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‘OOH is where we can exercise most creativity’

By - April 21, 2021

Filipino artist Lloyd Tronco, who had recently a created a massive abstract artwork on a billboard – 62 feet high and 40 feet wide – in Manila, shares his perspectives on enhancing the creativity quotient in OOH advertising. Lloyd’s Bacolod City-based family-owned Tronco Advertising Co., Inc. has been handling billboard advertising in the Philippines for the past 45 years.

By Lloyd Tranco, April 21, 2021

As the world eases the restrictions on people movement in open spaces, the Covid19 pandemic notwithstanding, more and more people are head outing to the physical marketplaces to get a breath of fresh air. This is not only to break the monotony of being cooped up indoors but also to regain mental balance. Along with this, people will be pleasantly surprised to see the OOH advertising that they missed prior to getting into the quarantines and facing localised lockdowns.

After a year in which many billboard panels and airport ad placements sat idle, some clients are beginning to dust the cobwebs off their OOH strategies.  It is during this phase that all the more we as practitioners in the OOH advertising domain are driven to ramp up the creativity when it comes to the content that we show on our boards, LEDs, and hoardings.  

As we forecast a return to large format OOH, we need to remind ourselves that among all the media formats that are available to marketers for use, OOH is really where we can exercise most creativity. People are tired of seeing the digital ads. The true signal of our return to normalcy will happen when we see the creativity, wit, and fun injected back into our ads.  

The challenge that we face is how to get our partners -- from the client side and the creative agencies -- to bring back life into the medium.  For some time now, marketers have been so focused on the audience stuck to their digital screens. The creatives as well have been catering more to the demands of the growing requirements for direct-to-consumer and tech brands owing to the popularity of digital.

The outdoor experience is really different and for some customers, seeing billboards or bus ads is actually more memorable than seeing one of many Facebook posts.  Creativity is indeed key.

A few keys I would like to remind the stakeholders in OOH as we head back to the streets and come up with dazzling creative work are the following: 

  • Make it FUN! – OOH should liven up our spirits at this period of global dreariness. There is no other medium that can effectively communicate fun in a different way than OOH. Digital media may have its short bursts of laughter owing to comedy but laughter is different than FUN. FUN displays exuberance.
  • Keep the message short! - This is the true test of creativity. We can never over-emphasise to keep things short and straight to the point.  Yet, we always find people violating this tenet of outdoor advertising. I say this because after a year of creatives spending time on digital media, it may be easy to forget that in OOH, we hardly have the luxury of time.
  • Be conscious of the surrounding environment: In creating copy for OOH, I believe that it would do the creatives good to also know where exactly the final artwork will go.  What are the locations and what are the environs? Great OOH ads always make good use of the environs and blend them seamlessly into the message.

Moving forward, let's turn the situation brighter for our currently distressed world by having a more creative OOH!


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