This year’s winners were chosen by a panel of 19 expert judges drawn from the outdoor and advertising industry. The prizes were announced at an industry event hosted by Ocean at the National Gallery in London today (October 14). The awards were also live streamed.
Spark44 takes the first prize in the commercial brand category for #Outspiration which embraces the force of nature, encouraging people to look after their health and wellbeing by taking regular breaks outdoors. This highly immersive campaign uses the audio capability and connectivity of Ocean digital out of home (DOOH) screens to literally live stream nearby streams, creating beautiful, inspiring windows into nature right on our doorsteps.
Created by MediaCom, first prize in the charity category goes to Rays of Sunshine for Making Children’s Wishes Real, a delightful, interactive campaign which uses movement and other tech to turn imaginative drawings by seriously ill children into reality, just like the charity makes their dreams come true.
Commenting on the 2021 winners, Ocean UK joint managing director Phil Hall said: “The return of our annual digital creative competition following a one year hiatus is marked with yet more exceptional work, much of which takes its inspiration from what we have all experienced over the past 18 months.
“Digital out of home is a broadcast medium which reaches people on different levels and in ways they least expect. Brands that create emotional connections are outperforming their competition and reaping the commercial rewards. DOOH is the platform to deliver all of that, priming other media channels and creating meaningful and often highly sharable content in the process.
“This year’s winners leverage every technical capability of DOOH to provide support, deliver important messages and spread some positivity. We commend all of our winners and look forward to taking their concepts forward, working collectively to help the people and the communities where we operate.”
Unsurprisingly given the challenges of the past 18 months, all three winning concepts in the commercial brand category take mental health and wellbeing as their principal theme.
Second place is awarded to The&Partnership for Pets at Home which uses the many interactive capabilities of DOOH to demonstrate how pets of all kinds can relieve stress and make us happier. And third prize goes to krow and Toolstation for The World’s Most Supportive Poster, an important call to action which puts the mental health of tradespeople working in the construction industry first.
In the charity category, Engine takes second prize for the national out of home charity Missing People which combines deep learning technology with the capabilities of Ocean’s full motion portfolio to build the first ever search network for the smartphone era.
Third prize goes to Forever Beta for a campaign created on behalf of The Big Issue Foundation to help vendors reclaim their place on the High Street following the most challenging period in the history of the charity which saw them lose £8.25million in magazine sales.
The six winning agencies and their clients share £500,000 worth of airtime for their campaigns to be showcased across Ocean’s multiple environments and iconic digital formats in cities across the UK.
Previous winners of Ocean’s digital creative competitions have gone on to win five prestigious Cannes Lions, including a silver Outdoor Lions this year for The Old Piccadilly Lights which was created by Anomaly for Ancestry.
2021 Commercial Brand Category Winners
Land Rover #Outspiration
Research suggests that 40% of the working population fails to get the recommended two hours minimum a week in nature to support their wellbeing. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Spark44 and Land Rover present immersive ‘live streams’ on Ocean screens to raise awareness of the importance of nature to improve mental and physical wellbeing. Beautiful in its simplicity, the live streams create windows into nature that’s right around the corner. Screens will be located in high-footfall, high-stress, urban locations, providing passers-by with a breath of fresh air to help them escape the city for a short moment.
To make the experience truly immersive, audio will play the calming natural sounds of a running stream, whilst a QR code takes the public to a map showing where they can find the real stream and their moment of #Outspiration.
The judges said: “We like the insight and the tie into mental health. This campaign pushes local engagement but in a way that isn’t overtly selling. It’s simple, but nice. The next step for Land Rover.”
Pets At Home – Lifting London during Mental Health Awareness Week
This campaign uses the nation’s affinity with pets to lift the spirits of Londoners, harnessing multiple different technologies and wi-fi connectivity to show how much pets enrich our lives. The idea offers a diverse range of executions including a peaceful live stream of a fish tank on the Piccadilly Lights to create a moment of calm, a puppy which responds to passers-by using audience detection technology, the therapeutic benefits of stroking a cat using mid-air haptics tech and the calming sound of birdsong.
The judges said: “We like how the technology ties in so well with the message of the campaign. It’s well connected and very engaging.”
Toolstation – The World’s Most Supportive Poster
Every day two tradespeople working in the construction industry take their own lives, a suicide rate three times higher than the national average. To raise awareness about a hidden problem, Toolstation creates a live chat poster offering tradespeople immediate support to help overcome their worries and personal problems.
As part of Toolstation’s partnership with the Lighthouse Club charity, tradespeople can connect to Ocean screens via a QR code to chat privately with a trained expert. An anonymised live feed will use different animations to reflect the most talked about topics, the scale and level of visibility tackling the stigma around mental health problems experienced by construction workers. The campaign will also serve as a live listening tool to help experts identify further areas of stress.
The judges said: “This is a great initiative with clear messaging and an immediate call to action. Out of home is the perfect medium this campaign which will reach tradespeople directly and immediately in the environments where they work.”
2021 Charity Category Winners
Rays of Sunshine – Making Children’s Wishes Real
This concept brings to life the hopes, dreams and wishes of seriously ill children using Ocean’s large format full motion screens to amplify the Instagram account Things I Have Drawn which is also managed by MediaCom.
A collection of glorious drawings are accompanied by the simple question – how will you help our children’s dreams come true? People are invited to use Ocean’s Look Out technology, subtle motion, audio and mid-air haptics to turn imaginative illustrations into real life renders, each execution revealing the dream of the young artist featured. A QR code takes people to the charity’s website where a donation can be made.
The judges said: “This campaign is highly creative, fun and has great talkability. It is the Art of Outdoor at its best, perfectly demonstrating the interplay between digital outdoor and social media. All for such an important cause.”
Missing People – Making The Missing Unmissable
When high risk and vulnerable people go missing, the first 48 hours are critical in the hunt to find them. To speed up the search and improve recognition, Engine uses NVIDIA’s Kaolin library, an innovative deep learning technology, to transform standard, flat 2D images into powerful, memorable full motion 3D posters.
The sense of urgency is reinforced by a timer which show how long an individual has been missing and the search is extended beyond Ocean’s national Grid network of 40 screens in 10 cities via QR codes. These open into dedicated Missing People social media pages which the public can easily share on their social channels. The end result is a Missing poster designed for the 21st century that could well help save the life of a vulnerable child or adult.
The judges said: “The multi-layered strategy to help raise the profile of this charity and its work really made this entry stand out.”
The Big Issue Foundation – The BIG Welcome Back
Agency: Forever Beta
The past 18 months have been the most challenging in The Big Issue’s history. As circulation of its magazines plummeted, vendors lost out on millions in sales and their livelihoods were wiped out.
As life returns to normal, Forever Beta and The Big Issue create an opportunity to welcome their vendors back, reclaiming their places on the High Streets in the biggest possible way. This campaign combines geo-location with personalisation, reconnecting vendors with their communities using Ocean’s large format screens. Every execution is triggered by a “beacon badge” on individual vendor jackets which signals when they are close to a billboard, activating their personalised message.
The judges said: “Big Issue vendors are an integral part of our community. This idea is all about helping them to regain their independence. It’s simple, yet brilliant.”