himalayas. Most Sundays I walk 10 to 15 miles usually in the Chilterns.

If you could quickly and easily learn any new skill, what would it be?

Plumbing as you can never find one when you need to.

Share a memorable adventure or travel experience you’ve had during your free time. How did it impact your personal growth or perspective?

When you trek through remote places such as the Himalayas and see how happy everyone is with the very few possessions they have it always reminds me to keep things as simple as possible.

Outside thinking – it runs in the Talon family. We pride ourselves on being a company built on people with big ideas. People who constantly challenge themselves and the industry to re-imagine and re-invent the possibilities of what Out of Home can be. ​ 

This week, Talon US CEO, Jim Wilson, chats with Todd Palatnek, Senior Vice President of Client Development for Talon US, to learn more about the newest member of the Talon family!

Todd, welcome to the Talon family! To kick off, tell us about your background along with your expectations for the future of OOH?   

Having spent over 17 years immersed in the dynamic world of OOH, I’ve gained a unique perspective from both agency and vendor angles. Throughout my journey, I’ve always believed that adopting digital into OOH will play a crucial role in shaping the industry.

I had the privilege of contributing to the growth of C2C Outdoor, a specialized OOH group, serving as Vice President for a decade until its acquisition by Posterscope. My journey then took me to Waze, a Google company, where I pioneered a new OOH product and spearheaded its expansion across the OOH and digital landscapes. Subsequently, I joined MediaMath as Vice President of Client Success, leading the Retail team and overseeing a talented group of 15 individuals. At MediaMath, my role as a mentor and leader extended beyond the organization’s boundaries, as I played a pivotal role in cultivating growth within the Retail vertical across all programmatic digital channels.

My career has traversed the digital media landscape, offering me a front-row seat to the transformative evolution of OOH. Today, OOH stands at the intersection of boundless creativity, cutting-edge technology, and an expanding range of inventory formats, making it an exceptionally thrilling medium. The ongoing digital revolution within OOH, driven by data and technology investments, has elevated it into an advanced media platform. This platform empowers advertisers to achieve remarkable results through broad-reaching brand awareness campaigns or precision-focused performance marketing initiatives.

As more marketers across sectors embrace the potential of OOH, there’s tremendous growth potential. I am eager to assist brands and agencies seize this opportunity – to help them reimagine OOH’s possibilities to think outside and drive their businesses forward.

Omnichannel marketing has become increasingly important for advertisers. How do you see OOH fitting into the broader landscape of omnichannel strategies?

Now more than ever, advertisers are focused on maximizing their investments by putting their dollars into the most effective channels. Many are prioritizing an omnichannel approach. They’re testing and learning to see which channels are working — and OOH has the data and tech to prove the results.

Including OOH in an omnichannel strategy is way more than just extending reach. It allows marketers to influence consumers with cohesive messaging across channels. Advertisers that integrate OOH into their cross-platform strategy can truly reap the benefits of engaging with consumers throughout the entire customer journey.

A prime example is the growing trend of connecting OOH and CTV campaigns. We’re seeing more advertisers testing and connecting audience data between CTV and OOH in an integrated campaign. Watch this space!

What’s your view on getting more advertisers to increase their ad share spend in OOH?

Education is critical to unlocking the vast potential within OOH advertising and is one of my core priorities as I work closely with brands and agencies. Many marketers remain unaware of the expansive capabilities OOH offers today, which has come a long way from the days of simply placing a static billboard ad with a local vendor. I am passionate about educating on the evolution of OOH’s capacity to yield measurable results and how it’s advanced – unlocking a world of opportunity!

At Talon, we stand at the forefront of this evolution, equipped with industry-leading technology, a team of experts, and a wealth of compelling case studies. We are passionate about illustrating how OOH continues to transform and its unique value as the final touchpoint along the consumer’s path to purchase. There’s a wealth of untapped opportunities in this space, and through education and innovation, we can unlock its full potential.

What attracted you to Talon, and how does Talon exemplify the pioneering of technology and data-driven insights in the transformation of OOH advertising?

Talon’s appeal lies in its pivotal role in reshaping the out-of-home (OOH) advertising landscape through cutting-edge technology and data capabilities. In the realm of education, Talon empowers brands and agencies with tools that streamline the OOH planning and buying process, liberating them from cumbersome manual procedures and spreadsheets. Notably, Talon’s comprehensive inventory scoring system offers advertisers invaluable insights into the most effective locations for their campaigns, enhancing the precision of their strategies.

