It has been a challenging year for the FMCG category. Despite dealing with supply chain issues, the cost-of-living crisis and the new HFSS regulations, against the backdrop of increased consumer sustainability demands, Out of Home has continued to be a leading brand building channel that combines the benefits of broadcast reach with the ability to influence close to the point of purchase.
By Colin Horan Strategic Partner, FMCG
If you follow me on Linkedin, you’ll know that I like to shout about the Out of Home campaigns that I feel deserve a mention. Either for their subtle simplicity or those that are really pushing the boundaries of creativity. So as we come to the end of another year, I thought I would share what I feel are 12 of the best Out of Home ads from FMCG brands in 2022.
The campaigns I’ve chosen reflect the multitude of ways in which advertisers are using the channel, from awareness-driving NPD launches and contextual sales activations, right through to those creating fame and generating mass talk-ability.
The most talked about one… Muller Corner
These hugely talked about posters played very simply on the brand's distinctive asset to drive an emotional connection. The multi-format broadcast campaign was a perfect example of how powerful a poster can be, and was named by Kantar as the most creatively effective OOH ad in September, and in the top 15% of all UK ads for both its ‘stopping power’ and for branding. The icing on the cake was the excellent special build, which physically bent the corner of the 48 sheet to replicate their packaging.
The Powerful Poster... Diageo: Guinness
The Guinness brand continues to capitalise on their status as being one the world's most recognisable pints. The simple yet powerful posters utilise their distinctive black and white brand asset and feature their iconic beverage in classic scenes from summer right through to Christmas.
The NPD one… Unilever: Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo
There's always a plethora of brands tapping into Veganuary in OOH, but this from Hellmann's for their Vegan Mayo stood out for me for its bold simplicity. This powerful poster does everything it needs to do to drive awareness of their latest NPD. With strong work like this, alongside their continued purpose-led messages, it’s not a surprise to see Hellmann’s achieve an incredibly impressive 20% YOY growth in the first half of 2022.
The Inclusive one... Coca Cola: Diet Coke
Part of their global 'love what you love' campaign, which beautifully celebrates individuals that embrace a positive, unapologetic attitude, by knowing who they are and what they love. With Out of Home's position as a public broadcast channel, it provided the perfect platform to connect the series of inclusive creatives in the real-world.
The Special Build… Unilever: Ben & Jerry's
There are two reasons why this brilliant special build deserves a mention... First, it's a giant 3D ice-cream, on Brighton seafront, that pumps out a sweet ice-cream scent. What's not to love about that? And second, the build was made consciously, using repurposed fabrics, recyclable materials and 100% PVC-free vinyl, ensuring the environmental impact was at a minimum. The result was a brilliant media experience that will leave a lasting impact on the consumer, and not on the planet.
The humorous one… AG Barr: Irn-Bru
I just love the bold and playful copy from Irn Bru to announce their switch to recycled plastics. As brands bring sustainability to the forefront of their comms, Out of Home has become the go-to platform to make a public declaration and drive mass awareness. According to Kantar, only 15% of OOH ads use humour (versus 37% on TV) but in doing so they are seen to be more distinct and involving, which should lead to greater memorability.
The clever one… Johnson & Johnson: Piz Buin
To highlight the importance of practicing safer sun protection, the campaign used UV lighting effects to demonstrate the damage that can be done to skin when it’s unprotected. When audiences passed the billboard during the day, they would see a simple message ‘Get It On’. As the sun set, the message would then reveal ‘Should’ve Got It On’ with the UV lighting illustrating the effects of too much sun. Simple, but very clever.
The contextual one… AB InBev: Corona
Heading into spring and the Easter bank holiday, Corona leaned into those sunny golden hour moments when we enjoy a few early evening drinks with our friends and colleagues. The brand utilised the flexibility of digital OOH with a series of dynamic creatives to ensure Corona were dominant with a contextual message during golden hour, as well as including a countdown and even a callout to the nearest bar serving Corona.
The Christmas one… Mondelez: Cadbury
In an effort to unite the nation around the pleasure of gifting, Cadbury encouraged people to send a free chocolate bar, in secret, to someone special. As part of an integrated campaign, the secret postal service really came to life in Out of Home, with digital 6-sheets popping up across the UK inviting members of the public to send chocolate to someone special, for free, simply by scanning a QR code. The digital posters popped up at random throughout the day, playing into the excitement of giving anonymously at Christmas.
The Challenger Brand… Surreal
When you can’t outspend the competition, you need to work a bit harder to cut-through and create some noise. Surreal did exactly that, by taking a pop at their rivals with some punchy OOH copy. The standout was a special-build stunt with a nod to a famous cereal tiger, designed to generate PR and extended social conversation. Surreal went on to utilise the power of social and OOH together continuously across the rest of the year.
The World Cup one... AB InBev: Budweiser
From pre-tournament and throughout the World Cup, Budweiser took it upon themselves to build the hype with a brilliant dynamic digital OOH activation in proximity to bars, supermarkets and convenience stores, nudging consumers to choose the official World Cup beer for the big games. The campaign featured multiple creative executions which played out in real-time to reflect the latest World Cup headlines, including countdowns to kick off, match results, as well as call outs to the nearest point of purchase.
The sustainable one… Heineken: Inch’s
Inch’s Cider were looking to encourage audiences to ‘bring home a taste of nature’ thanks to their partnership with Patch Plants. Aligned with their wider brand campaign, OOH special builds helped epitomised the message, using real plants across the top of the site that were maintained across the four-week campaign. Every element of the installation was environmentally conscious - the poster skins were coated with ‘Pureti’ to absorb harmful pollutants from the air and once the campaign ended, the poster skins were turned into Inch’s branded tote bags. Lovely stuff!
I'm looking forward to seeing more great work from the FMCG category in 2023. As usual, I'll be regularly sharing the campaigns that catch my eye throughout the year, so stay tuned.