The top three winners of the commercial category in this year’s Ocean Digital Creative competition all use data and tech in interesting ways. Let’s take a look at why they were effective and what that says about a changing out-of-home (OOH) landscape.
3rd Place – Ariel – Look Like New
In third place was Ariel’s “Look Like New” campaign. The campaign used radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to track clothing items as customers left the store with them and targeted ads at the lucky shopper, congratulating them on their purchase. By partnering with fashion retailers Ariel were able to target customers when they were emotionally engaged after making a new purchase, and reminded them of the restorative effects of Ariel 3in1. This is particularly clever because it not only triggered a wow-factor by delivering personalised ads with innovative tech, but it essentially piggy-backed on a spot of good old retail therapy in a way that selling washing powder “cold” can’t really do.
2nd Place – Persil – Get Out Here
In a way, the fact that soap dominated two thirds of the top prizes should come as no surprise. After all, it was a soap manufacturer that invented an entire TV genre, an early milestone in marketing history.
Persil focused their campaign on encouraging children to get outdoors and play; hooked around the insight that parents are much more likely to take their dogs to the park than take their children(!).
Persil used digital billboards to live stream footage from a local “place of play” alongside stats based on data such as weather updates. Audiences could hold their phones up to the billboards to get Google map directions to their local play area. The campaign was essentially an elaboration on Persil’s long running “dirt is good” message and linked the well known soap brand to a sense of community engagement and emotional uplift.
1st Place – Sky Ocean Rescue – The Ocean’s Most Terrifying Killer
In honour of World Ocean Day, Sky launched their Sky Ocean Rescue campaign to raise awareness that the ocean’s deadliest killer is not a shark or man-eating squid (we’re not sure if that’s actually a thing), but plastic. The campaign featured digital screens on which dastardly shadows hover over limpid ocean backgrounds. By connecting to a free Wi-Fi service, audiences can transform their phone screen into a torch, revealing the shadows have been cast by discarded clumps of plastic. Audiences were handed free reusable bags for life and further details about avoiding single use plastic packaging were pushed to their phones.
You wouldn’t necessarily connect Sky with environmental awareness but their campaign chimes with a growing consumer interest in the impact humans are having on the planet and that can only be a good thing.
These awards perhaps represent a watershed (no pun intended) moment for Outdoor advertising; a moment in which consumer data, mobile engagement and data-driven digital billboards fuse into a deeply integrated form of out-of-home marketing. It’s increasingly hard to draw a sharp separation between Digital and Outdoor, Mobile and Online, data manipulation and creative.
This means that businesses and advertisers have to make a move to thinking about ad design from a multi-channel, integrated viewpoint. This presents a challenge to marketers to get to grips with an ever evolving, tech-driven media landscape. But it’s clear that a powerful array of new techniques and approaches are at the disposal of marketers if they have the creative drive to use them.