Furthermore, Talon leverages innovation, particularly in targeting and measurement within OOH. Audience targeting enables advertisers to zero in on specific demographic segments, leveraging mobile location data to identify real-world movement patterns, allowing advertisers to obtain inventory that best reaches their target demographics. Talon’s advanced measurement and attribution solutions close the loop by directly linking OOH ad exposure to a wide array of results, including brand sentiment, purchase intent, foot traffic, and website visits. This empowers performance marketers with reliable insights into the impact of OOH campaigns on consumer journeys and path-to-purchase, emphasizing OOH’s unparalleled ability to deliver broad-scale results.

What drew me to Talon is its position at the forefront of OOH’s transformation, driven by leading-edge technologies and expert teams. Talon’s unwavering commitment to innovation and substantial investments in tools and technology guarantee an exceptional experience and foolproof outcomes for advertisers. The phenomenal creative capabilities of Grand Visual are another attribute that sets Talon apart, being awarded consistently for creativity at prestigious events like Cannes Lions. In this exciting era for OOH, there’s no better place to be part of this transformation than here at Talon.

Outside thinking – it runs in the Talon family. We pride ourselves on being a company built on people with big ideas. People who constantly challenge themselves and the industry to re-imagine and re-invent the possibilities of what Out of Home can be. ​ 

In this series, we’ll be getting to know more about the people of Talon, their roles, advice and what they get up to outside of OOH. This week, we sat down with Mel Lindquist, who leads our Asia Pacific expansion as Managing Director for Talon Singapore.

Explain your role?  

Talon’s APAC office is strategically based in Singapore as a gateway to the Asia Pacific region. My role is to build the Talon profile in the region, attract new clients to Talon and deliver exceptional campaigns for local and international clients. Importantly, my role is to also advocate for the Out of Home (OOH) industry in the media mix as well as support and drive the continuous improvement of OOH, DOOH and pDOOH performance.  

What does a typical day at work look like for you?  

The role spans a wide remit from strategy through to post campaign analysis, as well as client and industry facing meetings and events. Throughout the week I am connecting with existing and potential new clients, presenting credentials or proposals, checking on campaign performance and reading research and case studies. During live campaigns I am verifying placements and communicating with the client and media owners. 

What do you enjoy most about working in OOH?    

I’ve worked in radio, television, digital and now OOH. All are enjoyable to work in but there is something about the visceral impact and tactile nature of an OOH campaign that drives my passion for OOH in a marketing strategy. I love working with marketers and agencies to deliver results using a smart, data-backed strategy that works and when you see it in the physical environment, its exceptional. 

Most memorable moment or achievement from your time in the industry?  

The opportunity to be at ground zero of Talon’s APAC expansion has been very memorable as it is a chance to build something from the ground up but with the foundations of an internationally reputable and established business. The first campaigns from the Singapore office will always be very special too with the Warriors of Future Netflix film launch in Tokyo, Taipei, London and New York and the stunning Singapore Airlines, “Welcome to World Class,” campaign on some of the most iconic OOH sites around the world. 

Any tips or advice for someone interested in joining the industry or pursuing a similar career path?  

I started in radio making tea for the breakfast announcer, reading papers, finding interesting stories and researching information to make great, compelling content for radio listeners each morning.  This was hard work but one of the most interesting roles I have ever had because you did not know what was going to happen each day.  If you have passion for media, you will find a way in via an internship, work experience or entry-level role. Then learn as much as you can from the best people and care about what you produce and deliver to clients every day. That is a great foundation for long career in media. 

What do you get up to outside of work?  

I love to travel and experience different cultures, so I am always planning my next adventure.  Recently I have visited Langkawi in Malaysia, Jakarta in Indonesia and The Azures in the North Atlantic Ocean.  Thankfully, Singapore is an amazing place to live due to its proximity to some of the most beautiful places in Asia.  It’s a 45 minute boat ride to get to Bintan or a 2 hour flight to eat in Bangkok or walk the temples of Angkor Wat.  

If you could quickly and easily learn any new skill, what would it be?  

Other languages. I’d love to be fluent in Japanese and Mandarin. 

Share a memorable adventure or travel experience you’ve had during your free time. How did it impact your personal growth or perspective?    

