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PlayStation, Albert Heijn and Klarna win big at The Drum Awards for Out of Home

PS5's London Underground launch campaign won the Grand Prix

PlayStation5's takeover of the London Underground to mark its launch in the UK has been crowned campaign of the year at The Drum Awards for Out of Home 2021.

The work from MediaCom, in collaboration with TfL, Red Consultancy and Diva Agency, took home the Grand Prix after generating a buzz around the world by trading out the iconic roundels of the Tube for PlayStation's own instantly recognizable symbols.

The Chair’s Award, meanwhile, was chosen by Anna Bager, president and chief executive officer of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America. Her pick was a digital campaign for Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn, which she described as “a beautiful illustration how data and location can inform the creative process”.

This year's show was the 10th anniversary instalment of The Drum Awards for Out of Home, and to mark the occasion a special best-of-the-decade award, voted for by The Drum readers, was bestowed to one of the previous nine Grand Prix winners.

After hundreds of votes were cast, O2's ingenious medium-is-the-message 'Oops campaign', the best-in-show winner in 2018, was named the Grand Prix of Grand Prix winner.

For each other award category, the jury of international experts considered the creative conception, execution and, most importantly, the results of each campaign. The full list of winners can be found on The Drum Awards for Out Of Home website, and individual case studies for each are available on thedrum.com.

Read on to learn more about some of this year’s top entries. The results were revealed during a live event broadcast from The Drum Labs, where headline partners Alight Media joined The Drum to announce the winners.

Grand Prix, Disruptive, Most Talked-About, Experiential/Ambient/Installation, Spectacular

Agency: MediaCom in collaboration with TfL, Red Consultancy and Diva Agency

Client: PlayStation

Campaign: The Launch of PlayStation 5

As the two biggest gaming consoles on the market, Xbox and PlayStation enjoy a fierce rivalry when it comes to new product launches. The stakes are high: the early winner is almost certain to win the battle for the next generation of gamers. The successfully launch the PS5, MediaCom needed to create a campaign that would get people talking, across the UK and beyond.

With a takeover of the world-famous London Underground symbol, PlayStation’s equally recognizable brand iconography took centre stage, featuring renamed tube stations that paid homage to well-loved games and characters.

Now already multi-award winning, this campaign earnt nine million organic impressions, as well as nearly a billion news coverage impressions around the world, and over 100 million impressions on Twitter. It was the best social media engagement ever achieved by a TfL commercial partnership and even garnered a public commendation from the Mayor of London on his Instagram account.

The creative concept and effective execution impressed the judges. One said, “When I first saw this execution, I was blow away. And to me it made so much sense – it’s a moment that feels serendipitous. Four corners of Oxford Circus, four iconic symbols that represent PlayStation.” The jury described it as ‘cultural moment which had many in the industry in awe’, and ‘wild and unexpected’.

Chair’s Award, Best Use of Digital

Agency: VIOOH

Client: Albert Heijn

Campaign: Driving footfall to Albert Heijn stores via programmatic OOH

Albert Heijn is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. In the summer, up to a quarter of its primary customer group goes on holiday abroad. The goal of this campaign was to make use of those quiet months to attract infrequent visitors, increasing summer sales to maintain the store’s market share position.

Working with partners Sage + Archer, JCDecaux Netherlands, Dentsu, 24AM and Resono, VIOOH created a programmatic drive-to-store campaign that tracked mobile location data of the target group. Digital out-of-home ads were then displayed in the same locations, including special offers and discounts at nearby Albert Heijn stores.

By measuring both footfall and purchase data, the team was able to analyse customer behavior in the summer months. As well as a 26% increase in activity from the target group, the chain saw a 30% uplift in new customers. These numbers impressed the Anna Bager, leading her to give this entry the Chair’s Award. She described it as a brilliant demonstration of the proper integration of data proximity and creativity to produce a highly effective out-of-home campaign. “Because the content was served programmatically, it capitalised on the inherent advantages of dynamic content.

