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Inside Outdoor News, views and opinions from the Australian Out of Home industry
August 2017

Cracking the creative code

Cracking the creative code
News Round Up
Out There - Local
Out There - International
International Profile



We are often asked about the science behind good Out of Home (OOH) creative by clients and agencies alike, and the answer is always keep it simple, use contrasting colours, make the logo large, amplify the message and only have one message… you know, the obvious stuff. Finding how to measure the obvious though has been harder to crack because, after all, we are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We know that finding the perfect creative strategy can be an art as much as anything, but when it comes to OOH, applying a bit of science does help.
UK OOH company, Talon
1, may have cracked the code. They put 200 OOH campaigns through an eye tracking study to determine what creative factors have the most appeal and impact. They found that three important factors make an OOH advertisement more engaging.

1. Simplicity is the key
Busy advertisements that have more than five components tend to underperform when tested. The essential parts of an OOH campaign are the image, the headline and the logo as they allow people to quickly absorb the brand message.

2. Layout affects position of creative elements
Landscape advertisements are usually read from left to right and portrait advertisements from top to bottom. Therefore, the best outcome is for the creative elements to be laid out in a sequential order… promote the story by telling the message. 

3. Logos should be more integrated and given equal creative consideration
The brand logo is often the weakest link in an OOH advertisement. In most OOH advertisements, logos tend to be small and not fully integrated in the message. This results in it being outshined by other parts of the creative and therefore you run the risk of people not being able to link the advertisement to your brand.

But why is this important? Well, results from a study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)2 showed that OOH campaigns that won a creative award delivered 11X the Return on Investment (ROI) of non-creatively awarded campaigns. The IPA concluded that there was a certainty of a higher ROI delivery for award winning creative over other non-awarding winning creative.

Creativity adds that ‘X factor’ to all parts of our life, and in OOH the importance of creativity also can’t be understated. It is at the heart of all OOH advertisements, because the content tells the whole story and it must do that at a glance. 

So, keep it simple, tell the story, and make sure you don’t hide the brand – this is the creative key to increasing ROI through your OOH campaign.

1. Talon’s findings from more than 200 eye tracking tests of clients’ creative through their Talon Canvas tool
2. The Link Between Creativity and Effectiveness, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 2010

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Anatomy of Out of Home – great creative improves ROI
In this month’s Anatomy of Out of Home, we discover the magic formula for great OOH creative.
To see the proof, download the slide series.

News Round Up


An interview with OPEN3 contributor Dino Burbidge on OOH and Augmented Reality


QMS Media locks in Canberra airport and reports FY17 results


Hold the phone, the ad is right in front of me and it’s life-size.


OOH outperforms traditional media across the globe


oOh!media reveals financial plans for the coming year and
helps Australian professionals see the upside


Bishopp Outdoor has been announced as a finalist in the Queensland Government’s 2017 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards


Out There – Local

An Inconvenient Truth hits Melbourne

Al Gore’s latest film ‘An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power’ has demonstrated the catastrophic results of global warming in a powerful OOH campaign across Melbourne.
Find out more.

Falls Creek targets Melbourne commuters

Falls Creek taps into Melbourne’s fascination with weather, launching its new winter Outdoor campaign displayed across APN Outdoor digital formats.
Find out more.

oOh!media helps make wishes come true

The Make-A-Wish foundation has teamed up with oOh!media to bring leukemia sufferer, 7 year-old Eitan, his lifelong dream of becoming famous.
Find out more.

OOH unnerves audiences

Roadshow Films has terrified audiences in a unique, and creepy, OOH campaign to promote the release of ‘Annabelle Creation’.
Find out more.

Out There – International

Out of Home creates warmth

With winter approaching in South America, the annual donation of coats to Sao Paulo’s homeless is essential for survival. This OOH campaign persuade audiences to donate their coats, straight off their own backs. 
Read more.

Usain Bolts races across iconic London landmarks

Virgin Media has payed homage to its brand ambassador Usain Bolt, by creating a virtual version of the sports star to run a lap through the streets of London.
Read more.

Clash of Clans comes to life

If you don’t play ‘Clash of Clans’ this might all sound a bit crazy, but one of the game’s key characters – ‘The Builder’ – has appeared in real life on the streets of NYC. Constructed from reused traffic objects, the 18-foot structure was created to serve as a public phone charger. 
Read more.

Clawing for attention

OOH signs across Singapore have been turned into giant ‘claw’ games dispensing the new lemon flavoured Oreo Thins and cans of Carlsberg – responsibly of course!
Read more.

International Profile

United States of America

Population: 325 million+

  • OOH advertising expenditure (2017): $US 9.3 billion
  • OOH as a % of total ad-spend (2015): 4.7%
  • Top advertising categories include: Misc. Local Services and Amusements, Retail, Media and Advertising, Restaurants

Source: Zenith Media

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