Talon opened for business in 2013. The Out of Home (OOH) market in the UK was worth less than £1 billion and digital just a fifth of revenues. The industry is now worth £1.3 billion and digital revenues are over half the market this quarter.
Innovation was gaining traction but was isolated. And with over 25,000 paper 48 sheet sites and 80,000 6 sheets, it was an analogue-led broadcast medium facing a strong TV sector and an emerging online threat.
As we approach our seventh year, the medium is growing. We’ve helped drive industry growth and transformation – with a number of collaborators and partners – in each of those years. With automation and data now driving change, we’re particularly proud of delivering some landmark campaigns that typify the best of OOH around data, creativity, innovation, context and measured outcomes.
These campaigns made a difference. To Talon, to the brands themselves and to the channel itself. They are all award-winners.
In short, they represent the new order of Out of Home and are examples of great collaboration, smart thinking and client bravery in wanting to push the boundary of message, audience and medium. Virtually all these brands are still using the medium creatively, applying data, and integrating messages across the advertising and digital space.
2013 – Google Outside
Our first award-winning campaign realised the true power and potential of digital OOH as a communications channel to showcase Google’s search technology to millions of Londoners. It changed perceptions and behaviours, generating millions more daily searches via the Google Search App.
The campaign was built around the insight that – until then – the magic of Search hadn’t really been experienced beyond the desktop. Digital OOH helped radically change this context by taking search to a new environment and demonstrating the technology in a genuinely useful and entertaining way.
By displaying Google search data in real time, the initiative did unlimited favours to the OOH industry by making regular digital OOH screens smart, context-aware and unique whilst helping people get more out of their city. Over 3000 individual stories were developed for location-specific digital screens to give Londoners a highly relevant experience at every location and at different times of the day. The real goal was to get more people using the technology more often and in their everyday situations.
It helped change the perception of Google as an innovative company, helped audiences discover more and drove both app downloads and usage frequency across a sustained campaign. More than many campaigns since, it showed the real impact of using digital OOH in a highly creative, contextual and flexible way.
2014 – Pepsi Max Unbelivable
Nothing could prepare innocent bystanders for what they experienced with our 2014 Unbelievable campaign for Pepsi Max – a true innovation that attracted global appeal. Rampaging tigers and meteorites rained down at a London bus stop. The campaign used OOH to dramatise Pepsi’s unbelievable brand truth – maximum taste with no sugar – to both entertain and push belief.
A digital screen, the most original augmented reality experience and a text-book use of social sharing, word-of-mouth and PR delivered a standout integrated campaign for the brand, with digital OOH its engine.
Audiences saw giant AR robots and seemingly live abductions. A film of their reactions reached a global audience and was viewed millions of times across multiple platforms; the most shared branded YouTube video during March 2014.
Sales rose by 35 per cent for the month, but a digital OOH AR experience had also delivered a brand values spectacular that would reveal the art of the possible for the channel.
2015 – Oreo Eclipse
We often talk about how data and contextual planning can improve the targeting of OOH campaigns. With Oreo Eclipse we used a live data stream to build a beautifully simple campaign delivered in real-time, and one that was literally out of this world.
A moment when people were all looking in the same direction – the biggest solar eclipse for over a decade – was the perfect opportunity to place Oreo front and centre of people’s attention in OOH.
Royal Astronomical Society data enabled us to mirror the exact timings and trajectory of the eclipse – no matter where in the UK. Optimal digital OOH screens were used to best capture the synchronised creative which brought the brand to the event. As suspected, the UK weather made the spectacle practically invisible. The Oreo Eclipse was the ONLY one you could experience.
The two-hour campaign generated more than 6,000 tweets that day from approximately 40 different countries; the subsequent Oreo Eclipse video was viewed more than 20 million times in the UK. Product trial and the brand’s biggest ever UK sales month – part of an integrated media campaign that day – showcased the power of data in real time and a stunning contextual experience.
2016 – Waitrose Spring
Waitrose Spring used more live content on sites including Europe’s biggest indoor digital screen, the Waterloo Motion. A simple concept, again using the scope of digital OOH, delivered a vital provenance message for the food retailer in a unique, engaging and captivating way.
The campaign live-streamed Waitrose farms to commuter locations to raise awareness of the retailer’s food sourcing practices. The content showed escapist live footage of free-range farm animals enjoying the countryside, a strong antidote to the bustling London commuter environment and a perfect way to communicate a unique brand proposition.
