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Dominic Murray 

How data can drive creativity in out-of-home

How data can drive creativity in out-of-home

Brands are using data to bring out-of-home campaigns to life in unexpected ways, writes Kinetic's Dominic Murray.

Google's Eric Schmidt once said that 90% of the world's data has been generated in the past two years. Or was that just articles about data?

But this article is less about the hard side of data that will drive efficiencies or optimise workflow, and more about the ways it is being applied creatively.

In the quantified age, everything from our sleeping patterns to our physical and emotional reactions are being captured and analysed by everyone from data scientists to artists. The opportunity for media businesses is to harness this data, apply it to spark creativity and develop exciting, fun and even peculiar innovations.

This is happening - and being recognised - on a large scale. Last year, Cannes Lions introduced a Creative Data category to celebrate the impact of data on creativity.

In the out-of-home (OOH) industry, brands are increasingly incorporating data into OOH campaigns to bring them to life in unexpected ways. And with OOH leading the way in applying cutting-edge technologies alongside creative uses of data, this is something that brands can really take advantage of.

Offering consumers a helping hand

We know that OOH has the ability to present eye-catching creative while people are searching for that inspirational fix, but thanks to data it can now deliver useful and productive messaging unprompted when they are at their most connected and engaged.

Data provides contextual grounding, which in turn leads to understanding consumers' needs and particular behaviours.

Google's Popular Times is a great example of an initiative leveraging this knowledge creatively. By gathering data around the specific places certain consumers visit, Popular Times can deliver insight via the Google Search app into the busiest periods experienced by those places and help consumers better plan their trip.

Brands could leverage this data and use DOOH screens in proximity to each venue to target consumers with useful information in real-time, creating a streamlined and personal experience that helps relieve day-to-day stresses and give consumers more time to do what they love.

As humans we constantly seek feedback and reassurance that our environmental context and behaviour is the norm. Taxi Trails is tapping into this need by using the data generated from Taxi Stockholm customer journeys to create a visual online guide for visitors to the city, indicating where locals go, popular places to eat and socialise, and where to receive the best cultural fixes.

This data could be applied by all major tourist cities via DOOH screens to direct tourists, either facilitating their movement around the city or pointing them to something new and exciting.

Creating exceptional experiences

By applying this kind of environmental consumer data to OOH campaigns, brands can bring an idea to life and target the right people with it, in the right location, at exactly the right time. But it shouldn't just be about impacting individuals. Some of the most inspirational recent work has managed to bring people together in unexpected ways.

Spotify's Serendipity, developed by digital artist Kyle Macdonald, is a fascinating way to leverage quirky data to create fun links between Spotify's customers.

Based on real-time data recorded over an hour period, an online map is generated to display a stream of coordinates when two users play the same song at exactly the same time (or rather, within one tenth of a second apart).

Imagine taking this a step further and mapping everyone around the world who is listening to the same song at the same time, creating an intriguing visualisation of how music is listened to, while highlighting the streaming service's enormous reach.

With OOH, brands can apply big data to reach many people simultaneously. Kinetic and Mindshare's #FeelWimbledon campaign for Jaguar brought the vitality of two legendary British brands to the fore and communicated all the action of sport, performance cars and human emotion on an unprecedented scale.

The campaign used 45 million lines of biometric, social and atmospheric data generated each day via wearables, social sentiment and sensors placed on court to bring the drama of Wimbledon alive for fans around the world through DOOH and social content. The activity gained massive traction for Jaguar, delivering 9.2 million impacts across the 13 days of competition.

The more connected our world is, the greater and more varied the data available to us becomes. And by mining for unusual datasets and applying them more laterally, OOH campaigns can achieve enormous impact.

The task for us all now is to mine this data artfully and leverage interesting new resources as a catalyst for creativity.

Dominic Murray is creative account director at Kinetic Active.

Mediatel operate two essential services for the OOH industry. SPACE is a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart and is the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of inventory in the UK. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution that enables easy integration of Route audience data into client's systems. See for more information.

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