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Everything Out of Home in One Place

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    Nobody wants to be dumped on Valentine's Day. However, Lord Alan Sugar, who is Chairman of the Amscreen group, welcomed the public termination of a relationship as it made use of his Amscreen petrol forecourt media network. A mysterious and seemingly heartless girl known as just 'Laura' went to the rather extravagant extreme of paying for the outdoor advert at an Esso garage in Manchester, selecting the location for being the lunchtime haunt of her then-boyfriend Dan.

    The Amscreen digital billboard broadcast Laura's text which read: "Dan, I'm leaving you for Gary. Your clothes are at your mum's & I've changed the locks. Sorry to do this on Valentine's Day. Laura"
    Whether this was some form of joke or a genuine brush-off, the cruel nature of such a display propelled Amscreen into A-list celebrity world, with coverage in The Sun newspaper and on a Hollywood-centric blog by Perez Hilton.

    Amscreen Outdoor Valentine's Advert

    Sugar's 3000+ advertising platforms, which cost £100 for a month-long presence, are located in areas receiving a high viewer turnover - anywhere from petrol stations to shopping centres and sports stadiums. For someone as successful and high-profile as Lord Sugar, it might be easy to assume that he wouldn't need promotion, however, according to his Twitter feed, the business magnate was quite glad of the publicity. Not only is public awareness good for Sugar, but it also helps to elevate the Out Of Home industry, highlighting how outdoor platforms do genuinely hold the power of effective communication.

    Lord Alan Sugar - Twitter

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  • 02/25/13--04:41: Make Room For Your Life
  • Imagine a world where your livelihood requires boundless amounts of objects, all of which must be logged and remembered and stored as a collective body which must be accessible yet compact. These are the problems posed by those vinyl manipulators we know and love - the world of the DJ.

    For Harry Love, his problems are long gone. Thanks to our favourite Swedish chaos solution, Ikea, Harry Love can now nonchalantly breeze through his catalogue of keyboards, mixing equipment and 4500 records, following an intervention by the furniture giant which de-cluttered the hip-hop producer's operational quarters.

    Ikea - Harry Love

    Joining Harry in the quest for the ultimate storage nightmares, Ikea have used their resourceful brains to compartmentalise the 300 pairs of trainers which were overtaking the living space of Jess Gavigan. Her obsessional interest in vintage, rare and stylish trainers resulted in a severe case of her eyes being bigger than her bedroom, fuelling her co-founding the Small Feet Big Kicks retail website, which works as a buying portal for likeminded sneaker fanatics. 

    Jess's Trainers

    The multi-national brand is tapping into audiences by encouraging them to be inventive with Ikea products - why not use a stack of shoe racks to store six keyboards? With the 'Expedit' bookcase fitting conventional vinyl sleeves like a glove, Ikea are reminding the established and in-the-know DJ that their ever-growing collections are screaming for more regimented square storage cases, and also putting a fatherly arm around the first-time record spinners that are about to enter the world of the disc jockey.

    On the other end of the spectrum, every compulsive shoe collector could do with several adjustable 'Komplement' shoe organisers. Like every fashionista, Jess's mass of accessories, footwear and clothes were desperately demanding some organisational input.

    Ikea's interaction with the young audiences of today comes in the form of a multi-format campaign, with outdoor billboards and newspaper adverts encouraging viewers to get online and watch the full video footage of Jess and Harry's transformations.

    Harry - Outdoor Bus Shelter AdvertisingJess - Outdoor Bus Shelter Advertising

    With notable positions in bus stops, outdoor adverts are a perfect device with which to grab the attention of the campaign's target clientele, offering young creatives an affordable solution to their messy bedrooms before they've even realised they need one. The clever marketing department have also ensured that they have compiled a list of products used in the management of Jess and Harry's disorder, meaning that customers can stroll into any Ikea branch and pinpoint the products required to formulate their own version of a tidy space. And not only are the billboards a swift method of planting a realistic idea in their heads - the online videos of the two projects are wholly engaging too, combining beautiful production quality with subjects that can be related to:

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    The Past, Present and Future of Printed Outdoor Advertising
    We were chatting in the office today about the history of billboard printing and what direction it will go in the future so I decided to put this little piece together. It’s a longer read than our usual articles but I hope you enjoy it. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments at the end too.

    Billboard Adverts – From Then To Now

    Outdoor advertising has been a highly popular method of promoting products and services for hundreds of years, where shop owners would paint advertisements on the sides of their premises. Printed advertising began in 1794 with the invention of Lithography, which made it possible to create posters.
    It wasn’t too long before people realised they could cash in, and the earliest known billboard rentals date back to 1867. The first 24-sheet billboard was displayed at the Paris Exposition in 1889, and the format became very popular for a variety of advertising needs, particularly circuses or traveling fairs, and later on the outside of cinemas or theatres for movies, operas, musicals and pantomimes.
    While outdoor advertising was common on buildings, fences or roadside billboards in local towns, highways and ‘main’ roads were less popular sites. This all changed after the invention of Henry Ford’s Model T (the first affordable car), which sold one million vehicles by 1920. Highways were found to be subject to much higher usage once drivers began to dominate the roads, resulting in the
    billboard reaching out to a larger audience. As soon as this was realised, roadside advertising really took off.
    Since then, billboards have become something we expect to see on our travels. However, over the years there have been restrictions placed on advertising that has changed the nature of what we see or where they are placed. When tobacco advertising became restricted, forbidding it to be promoted through television advertising, the cigarette companies embraced billboards as a strong alternative until this too was outlawed years later.
    Now, we pass brightly coloured printed outdoor advertisements in so many innovative locations on a daily basis. Traditional gable-ends, walls, fences, roadsides, buses and fields are still common, but now we see ads on places such as bridges over motorways, on people (sandwich boards or handheld boards), on roofs, on windows, on trailers attached to the back of a car… every outdoor surface can be turned into a space for printed outdoor advertising.