My first trip to Cambodia in 2007 was life changing and resulted in many more visits.  It was a humbling experience and eye-opening to the privilege I had taken for granted. A simple act like buying rice supplies, reading to children, teaching a sport or giving books to a school had an enormous impact on many lives and I have been very grateful to be able to contribute.

Lucy Baumgartner, Senior Effectiveness Executive at Talon shares the need to know on Talon’s OOH Benchmarks.

With over 10 years’ experience planning and executing Out of Home (OOH) campaigns, Talon have always prided ourselves on thinking outside. We champion the OOH medium that is more effective and more measurable than ever before.  

At Talon, campaign effectiveness is underpinned by a simple but sophisticated benchmark database – which is unlike any other available in the market. With our extensive knowledge of OOH measurement and through following a consistent measurement framework, we have collected a wealth of data covering almost 200 campaigns which provides unique insight into OOH’s effectiveness.  

This data is fundamental to Talon’s planning cycle and forms the bedrock of campaigns. In this series, we will be deep diving into the interesting world of OOH effectiveness.

What are benchmarks and what do they tell us? 

“Benchmarks” is a word that is used a lot when it comes to effectiveness, but what are they? What do they mean and why are they imperative to OOH planning? 

In the world of measurement, synonymous with acronyms, jargon and countless metrics, understanding campaign results and performance can be confusing. Benchmarks are a fundamental part of simplifying this process. They allow us to accurately assess and understand campaign performance by providing an essential point of comparison, giving us the ability to compare performance to wider norms.

Additionally, they provide our clients with the context to effectively assess whether a campaign’s objectives have been achieved. Reporting an uplift in any brand metric is fantastic, however without understanding the context and norms of our channel, that result doesn’t mean a lot, and the campaign could be underperforming against industry standards.

How have we created our Talon Benchmarks? 

At Talon, campaign measurement doesn’t stop at individual clients and brands. A consistent measurement approach across clients, with a standardised methodology and questionnaire, has allowed us to merge and amalgamate all the data from our brand uplift studies over the past six years, creating a rich database of campaign results. From this database, average uplifts across all brand metrics have been created, providing the much-needed point of comparison that campaign assessment requires. For example, on average OOH drives an uplift of +6% in brand awareness and +7% in purchase intent.

Watch this space for more Benchmarks insight… 

While at their surface, our Talon benchmarks are simple, in this series we will explore how layers of analysis into this database provides highly sophisticated insight which underpins Talon planning strategies, informs OOH’s role in the wider media landscape and helps answer industry wide questions.

Supports Agency’s Ambition Toward Becoming B Corp Organization

London – August 24, 2023 – Today, the global independent Out of Home (OOH) media agency, Talon announced the appointment of its first Group Sustainability Manager, Alice Date. The appointment coincides with Talon joining Ad Net Zero, the global advertising industry’s drive to decarbonize the production, distribution, and publications of advertising, signifying Talon Group’s commitment to driving sustainable practices throughout its business and the wider advertising ecosystem.

“At Talon, we take our role in setting industry standards in environmental, social, and corporate practices incredibly seriously,” said Barry Cupples, Group CEO, Talon. “Alice is joining as we actively ramp up our efforts and commitments to this cause; she brings a fresh burst of energy and new perspective of the challenge we face within the advertising industry and we’re all looking forward to supporting her as she implements important changes across our organization’s operations.”

Alice Date joins Talon following four years in Australia at the transformation consultancy firm, EY, where she supported the implementation of sustainable practices through strategy development and reporting. Additionally, she has strong experience in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) data interpretation and developing effective roadmaps toward net zero and wider bespoke sustainability strategies.

Alice’s impressive skill sets arrive at a pivotal point in the organization’s sustainability journey. Effective immediately, she will be responsible for developing Talon’s global sustainability strategy and driving its ambition towards becoming a B Corp organization.

“I’m incredibly excited to be leading and continuing Talon’s sustainability program,” said Date. “There is a clear enthusiasm across the organization for being a driving force in creating a more sustainable industry – and I’m looking forward to channelling this enthusiasm into clear, practical, and impactful initiatives.”

As part of Talon’s commitment to Ad Net Zero, Alice will spearhead the efforts in reducing emissions from advertising business operations and production, media planning and buying, and awards and events programs, as well as harnessing the power of advertising to supercharge behavioural change.

Alice will also oversee the carbon reduction program, developing a strategy to ensure Talon can reduce emissions and contribute to the collective goal of the industry to allow for more robust and transparent reporting.

