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Cannes Lions is synonymous with creativity and OOH submissions never fail to stand out. Clever OOH campaigns play with the medium’s countless formats and possibilities for original message delivery. Here we look at some of our favourite pure OOH executions across every prize category.
OOH campaigns consistently stand out at Cannes with their unique delivery and mass appeal. But the creativity of the best campaigns is always welded to the OOH format that delivers it. It is impactful, it brings an element of surprise, and ultimately, it unites people in a shared emotional reaction. The most creative OOH campaigns make full use of the medium’s formats and its ability to generate conversation and engagement among all urban audience segments.
This is a key occasion when the industry looks at advertising beyond the sales figures, instead focusing on how it resonates with people. The Grand Prix Outdoor Lions have been well documented so we wanted to have a closer look at some other fantastic submissions for exemplary OOH campaigns that captured people’s imagination. Here are some campaigns, which have caught our eye thanks to their smart use of formats and original delivery within the world’s oldest medium.

It’s all in the environment.No Metro, Ghostbusters

Awards won:

E02 Use of Ambient Outdoor
D06 Transit
Commuters were thoroughly creeped out by a ‘ghost train’ travelling around the Madrid Metro. Loudspeakers programmed to emit sound progressively imitated a train pulling onto the platform, doors opening and closing, the train leaving the station… but no train was seen.
The campaign was a fantastic use of the OOH environment, creating a highly creative, fully immersive Ghostbusters experience without complex executions. The concept also matched the plot of the film perfectly, delighting the commuters with subtle, yet instantly recognisable branding.
Creative by: Shackelton

A credible game.Tramroulette, Holland Casino

Awards won:

E02 Use of Ambient Outdoor
OOH creates brand trust among consumers, and Holland Casino used the audience’s trust in the medium to enhance their positioning as the only genuine casino in an increasingly liberal market.
The experiential transport campaign fully engaged the OOH commuter audience and united them in a fun activity. Holland Casino gave everyone a chance to win by turning a tram stop into a giant interactive roulette game. They disrupted an otherwise repetitive commuter journey with an entertaining and memorable experience, driving engagement and sharing.
Creative by: TBWA\NEBOKO The Netherlands
Media by: JCDecaux Netherlands

A traditional medium? The Smart Billboard, Samsung

Awards won:

C03 Interactive & Dynamic Billboards / Posters - Bronze
Samsung wanted to highlight the balance between the classically elegant aesthetics and the high-tech capabilities of its Gear S3 smartwatch. A live stream on a digital bus shelter panel was used to make the predictably traditional-looking luxury watch ad came to life, surprising commuters every time the model’s smartwatch went off.
The campaign drew a parallel between the perceived traditions within OOH and within luxury advertising. To the delight of the passers-by, the campaign juxtaposed audience expectations of an old-school OOH luxury watch campaign with technological innovation.
Creative by: Leo Burnett Israel
Media by: JCDecaux Israel

A real-life giant exhibition. Made Possible by Melbourne, Melbourne University

Awards won:

D03 Special Build - Silver
C04 Ambient Use of Digital Technology – Silver
G01 Integrated Campaign led by Outdoor - Shortlist
Even though Melbourne University produces an impressive amount of cutting-edge, world-leading research, awareness of this among the public is low. To change this, the University brought their research to the streets.
Unlike other media, OOH has a real-life, physical presence. So, instead of telling people about the research, the University simply showed it! Showcase panels on the streets turned the city into a giant science exhibition, making the most of OOH’s mass reach to spread the knowledge, drive awareness and prompt interaction.
Creative by: McCann Melbourne

Now you see it, now you see it. Helsinki Police Department

Awards won:

Media - B05 Use of Outdoor - Shortlist
Finland has some of the highest rates of domestic violence, yet only one in ten cases are reported. To raise awareness and encourage reports, the Helsinki Police Department used their real-time data to roll out a truly reactive OOH campaign.
After every emergency call that reported domestic abuse, teams instantly printed posters and put them up in the area where the call came from. The ads remained there for the next 48 hours, speaking out to the people in the area.
The striking creative highlighted the fact that 88% of domestic violence happens after dark. During the day, the posters showed normal-looking photos however, once the backlight switched on in the evening, they revealed the violent truth that victims often hide.
The campaign is a prime example of OOH’s unmissable proximity capabilities for delivery. But also, the campaign challenges a popular belief that OOH is a rigid medium with little room for manoeuvrability and reactivity.
Creative by: TBWA\Helsinki
Media by: JCDecaux Finland

No more no less than OOH. #s, Twitter

Awards won:

A12 Media & Publications
C01 Static Digital Billboards / Posters
F02 Art Direction
Finally, we cannot go without mentioning Twitter who was the belle of the ball this year within the Outdoor category, winning ten Grand Prix prizes.
The campaign is a great example of new(ish) digital media turning to OOH for it’s impactful, shareable, mass delivery. The campaign’s aim was for Twitter to ‘reclaim the hashtag’. They used iconic, stand-out imagery from the most significant events and trending conversations in 2016 to circulate across billboards in the US.
With only the iconic hashtag and the instantly recognisable Twitter logo, the campaigns needed nothing more than the beautiful visuals and the OOH’s podium-like presentation to communicate the message, speak emotionally and drive conversation on the topics most important to Twitter users.
Creative by: Twitter

Discover award winning campaigns. About JCDecaux Creative Solutions

Creative Solutions is an international division of JCDecaux that brings innovative Out-of-Home (OOH) concepts to on-street reality. Creative Solutions campaigns grab attention and build a dialogue with target audiences.
Whether special builds or Dynamic Content, dedicated teams around the world use the latest technologies to optimise campaigns across all OOH environments.

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Published in For brands, about #creative solutions, #awards