    Outdoor advertisements themselves are very versatile and come in a range of variations:

    • 6-sheet prints: Smaller size ads usually found in bus shelters. Sometimes available as scrolling or scrolling with backlighting.
    Bus shelter ad campaign
    • 24 sheet, 48 sheet or 96 sheet prints: 48 and 96 sheet printed ads are the most common sizes for larger ads, although 24-sheet locations are available in some areas.
    • Fixed billboards: As the most commonly seen billboard ads, fixed billboards or ‘traditional’ billboards are usually the cheapest option and have been around for a long time.
    • Backlit billboards: The same as fixed, but with backlighting so it can be seen any time of the day or night. These do cost more to run because of the electricity element.
    • Scrolling billboards: Scrolling billboards often have two or three advertisements in them and ‘scroll’ around like the blackboards we would see in schools. Sometimes, all three faces will be occupied by the same advertising campaign, or they may have three completely different ads displayed from three different companies. Also available with backlighting.

    Multi-vision billboards:

    These billboards split the ad into strips which rotate frequently. Again, some will contain three ads from the same company or campaign where others will have three very different adverts inside. Vehicular advertising: Cars, buses and taxis make an excellent place for printed ads as they travel and reach a massive audience. While they are smaller, they are often simple and bold for maximum impact. Some ads are printed as normal but some ads, particularly those on taxis or cars are printed on vinyl for application directly to the paintwork. Escalator advertisements: Quite a new addition, printed ads are becoming a common sight
    on the panels of escalators. These are usually printed with vinyl or similar materials so they can be applied and removed easily.
    Roundabout advertisements are not a new concept and can be seen across the country, but recently, a council in North East England overruled plans for advertisements to be placed on roundabouts in 26 locations across the south east of county due to concerns for public safety. Councillors believe that advertising in this manner could distract drivers or cause more damage should a car accident occur. Some sites were approved, but the additional unapproved sites were intended to generate income to fund improvements across the county which may now be left on a back-burner due to the lack of funding.

    A Billboard Proposal

    Ever heard of a billboard proposal? Well Wayne Eldridge from Greenwich had the idea after Primesight replaced two vandalised billboards outside his local Asda supermarket.
    Billboard proposal
    The billboard ad was timed to be displayed just as his partner would visit the supermarket for her weekly shop. The other board, next to the proposal message (a picture of a diamond ring with the words ‘Kerri, will you?’), was hidden until Kerri accepted, and congratulated them on the proviso that she said ‘Yes’. I’d hate to think what would happen if she said ‘no’! This just goes to emphasise the versatility of the billboard. Here is another recent take on a billboard proposal which is proving quite popular in the states.

    Recent years have seen changes in outdoor advertising. In 2010, a scented billboard campaign was launched which gave off a scent of black pepper and charcoal to promote the sales of beef in a grocery store in North Carolina. What will they think of next?

    What do we see from the future of outdoor printed advertisements?

    We are currently in the digital age. A lot of advertising is done online or on television now, or on digital displays. These aren’t widespread yet, but can be seen in big cities across the world such as London, New York and Tokyo.
    Time Square Billboard Advertising
    Amid fears that all advertising is going online, outdoor advertising does appear to be making a comeback. Revenue from outdoor advertising peaked in 2006-2007 but dipped shortly after, possibly due to the recession. However, in 2012, there was a reported 9.5% increase, due in part to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. The rise could indicate that revenues could be higher
    again in 2013. Only time will tell.
    There are concerns that billboard advertising may become redundant in the future due to advances in technology allowing digital billboards. While these are expensive to install, the digital ads have a lot of potential. Instead of having one advert on them for a fixed period of say three months, digital displays can run a number of different advertisements; they can display videos, and generally
    are more versatile than printed advertisements. As it stands, many companies prefer traditional billboards because their advert will be displayed for a fixed period and if commuters pass the same way every day, it is more likely that the advert will make a lasting impression. However, recent statistics could change this opinion.
    • Advertising on digital billboards will double be 2015 and is the second fastest growing form of advertising.
      90% of outdoor ads will be digital at the turn of the century.
    • Almost half of consumers stop to interact with digital outdoor advertisements, compared to the 4% who stop to look at printed ads.
    • Seven in ten people who interact with digital outdoor advertising will tell a friend within three days, and it is estimated that 18% tell more than seven people, spreading the reach of the ad further than just the ones who see it.
    Here is a video of a digital 96 sheet billboard in Birmingham. As you can see it is pretty striking…

    Of course, it is unlikely that digital ads will fully replace roadside ads, particularly on busier roads due to the distraction factor. Moving all-singing-all-dancing digital ads are much more likely to distract a driver to the point of an accident when compared with a classic billboard, giving the traditional printed boards their place in the future market.
    I know this is much longer than our usual articles but I’m over the moon if you have made it this far – I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Please leave your comments below. We’d love to know what you think the future of billboards and outdoor advertising will be.

