Specsavers The Drum Awards Creative Works

How multi-layered data is helping realize the full potential of OOH


By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

March 22, 2022 | 7 min read

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From multi-layered data targeting collaborations to contextually relevant creative innovations, The Drum and Alight Media reflect on the ‘Most Effective Use of Data’ shortlisted entries from The Drum Awards for OOH 2021 to discover what to expect for the medium in 2022.

The Drum Awards for OOH

Alight Media’s Ged Glover reflects on the ‘Most Effective Use of Data’ from The Drum OOH Awards 2021

Talk to any marketer navigating the changing rules of digital advertising right now and the word ‘contextual’ is bound to come up. And while it’s a hot topic that’s experiencing a resurgence in online circles, it’s something that one of the oldest media channels – out-of-home (OOH) – has consistently functioned around for years: right message, right place, right time. But now, with multi-layered data-targeting opportunities, brands are realizing the full potential of contextual in OOH.

Data has always been at its core, but identifying specific contextual moments and locations hasn’t always been possible via a single, conventional OOH targeting data solution. Now a multi-faceted data approach that identifies and accesses data sources previously untapped in OOH planning – one that blends first- and third-party data – is allowing brands to take personalization to the next level.

The creative possibilities for data in OOH are bountiful – and innovation keeps on happening. By utilizing multi-layered datasets and building partnerships across multiple screens and platforms, advertisers are delivering dynamic, targeted advertising in real-time to engage people in a highly absorbent state of mind. These were some of the trends discovered through the shortlisted entries in the ‘Most Effective Use of Data’ category at The Drum Awards for OOH 2021.

“This will be our second year as headline partner of The Drum OOH Awards and as a judge I’ve been consistently impressed by the breadth of categories and entries from across the world,” says Ged Glover, chief revenue officer, Alight Media – judge and sponsor of the awards. “As well as seeing some brilliant creative, this category was the most inspiring as how brands use data to shape their campaigns is not only driving their own success but helping to shape the future of our medium.”

Dynamic DOOH helps The North Face cross the finish line

For the launch of The North Face’s Vectiv shoe, dynamic digital out-of-home (DOOH) was used to ignite competitive spirit and reconnect audiences who were otherwise restricted by the effects of Covid-19. By mining the Strava running API to determine the most popular green running routes in five cities and set challenges, OMGDOOH ensured that both OOH and DOOH placements featured on these running routes, maximizing the potential number of runners who would see the media.

The North Face

A European media plan, crafted by PHD, used a combination of OOH tenancies, DOOH, mobile and social along and in proximity to those routes to compel people to get involved. But standard OOH creative wasn’t going to capture the attention of the running audience. So OMGDOOH created a unique dynamic template for use in DOOH based on the wider campaign visuals produced by Bigger. Through a GDPR-compliant API connection, the latest Strava data from runners on these key routes was dynamically updated directly in the DOOH creative to inform the running community of the current fastest time, targeting the competitive edge of the audience to drive further engagement.

Over 500,000 runners took on the challenge in Europe, running more than 35m miles in total – making it the largest co-branded running event of all time. The campaign was awarded the winning trophy at The Drum Awards for OOH 2021.

This was “a really clever campaign through the gamification of data to identify popular running routes, matching DOOH sites along these routes, and then delivering dynamic creative in real-time to reach a highly competitive audience,” notes Glover.

Specsavers shifts the performance mindset of digital into the real world

A radical, new data-informed approach helped Specsavers earn highly commended in the data category for its ‘Live Appointment’ work with Talon Outdoor, MGOMD and OMGDOOH. By focusing on relevancy and customer experience, combined with behavioral nudges and smart execution, the campaign was able to drive uplift in eye test volume growth for the brand.

Specsavers Live Appointment

With the availability of first-party data and martech automation increasing, advertisers can be much more targeted with personalized messages at the right moment, at the right time. Having seen success with this approach in online channels, this campaign sought to push the boundaries and apply the performance mindset from its digital activation into OOH.

Rooted in behavioral science, the agencies worked with Specsavers to unlock data from its store electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems so that it could push a feed of eye test availability into its DOOH advertising down to individual store level, telling customers if their nearest store could offer them a same-day check-up. An innovative piece of technology was implemented to scrape appointment availability from every UK store, collating this into a single data set that could be accessed through an API connection. The information scraping process occurred every 10 minutes, giving a real-time view on eye test appointment availability at any time in any store. Relevant parties had instant access to the data through a cloud-based platform, allowing the data to be pushed to the DOOH systems that would house the creative templates and populate the relevant elements.

“A simple and really clever extension from Specsavers’ normal enquiry system to let potential customers know in the right time and place they have availability,” says Glover. “Of course, behind this simple idea is a very effective and intelligent use of Specsavers data via an API, a model that can be applied across multiple formats and sectors on DOOH.”

The game changer for OOH

By using data to ensure media placements and creative delivery are working in unison, advertisers have been able to bring product features to life across key contextual environments, based on pertinent locations and bespoke data sources, to dynamically inform the creative messaging matrix. As we move forward in 2022, data will be the secret weapon that propels OOH to new heights.

“The most exciting opportunity in OOH today is for our advertisers,” comments Glover. “Alight Media encourages plans that include time and location, impressions or plays, days or day parts, objectives such as audience and triggers from events or the use of data. Moving away from purely time- and location-based solutions will enable a greater variety of campaigns and attract new advertisers to OOH.”

As a ‘digital-first’ approach to OOH evolves and programmatic OOH develops, the medium will offer greater transparency, flexibility, creativity and efficiency for all advertisers. This in turn will drive impact and improve marketing return-on-investment (ROI).

Specsavers The Drum Awards Creative Works

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