Alice will be based in Talon’s London office and report into Group Chief Strategy Officer, Sophie Pemberton.

Outside thinking – it runs in the Talon family. We pride ourselves on being a company built on people with big ideas. People who constantly challenge themselves and the industry to re-imagine and re-invent the possibilities of what Out of Home can be. ​

In this series, we’ll be getting to know more about the people of Talon, their roles, advice and what they get up to outside of OOH. This week, we sat down with Harvinder Sokhal, who is currently enrolled on our year long paid internship programme.

Explain your role?  

I’m currently an intern at Talon in their UK office. I started in the international team and have been rotating every two months between the Product & Data, Compass, Marketing, Grand Visual and Investment teams. 

What does a typical day at work look like for you?  

My role is varied, meaning my days are not necessarily typical. Most of my time is spent supporting the team I am currently in on an ad hoc basis. Sometimes I could be working on project for a few days at a time, and other days I might be drafted in to help finish a report which will be presented the next morning! Previous tasks have involved me collating airport site specifications for the international team, interpreting and presenting campaign data for the Effectiveness team and collecting campaign photography for the Compass team.  

What do you enjoy most about working in OOH?    

I really enjoy the collaborative and people focused environment that the OOH industry provides. I enjoyed meeting new people at university and it’s great to have that in a professional aspect too. Also, being able to see your work created into a tangible object that is seen by millions is fascinating to me and I consider OOH to be one of the more creative and intelligent media industries. 

Most memorable moment or achievement from your time in the industry?  

I am very new to this industry, so can’t say I can think of a single moment right now but attending the Campaign Tech Awards and seeing some brilliant people and campaigns win awards was amazing! Being invited to AdWeek Europe was a real highlight too, as I got to listen to industry-leaders, and I even made a couple of new LinkedIn connections. 

Any tips or advice for someone interested in joining the industry or pursuing a similar career path?  

I would say to keep an open mind when it comes to opportunities, as there are so many that pop up without you thinking about it. Working in OOH can seem full on at first but that comes with chances to learn and progress in your career. As it’s a people orientated industry, you’ll always find support and a friendly face which is good to know. 

What do you get up to outside of work?  

Interestingly, I can’t say I have many major hobbies but most of my time is spent being with my loved ones – whether it be family, friends, or my partner 😊. 

If you could quickly and easily learn any new skill, what would it be?  

Probably the ability to talk to animals as I’ve always wanted to know what they’re thinking!  

Share a memorable adventure or travel experience you’ve had during your free time. How did it impact your personal growth or perspective?   

I went on a 6-month exchange programme to Singapore as part of my degree course! My best mate and I wanted to go somewhere new, far, and exciting so it was an obvious choice. It was quite hard to settle in at first – the humidity, culture and missing home took its toll. But then I remembered why I was there… for the experience!  

I relished the opportunity and ended up joining the UN Students Association and a dance group, travelling to Thailand and Malaysia (4 times!) with new friends and most importantly, an experience that challenged me to make the most of life.  

Cannes is the world’s biggest celebration of creativity – bringing the industry together to discuss the future of creativity and its challenges. This year, AI and sustainability were the talk of La Croisette, alongside celebrations of the Cannes Lions winners.  

The Talon and Grand Visual teams flew the flag for Out of Home with a jam-packed week of activity. Keep reading for our key takeaways from Cannes 2023.

Celebrating Big OOH ideas 

As always, the work showcased at Cannes Lions was exceptional, with winners pushing boundaries and demonstrating creativity’s potential for positive change.

British Airways and Uncommon Creative Studio were awarded the Grand Prix – Outdoor Lion for their captivating campaign “A British Original. The work, which broke in October last year, was made up of 512 executions around the reasons why people travel such as to see loved ones, get engaged or “eat the unpronounceable”. Talon loved planning and bringing this OOH campaign to life with MG OMD.

Budweiser’s “This Billboard Is Yours to Take,” also received a Bronze Media Lion, and was a favourite of many we asked in Cannes. Grand Visual, our creative OOH production agency, worked on this fantastic OOH campaign with FCB New York.

Sustainability and the need for more action 

Sustainability took centre stage at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival, emphasizing the growing importance of environmental consciousness in the creative industry. The festival organizers announced the introduction of non-compulsory sustainability reporting to the entry process for all Lions awards. This move encouraged participants to outline the CO2 emissions associated with their submitted work, aligning with AdNet Zero’s five-point Action Plan. The goal was to benchmark best practices across global creative production and distribution, demonstrating a commitment to mitigating environmental impact. 

