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Talon CEO Barry Cupples: how technology has created a new world of Out of Home

“Can Out of Home be more than a support medium for a major advertiser’s global campaign? Be more of a lead? Of course it can,” says Talon Group CEO Barry Cupples. “We proved it could with our #SendingLove campaign at the start of the pandemic, which went all around the world in a few days and proved a massive social media success too.”

Talon is the Out of Home specialist media agency market leader in the UK and a growing force in the US and around the world.

“What the OOH industry should be looking to shout from the rooftops,” Cupples says, “is our ability to combine cutting edge, bespoke OOH digital technology – built exclusively – for OOH and its demands, with a trusted, powerful broadcast medium. You don’t get that today with the leading digital platforms out there or the terrestrial TV players as audiences migrate more and more to OTT and streaming.

“The OOH industry still has challenges. Verification is one, although that’s true for most media verticals. OOH actually does have the software capacity to show that the medium engages and directs consumers to the point of purchase. As ever, fast reach optimises client success metrics and drives ROI. It reinforces and enhances brand image brilliantly too.

“What we strangely appear to lack as a medium is the confidence and commitment to make this case in a compelling and definitive way, and as such we need the major OOH media owners to take the lead. There’s a genuine Renaissance in OOH happening and it is driven by digital technology that has already seen it overtake many of the other media verticals.

“Instead of talking about the traditionally small percentage of ad revenue that the medium has enjoyed, the conversation needs to change and we should be targeting significant increases in ad spend. I do not think it’s beyond the medium’s capability to double in size as we look to drive the value equation for clients with data fuelled outcomes that serve client business objectives.”

Before joining Talon, Cupples was the global CEO of investment for Omnicom’s giant Omnicom Media Group (OMG), one of the biggest buyers of media worldwide, and CEO of the APAC and CEE regions dating back more than 25 years. Omnicom is a Talon client.

Cupples says: “We are making progress, of course we are, but we need to move higher up the agenda. I accept that education about the strides OOH has made needs to be better, and accelerated, but Covid played a really disruptive role just as the technology being deployed was moving into effective outcomes.

“OOH’s Renaissance is opening up a clear interface opportunity with social media: amplified messaging via connection in REAL TIME is evolving into a new vertical. The way OOH messaging can go from OOH to “in home” via connected TV is another area of real excitement. Experience-based media will connect more and more with OOH and amplify value.

“This communication with massive audiences in real time in real purchasing situations is a new concept for advertisers and one which I hope they explore as it will add genuine value to their efforts to grow top and bottom line for their brands. The opportunity for OOH with data fuelled technology and an expanded connectivity to consumers is limitless.”

“As an industry, we need to be brave enough to go out and seize it.”

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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