TOP 8 out-of-box OOH ads of 2022

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Petra Lilwo the strategist

In 2022, the OOH rode a wave of popularity. We know the reason: people were out on the streets again and appreciated the innovative digital advertising spaces, the great creativity, but most importantly, the fact that OOH literally lit up the post-pandemic world.

The OOH has had a tumultuous few years. When Covid 19 stormed the world, spending into OOH was dramatically reduced in 2020 and OOH fell off the advertising and media pedestal. Since then, this advertising segment has rebounded radically and is growing permanently, and by 2025, for example, DOOH alone is expected to account for up to 30% of total OOH media volume (OAAA, 2020).

2022 was a great year in which agencies looked for increasingly creative ways to reach busy audiences.

Advertisers have to work hard to create unique and sometimes provocative campaigns to get noticed.

Here are a select few out-of-box OOH campaigns from 2022:

  • Elton John AIDS Foundation LGBTQR Codes

The Elton John AIDS Foundation's OOH fundraising campaign was truly exceptional:

Sir Elton John's instantly recognisable image on DOOH formats has, after some time, been transformed into the LGBT-QR code - a new fundraising technology that turns "functional monochrome QR codes" into image-like design icons.

The digital out-of-home campaign was created in collaboration with OOH media company Clear Channel UK and creative agency Ogilvy and premiered during Pride marches in European cities over the summer.

After scanning the image, users were taken to a donation page for an AIDS charity.

  • Women's Aid's message on domestic violence at the World Cup "He's Coming Home"

Women's Aid's chilling campaign on domestic violence at the World Cup.

The aim of the promotional campaign, which was developed by the charity in collaboration with creative agency House 337, was to draw attention to the reality of domestic violence associated with sport.

According to research conducted by Lancaster University, the number of domestic violence incidents can increase by up to 38% during major international football tournaments.

The campaign is part of a two-year campaign running until 2024 - 'Come Together To End Domestic Abuse' - which has received support from celebrities such as Mel B of the Spice Girls and Dame Julie Walters.

  • Numan breaks the taboo around erectile dysfunction

Numan's risky and provocative digital out-of-home campaign aimed to challenge perceptions of erectile dysfunction. The men's health-focused campaign featured a series of billboards with humorous allusions to the male tool in an attempt to normalize discussions about male sexual health issues.

Words like "wiener" and "pecker"  were part of the campaign's communication. Using Route data technology, the boards were set up to strategically activate at times of peak male traffic.

  • "Horniculture" - a campaign for condoms for the elderly

The campaign is a collaboration between a garden centre and a condom manufacturer.

The goal of the DOOH campaign was to draw attention to the rise of STDs in people later in life.

The sustainable and biodegradable condom packs resembled the cheekiest vegetable emojis placed on billboard visuals in garden centres across the UK.

The campaign, created by Ogilvy, was launched after studies found that the number of sexually transmitted infections has more than doubled over the past decade among UK adults aged 65 and over.

"By bringing the discussion of sexual health into an unexpected setting like a garden centre, the campaign will help break taboos and get people talking about sex later in life," the agency added.

  • "Brandalism" - the "carbon footprint" campaign

Brandalism produced an extra OOH campaign in which an advertising activist group took over 500 billboards across Europe to criticise the role that airline ads play in promoting pollution.

Brandalism has produced satirical stunts: they have used airline branding to highlight the damage the industry is doing to the environment.

A fake Lufthansa ad read: “#SayYesToTheEndOfTheWorld. At Lufthansa, we distract you with pictures of trees while we fry the planet. Greenwash ads by DDB München.”

Another visual criticised British Airways and had the copy, "We're turning Business Class green with the world's first on-board golf course."

  • CALM's heartbreaking suicide prevention campaign: smiling portraits

The top spot among the most creative OOH ads undoubtedly belongs to the mental health-focused charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and its suicide prevention initiative called "The Last Photo".

In the summer of 2022, Londoners were awestruck by the tall 'smiling portraits' with no name and no sign. At first they appeared to be photographs of people living happy and carefree lives, but later it was revealed that they were the last photographs of people who had taken their own lives…

The aim of the OOH campaign was to highlight the terrible fact that a suicide doesn't always look like a suicide, and those around them assume that previously such people look more like they are withdrawn and taciturn.

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