Why good advertising is interactive in its own right

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 19 November 2014

Tech may be the next frontier, but good advertising should be “interactive in its own right” and not just rely on gadgets to push the boundaries. That's the opinion of a panel of creatives speaking at the launch of the Outdoor Media Association (OMA)'s Sydney book launch for Open2.

The panel at the event, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne senior copywriter Elle Bullen, Disney Theatrical Productions marketing director Beck Hamilton, Spotify marketing director Serena Leith and moderator MJW creative director Luke Chess, stressed that they had used outdoor to underpin some major campaigns this year. Hamilton said that while all campaigns, including the Lion King campaign she did as part of Slingshot Media, had been interactive, the campaigns didn't rely on tech.

“The thing is to challenge the convention of what interactivity means,” Hamilton said. “Everyone thinks you have to do something on your mobile phone but I'm really happy if someone just stands in front of my sign and takes a photo. That's interaction. We need to stop getting so hung up on downloads.”

OMA chair and JCDecaux's chief executive Steve O'Connor added that the foundations of campaigns can get lost with all the noise around incorporating the latest and greatest technology.

“Good advertising is interactive in its own right,” O'Connor said. “A lot of the conversations we have today are hinging around digital and programmatic buying and big data and social interaction, but the basis of a great outdoor campaign is great copywriting and great art direction. If you haven't got it right at the base level, you're not going to have a successful campaign.”

Leith, who worked on Spotify's “Listen for Free” campaign said interaction in whatever form should be the end goal of any campaign.

“The idea is to get the users and the consumers to do the work for you,” Leith said. “Do the creative, do the media buy, but then the bulk of the work and all that extra reach is just people engaging with it.”

Bullen, who worked on Bond's Boobs campaign, added that incorporating tech in outdoor can be effective but that it depends on the time and the place, and on what the message is. She said that the most important thing in outdoor media is paying special attention to how to use the medium.

Bullen said the goal of the Boobs campaigns was to make an announcement and let creative start a conversation from it.

“I think outdoor is definitely the place for simplicity,” Bullen said. “I think it can start a conversation and tell a story with where it leads to. For me, it's really an attention hook, primarily.”

For more news:

Outdoor blooms over October

OOH revenue jumps over winter months

Take it outside: OMA tells advertisers to follow the sun this summer

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