Clear Channel Outdoor's Daniel Herrera on creating a meaningful OOH campaign for Pride
As part of The Drum’s Deep Dive into Creativity, Clear Channel Outdoor’s Daniel Herrera (art director) looks at the creative process that inspired the out-of-home company’s recent pride campaign, and how purpose is key to creativity.
Nowadays, you can walk into any given grocery store and find a wonderful assortment of LGBT+ supporting products, from Oreos embossed with the word “proud” to rainbow colored bottles of Bud Light. As a culture, we’ve come a long way in terms of acceptance. It’s amazing to see small and big companies alike support and celebrate the LGBT+ community, not only during the month of June, but also all year round. With this comes plenty of creative designs and innovations to promote widespread allyship and support for the LGBT+ community. While this is a groundbreaking cultural achievement, as a creator myself, I’ve had to ask myself how to keep my Pride related designs fresh and genuine.
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For me, it all goes back to the beginning of the creative process. Starting with a seed of a sincere idea, something meaningful and important, is crucial to creating a truly authentic and special design. I believe it’s important to have a purpose to which your creativity is tethered. If you design for a cause you believe in, your creativity will flourish.
Recently, I had the opportunity to design Clear Channel Outdoor’s (CCO) June Pride Month campaign for the second year in a row, working alongside my colleagues on our Executive Diversity Advisory Council (EDAC) as well as our SVP, executive creative director, Mike McGraw and regional creative leader, Rory Short.
We were excited to approach this campaign in a unique way and decided the campaign would be centered around quotes from important figures from, and allies of, the LGBT+ community. What I really wanted this campaign to promote was visibility; something that inspired the LGBT+ community to boldly be themselves and continue creating a world that fosters acceptance and equality. These quotes create visibility by amplifying voices of LGBT+ community members and allies who are recognized for contributions to the community. The quotes were such a focal part of the design, so I wanted to use a font that was bold, unique, and timeless.
From there, I chose a visual that best represented the person responsible for the quote. For example, for the creative I designed featuring a quote from Marsha P. Johnson - a transgender activist who participated in the Stonewall riots - there exists an iconic and beautiful photo of her wearing a flower crown. I wanted to do that historic image justice by recreating a silhouette of that picture. After I created my visuals for each creative, I experimented with a wide range of colors. I drew inspiration for color from the LGBT+ flag and tied those colors into each design. I wanted each one to pop in its own unique way, just as Pride is about celebrating your authentic self.
My hope is this campaign creates a sense of welcome and belonging for anyone who has felt misunderstood or excluded. This campaign may also inspire learning and conversation. These designs have the potential to inspire questions from children to their parents, opening the door to discussions on self acceptance and empathy toward difference. That has the potential to change someone’s life.
Although I’ve celebrated many Pride months, I still get excited every time June rolls around. To me, Pride is not only about embracing who you are with open arms, but also celebrating that embrace too. For myself, and many other members of the LGBT+ community, that self-acceptance is an ongoing journey. Being able to celebrate this acceptance with a community where everyone is welcome is the beauty of Pride Month. I wanted to incorporate the many different aspects of Pride: the fight, the history, the celebration and the ongoing work of equality, into this year’s CCO June Pride campaign.
My heart still skips a beat when I see an amazing OOH design or an OOH ad I designed myself of which I’m very proud. To have the opportunity to design a campaign not only so meaningful to myself personally, but meaningful for others who will view it, is a blessing. I’m so grateful I can be myself and create from the heart at CCO, and I am excited to continue to create work that inspires pride.
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Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world's largest outdoor advertising companies with a diverse portfolio of more than 500,000 print and digital displays in 27 countries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, reaching millions of people monthly. A growing digital platform includes more than 17,000 digital displays in international markets and more than 2,000 digital displays (excluding airports), including more than 1,500 digital billboards, in the U.S. More information is available at investor.clearchannel.com, clearchanneloutdoor.com and clearchannelinternational.com.Find out more