January 4th, 2018
An Outdoor Christmas Past

I know, it’s all behind us. We’ve all eaten and drunk too much, had a great time with friends and family and generally had a pretty good time away from the office and the day job.  But it’s over for another year, we have to put it all behind us and get ready to deal with the challenges that 2018 will throw at us.

But indulge me with a short reflection on an Out of Home Christmas Past and see if it can give us any pointers for an Out of Home Christmas’s of the future.

Every year around late November the nation begins its unique relationship with advertising.

The question on everyone’s lips is “what will the new Christmas TV ad look like from X brand – will it be, could it be, better than last years epic?”

Apparently over £6Billion was expected to be spent on advertising in the run up to Christmas with brands rolling out the big budgets and big names to eclipse last years efforts.

John Lewis apparently spending £7million on Michel Gondry’s superb Moz the Monster and Waitrose creating what looked to me to be pretty much the ideal Christmas – snowed up in a pub in Yorkshire!

But despite all the headlines and debate the TV adverts receive, what really excited me was the increasing way brands integrated Digital Out of Home into their Christmas advertising plans.

In 2016 ASDA booked their Digital Out of Home to begin at exactly the same time as the Network TV premiere of its ad, maximizing impact and delivery to the illusive light TV viewers. So this year, I was hopeful as to how brands would link their screen campaigns across both TV and Out of Home

It was encouraging to see how creatively the executions worked across these channels with creative departments really understanding that linking the channels, the campaigns work better together with Out of Home priming the TV activity.

Not only did Waitrose make me feel I was stuck in that delightful pub in Yorkshire but they also brought the snow (via snow machines) to both Westfield centers to help me really experience a Waitrose Christmas. I fell for it, hook line and sinker but other than transporting everyone up to a pub in Ilkley, where else could you create that sort of extended brand experience.

John Lewis primed their TV activity with Moz the Monsters huge eye, peering out to us from various DOOH locations. Setting up the story on DOOH, for the whole chapter to be revealed on TV.

But of course what’s unique to Out of Home is the simplicity, so artfully delivered by retail brands such as Selfridges, Coop, O2 and Debenhams and many, many more.

Taking the message on to the street, placing the ad where and most importantly when people are most likely to purchase. Incredibly footfall across the 2 Westfield centers in London was just short of a million across the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of December and people were spending at a rate of £700,000 per hour – why wouldn’t you want your Christmas message right there.

Time will tell if this Christmas was a success for brands. But based on the activity I saw across Oceans portfolio, backed by some pretty sharp data  (our facial recognition cameras showed a 68% increase in consumer engagement with ad’s on boxing day) and some integrated creative executions (full motion DOOH has an effectiveness multiple of x2.5) things are looking pretty good for DOOH in Christmas’s Future.

TV will continue to win the headlines as each year beautiful Christmas stories unfold but Out of Home and particularly Digital out of Home is the work horse that brings the consumer and the brand together, where it matters, at the point of sale.

See Ocean’s Digital Out of Home highlights above.

And a Happy New Year

Ocean Networks

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