SUNDAY TIMES BEST PLACES TO WORK WEB

The Sunday Times, powered by WorkL, has revealed the Best Places to Work in the UK for 2024 – and Talon have made the list! This nationwide workplace survey honours and celebrates Britain’s top employers – which number over 500 organisations across industries and sizes – and acknowledges the best workplaces for women, LGBTQIA+ community, disabled employees, ethnic minorities, younger and older workers, and wellbeing.

Read what The Sunday Times said about us below:

Talon – Bold ideas are encouraged at this London-based Out of Home agency, with its 182 UK staff, who receive twice-yearly appraisals, part of a people-focused philosophy. Active leadership motivates the diverse team, who are encouraged to go all out to impress. On-site massages are provided for all staff, who are tasked with completing 50 hours of training each year. Talon offers flexible working as well as glide time, allowing workers to fit their hours between 8am and 6.30pm.

Outside Thinking – Runs in the Talon Family

We’re proud that our employees have voted us as one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Work in the UK.

Talon is the destination where bold ideas are encouraged and our people are driven to be the differentiator. Kantar’s inclusion index ranks Talon at 76.7%, +6.7% vs all agencies and +26.7% vs UK benchmark. We provide two internships per year through Creative Access and our team receives mentoring and memberships through MEFA. Talon are accredited Living Wage employers.

Our people-first philosophy prioritises creating a workplace culture where everyone feels they belong. At Talon, we’re achieving this through our policies and practices that best support our staff. Some of our policies and practices include:

Embedded throughout our business is a culture for learning and progression. Talon’s learning and development framework has senior buy-in and filters through the entire business. There is great importance placed on training at Talon with all staff tasked with completing 50 hours each year. 360-degree feedback and appraisal systems take place twice a year and our employees benefit from role and salary benchmarking. The team also benefit from “Grow Together”, our cross-company mentoring platform, and our “Grow Academy”, an e-learning platform that includes recordings of all live sessions.

How the Best Places to Work survey works

The Sunday Times partnered with employee-experience platform WorkL to deliver fresh insights into what makes a Best Place to Work. The Sunday Times Best Places to Work awards survey uses 26 questions from WorkL’s employee engagement survey, developed by behavioural scientists, data analysts, psychologists, business leaders, academics and other independent parties to most accurately monitor employee engagement, wellbeing and discretionary effort in the workplace. To achieve a high overall engagement score, an organisation must score well across WorkL’s six-step framework:

1. Reward and Recognition

2. Instilling Pride

3. Information Sharing

4. Empowerment

5. Wellbeing

6. Job Satisfaction

Read the full list online – Best Places to Work 2024

If you are interested in working at Talon, view our job openings here

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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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BBC Studios uses the power of Creative Out of Home to create a Gladiators immersive experience in Manchester with Talon and Grand Visual 

The BBC, with global independent Out of Home (OOH) agency Talon and its award-winning OOH production arm, Grand Visual, has brought the Gladiator experience to Manchester’s Trafford Centre in The Gladiators Inflatable Duel.

The experiential activation, which took place on Saturday 9th of March, featured an inflatable immersive experience for nine hours to stir excitement around the highly anticipated semi-finals and finals of the iconic television show. As part of the experience, shoppers at The Trafford Centre were invited to experience a part of the show and engage with the cast themselves by taking part in two to three rounds of battles.

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Leveraging Talon’s expertise in outdoor media, Grand Visual’s world class creative experience and BBC’s unrivalled entertainment legacy, this execution gave audiences the opportunity to experience the adrenaline-filled world of Gladiators action and competition for themselves.

Gladiators returned to screens for the first time this year since 2008 and has reignited fresh enthusiasm for the ultimate test of strength and speed with 9.8 million viewers tuning in to the first episode of the new series. The next generation of Gladiators has proven particularly popular with the younger audience, with 1.9m under 15s tuning in to episode one.

To support the activation, Talon planned a Digital Out of Home campaign that took over the shopping centre to drive consumers to the activity. The creative focused particularly on capturing the attention of Gladiators’ core demographic of 16-34-year-olds, designed to entice them to the adrenaline-pumped atmosphere of the replica Gladiator arena, transporting viewers into the heart of action.

Jay Young, Managing Director at Grand Visual, part of Talon, comments: “We were thrilled to partner with BBC Studios to bring the exhilarating world of Gladiators to Manchester. Through creative use of the Digital Out of Home screens positioned  throughout the centre, we drove excited crowds to put their strength to the test. Audience appetite for in-person events is fully back in swing, and this presents an exciting opportunity for brands to experiment with new ways to engage with audiences.”

