The Cannes Lions Festival of creativity never fails to surprise. Case in point, this year's Grand Prix award for outdoor advertisement was awarded to a beer-maker turned biofuel distributor. Heineken New Zealand's work for DB Export took home the prize with their appropriately named campaign "Brewtroleum." The campaign leverages DB Export's work to address the looming environmental and political crisis derived from the world's dependence on oil. The company proposes to turn its spent brewing yeast into usable biofuel drivers can fill their cars with. Although it may seem far-fetched, the campaign worked. DB Export managed to sell their branded biofuel at over 60 gas stations across New Zealand.
Apart from the Grand Prix prize, the Brewtroleum campaign has earned the accolades of creatives across the world. Save the earth while drinking beer -- what's not to like? It seems as though each year outdoor captures the attention of Cannes audiences and continually shatters our expectations of what outdoor can achieve. The latest campaign brings the raw creativity of outdoor advertising back into mainstream discussion and further highlights the power of experience.
Although, let's not forget that out-of-home advertising (or OOH) has given us a number of the most iconic advertising campaigns in history. From Apple's seminal dancing silhouettes to the delightfully interactive British Airways advert, Outdoor has historically led the charge in shaping our relationship with advertising.
The latest from Cannes, again, shows the boundless potential that outdoor offers to brands. In the case of Brewtroleum, the campaign told a 360-degree story. They created a cause and experience for their customer then met them in real life via gas stations. Outdoor provided DB Exports an ideal vehicle to communicate their brand value, and campaigns like Brewtroleum are just the tip of the iceberg.
The ability to deliver relevant content natively has always been the strength of outdoor. But thanks to the technical innovations that forever altered digital advertising, OOH is reinventing itself as well. Systems for real-time "trigger" based activations, automation and programmatic are gaining momentum within outdoor. Digital signage and billboards are giving brands the best of both worlds -- the control and insight of digital combined with the immediacy and real-life experience of outdoor. Just imagine if, at the gas station while you pumped your DB Export bio-fuel, the fuel pump's surface advertised another green product relevant to you enriching your experience further. This kind of immersive brand experience is possible today and is the bold future of OOH.
Outdoor advertising offers brands a way to tell their story as an experience that surrounds their customers. They are immersed into the brand's world. It's more than just a mobile banner ad; it's a beer company making the world better with every tank or a billboard helping you make your next flight.
Consider T-Mobile's recent activation canvassing Times Square in the company's flagship magenta. The disruptive strategy was part of the company's "UNCARRIER" program which centered on breaking free from traditional carriers. T-Mobile commanded nearly every surface in Times Square creating a stand out display that immersed passersby in the brand. With outdoor, T-Mobile managed to turn the entirety of Times Square into one giant storefront. It is a level of immersion no other form of advertising can match.
In the coming years, OOH only promises to enhance this experience through better insight and more relevant content. The Cannes jury has declared Brewtroleum the winner this year, but next year's winner is sure to push the boundaries even farther and redefine category once again.
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