Cannes Lions 2023 showcased an array of inspiring examples of how brands can innovate their supply chains, products, and processes to reduce their environmental footprint. Winners like IKEA’s Life collection campaign in Norway demonstrated the power of storytelling to drive the adoption of sustainable social behaviours. By sharing authentic stories behind second-hand furniture purchases, IKEA highlighted the significance of sustainable consumption while avoiding the pitfalls of greenwashing. Weber Shandwick also won a bronze for turning turnstiles into a new energy source. This campaign reinvented turnstiles into prototypes of the world’s first underground wind turbines: the Turnstile Turbines. Two brilliant examples of how brands can make a positive impact on the environment while engaging their audiences. 

Across the week, the message was clear that more action is needed to address sustainability challenges. William Skeaping of Extinction Rebellion emphasized this urgency during a panel discussion. He highlighted the gravity of the crisis we face and stressed the responsibility of businesses to step up and make a difference. These calls to action served as a reminder that sustainability should remain a top priority for brands and agencies. 

Imagining what’s possible when you Think Outside 

Talon participated in various panels and discussions at Cannes, contributing valuable insights and OOH expertise across the week. Our Group CEO, Barry Cupples, joined a roundtable hosted by Campaign Magazine UK, addressing: How can brands find the sweet spot between short-term sales and long-term brand-building? This thought-provoking discussion explored the trade-offs and strategies that brands can employ for effective marketing, read more on Campaign.

In addition, our Group CEO Barry Cupples also engaged in discussions on programmatic DOOH and digital out-of-home at panels hosted by Outfront and the DPAA, respectively.  

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Officer of Grand Visual shared his insights on the Little Black Book & Friends Beach panel discussion, “Can we really do Everything Everywhere all at once?”

As part of our commitment to supporting industry events and fostering meaningful connections, Talon sponsored Campaign Magazine ‘s Global VIP Cannes Party. This exclusive gathering provided an excellent opportunity for networking and celebrating creativity and innovation. 

We discuss OOH’s superpowers, our favourite OOH ideas, and creativity in the real world in our Talon in Cannes video. Watch now:

Talon is delighted to announce a new award nomination, being shortlisted as a finalist in the Medium-sized Business category of the premier British Business Excellence Awards.

Talon is a pioneering global independent Out of Home (OOH) media agency focused on delivering effective, creative, data-driven integrated OOH campaigns. Combining independence with a collaborative approach, Talon promotes open and transparent working relationships between many of the world’s leading agencies, clients, and media partners. Headquartered in London with offices in Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Manchester, New York, Nashville, Singapore and Toronto, Talon delivers OOH expertise at global, national, regional, and local levels. This nomination recognises our dedication to thinking outside to provide excellent service to our clients; the award champions sustainability, diversity, equality and those that have transcended expectations and limitations throughout the year. 
The British Business Excellence Awards is the elite business awards programme for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The awards host a year-long programme of networking events, round tables and exemplary judging processes, all of which will then culminate in a spectacular awards ceremony on Tuesday 14th November 2023 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.  

Sarah Austin, Founder & Director of the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards, commented on the announcement, “As the UK’s unrivalled celebration of business brilliance, resilience, and innovation – the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards takes centre stage – and this year is no exception. The anticipation is electrifying as we gear up for the grand event at the glamorous Grosvenor Hotel. 

Our excitement levels have hit the roof as we’ve witnessed a spectacular level of submissions across a wide range of dynamic industries – but with a real trend across the energy, recruitment, wellbeing, food & drink, and tech sectors, highlighting just how much the UK business landscape is thriving. 

Kudos to each and every finalist who has made the shortlist – your entries have truly left us in awe of your extraordinary talent and dedication, setting the bar high for what it means to be a champion in the business world. You’ve made us stand up and take notice, and we can’t wait to celebrate your remarkable achievements.” 

Sarah Parkes, Group Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, said: “We are delighted to have been announced as a finalist in the British Business Excellence Awards. It is a testament to our talented team, who embody what it means to think outside, delivering exceptional service for our clients, agencies and partners every day. At Talon, we prioritise sustainability, diversity and equality and it is brilliant to be recognised for this. Well done to all the finalists and fingers crossed for the 14th November.”