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Barry Cupples of Talon: amplifying and extending the strength of Out of Home creativity

Creativity is a traditional strength of the Out of Home medium, indeed one reason it’s arguably the oldest advertising medium. Posters offer an opportunity to reach masses of people with simple, compelling messages and some of the world’s great artists have turned their hand to them from time to time.

The last century saw a wave of posters hymning, of all things, tobacco products which were in the process of being barred from all advertising media. Some of the most famous posters, including Benson & Hedges from Collett Dickenson Pearce and Silk Cut from Saatchi & Saatchi.

As ever, things change in the digital era and some critics have posited that creativity in Out of Home isn’t what it used to be as advertisers and agencies have been sidetracked from simple messages by the technical possibilities of the medium. Are awards juries these days awarding creative ideas and executions or technological wizardry?

“It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask,” says Talon global CEO Barry Cupples, “and a challenge for the medium. but creativity has to earn its keep, just like any other aspect of marketing. It needs to show it delivers better outcomes for advertisers.

“We firmly believe it does and have the evidence to prove it. That’s why high on our list was adding a world class creative resource and this we’ve done with Grand Visual. As a specialist Out of Home creative production company Grand Visual is a world leader and recently we’ve seen what it can do for many clients and on its own.

“Grand Visual’s #SendingLove (above) brought user-generated messages of hope and support to people around the world in the first awful wave of the pandemic and has justifiably won awards and plaudits. Grand visual provided production distribution and translation for the World Out of Home Organization’s #OurSecond chance campaign by New Commercial Arts – another ground-breaking demonstration of the Out of Home’s ability to reach and move people.

“And there is great traditional and digital creative out there, examples which clearly work in every sense including driving earned outcomes for the client. Our poster for the BBC’s ‘Dracula,’ showing the Count being revealed as night falls, sparked 40 shared articles online and had seven million views on social media.

“For Warner Brothers we projected onto the iconic Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, for an appropriately epic campaign for Godzilla vs Kong. The poster was 828 metres high, unmissable you might say.

“Creativity is alive and well and living Out of Home.”

Barry Cupples is global CEO of Talon Outdoor.

Tomorrow: Reinforcing the value of the specialist template in OOH.

About Talon: Talon Outdoor is a truly independent Out of Home media specialist and the leading player in the Out of Home agency sector with a focus on delivering smarter, creative, technology-led and integrated OOH communications for clients. Combining independence with a collaborative approach, Talon promotes open working between agencies, clients and media partners.

Set up in 2013, 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 several other US cities, plus Frankfurt, and has built an OOH planning and buying network covering US, Europe, Asia and Latin America covering 75 markets.

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