Creatives Are Speaking Like Media People — and It’s a Good Thing!

We’ve long known great work often happens when the creative and media functions come together. At their best, they find perfect pitch — that harmonious merger of content and context delivering a singular moment. Today, data has become the new third leg, revealing insights that inform everything from media planning and campaign performance to creative concepting. This new discipline makes for an updated hypothesis — great work happens when creative, media, and data come together.
This notion was never more evident than during The Creative Impact panel at last week’s NY Ad Club sponsored OOH:NOW event. Moderated by Chad Shackelford, VP, Head of Digital Creative at OUTFRONT Media, Chad’s mindset straddles the line between creativity and strategy which set him up well for navigating an enthusiastic and outspoken panel.
Alejandro Claiborne, EVP, Executive Director – NY at Mediahub Worldwide, immediately dove into the notion of how data informs channel selection which can also inform creative development. Pointing out that while channel and creative decisions can happen simultaneously, it’s the OOH work that often drives the omnichannel creative development. Further, there’s an expectation this pattern will continue as NFTs and the metaverse become integrated into the media landscape.
Kevin Mulroy, ECD at Mischief, spoke in detail about two campaigns that exploited the immediacy and equity of place of Times Square — where an epic stage, dynamic content feeds, and speed-to-market requirements helped drive media selections and inspired the creative outcomes. The mere existence of the giant Nasdaq digital screens in Times Square led to a stock-ticker motif for Alpha Foods “Chickenflation” campaign. For the wildly popular OURA rings, the chance to provide a live count of actual lost sleep on election night proved irresistible. For both investments, it’s clear the practical knowledge of what Times Square digital can do technically was a key component in the original creative spark.
Alex Center, CEO/Founder CENTER, gave credence to the role of OOH media as a key ingredient out in the world where “great ideas always win.” Of note was his reference to the classic “Absolut LA” print work that helped establish the brand, standing in stark comparison to the more transactional approach of their recent digital work. His passion was clear, and his shop recommends OOH almost “every time”, whether it is initially destined for the media plan or not. OOH should be the first thing you design, with the discipline cascading down to all other media. 
The consensus is we need all available inputs to help fuel the creative process. OOH is a unique medium with virtually unlimited physical capacity. The medium always rewards risk with responsive public sentiment and lasting gravitas for striking campaigns that earn their place in the people’s space.
Clorox’s “Safer Today Alliance”, the winner of OAAA’s 2021 Media Plan of the Year, is the perfect example. The data told them that people were anxious about returning en masse to public spaces for the first time since the COVID lockdown. The specific media Clorox selected — transit hubs and airports in major cities — couldn’t have been better placement for creative that was designed to boost public confidence. In fact, this is why the Media Plan Awards exist in the first place, to reward that perfect blend of creative, context, and data.
The better creative and media people understand the scope and possibilities of OOH inventory, along with the fresh new audience insights of mobile location data, the better the medium and the experience will be for the public — and the higher the likelihood of achieving that elusive perfect pitch.

Do you have a campaign that delivers an unforgettable singular moment? Share it with the world by submitting it to the OBIE Awards.