By Chris Pelekanou, commercial director, Clear Channel UK, judge of the 2013 Awards
Outdoor is a unique form of advertising. With more people spending more time out of home, outdoor’s ability to enable brands to meet today’s connected consumer distinguishes it from other media; yet its capacity to increase brand awareness through nationwide exposure means it can play an integral part in any multi-media campaign.
With almost £270 million spent during the third quarter of 2012, a new quarterly record for the sector, brands have been embracing outdoor like never before.
Realising outdoor’s potential
Advertising is at a fascinating juncture, with new technologies and ways of thinking changing what’s possible. There’s nothing more exciting than the potential that out-of-home formats hold. Clear Channel is progressively building our portfolio to include more digital screens and emerging technologies such as near field communication and interactive panels.
Technology will evolve, but great creative and great planning will always be at the heart of any successful advertising campaign. The Clear Channel Outdoor Planning Awards, in association with Brand Republic, celebrate the very best outdoor planning of 2012.
This is my first year as a judge of the Outdoor Planning Awards and I am excited to share the opportunity with a panel of esteemed judges from across the advertising industry.
Judges' tips on how to win an Outdoor Planning Award
The awards’ expert judging panel has plenty of tips for agencies and individuals who want to take away the prizes this year.
According to Bob Wootton, ISBA’s director of advertising and media, entries should show clarity of purpose and execution: "Good outdoor planning should show comprehensive awareness of all the ‘plant’; rigour in selecting the right inventory; neutrality in buying implementation."
Anthony Swede, the head of planning at Walker Media, would like to see if the growing use of digital screens is allowing clever temporal planning and campaigns "that have further explored the use of outdoor sites as a gateway to richer experiences and fuller information".
Stuart Sullivan-Martin, the chief strategy officer at MEC, says great outdoor planning means "matching context with behaviour with message. That means getting stuck in to the detail."
"I’m hoping to see ideas that reach out beyond the outdoor silo and create connections with other media channels," George Prest, the executive creative director at R/GA, adds.
It should be a competitive time with lots of opportunities in outdoor. Mike Baker, the chief executive at the Outdoor Media Centre, says: "The past year had the Olympics as a huge highlight for outdoor, with sponsors spending 20 per cent of their media investment on the medium. Continued strong investment in digital means a fifth of outdoor revenues are now generated by screens."
Other judges on the panel include Rian Shah, the head of strategy at ZenithOptimedia; Angie Elsley, the client services director at Carat Manchester; Richard Smith, the head of marketing communications planning at Marks & Spencer; and Mark Rose, the UK brand manager at BP.
"The ingredients are mostly no different here to other great planning. Relentless pursuit of originality. Sharp understanding of human behaviours. A refusal to accept the ordinary."
Anthony Swede head of planning, Walker Media
"We’ll be looking for the insight that made outdoor a must-have part of the plan – the evidence that it made a difference. And the type of creativity and innovation that makes you wish you’d done it!"
Stuart Sullivan-Martin chief strategy officer, MEC
"For me, the keys to a successful planning award entry are nice photography, good signposting and organisation, clarity of writing and strategy, clean charts and tables of results."
Mike Baker chief executive, Outdoor Media Centre
2013 Prizes and Award Categories
The Grand Prize comprises £30,000 in advertising space for the winning brand and a luxury short break for the winning planner. There is a £1,000 cash prize for each category winner. (full terms and conditions apply)
Best use of digital in outdoor
This category recognises the increasingly important role of digital out-of-home in the media plan and rewards the most effective use of digital platforms.
Best use of outdoor in a multimedia campaign
Rewarding the best cross-media strategy that clearly demonstrates out-of-home working effectively with other media.
Best use of multiple formats in outdoor
This category recognises campaigns that show an effective use of two or more distinct outdoor formats.
Best use of continuity
For outdoor campaigns that illustrate an effective use of outdoor to build a strong presence over time.
Best use of innovation in outdoor
This category awards the application of innovative and creative thinking to a campaign.
The most outstanding of all the winning entries in the judges’ opinion.
The Entry deadline is 8 February 2013 and you can enter at the Online Planning Awards 2013 web site.