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Barry Cupples of Talon: Out of Home states its case at virtual Cannes 2021

There were a few clear themes present at the virtual Cannes advertising festival this year reflecting not just digital transformation but also the immense strides Out of Home (OOH) has made in a most difficult but ultimately rewarding year. These campaigns fully integrated creativity alongside brand transparency and transformation at the heart of media’s digital revolution. More than ever, it is important for a brand’s values to truly resonate with consumers and stand out to make a point that embraces simplicity, and – more important than ever – relevance to the year’s events.

At Talon we worked with some big, but hugely progressive brands not afraid to put creativity and bravery at the heart of what they do; not afraid to use OOH to reach people in a bold way.

HSBC & Shelter: As well as winning the UK Outdoor Media Awards’ Grand Prix, HSBC and Shelter’s Fixing the “No-Fixed Address” Policy made a real impact at Cannes, as it did on the streets, winning two Gold Lions.

Simple but extremely powerful, the OOH campaign took over a selection of bus shelters which are often used by homeless people as shelter in moments of desperation. These shelter vinyl wraps featured a visual of a homeless person sleeping on the bench with details of HSBC’s No Fixed Address service and a QR code that passers-by could scan with their phones and donate money to Shelter.

The campaign was a huge success with HSBC’s No Fixed Address service growing +52% and QR code donations generating enough funds to support over 100 individuals facing homelessness. 1 in 5 QR donors even signed up to become regular donors to Shelter, leaving a long-term funding legacy for the campaign.

Volkswagen UK: VW’s Eating Pollution picked up one Gold and one Bronze Lion. The brand has worked hard on sustainability and environmental messaging, reflected in its vehicles and its advertising, particularly in OOH.

To launch Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric vehicle, we delivered an OOH campaign that was as clean as the car. Using air-purifying murals and carbon neutral digital OOH sites – in an incredibly creative execution – the ID.3 became the UK’s best-selling electric car in just its second month.

McDonald’s: A long-established media partner, McDonald’s won a Gold and Silver Lion at this year’s Cannes, even though none of its products actually featured in its OOH campaign. Using just the brand’s iconic golden arches and a clever play on words, the campaign is a fantastic example of the possibilities of OOH branding, delivering visual brilliance and rewarding brand fame in abundance.

As OOH adapts and progresses into cutting edge use of data, location, targeting and technology, Cannes reminds us that truly effective campaigns embrace all these things. Award wins came to those brands who successfully integrated these elements fully with creativity and outcomes – still very much the cornerstone of the best advertising globally. No longer is OOH a poor relation among media channels. Some of these examples allow Talon and our partners to take real leadership in implementing brand success.

Barry Cupples (left) is Global CEO, Talon.

About Talon:

Talon Outdoor is the leading global independent Out of Home (OOH) media specialist and technology services company focused on delivering smarter, creative, data-driven integrated OOH communications. 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 additional offices in Manchester and its affiliate Talon America LLC headquartered in New York City, Talon delivers expertise at the global, national, regional, and local levels. Additionally, the agency has built a global OOH planning and buying network covering 75 markets across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information, please visit and follow up on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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