She added, “The campaign relied on real-time sales figures, linked to specific products to inform the creative, and this made the content highly relevant to consumers. It reached targeted consumers with meaningful messages - that caused them to act.”

Visual Craft, Interactive, Best Interconnected OOH Formats

Agency: Kinetic, Bountiful Cow, Motel

Client: Klarna

Campaign: Discover the Truth

This visually stunning campaign set out with two clear objectives. Firstly, to overcome the misunderstandings that had arisen regarding Klarna and its services, and secondly, to engage new audiences, particularly shoppers in the 25-44 age bracket.

The team knew that simply denying the myths surrounding its offering would not sit well with the audience: they needed to find out for themselves. Klarna identified seven myths that were gaining the most traction - these ranged from the simple but damning ‘Klarna is a scam’ and ‘Klarna is targeting innocent millennials’, to the more unusual ‘Klarna is a sanitary product’.

Working in partnership with interdisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal, the team set out to change perceptions, inviting audiences to enter a mythical online world and attempt a myth-busting challenge. Huge murals were designed in the UK’s four biggest cities, in high-footfall locations chosen for maximum impact. Scanning a unique QR code at each began the interactive mobile experience, and directional chalk stencils helped direct pedestrians and extend reach on social media.

The results were as spectacular as the paintings themselves. Over a four-week period, and 160,000 visits to the online gallery, 45,000 people dispelled all seven myths. More importantly, brand trust increased significantly during the campaign period (as measured by independent source Brand Vue FS).

Best Use of Location, Out-of-Home for good

Agency: CosmosDirekt

Campaign: Ads for Good

CosmosDirekt wanted to take direct action to help local businesses, particularly independent stores that were reeling from the impact of Germany’s national Covid-19 lockdown. Rooted in the insurance company’s motto, ‘Protect What You Love’, this campaign put money directly in the pockets of small business owners, as well as telling their stories to audiences across the country.

Since the company’s traditional media planning did not include literal shop windows, the team scouted locations and directly contacted stores, approaching shop owners in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Saarbrücken to advertise with them.

Once the first shop windows were covered with CosmosDirekt ads and the media money paid to the owners, the goal was to share the story with many people as possible. The campaign expanded with interview portraits of five store owners, whose stories earned millions of impressions across social media, online video, display ads and primetime TV spots.

People on social media suggested new stores, and the brand’s motto became a call to action for the whole of Germany. The judges praised the project’s ‘community feel’, describing it as ‘strategic thinking in a challenging time’. One said, “As innovative as it was unique – a creative use of the windows. The creativity led to amplification, tangible results and outcomes.”

Best Use of Social

Agency: AdQuick and Shervin Pishevar

Client: The City of Miami

Campaign: Move to Miami

2020 saw thousands of Americans leave tech hotspots and flood cities. They were seeking lower costs of living and more affordable housing, both of which encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. As online chatter about where to move was at its peak, a tweet from City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez went viral for encouraging workers to give Miami a look.

Tech talent took notice, as did Miami VC and tech investor Shervin Pishevar. He recognized the tweet struck a nerve and that billboards could bring these conversations from social media to the real world. So he hired AdQuick to design, strategize and manage the Move to Miami out-of-home campaign, placing billboards - inspired by the mayor’s tweet - in the heart of San Francisco.

The campaign was an immediate success. The billboards garnered top tier media coverage, drove DMs to Mayor Suarez and turned the heads of investors, proving that Miami meant business. This category was new for 2021, and the judges who awarded the entry praised for capturing a viral moment, reigniting public discussion on social, and channelling that buzz into measurable results. “Thanks to strategic insight, they were able to leverage social conversations to amplify and extend a ‘moment’ into a full movement. A great marriage between OOH and social.”

To see the full list of this year‘s winners, head to the website.

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