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Ocean Outdoor: Luxury’s love affair with digital Out of Home

Advertisers include Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford and Luis Vuitton

With Ocean Outdoor head of brand partnerships Rachel Sutton

1/ Recently we’ve seen several high-profile fashion and luxury campaigns on Out of Home, specifically the Landsec/Ocean big screen at Piccadilly Lights. What do you think are the main attractions for such advertisers?

The use of digital Out of home continues to grow, and one of the big driving factors is the number of luxury brands embracing its unique positioning.

In the last 10 years, we have seen an increase in luxury brands using the channel, favouring impact locations to build brand fame as well as opportunities to use innovation and creativity. One-of-a kind locations like Piccadilly Lights offer brands both options.

Piccadilly Lights is arguably one of the most recognised advertising locations in the world, so it is no surprise that brands use the location to increase brand fame. However, since its redevelopment in 2017, brands have also been able to use an ever-evolving creative toolkit to push their creative boundaries.

Several luxury fashion brands, such as Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford, have utilised live streaming to showcase their fashion shows from London, New York, or Milan on Piccadilly Lights.

The launch of DeepScreen® has been an extraordinary success. The collaboration between Balenciaga and Fortnite marked the first instance of a luxury brand utilising the power of DeepScreen® to capture a new audience through social amplification. Their use of the 3D technique was simple yet impactful. Since then, more than 200 DeepScreen® campaigns have been brought to life by Ocean, including notable campaigns from Versace (below), Louis Vuitton and Audemars Piguet.

2/ Have you specifically targeted this sector and how? How do the various categories within it’s needs differ?

At Ocean, clothing and accessories are the second largest spending category, compared to the OOH industry as a whole, where they rank ninth.

We regularly host brand immersion mornings to showcase the medium, and we attribute our success in this sector to our development strategy that focuses on combining creativity, innovation and premium positioning.

Our locations, such as Marble Arch, Battersea Power Station and Piccadilly Lights, provide brands with increased exposure and brand fame. For instance, Jo Malone used Piccadilly Lights for the first time this month to announce their new male brand ambassador. This is a brand that rarely uses OOH, but Ocean has worked with the Jo Malone team for the past 10 months to introduce them to the capabilities of the medium and how it can work with their wider media plan.

Our new three year partnership with London Fashion Week (LFW) underpins our commitment to supporting London’s position as a global cultural and fashion destination, providing LFW partners and established and emerging UK designers with pioneering, dynamic experiences that will resonate with fashion lovers.

3/ Out of Home consists of both classic (static) and animated digital displays. Piccadilly Lights has both options. Do you discuss these with advertisers in the first instance? What do you see as the strengths of both for these advertisers?

Static displays can have a significant impact, especially on banner locations such as the BFI IMAX where the enormous size can be visually stunning. However, in cases where there is an option to use full motion displays instead of static ones, we always recommend using full motion. Ocean’s research, conducted with Neuro-Insight, has shown that full motion displays are 2.5 times more effective in increasing memory encoding compared to using static displays in the same locations.

Ocean Studio, our in-house creative team, offer a creative consultation service to ensure that brands get the best out of using our formats, especially on Piccadilly Lights where the creative is on such a grand scale.

4/ How does Ocean contribute to creative production?

Ocean has been long associated with creative excellence. The annual Digital Creative Competition 2024, now in its 15th year, champions the best ideas yet to happen. Campaigns from previous winners have gone on to win several Cannes Lions and Ocean has become a trusted creative partner to many brands.

We regularly collaborate with our clients to conduct creative brainstorming sessions, helping them to come up with new ideas which Ocean Labs or Ocean Studios can then bring to life. We support creative teams throughout the entire process, whether it’s creative consulting or building a complete DeepScreen® campaign, from storyboarding to developing the 3D assets.

Two of our most challenging, yet rewarding, projects were with Versace and De Beers. Ocean Studios created the “Goddess” campaign for Versace, which was approved by Donatella herself. They also designed a brilliant-cut diamond in 3D, one of the most challenging objects to reproduce, resulting in an extraordinary campaign.

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