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Creative New Year Honors

The OOH industry... for banding together: The Drum editorial team’s best of 2020


By The Drum Reporters, Editorial team

December 30, 2020 | 3 min read

It’s that time again, when we look back at the agencies, the brands, the organizations, movements and trends that have shaped the past year. In 2020 – a year so many of us would like to forget – our industry of problem solvers proved time and again that they have what it takes to muck in, help out, ask questions, shape cultures and change the world. It is them that we celebrate in our New Year Honors.


The campaign was owned by the entire industry

2020 was tough on the out-of-home (OOH) industry. With streets empty as everyone stayed indoors, ad spend was understandably moved elsewhere and revenues plummeted. But rather than lick their wounds, OOH media owners banded together to put their platforms to good use by delivering messages of gratitude from the public who had the luxury of staying at home.

From frontline health and social staff to supermarket attendants, the real champions of this year have been the 14.5 million selfless individuals who got up every day to help keep the UK and Ireland going. To highlight those people, ‘#MyHeroes’ was a user-generated campaign that made sure these people were not taken for granted.

To involve the public, the initiative got #MyHeroes tending, called out for people to nominate their heroes and to share their unique story to be shared across 1,292 OOH sites. Taking the proven activation of OOH to mobile and reversing it, the campaign used social media to broadcast messages of support and love to OOH screens within one week of the first lockdown.

Overnight, the ad industry was transformed from an advertising channel to a targeted broadcast channel for good, taking over the OOH sites for eight weeks, spreading messages of love and gratitude from the indebted people at home.

And, as the people at home tweeting their thanks were on lockdown, ‘MyHeroes‘ closed the social media loop by instantly replying an artist's impression of the tweet in situ back to the person who tweeted.

The campaign was owned by the entire industry, including Clear Channel, JCDecaux and BlowUp media, making it the largest ever multi-format campaign in the UK and Ireland. Together, they donated £2.5m media space, 110m playouts and 51 formats.

Within a week on Twitter, #MyHeroes received 2,503,125 impressions nationally and 105,849,775 impressions worldwide.

Micro targeted in time, location and meaning, what #MyHeroes should be most commended for was the tangible effect it had on people‘s lives. It authentically connected loved ones that couldn’t be together during an immensely difficult time, ensuring they were connected to OOH while remaining at home.

We’ll be celebrating all our favorite things about 2020 on between now and early January. Keep an eye on our New Year Honors hub to read more.

Creative New Year Honors

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