If you build it, they will come – to misquote, among numerous possible sources for this phrase, Kevin Costner’s 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Yet despite growth in the number and scale of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) networks and some increase in brands using them, are significantly more and bigger budgets materialising? I don’t think so. Which is where a new initiative called The Campaign CityLive Challenge comes in.
Launched this month by MediaCo Outdoor and Campaign magazine, and supported by DOOH tech company FTP Concepts and DOOH creative specialist Enigma, the challenge is all about championing innovative creative thinking in DOOH. It will showcase the interactivity, creative capabilities and real time results and adjustments CityLive’s state of the art network can provide to agencies, out of home specialists and advertisers.
Two teams will compete in response to a brief set by the organisers for a charity of each team’s choice. And I am thrilled to say that the senior creatives confirmed as team leaders are Andy Sandoz, creative partner at Havas Work Club, and Malin Hanas, creative director at Razorfish. Each will oversee a team of three, including one student member.
Both teams will receive a ‘kit bag’ of content building tools – potential technical and creative approaches from which they must use at least one within their campaign to ensure it delivers on the brief for interactivity. These tools include: geo-location data, built-in cameras, touch screen interactivity, external data feeds, dual screens, live interaction, real time content and ability to evolve campaign content over time.
FTP Concepts will provide tech mentoring and support while Enigma will be on hand as a DOOH creative touchstone, where required, for each team. Planning support and (of course) media space, meanwhile, is being supplied by MediaCo Outdoor.
The aim is to generate the greatest creativity and number of interactions over a one week campaign to run via CityLive later in the summer. The two campaigns will then be judged and a winner announced in Campaign in early October.
Despite growth in both the availability of DOOH and number of brands now starting to use it, examples of brands using touch screen interactive networks such as our own CityLive for much more than tactical one-offs are still few and far between.
Yes, we’ve had stunt campaigns like Pepsi Max’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter, BA’s #lookup flight tracker and Compassion in World Farming’s live pig feed at Westfield. But there are very few examples of ideas executed across networked screens that demonstrate DOOH’s true potential to create exciting, eye-catching, inclusive and sustainable real world campaigns. By which I mean dynamic advertising that evolves in real-time as consumers interact with creative content to keep that content fun, engaging and responsive throughout a campaign period.
We believe The Campaign CityLive Challenge will point the way forward for DOOH creativity – demonstrating once and for all that digital outdoor isn’t about pixellated posters as an alternative to dots and ink.
The two campaigns that result will show how DOOH can make real-time and interactive campaigns a reality. And by doing so they will re-focus attention, too, onto something even more crucial for our industry’s future success: the importance of approaching DOOH technology not as the latest fad, but as a strategic tool to create for consumers better brand experiences.
To realise its full potential, a greater understanding is needed within the creative community of what is possible with DOOH 3.0. What’s needed is better use of the full DOOH toolkit already available. Achieve this and the money will surely follow. None of us can afford to leave the creative community to simply stumble upon its potential. The Campaign CityLive Challenge is MediaCo Outdoor’s contribution to ensuring this doesn’t happen.
Let battle commence!
To follow The Campaign CityLive Challenge this summer: #citylivechallenge
Richard Blackburn is commercial director at MediaCo Outdoor