    This article was written by Francis at Big Litho Print. Big Litho Specialise in printing for the outdoor media market from Adshels and Billboards to banners and building wraps.
    You can see and comment on the original post here, or read other insights into printed OOH advertising here.

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    Postar was, until recently, a research body that monitored audience responses to outdoor advertising. Yesterday it re-launched itself as Route, brandishing a £19million out of home study which has been four years in the making.

    Route's research partner Ipsos MediaCT commissioned the idea back in 2008, leading to an operation which will revolutionise the marketing industry. The project sent 28,000 people out for nine days, each equipped with a GPS device, and monitored their movements in order to construct an idea of outdoor travel patterns in our daily lives. The study overtakes Postar's 50% coverage and presents a phenomenal 90% analysis of the outdoor stage, outperforming Postar's roadside focus by also exploring bus, air, London Underground, rail and retail areas.

    London Underground Advertising

    Route's Managing Director, James Whitmore, says that they "now know who is travelling where, how, when and at what speed", presenting the data equivalent of immortality if you consider how extensively this information can be used to optimise outdoor advertising. Route even goes as extreme as to consider the influence of ambient light on results in addition to natural light availability.

    The in-depth investigation concluded that the average person makes eye contact with 27 roadside posters and 14 bus adverts on a daily basis, and a London Underground journey will expose each commuter to an average of 74 ads.

    Findings aren't necessarily ones which would have been predicted, for instance it might come as a surprise that 15-17 year olds actually exhibit the slowest speed of 14.34 kmph, compared to the fastest age bracket who flew by at 19.94 kmph - this was in fact 50-54 year olds.

    The study can perform incredibly detailed searches, combining fields of age, location, gender, lifestyle and time to discover, for example, how many 35-39 year old male mobile phone users in Yorkshire travel by train between 8am and 9am. This powerful data has the capacity to catapult media planning through every outdoor site. Hopefully Empty13 will see its marketing vision during an uneventful 2013 fulfilled, with the opportunity for innovative advertising presented by Route on a plate.

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  • 03/06/13--03:23: Vacationing With Ikea
  • Ikea is one of those places, like an old fashioned pub in central London, that has the power to trap the public in some alternate reality. In Ikea, everything suddenly becomes an opportunity; creativity becomes apocalyptic and uncontrollable as the affordable and faceless products convince shoppers that they can make something different out of these simple items. The furniture's minimal ornamentation guarantees an acceptable living room re-launch; universally adaptable designs allow you to make room for your life.

    Room inspiration sets have globally catapulted the infamous Billy and Expedit bookcases; Lack tables have become bargain household staples or canvases for artists to mutilate. And so a lightbulb has illuminated over the heads of Marriot Hotels executives, and the hospitality chain has had a brainwave.

    Lack table - Customisations

    A new brand is scheduled for lift-off in 2014, as Marriot and Ikea fuse together for the creation of a budget hotel venture. The duo will maximise on the 21st century utopian vacationing trend, gifting the three-star European hotel market with buildings containing hundreds of rooms, with an Italian debut at Milan's Malpensa Airport for £52 a night. Getting caught up in the horse meat scandal for its meatballs, and this week withdrawing tonnes of chocolate cake from its restaurants for (harmless) bacteria contamination, Ikea will hopefully overcome the bad press with this internationally beneficial project.

    Moxy promises guestrooms that are "functional and well-designed, with upscale bath amenities, large flat-screen televisions and built-in USB ports", colour-coordinated by "calming neutral tones reminiscent of rich brown leather, combined with natural materials to evoke an organic, comfortable and restorative feel". A city-specific 'art wall' will also give every room a unique touch. The new company's vice president, Ramesh Jackson, learnt that "these confident explorers are wildly self-sufficient, but still want a chance to connect with each other in inviting social spaces in person or digitally", and so guests will be offered continental breakfasts, local beers, 24-hour access to drinks and snacks, and a digitally-savvy lobby with "modern ergonomic seating, large writing walls and 56-inch televisions for presentation projection".

    Moxy Hotels

    The Inter Ikea Group subdivision of Inter Hospitality will develop the buildings, with Nordic  Hospitality becoming the brand's first franchisee as a result of their experience in hotel operation. Inter Hospitality's MD Peter Andrews says: "Our initial focus is on acquiring sites for the new brand in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.  Over the next 5 years we aim to secure at least 50 sites for development". Imagine the brand elevation that could be achieved by partnering food, drink or equipment companies with Moxy; picture the out of home advertising prospects. 

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    JackpotJoy - London Duck

    Yes, that is a 50ft bath toy floating down the river Thames. In December, online bingo portal JackpotJoy sent the oversized plastic duck past iconic London riverside sites in an outdoor publicity stunt promoting the launch of the brand's Facebook FUNdation initiative. The scheme nurtures a £250,000 pot of 'FUNds', which JackpotJoy promise to distribute amongst winning proposals in order to inject a stream of humour back into our recession-plagued nation.

    With Barbara Windsor as a mascot, JackpotJoy's mission is to encourage Britain to crack a smile every now and then. Their latest mischievous exploit is already underway, and the brand have commissioned designers to produce an artistic impression of an idea which should have one of London's skyscrapers in a bit of a pickle...