Niki Carr, Senior Head of Marketing at BBC, said: “Gladiators holds a special place in people’s hearts. Talon and Grand Visual helped us bring the experience to life, creating ways for people to enjoy and interact with the show, generating excitement around the Semi final and Grand Finale. This collaboration demonstrates the power of creativity to captivate audiences and drive engagement. We were thrilled to bring such a fun experience to the Trafford Centre and loved watching our audience battling it out!”

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Credits:

Client: BBC 

Advertising Agency: BBC Creative  

Associate Mx Director: Debbie Yuen 

Planning Manager: Pegi Jones  

Planner: Lucy Lyth  

Business Director: Sandra Hernadez  

Senior Client Manager: Georgia Harrison 

Senior Producer: Fran Betts 

Media Company: Havas 

Production Company: Ann Squared 

Production Manager: Charlotte Boag 

Event Producer: Caroline Osbourne 

Talon, the independent Out of Home (OOH) agency, in partnership with SMP Group, has expanded its sustainable solution for classic OOH campaigns. As part of its commitment to a greener and more sustainable future, Talon is now printing all classic roadside 6 sheet, 48 sheet, and 96 sheet campaigns for clients through SMP on 100% recycled paper as standard. Following the successful launch of 100% recycled 6 sheets in 2022 defaulting to recycled printing is a natural progression to support sustainable OOH production.  

Sustainable Partnerships: Talon & SMP’s Green OOH Solution

SMP Group is a pioneer in bringing to market 100% recycled material that is also recyclable, with one of the lowest carbon emissions in the OOH industry. They use FSC approved material, water-based inks, and an energy-efficient manufacturing facility that uses renewable energy through the recent installation of solar panels. The newly improved paper has been tested side by side with standard paper and has been found to be of high quality, with no discernible difference in appearance day or night. The 100% recycled paper is recyclable, and clients will be offered an opt-out if they would prefer to use standard 30% recycled paper. 

Luke Willbourn, Managing Director – UK at Talon, said, “At Talon, we take our responsibility for the planet seriously and are driving sustainability initiatives internally and across the OOH industry. We are pleased to expand our use of recycled paper as standard for the classic 6, 48, and 96 sheet campaigns we plan, a development that puts both us and our clients on track to a sustainable future.” 

Bradley Slade, Group Managing Director at SMP, said, “As a sustainable manufacturing business one of the key pillars we work to is reducing our environmental impact. We have worked hard to deliver sustainable products and best practice to improve the products we deliver for our clients. Through investment in technology, research, development, and innovation – we are proud to have delivered 100% recycled material for Out of Home advertising and crucially, still ensuring quality assurance in this high-profile medium.”  

Talon Earns IPA Effectiveness Accreditation 2023

Talon is pleased to announce that it has once again achieved the prestigious IPA Effectiveness Accreditation. The IPA launched its inaugural IPA Effectiveness Accreditation in 2021 and signals an outstanding commitment to putting effectiveness at the heart of your agency and being true partners of growth.

This year, Talon is among the select group of 30 agencies to receive this esteemed recognition which marks a significant milestone and is a testament to the fact that effectiveness is ingrained into the very essence of our agency. WE’RE MORE CREATIVE, EFFECTIVE, MEASURABLE, THAN EVER BEFORE and we’re proud to continue delivering great value for our clients whilst inspiring others and looking after our planet. Our dedicated teams hard work is truly commendable, and we couldn’t be prouder!

Luke Willbourn, UK Managing Director commented: “We’re once again extremely proud to receive the IPA Effectiveness Accreditation, a testament to our unwavering commitment to prioritising effectiveness at Talon. Our dedication to achieving exceptional client outcomes and advancing effectiveness within the realm of OOH remains stronger than ever.”


Emily Alcorn, Head of Effectiveness added: “At Talon we are constantly trying to understand and measure what success looks like for our business and importantly our clients. Retaining IPA effectiveness accreditation is an endorsement that we are delivering on our core values to drive innovation in the market, champion creativity and to build a responsible evidence-based economy in OOH.”

A new report from PwC, commissioned by Outsmart, finds the UK Out of Home (OOH) sector contributed £411m to support public services, infrastructure, communities and employees in 2021 – representing 46% of its advertising revenue.

OOH Sector’s Huge Contribution: Public Support & Impact

Over the last 14 years, OOH media owners have invested £1.1bn into installing and maintaining public infrastructure including bus shelters, free telecommunications services and even lifesaving defibrillators. OOH media owners directly contributed £188m in 2021 towards public finances through business rates and rent.

In addition, PwC estimate​s​ a further c.£29m helped support charities and communities by donations, heavily discounted or donated media space and staff hours given to charity.

The report, based on a survey of OOH media owners representing 92% of industry revenue, also highlights how the sector has increased the share of renewables to over 90% of electricity consumption whilst innovating to increase​ the​ use of recyclable materials. 

