Out of Home Now: How Brands Are Using Creativity to Connect with Audiences

Lockdown. One word I’m sure we all can’t wait to forget. After a decade of continuous growth in Out of Home, agencies and advertisers have had to pivot multiple times over the last 18 months, adjusting strategy and messaging alongside the changing context.

What we’ve seen is an explosion of creativity, cutting through and providing moments of levity and joy through what has been a challenging year for us all.

We’ve summarised a few of the brands that have really put their best creative foot forward after lockdown. So, get ready to feel inspired!

Contextual Advertising is Key 

Of course, contextual OOH isn’t something new. We’ve been using it for years. However, in this ‘new normal,’ contextual advertising goes much further than just including the location of the billboard in the campaign messaging. It shows some empathy and understanding of our audiences, giving brands relatability and human-like qualities.

Since lockdown has ended, we’ve seen some really great examples of brands harnessing the power of contextual advertising, further cementing why context is key.

  • Specsavers & BBC – The Euros

One of the first events to take place after lockdown, the highly anticipated 2020 Euros was celebrated far and wide by Brits and brands alike. Two of our favourite examples include Specsavers and the BBC’s support of the Euros.

Using a clever play on words and the Snellen chart for eye testing, Specsavers joined in with the “it’s coming home” chants with this incredible OOH creative. The BBC also joined in with the celebrations of getting into the final and the fear of jinxing our chances of winning with this relatable creative.

  • Google 

Google is another brand that is famous for harnessing the power of context within its advertising campaigns. With over 3.5 billion Google searches per day, there’s a lot of contextual opportunities for them to play with. In this simple yet relatable Summer campaign, Google showcased some of the most popular searches within its creative.

Taking Creativity to the Next Level 

If being in a lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that creativity needn’t be locked down too. Recently, we’ve seen brands breaking out of the confines of OOH to achieve something spectacular. We’ve chosen to highlight two recent campaigns, but it was hard to select just two… check out our Twitter for our latest OOH campaigns.

  • Nissan – Qashqai

For Nissan’s All-New Qashqai launch into an already busy market, the brand needed a launch campaign that showcased the vehicle’s beauty, strengths and new technology. Standard 6 sheets would just not cut it. Ensuring all eyes were on the Qashqai, the vehicle was burst onto the scene with Europe’s first-ever 3D experience.

  • BBC – Glow Up

Amplifying this year’s theme of fierce self-expression, BBC’s Glow Up wanted to give its presenter, Maya Jama, her biggest glow up yet. In a collaboration with guest judge/make-up artist, Abby Roberts, and leading 3D make-up creator, Ines Alpha, an immersive 3D mural was created.  

During the day passers-by could marvel at Abby’s vibrant and intricate make-up design on the lifelike painting of Maya. And for one special night, the mural was transformed with a 3D ‘living’ flower projection. 

Interactive is Back! 

Humans are social creatures, craving contact with others for support, wellbeing and entertainment. Not only this, but we know interactions are effective; Ocean’s Neuroscience research revealed that campaigns that use enhanced technology are eight times more impactful than creative content carried by static displays.

Now that restrictions have eased, we’re thrilled to see experiential OOH back in the limelight. We are back and better than ever, collaborating on some amazing brand interactions.

  • Absolut – Together #IRL

One of the first brand interactions since the easing of restrictions, Absolut celebrated people being back together in real life. With an impressive special build, featuring the tagline “Nothing beats together #IRL,” the brand challenged two people to stop the flashing lights on the blue colour to win an Absolut watermelon and lemonade drink.

The interaction was so popular that the brand was inundated with messages requesting that the special-build come to their city!

  • McDonald’s – Fancy a McDonald’s

Serving a McFlurry to passers-by from this fantastic “walk-thru” billboard, McDonald’s celebrated the little moments of joy provided from the brand who’s been present in the UK for over 40 years. The special-build supported the brand’s ongoing “Fancy a McDonald’s” campaign in a way that only McDonald’s could – with Oreos on top!

Moving forward, it’s important for brands to communicate with their audiences with the creative ways in which OOH can be utilised. Whether you choose contextual or interactive OOH or even taking the creativity of your campaigns to the next level, audiences must always be at the forefront of the campaign.

How will the campaign make them feel? Is it relatable? Will it make them feel inspired? Will it make them feel happy and connected to your brand?

The current space for creativity in OOH is huge and if your brand uses the space wisely, they will reap the rewards for this year and many years to come.

Are you interested in how your brand could use creativity to captivate your audience? Then get in touch with marketing@talonoutdoor.com