As consumers continue to increase their digital media consumption, out-of-home media is one of the only traditional forms of media generating increased spending and interest. OOH reaches consumers when active, and combined with emerging formats and updated targeting/measurement, it’s more relevant and effective than ever.

I was excited to be invited to serve as a judge for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) OOH Media Plan Awards this year, which “honors efficient and effective out-of-home media plans that maximize synergies between media and creative strategies within an available budget.”

During the first round, each of the five judges received about 10 case-study entries to score based on clearly meeting objectives using targeted and creative strategies, taking into consideration budget and measurable results. Entries that met a minimum score then moved on to the second round.

Then, the five judges convened on a WebEx for the final judging. Moderated by Alli Collier of OAAA, we reviewed and discussed 22 entries, and every judge scored each entry on a scale of 1 to 10. The finalists were posted to the OAAA website here: https://oaaa.org/ProofOOHWorks/OOHMediaPlanAwards/OOHMediaPlanAwards.aspx.

Winners will be announced during the Advertising Club of New York’s 10th Annual OOH:NOW Conference on Wednesday, November 29.

The entries incorporated different OOH formats in innovative and strategic executions, many leveraging the industry’s Geopath targeting capabilities. The most impressive combined out of home with mobile or social media to create engagement and increased impressions via earned media – and then demonstrated measurable results. Here’s a few finalists of note:

Miller Lite had a hunch baseball history would be made in 2016 and, in July 2016, started assembling key OOH placements in Lakeview around Wrigley Field for a campaign that ran Sep. 26−Oct 30. Train-station dominations, train wraps and pedi-cabs proclaimed “It’s Our Year.” When the Cubs won the World Series, digital units were swapped with a version that read “History Made.” Despite no official marketing deal with the Cubs, Miller Lite leveraged one of the biggest sports moments of the last 100 years, and every Chicago distributer increased volume during the campaign.

Goodwill of Seattle updated digital OOH creative in real time from social media posts featuring unique high-quality items currently available in its retail stores.

Sony PlayStation’s “Days of Play: 9 Days of Epic Deals” looked at DOOH units near four key retailers in eight markets, and made final selections using Geopath demo data and RADAR mobile data to reach men 25−54 who had recently visited one of the retailers. Mobile retargeting was also used to reinforce the message. A post-campaign RADAR study found that the DOOH/mobile exposed group had store visitation rates 129 percent higher than unexposed, and Sony PlayStation saw a 10 percent lift in sales in the eight campaign markets versus non-campaign markets.

Delta Air Lines, looking to establish loyalty among 25−49 singles with disposable income to travel, focused on its many global destinations with the #DeltaDatingWall installation in Brooklyn. The wall featured hand-painted illustrations of nine destinations, and encouraged consumers to “fake the trip before they make the trip” and enhance their dating and social profiles with selfies taken in front of the various destinations. A Tinder tie-in, Snapchat filters and supplementary social content supported the campaign.

24-Hour Fitness took advantage of Geopath-ratings data to select OOH inventory based on consumer demographics and behavior. All OOH units, as well as 24-Hour Fitness and competitive clubs, were geofenced for mobile retargeting with customized messaging. Mobile device data was analyzed throughout the campaign and for 30 days after, finding that consumers exposed to the OOH had a visitation rate nearly 265 percent higher than those unexposed.

Sony Pictures promoted The Emoji Movie via several OOH formats, most notably digital screens. In Times Square, facial recognition software transformed consumers’ faces into an emoji on the screen. In key markets, digital billboards used traffic and weather data to trigger specific creative, i.e., when INRIX traffic data showed traffic moving slowly, the “poop” emoji was rotated into billboards on that highway.

Separate from the OAAA awards, Worldwide Partners Inc. (WPI), the network of independent agencies, recently held a competition in conjunction with Billups Outdoor. Partner agencies submitted entries for a chance to claim space on a spectacular LED screen in Times Square, with a focus on “the perfect merger of content and context.” WPI partner agency, We Marketing, won with its work for HNA. See the video case study: https://vimeo.com/234898486.