    The iconic 'Gherkin' building, real name '30 St Mary Axe', stands 180 metres above the City of London's financial district. Primarily housing the reinsurance company Swiss Re and international law firm Kirkland & Ellis, the Gherkin could soon become a more accurate representation of its savoury moniker.

    Ghoerkin Proposal - JackpotJoy

    The enlisted designers have generated this suggested model, accompanied by a more professional proposal, and JackpotJoy are merely awaiting a response from the corporate decision-makers in charge of the structure. Pencilled in for April Fool's day, the project would involve 900 hours of manual labour from 10 willing workers, as they wrapped the colossal, glass cucumber in a special non-reflective, nobbled coating. Not so much fun for them. 

    Anyway, the idea is admittedly pretty funny. Imagine sprinting out of Liverpool Street Station in a flurry of bankers and legal executives, only to look up and see a huge, olive-coloured growth poking up amongst the abyss of glass and weathered brick.

    JackpotJoy's MD Michael Saunders says: “It’s been a long and rather miserable winter and we felt everyone was in dire need of cheering up again. The Gherkin is such an iconic building, and with a name like that we just couldn’t resist the opportunity for some more daft fun by attempting to transform it into the very thing it is so aptly named after! It would make for a hilarious and spectacular sight that we’re certain would spread a lot of smiles and laughter across the capital.”

    JackpotJoy are also in the midst of Comic Relief fun, with a series of special Red Nose Day games which will see profits donated to the charitable cause. Their trusty benefactor Windsor takes prime position across the television campaign:

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    There are many sites around Greater Manchester which magnetise the human eye - the 47 storey Beetham Tower, the newly redeveloped 47,805-capacity City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester Town Hall, The Lowry Centre and its surrounding MediaCityUK grounds... It goes on. And now, synchronising beautifully with the extension of the city's Metrolink tram system, Manchester is about to house the king of all motorway banners with the UK's biggest double-sided and backlit roadside display, spanning 8 lanes of the M56 motorway at the relief road towards Manchester International Airport.

    Manchester Town Hall
    The Manchester gateway

    Christened 'The Manchester Gateway', the advertising platform has been conceived by Mancunian Out-Of-Home specialists MediaCo Outdoor, and will target approximately 700,000 viewers per week as they zip beneath its illumminated glare. The promotional solution is perfectly coordinated to coincide with the upcoming development of the adjacent £650m 'Airport City' - "the creation of over 4 million ft² of quality business space, including: manufacturing, logistics accommodation, grade A offices, hotels, retail and leisure".

    Airport City

    The MediaCo Outdoor commercial director, Richard Blackburn, said that: "Our focus for The Manchester Gateway has been to create a high impact, jaw-droppingly impressive site which would deliver against expectation in terms of audience, investment and would appropriately convey for an advertiser, ‘ownership’ of this key city portal in a dramatic way."

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  • 03/18/13--10:02: How Do You Eat Yours?
  • It's nearly Easter. You know what that means:

    Yet another cholesterol-peaking, stomach-busting national holiday which obliges more time spent on eating than not eating. Much like Christmas, Easter has a high novelty value for children, as the gift-distributing Santa Claus figure is replaced with the Easter Bunny. In our current climate of pro-active marketing and social media, it's only fitting that the biggest chocolate manufacturers perform some sort of promotional cartwheel.

    Cadbury almost take the crown by default, with their glorious, globally-iconic fondant-filled Creme Egg. Existing in its current format since the 60s, the 39g saccharine mouthfuls are the UK's most popular confectionary item over the transitional period from winter to spring. Their trademark 'How Do You Eat Yours' campaign has been running since 1985, and Easter almost wouldn't be Easter without the little things.

    Nonetheless, Swiss confectionary brand Lindt won't be doing so bad either. The luxury chocolatier has returned with its Big Egg Hunt for the 4th year running, sending 101 artist-decorated fibreglass eggs into major UK cities for the public to find. The eggs are also entered into an online auction to raise money for the Action For Children charity, who have been working to help vulnerable and neglected children in the UK since 1989. For those who don't have the cash to fork out £300 for a fibreglass egg, there's also the option of partaking in a smaller £3 donation by texting the word EGG to 70123.

    The Lindt Big Egg Hunt conventionally sticks in one place, but this year showcases the eggs' first ever UK tour. With designs from established artists, Cartoon Network and Network Rail, the eggs have been making their way between London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, and are currently in Glasgow until the 20th March before returning to London between the 22nd March and the 1st April. Passers by have been treated to Lindor truffle handouts as they scour their cities for the ornate creations, with the added incentive of a year's supply of Lindt chocolate for one winner per day who follows the instructions on a special Humpty Dumpty egg.

    Lindt's presence in key cities associates the company with an enriching brand experience, making it popular with adults and children alike. Its charitable intentions also guarantee a positive public response, so, while it's unlikely that anyone will ever overtake the Creme Egg, this ambient form of outdoor marketing will at least keep the gold bunnies flying off supermarket shelves.

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    Did you turn your light off for an hour at 8:30pm on Saturday? If so, you'll know all about Earth Hour - an annual event which originated in Sydney in 2007 and now involves 150 countries. Earth Hour is supported by the World Wife Fund for Nature (+WWF) and requires participants to join together in a 60 minute turn-off of all non-essential lighting. And, while households all around the globe were contributing to this symbolic statement, +Paramount Pictures UK had planned something breathtaking for our capital under the watchful eye of media agency MEC.

