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Out of Home gladiators: Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Dassault Systèmes

With money still pouring into online (75% of UK ad expenditure, 60% plus worldwide) and TV ad budgets consequently limited, Out of Home is becoming the battleground where brands can act and respond respond quickly.

The UK’s supermarket wars, for example, are heating up as the economy tiptoes out of recession. Sainsbury’s, with its new agency New Commercial Arts, is trying to strike quite a delicate balance: aiming its Nectar promotions squarely at the juggernaut of Clubcard Tesco but also nibbling away at Waitrose at the supposed ‘quality’ end of the scale.

NCA’s forte is big, bold messages that move its clients’ sales and awareness dials. Here they’ve taken eco-message ‘good to know,’ which used to appear discreetly on packaging, and made it centre stage.

Waitrose, at Saatchi & Saatchi, doesn’t have a Sainsbury’s budget but the agency compensates here with an imaginative effort that punches above its weight through PR and social media impact. Here’s a deliberately wonky poster from London that seems to have thoroughly confused Wandsworth Council (note the safety fences.)

Out of home is a flexible medium in all sorts of ways. You wouldn’t have expected Dassault, the famed French aviation pioneer, to be advertising on Ocean Outdoor’s flagship Piccadilly Lights but now its namesake Dassault Systèmes (it makes all sorts of 3D stuff used in scientific research including health) is stepping outside conventional B2B. To an admiring crowd clearly, so why not?

Other media need to think outside the box to combat online. The oldest one is giving it a go.

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