OOH showed great leadership across the world throughout the pandemic: Tim Bleakley
By Rajiv Raghunath - May 22, 2021
Supporting good causes, influencing people’s behaviours, and entertaining all the way are fantastic attributes for any medium, said Tim Bleakley in the WOO virtual European Forum meeting.
“When audiences got switched off, we all got more switched on”. Stating this in his presentation on the theme ‘The OOHnited Nations’ in the World Out of Home Organization (WOO) virtual European Forum meeting on May 18, Tim Bleakley, CEO, Ocean Outdoor said the OOH industry “leapt into the challenge” when governments mandated people to stay indoors in the face of the Covid19 pandemic. As a result, “our medium, DOOH has moved up the consideration list for the post-pandemic world,” he reckoned.
In this period, the DOOH operators successfully demonstrated that the medium could communicate messages of significance at a time of great difficulty. For instance, Ocean amplified the Queen’s message on Piccadilly Lights, and Capt. Tom Moore’s message to the people to stay indoors.
Staying relevant is a great challenge for the medium, said Tim. It is important for the industry to drive home the message that “we are the medium that can deliver message beyond our own audience. We can be seen anywhere and everywhere.” That is, OOH is increasingly gaining reach and visibility in other mediums too. “Supporting good causes, influencing people’s behaviours, and entertaining all the way are fantastic attributes for any medium”.
The coverage on Piccadilly Lights of Capt. Moore’s walk around his house to raise funds for the fight against Covid19 was great support for a great cause, but was also great entertainment for the nation, cited Tim, while adding that “when you are trying to influence people in a positive way, you build deeper relationships; you build greater trust with all the stakeholders. It could be brands, landlords, and suppliers.”
OOH is also being seen as a trusted environment where brands can communicate even difficult messages. “A place that can be trusted as part of the real world”.
“OOH/DOOH showed great leadership across the world throughout the pandemic,” he asserted, and emphatically stated that there is scarcely any other seemingly one-dimensional media “that is able to show the levels of emotional intelligence that have been shown over the course of the last 12 months”.