    Austrian technology specialists Ars Electronica Futurelab sent 30 LED-tagged aircraft into place over 300ft above Tower Bridge, thanks to Munich's quadrocopter manufacturer Ascending Technologies. The group of Hummingbird planes were directed into a specific formation, allowing them to display the Star Trek federation logo in anticipation of 'Into Darkness' - the latest in the movie franchise, due to be released in May.

      Star Trek Into The Darkness

    In the ultimate outdoor advertising stunt, the drones manoevred into place in time for Earth Hour, dimming their lights before 8:30pm and resuming illumination at 9:30pm. Out of respect for the environmental purpose of the event, the lighting for the elevated marketing performance was powered by charged batteries which used green energy from the renewable Austrian energy grid.

    Outdoor Advertising - Star Trek - London

    Online PR was managed by digital and social media agency Way to Blue, who operate for similar high profile clients such as 20th Century Fox, Bacardi, Disney and StudioCanal. WWF PR manager Kellie Rollings said “WWF is delighted that Paramount is supporting this year’s Earth Hour event. Millions of people around the world take part in Earth Hour year on year and we’re always looking for innovative ways to get our message out there. It’s fantastic that Paramount has chosen to mark the hour by dimming their lights at this unusual light display.”

    Paramount's marketing director, John Fletcher, said “We are very pleased to go 'into darkness' with the rest of the world in support of Earth Hour. It seems fitting to be associated with such a global cause.”

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    Operating a special distilling process which discards everything except the luscious heart of the liquor, Dutch vodka brand Ketel One provides an impeccable base for alcoholic beverages worldwide. The company can be traced back across ten generations to the 17th century, and yet their latest outdoor advertising venture is far from outdated.

    Ketel One have launched The Modern Craft Project in partnership with international design magazine Wallpaper*, on a "quest to find contemporary craftsmen who bring traditional skills into the modern day" in order to detonate their 'Do One Thing Well' philosophy.

    International creative agency 180 Amsterdam (whose website is well worth a visit by the way) and self-coined 'GIF-ITI' artist INSA have collaborated in the first installment, an immersive concoction of outdoor and digital advertising labelled CC#1, which takes place at Amsterdam's cafe cum art space Roest until May 2013.

    Insa HeelsWith a client list covering advertising leaders such as Sony and Nike, and operating a haute couture urban footwear project 'Insa Heels' alongside designer Ruth Shaw, INSA has an extensive back catalogue that allows him to skilfully represent the Ketel One ethic of passion and perfection. CC#1 is described by 180 Amsterdam's Al Moseley as "unique in pushing the boundaries between an event, outdoor and digital", with INSA hand painting a wall mural repeatedly and combining the photographs in a digital GIF image.

    Insa - Outdoor Advertising - Ketel OneInsa - Gif-Iti

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    Lord Alan Sugar is spying on you. The entrepreneur's digital outdoor media company, Amscreen, has been experimenting with innovative face recognition technology in order to develop adverts which are instantaneously tailored to their audience.

    Face Recognition - Outdoor Advertising

    GPS technology provider Garmin has partnered with Parisian audience measurement firm Quividi in this revolutionary out of home advancement, trialling the system over the past year with a view to full-scale implementation of 'Measured By Quividi'  on Amscreen over the coming months. Located predominantly in petrol station forecourts, the 6000 Amscreen displays reach a total of over 50million members of the public on a weekly basis. The digital format already has a proven success rate, such as Cadbury Creme Egg adverts generating an 8.4% sales increase at targeted petrol stations during the Easter approach.

    The software's ability to deduce gender means that adverts can be accordingly displayed to benefit brands, and can also disclose geographic and temporal information on audiences in order to facilitate more refined campaigns. Existing trials of this new Amscreen technology reveal that 94% of shoppers will view the content in-store, which presents the highest conversion rate across the outdoor arena. Collaborating with Quividi will allow the company to further deconstruct their audience through categories of age, time, gender and volume in order to directly engage with them.

    Outdoor specialists Ocean Outdoor have also been exploring face recognition technology at London's Westfield shopping centre, with company CEO Tim Bleakley reporting proof that "on Christmas Eve and on Valentine's day men leave their shopping to the last minute".

    Amscreen - Lucozade

    Lord Sugar's son and Amscreen's CEO, Simon Sugar, said: "It's great to see that, together with Quividi's technology, we are bringing the industry into the 21st century. We are all aware that the media industry as a whole is moving more and more towards real-time planning and audience measurement and away from traditional modeled audience metrics, hence we are now placing significant investment and resource on delivering this kind of depth of insight."

    Simon Sugar explained Amscreen's goals of campaign optimisation and minimising advertising wastage, also striving to dissolve the assumption that outdoor marketing is unable to be accurately measured. He stated how the company wishes to help the outdoor industry in delivering "the type of insight that only online has previously been able to achieve."

    Describing Amscreen as a "leader in its field and a forward-thinking innovator", Quividi CEO Olivier Duizabo also said: "Amscreen's decision to standardise audience measurement on their networks with face detection technology is a great move for the ecosystem: digital out of home and digital place-based media will continue to grow faster as advertisers gain better understanding of their true return on investment."

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    January 2013 saw the announcement that CBS Corporation was planning to dissolve its international CBS Outdoor arm, with European and Asian divisions being sold and the US section being transformed into a real estate investment trust.

