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‘Technology helps supercharge our creativity’

By Rajiv Raghunath - August 23, 2023

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Officer, Grand Visual says, “We always start at the idea first… then we look for ways to help us tell that story and solutions to help tell it in interesting ways”. Grand Visual delivers to 70 global DOOH markets around the world. Edited excerpts of the interview with Rajiv Raghunath

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Officer, Grand Visual DOOH has extended the boundaries of creativity in brand advertising in the OOH sphere. As a creative agency, how do you strike a balance between the creative idea and use of technology? That is, do you think up the idea and adapt the technology for it, or do you ideate on the basis of technologies available?

It’s an interesting one for us at Grand Visual as purveyors of creative campaigns that are often powered by technology and technical solutions. We like to ensure that technology is not the story itself but is used to enhance the creative story. We always say that technology is a tool that helps supercharge our creativity and finding that balance around its use is paramount. We always start at the idea first… then we look for ways to help us tell that story and solutions to help tell it in interesting ways. 

When it comes to creativity & DOOH, invariably spectacular media displays make the headlines, whereas creativity is required for all forms of DOOH. What spurs Grand Visual to achieve the extraordinary — scale or spectacular display?

Obviously, the bigger splashier OOH screens pick up PR miles because of their scale and visibility. But again, this goes back to my point above around the technology we select to help us craft a story. It always starts with audience… where are they, what are they doing and how can we communicate with them.

Airbus 3D display

With 3D displays, anamorphic content, and other immersive display technologies, is there a challenge for the creative professionals to keep up with the rapidly evolving DOOH space?

We pride ourselves at Grand Visual on the relationships we’ve forged over the years with the media owners and the technology in the ground to help us create innovative campaigns. Anamorphic is just one of the techniques that seems to have the limelight right now… just like Augmented Reality had its time on OOH. 

Lenovo OOH campaign

So being aware of these techniques, trends and technologies is a full time job for our Head of Creative technology and our creative team here. We’ve filled awards cabinets up with ‘Media Firsts’ for our clients, but the more interesting briefs come to us as a blank canvas. 

We love to dive head on into a brief with our clients on what’s possible, and how big we can make something in the OOH space. Once we get the ambition, we know we have the tools [technology and techniques] to deliver on it.

DOOH campaign

Which are the markets where Grand Visual is active and do you have plans to reach a wider global market with your works and offerings?

Grand Visual delivers to 70 global DOOH markets around the world, and we’re great believers in creativity without borders. One of the greatest gifts that the OOH industry has delivered to the creative community over the last 10-15 years is digitisation…. and that really has helped us breakdown the borders of possibility. 

Anamorphic OOH campaign

We know if there’s a screen in the ground we’re going to be able to create and craft a story fit for the brand, its audience, location, and moment in time. Whether it’s dynamic copy powered by data, linked to an event, location, time or needing some sort of interactivity or immersion, we can make it happen. We always like to say that we have a ‘Can DOOH’ attitude when it comes to creating OOH advertising…. But maybe that’s a bit cringy now I’ve written it down.

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