October 29th, 2021
Brands and campaigners leverage the power of large digital roadside advertising as COP26 opens in Glasgow

Australian humourist Dan Ilic successfully crowdfunds outdoor ads

Powerful messages are appearing across Glasgow’s cityscape as brands, charities and activists leverage Scotland’s outdoor advertising inventory during COP26, the UN climate change conference.

From October 30 to November 14, advertisers will appear on 55 screens which make up Ocean Outdoor’s large format digital roadside estate right across the country, delivering more than 42 million impacts.

The sites include Ocean’s brand new 55 square metre full motion screen which is located in Glasgow’s North Hanover Street just outside George Square. Ocean is the number one player in large format digital screens across central Scotland.

The line-up of brands for the COP26 period includes Brewdog, Electronic Arts, EDF Energy, Fortescue Metals Group, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, Scottish Power, Sky, Tennent’s Brewery, Unilever, Volvo and the Woodland Trust. The Scottish government has also taken outdoor advertising space.

Outdoor specialists Kinetic, Posterscope, Rapport and Talon and the ethical creative agency Media Bounty were involved in the planning of the campaigns.

They include The World Is Looking To You Cop 26, a series of powerful graffiti style  posters pairing messages for delegates with photographs of individuals who have experienced disasters intensified by climate change. Commissioned by Media Bounty and supported by a collaboration of more than 40 organisations, the design was created by Iris.

A number of different executions designed for various formats and accompanied by frank messages such as Will you act now, or pray we get a later?, remind delegates of the importance of their actions and collective responsibilities with regards to climate change and the future of humanity.

One of the iterations explicitly states that the ad space has been taken to prevent other companies from using the opportunity for reassuring statements that “everything is okay”.

The campaign has been collectively developed by the organisations involved in conjunction with the Quadrature Climate Foundation.

Following a 10 week sealed bid auction earlier this year, outdoor inventory is close to capacity for the period of the summit which will see upwards of 20,000 world leaders and delegates assemble in Glasgow.

Ocean Scotland managing director Marc Keenan said: “COP26 is one of the most important environmental conference ever to be held and the first and last thing delegates will see as they arrive at and leave the conference will be our high impact outdoor advertising screens.

“Ocean delivers a critical communications platform for those brands and organisations that are on the frontline line of the climate emergency and COP26 is a unique opportunity to speak directly to decision makers on an international scale about a critical global issue. What outdoor advertising affords is a trusted, impactful environment, something which brands and organisations have clearly recognised.”

Australian investigative humourist Dan Ilic has crowd funded three satirical outdoor adverts which appear on Ocean’s Expressway Tower from October 30 to November 14, roasting Australia’s climate record.

The large format portrait screen sits on the busy A814 facing traffic entering the city and will deliver close to 350,000 views.

The campaign, A Rational Fear, features three different messages including Cuddle a Koala Before We Make Them Extinct! and Australia: Net Zero Ambitions by 2050!, accompanied by a kangeroo with its tail on fire.

Activist Dan raised more than 40,000 Australian dollars (£21,000) from donors in just two hours to pay for the digital screens. He says the surplus funds will be used to buy other billboards in key political constituencies in Australia.

“Thousands of Australians have chipped in to say that the Australian Government doesn’t represent them on the world stage. The Australian Prime Minister’s COP26 climate plan is much worse than that time the English sent the ANZACs to the wrong beach,” said Dan.

North Hanover Street - Artist's impression
Expressway Tower - Artist's Impression

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