    Prior to this, the next global outdoor advertising company along the route, Clear Channel, had failed to express an interest in purchasing the $6billion CBS Outdoor assets due to CEO William Eccleshare declaring the price tag too ambitious.

    Three months later, and CBS Outdoor are sticking with their American REIT, but are eager to make a quick sale of their overseas branches, engaging in a swift bidding process which sees them collectively valued somewhere between $200 and $300million.

    JCDecaux - Peroni

    As a result of CBS Outdoor's reluctance to sell the mass as separate parts, outdoor rivals JCDecaux and Clear Channel Outdoor have hardly given the auction a second glance. While both companies expressed a feasible interest in purchasing separate parts of CBS Outdoor, neither is enthralled by the idea of acquiring the entire load. Perhaps a stroke of fortune for media buyers, a successful merging of either outdoor leader with the CBS Outdoor divestment would have sparked worries surrounding competitive advertising costs.

    Both JCDecaux and Clear Channel Outdoor have had conversations and assessed the situation, however, their interest is only half-hearted. This leaves five private equity groups to compete for the winnings, including US media-oriented investment firm Providence Equity Partners, European communications-focused group GMT Communications Partners - who already hold UK's Primesight and Spain's Redext within their portfolio - and LA-based Platinum Equity.

    CBS Outdoor - London Underground

    The deal is expected to be completed by this summer, with the Financial Times reporting that a key attraction in the purchase of CBS Outdoor lies in their pioneering work across the digital outdoor advertising sector - such as the company's strong affiliation with the London transport network. Global director of insight and marketing at outdoor media buyer Kinetic Worldwide, Nick Mawditt, said: “Their digital proposition internationally is as strong as anyone’s. They are pioneers and leaders in that field. It’s just that they don’t have the scale of some of their competitors”.

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  • 04/22/13--09:30: Turn Every Drive Into A Ride
  • Ever been stood on top of a moonlit skyscraper, gazing across London's skyline? Not the most ordinary of experiences - until today. Creative agency TBWA London have collaborated with communications and planning firm Manning Gottlieb OMD in an ambitious project, transforming London's Oxford Circus tube stop into an otherworldly experience for the station's 1.35million weekly commuters.

    Oxford Circus - London Underground

    In a brand awareness campaign for Japanese automotive company Nissan, the companies have fused their marketing talents to catapult the new Nissan Juke supermini, simultaneously promoting its NissanConnect integrated satellite navigation stystem. The outdoor strategy will also see support from television, video-on-demand and mobile advertising.

    Nissan Juke

    The first ever 360˚ wrap of Oxford Circus has transformed the London Underground stop into a disorienting injection of Nissan technology, highlighting the NissanConnect facility which allows users to pre-plan a journey route on a separate device and then remotely sync it up to the Juke. The artwork simulates the idea of being stood on a building before a vast city skyline, with the Nissan Juke flying above. Nissan Motor GB director Guillaume Masurel described the initiative as creating "a moment of exhilaration for commuters by physically placing them at the heart of an all-encompassing, dramatic set-up".

    With Bluetooth, USB, iPhone and iPod connectivity in addition to a 360˚-view monitor using four wide-angle cameras, NissanConnect facilitates impeccable functionality for those behind the wheel. A touch screen enables seamless navigation of GPS, audio and your mobile, with the supplementary bonus of Google features - including maps, weather and local area search.


    TBWA's brand leader for Nissan, Chris Spenceley, said: "Nissan’s brand idea is 'Innovation that Excites', whether that’s in product design or media approach, and they’re always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage consumers. It’s no surprise that they’re behind the first 360˚ station wrap in the UK.”

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    As current holder of the largest outdoor advertising contract in Ireland, the out of home division of the country's national transport provider, Coras Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), continues to progress through a tendering procedure.

    CIÉ's 'Commuter Advertising Network' (CAN) was reported to have a value of up to €40million, and was previously managed by Bravo Outdoor. While outdoor leaders CBS Outdoor, JCDecaux, Clear Channel and Bravo Outdoor have all been involved in the tendering process for the CAN contract, JCDecaux have shot ahead by acquiring their opponent Bravo Outdoor.

    The acquisition will take immediate effect, propelling the partnership into prime position for securing a deal with CIÉ. The contract up for grabs spans both static (billboards, rail bridges, shopping centres) and mobile (internal and external sites on buses and trains) advertising, covering Dublin Buses, Bus Eireann, Iarnrod Eireann's 'Dublin Area Rapid Transit' trains, Transvision digital station screens and sites across CIÉ stations.

    Dublin Buses - O2

    The leading companies are required to participate in a pre-tendering process, which will be followed by summons to tender from CIÉ during May, concluding in July with the announcement of the successful competitor. The contract length remains unconfirmed, however, reports suggest that it will repeat the previous duration of three years, with the option to increase to five years but not exceeding seven.

    The financial investment required of the contract holder is rumoured to be as high as €1million, with sources implying that the amount invested will directly influence the length of contract secured by the winning party - tender documents state that "the successful tenderer will be required to make a capital investment in the advertising plant to update the advertising portfolio which may include conversion to digital and more modern formats", which would mean that the victor will no doubt look to obtain the longest possible contract in order to maximise their ROI.