The execution was stunning, but also beautifully simple and – crucially – true to the brand. Not least it was original, surprising and captivated commuters. Sales uplift and market share increases occurred on the back of Waitrose’s dedication to ethical sourcing. It showed the simplicity of OOH communication, reinforcing trust, timing and quality for the brand, showcasing Waitrose’s food quality in a whole new light.
2017 – Specsavers Oscars
Should’ve gone to Specsavers is instantly recognisable and works across most channels. None better than in the public domain, where instantly people can share in the context and topicality of a moment that fits a brand persona to the letter.
February 2017, the night of the 89th Academy Awards hosted in Los Angeles, saw the biggest mistake in the nine-decade history of the Oscars. Distracted by the glitz, glamour and the A-list celebrities, guest presenter Warren Beatty was handed the wrong envelope as he went on to announce La La Land as the prestigious Best Picture winner.
Next came the embarrassing retraction: “No, there’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture.” This, of course, dominated the news the following morning.
By 4pm the following day, Specsavers was up on digital OOH screens pronouncing its perfect ‘Should’ve’ moment. A simple yet effective creative mocked the blunder with the strapline, Not Getting the Best Picture?
The mobilisation of the idea, creative execution (an envelope) and sourcing the best available locations showed skill, collaboration and resourcefulness. The creative was seen across various large digital OOH formats, most notably reaching commuters on station terminus Transvision screens adjacent to the Sky News bulletin that was still recounting the Oscars oversight.
Specsavers could effectively dominate the news day whilst making an immediate social media and PR impact. Such agility generated a real and public impression at scale.
2018 – Hiscox Cyber Live
Cyber security insurance provided the backdrop for one of most impactful and dynamic campaigns that showcased data, technology and smart thinking. OOH delivered a unique take on the brand’s subject matter to make an engaging and effective creative statement to excite the notoriously difficult to target SME audience.
Grand Visual was behind developing a decoy computer system for trapping hackers, which became the ad content and message. Bringing to life the persona of cyber hacking to a very public domain, OOH delivered dynamic and data elements that would make Hiscox famous for cyber insurance.
Live digital screens were used to house a honeypot screen network and became the world’s first campaign to feature real live cyber-attacks. A custom server system lured cyber criminals and it all played out in real time on digital OOH screens in prominent city centre and transport locations.
There was a genuine effect. In just one week the Honeypot network recorded over 195,000 live attacks, showing how a small business in the UK can be targeted as often as once every three seconds! The impact generated a significant growth in quotes for this part of the business, plus impressive customer revenues and website visits in the most successful business period for Hiscox Cyber Insurance.
2019 – McDonald’s Saver
Even as a long-term broadcast OOH advertiser, the data-centric campaign for McDonald’s Saver Menu showed the value of precision location planning using device-led outcome measurement. We suspected that better targeted advertising delivered better outcomes. Working with a simple creative for the brand’s Saver Menu, we sought to build on both OOH’s core strength – delivering large scale reach – while leveraging mobile data and intelligence to drive and build a customer base.
Using our Ada data management platform which manages and activates audience and location data from multiple sources, including mobile location histories, Points of Interest and 100 per cent of UK OOH inventory, we targeted custom audience segments of QSR visitors and Value Seekers on their everyday journeys, pinpointing the OOH they were most likely to see.
Planning an OOH campaign in this way – targeting a new audience that was neither demographic nor merely in proximity to store – we prioritised OOH sites by audience value and optimised around 40 per cent of our national OOH buy, achieving a x2.5 targeting improvement vs previous campaigns.
Most importantly we delivered x4.5 more incremental visits to McDonald’s restaurants amongst this group. This equated to 700,000 additional visits from both new and infrequent customers per week over the campaign. This revolutionary data-led approach was highly effective and shows how we can mirror a one-to-one planning strategy to supercharge one-to-many, OOH campaigns as well.
About Talon: Talon Outdoor is a truly independent Out of Home media specialist and a significant player in the Out of Home agency sector with a focus on delivering smarter, creative, technology-led and integrated OOH communications. Combining independence with a collaborative approach, Talon promotes open working between agencies, clients and media partners.
Talon has achieved the Campaign Best Places Number 1 Medium sized UK Company to Work For and has also featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100, as No. 1 in Best Companies and in LSE’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain.
Talon handles the Out of Home media for several of the UK’s leading advertising brands through Omnicom Media Group UK agencies, along with other agencies including AMS Media Group, JAA, Havas Media Group, Goodstuff, Ptarmigan Media and Republic of Media.
Talon has offices in London, Manchester, New York and San Diego, plus several other US cities, and has built an OOH planning and buying network covering US, Europe, Asia and Latin America covering 75 markets. www.talonoutdoor.com