Tim Lumb​,​ Director of Outsmart​,​ comments “This report highlights Out of Home is not just about fantastic advertising, it​’​s also about investing in our relationship with the public by providing highly valued services up and down the country and supporting good causes.”

​​Andy Lobo, Senior Manager at ​PwC​,​ said “The Out of Home sector has long benefitted both advertisers and local communities as demonstrated by the wide range of OOH media owner investments and initiatives – from funding public infrastructure through to celebrating and promoting diversity on advertising screens across the country. It is exciting to see the sector making progress at tackling a broader set of environmental and social challenges too​.​”

The participating media owners are Alight Media, Bay Media, BlowUP Media, Clear Channel, Global, JCDecaux UK, Mass Media, Ocean Outdoor and Wildstone. 

Download the report – Supporting UK Society: The Impact of the Out of Home Sector – from Outsmart

Talon Benchmarks: Enhancing OOH Effectiveness

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.


Talon’s Atlas Shortlisted for Digiday Tech Award

Talon is delighted to share that Atlas, our automated digital OOH buying platform which enables advertisers to access premium OOH inventory across multiple markets and formats via integrations with leading supply-side platforms (SSPs) has been shortlisted for the Best Buy-Side Programmatic Platform award in the Digiday Technology Awards.

The Digiday Technology Awards recognise the technology modernising media and marketing. Additional technology categories include Best AI Tool, Best Content Management System, Best CRM Platform, Best Content Marketing Platform, Best Customer Data Platform, and Best In-Store Technology.

When compared to traditional OOH planning, Atlas effectively drives 2.3x more uplifts in Brand Preference and 1.6x stronger uplifts in Purchase Intent. Atlas further drives the bottom funnel metrics that are normally associated with digital and social media advertising, seeing 2.6x stronger uplifts in Purchase Intent when compared to social media. Average uplifts across Atlas campaigns in Brand Preference have seen a year-on-year increase of +78%, highlighting how Talon Tech evolves and improves each year​.

Nicola Fox, Head of Programmatic, said “This nomination showcases the innovative use of Atlas, which aims to redefine the Programmatic Digital Out of Home (prOOH) landscape. It’s the only audience-first OOH DSP, utilising bespoke audience targeting from Talon’s DMP Ada to enable both real-time bidding and open direct routes to market. This has enabled optimisation for every campaign against multiple factors including audience, price, goal, and time”. The Digiday Technology Awards winners will be announced on Tuesday, 29th August 2023.


In an age where data serves as the cornerstone of effective decision-making, harnessing its power has become a non-negotiable for businesses throughout the marketing and advertising industry. Talon recognises this imperative and has been using Ada to deliver audience-first campaigns for some of its biggest clients since its launch in 2018.

Constantly consuming billions of real and recent audience data points has allowed us to launch a new Ada dashboard for people across the agency to access instant insights. The Ada Insights Dashboard builds on the success of the Covid Audience Dashboard, which proved to be an effective and valuable tool that produced intelligent, data-led recommendations during unstable circumstances. The new dashboard continues to embrace Ada Lovelace’s (Ada’s namesake – a pioneer in computer programming) innovative spirit by simplifying access to unparalleled audience insights, making planning data-driven OOH campaigns more accessible. 

Tailored to the unique needs of the outdoor advertising landscape, the Ada Insights Dashboard has evolved to better visualise granular audience behaviour across the UK. This data is used to optimise when, where and how OOH campaigns are deployed to achieve maximum exposure and engagement for our clients. Our proprietary DMP, Ada, houses footfall data to nearly 1 million Points of Interest (POIs) over the past 12 months. We use this data to better understand how audience behaviour varies across days, regions, and categories alongside the payback OOH can deliver. Ingesting over 1 billion location observations via SDK data, the platform filters footfall data by category and region to inform and optimise planning strategies for our clients. 

The Ada Insights Dashboard enables Talon’s planning teams to: 

This dashboard, combined with Talon’s other proprietary AdTech platforms, wealth of effectiveness data and experienced planning experts ensures that we are continuing to deliver the best OOH solutions and successful outcomes for our clients. 

Luke Willbourn, new UK MD said that the Ada Insights Dashboard is a great tool for Talon to enhance our audience-first planning with easier access to effective insights. “By simplifying complex data sets into instant actionable results and real-time updates, we’re able to craft campaigns that better resonate with client audiences, ultimately driving greater engagement and return on investment”. 

In an era where data reigns supreme, tools like the Ada Insights Dashboard makes data-driven OOH planning simpler. At Talon, we believe that strategic audience-first insights are the foundation for effective OOH campaigns.