    Luas - Harry Potter

    JCDecaux Ireland is currently responsible for the dublinbikes rental scheme along with managing advertising on the Luas rail system, with additional sites for local authorities and Northern Ireland's NITHC/Translink contract. Having now extended their portfolio, JCDecaux Ireland's MD, Joanne Grant, commented that: "We see these new products as complementing and enhancing the JCDecaux portfolio.  Ultimately this extended product offering will benefit our clients. Out-of-home media is all about being able to communicate with a mobile target audience as they go about their day.  We can now offer clients the ability to reach their consumers across the full range of out-of-home environments, from large format roadside to transport formats to retail and digital."

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    Figures released by the Outdoor Media Centre reveal that, despite last year's pre-Olympic marketing activity, 2013 has seen an 0.1% year on year growth in outdoor revenue, rising from £213.0million in Q1 of 2012 to £213.2million for Q1 of this year.

    The rise may be minimal, however, it has fought off tough competition from the Olympic Games and has managed to maintain an increase in figures for the seventh consecutive quarter. The enduring success of the outdoor advertising industry is largely attributed to brands' continuing exploration of digital avenues, with the digital out of home sector experiencing an impressive 21% year on year raise to £43.1million. Where digital took the credit for 16.7% of Q1 revenue for 2012, its 2013 equivalent accounts for 20.2%.

     Transport Media - London - 2012 - Vibram
    Outdoor Media Centre chief executive, Mike Baker, expressed his joy over a "long run of success all the way back to mid 2011", reminding the public that the outdoor industry has achieved a great success by managing to exceed an Olympic year. Baker commented that: “We are realistic that it will be well-nigh impossible to match Q3 especially and we know that will also impact on the full year number. But the digital growth continues apace, with 21% growth to £43m in the quarter – a fifth of the total spend in outdoor. That’s where the most impressive growth story lies."

    Bulmers - Digital Outdoor - Roadside

    Since 1998 the out of home advertising arena has expanded its revenue by 73%, described by the Office of Fair Trading as the "fastest growing traditional advertising medium over the past decade". Media owners such as CBS Outdoor, JCDecaux and Clear Channel continue to expand and evolve their digital portfolios, complemented by smaller, dedicated companies such as Lord Sugar's Amscreen.

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    We know that waiting for buses can be difficult, we really do. Whether your local service is late, infrequent or it's just lonely at the bus stop, here are some roadside campaigns from all over the world, offering spectacular examples of how advertisers can stamp boredom straight out of the public spectrum.

    As part of everybody's outdoor space, and with over 90% of the UK population living within 5 minutes of a bus route, bus shelter advertising is a useful way of implementing high-frequency coverage for your campaign.  From residential to city-central neighbourhoods, bus shelters can be used to infiltrate a broad demographic or they can be geographically refined to focus on a specific audience.


    This Brazilian beverage company sponsors the country's football team, and so full-size football nets were distributed around Sao Paulo for the World Cup by advertising agency Duda Propaganda.


    Canadian agency Cossette West managed this campaign for global fast-food chain McDonald's, promoting the company's free coffee offer.


    Frankfurt restaurant Fisch Franke were promoted by German agency Publicis, using real fish and water to communicate the 'Fresh As Can Be' slogan.

    4. LE LAIT

    Canadian milk brand Le Lait appointed Nolin BBDO to erect this conspicuous piece of marketing.


    Canada's Calgary Zoo constructed a scene of faux chaos, directing the public towards their wildlife hub with the help of Trigger Communications.


    Managed by the Melbourne branch of M&C Saatchi, Australia Post created this campaign to encourage the public to make use of personalised mail.

    7. IKEA

    No stranger to the advertising world, IKEA love to generate double takes across the public spectrum. This bus shelter is kitted out in the company's furniture, offering exasperated travellers a comfortable sofa break.

    8. COCA COLA

    Turkey were lucky enough to have this Coca Cola campaign grace their streets, with bus shelters that are fitted with a fridge offering free Coca Cola, planned by Istanbul marketing agency McCann Erickson.


    Creative agency Colenso BBDO decided to pick up all the rubbish left around Auckland and throw it inside an Adshel, showing the public how much litter was being dropped.

    10. JE*S JEANS

    Croatian advertising agency Bruceta & Zinic planned this simple but amusing advert for fashion brand Je*s Jeans, tricking the public into exposing their rears in order to convince them to buy Je*s clothing.

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    Its trailer is the most talked about of 2013, the full-length feature is to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival today, and, for those local to London, The Great Gatsby is also taking over Oxford Circus tube station to coincide with the film's nationwide launch this week.

    Oxford Circus - Gatsby

    Warner Bros began marketing The Great Gatsby an entire year before its scheduled theatrical release, ensuring that Baz Luhrmann's 3D spectacle would eclipse all cinematic competitors. And so it's only fitting that the much-hyped movie should receive impeccable advertising treatment for its opening week.

    In true entertainment extravagance, Applied Media and CBS Outdoor have collaborated to implement a sprawling arrangement of floor graphics, wall coverings and billboard adverts, resulting in an immersive 360° wrap of the city's prime retail-oriented station. Out of home agency Kinetic are responsible for the campaign booking, with PHD planning the project. Applied Media business development director, Larry Walsh, said: "Within the tube network we are used to seeing advertisements on the vaulted walls and ceiling. With our versatile system, which was also adopted to create unmissable branding at this year’s BNY Mellon Boat Race, we can now complete the circle and help create a full 360° experience within the underground."

    Oxford Circus - Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby - set designThis 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby juxtaposes the 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel with a contemporary soundtrack that includes Jay-Z, Lana del Ray and The XX, hoping to give the film a visceral quality that attacks from multiple angles. Subsequently, the decision to advertise the film through this innovative outdoor method is a certified way of luring audiences. Imitating the film's indulgent set design by Catherine Martin, the Underground wrap has transformed an iconic London site into a 1920s ballroom, encouraging commuters and tourists towards a number of theatres in the surrounding area. 

    Following last month's automotive takeover by TBWA/London and Manning Gottlieb OMD, Oxford Circus remains an unparalleled platform for showcasing retail and entertainment brands, positioned at the heart of London's leisure corridor of Oxford Street.

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    Clear Channel - Peru - UTEC - BillboardGlobal outdoor media company Clear Channel have extended their billboard portfolio by organising a scientific advertising site in Peru that can create fresh water out of thin air. Located in the rural Peruvian area of Bujama, the £20,000 billboard was implemented in December 2012 thanks to a collaborative effort from the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima and creative agency MAYO DraftFCB.

     With a severe lack of rainfall but an atmospheric humidity of 98%, the billboard has been designed to condense water from the moist South American air, containing a series of filtering devices and UV lamps which cause the water to become purified - meaning that locals don't even have to boil it before consumption.

    Clear Channel - Peru - UTEC - Billboard

    Generating around 96 litres a day, Bujama have been gifted with 15,000 of clean drinking water since January, equating to hundreds of families every month. This is a monumental achievement for an area experiencing a frequent struggle with the natural commodity that we take for granted. Standing 65 feet above ground, the construction is available to anybody who passes by and lies 55 miles into the busy Panamericana Sur coastal highway.


    Bujama resident Francisco Quilca said: "I'm thankful to the people who made this possible because this is pure water and I don't have to boil it so much. The water is valid for me and my daily and normal use", going on to explain how 15 to 18 families visit daily for their share of water, some as early as 3am; some on bicycles, some by car. Ranging from Bujama locals to those carrying the liquid hundreds of kilometres to other regionsd of Peru, the water is used by nearby schools during sports lessons right through to farmers picking up a load en route to elsewhere. 

    While the campaign is providing an unprecedented benefit to the community, the idea was actually conceived as a way of encouraging Peruvian students to explore a career in engineering through studying at UTEC. MAYO DraftFCB art director, Juan Donalisio, said: "We are betting on effective advertising solutions that seize the advantages of technological engineering and the environment."

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    Traditional billboards are not the only destination for those looking to advertise through the outdoor advertising world; large-format advertising specialist builds are available, operating under the belief that size does in fact matter. Media owner blowUP Media have steadily established a pioneering industry format, sinking their claws into the eyeline of the public with sites ranging from 100 to over 17,000m2.

    Launching on the 20th May 2013, Manchester's 508m2 'Giant Poster' is the largest UK site past the borders of London, resting powerfully above the city's main bus terminus. The debut creative to be projected by the poster is Nike's latest promotional activity, which depicts the brand's sponsorship of the new England football kit.

    blowUP Media - Manchester Piccadilly - Nike

    blowUP MediaHeavily dominated by a photograph of Manchester United's Danny Welbeck, who models the new England shirt, the vast artwork projects the words 'We make the shirt. You make it matter' across a key commuter and retail hub of the city. Standing as Nike's only outdoor exposure related to the campaign, the Manchester Piccadilly poster is a huge asset for the campaign and the city.

    blowUP Media MD, Katrin A Robertson, said: "By sponsoring something as cherished as the England football team, a big brand like Nike is looking to make a huge statement, using a Giant Poster allows them to do this – especially as there are few bigger than our new site in Manchester. Delivering big campaigns like this shows that Giant Posters can be both nimble and impactful."

    For more information on large format, iconic sites visit Out of Home International.

    blowUP Media - Manchester - Nike

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    Manchester-based roadside media specialists, MediaCo Outdoor, are collaborating with Manchester City Council in an augmentation of the region's outdoor advertising landscape. Coined CityLive, the initiative will see the implementation of an outdoor, interactive web of pioneering digital screens, located across twenty high-traffic pedestrian hubs of the city - such as Market Street and Piccadilly Gardens.

    The portrait platforms will present a fully integrated brand experience to a weekly footfall of 2.3 million, incorporating sound, live feed news and weather updates, interactive navigation, face regocnition software, and the latest near field communication capabilities - the same standards that enable close proximity date transfer between smart devices.

    CityLive - MediaCo - Outdoor - Manchester

    Scheduled for an autumn appearance, the network  will also be fitted with real-time audience optimisation software operating from live third party data, allowing advertisers to refine their campaign to target onlookers at the most relevant time. MediaCo Outdoor MD, Mark Wardle, said: “CityLive will provide an unrivalled level of engagement for advertisers and visitors in one of Europe’s most important cities.”

    Manchester - Market Street The company's commercial director, Richard Blackburn, also added: "We have created an entirely new class of digital out of home; a model that takes into account the volume of audiences delivered but also the level of actual engagement. This in turn allows us to make a serious commitment to real-time audience-based trading."

    Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, described the development as "another example of Manchester’s ambition to become one of the world’s leading digital cities" that will "enhance the experience of people in the city centre by providing useful, real-time information". Leese also went on to say that: “Visitors will be able to find their way around using touch screen maps, for instance, and communications about events in the city can be tailored and updated based on who’s around and what’s happening.”


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