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How creatively successful do you think the last 12 months have been when it comes to outdoor advertising and what pieces of outdoor work have impressed you the most and why?

I’m not sure if there has been a standout piece of work. There doesn’t seem to have been a Fearless Girl or Project 84: CALM. It’s a category where the lines are increasingly blurred when it comes to what actually construes ‘outdoor’. There are many options… stunts, statues, projections, pop-up stores, immersive experiences, installations, events and – er – good old-fashioned billboards. 

It’s no surprise that a lot of the good stuff is still coming from causes that have something genuine to push against, #MeToo, female circumcision, LGBTQ and male suicide, to name but a few. 

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Above, left to right: Fearless Girl, Project 84; Calm

The Unbreakable Rainbow (for the Equality Parade) from Ben & Jerry’s in Poland was a smart answer to the haters, that led to an even better (indestructible) rainbow. More rainbows were also (bravely) on show at the World Cup in Russia with The Hidden Flag for Spanish LGBTQ organisation FELGTB [National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals].  I loved the way this got football fans involved; clever and subversive.

Toxic Toby has featured in a few shows and will do well I’m sure. A small, scruffy teddy bear tied to a lamppost coughing every time pollution limits are reached. It seems small, but it is huge judging by the PR generated. And most important of all, it could only happen outdoors.

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Above, left to right: Unbreakable  Rainbow, Toxic Toby

Here in the UK, we have a category all of our own making –Brexshit (oops, given my feelings away there). Despite the turmoil inside Parliament, there is much to admire outside. The Economist ad van stunt could still be valid all the way to 31 October and beyond. The CostUpper pop-up shop was a smart bit of immersive (subversive?) retail.

The best of the lot was not even from an agency, but from four angry dads who set themselves up as Led By Donkeys to protest, poke fun at and rattle Brexit cages with a poster campaign of actual quotes from actual politicians, which are actually staggering.

For as long as we live in an angry world (that seems to be getting angrier by the tweet), protest work will have the upper hand.

So, are the cause-based campaigns having all the fun? McDonalds isn’t quite as brilliant as usual, but the Iconic Weather Forecast should feature. Staying in the fast food lane, Burger King once again delivered a scarily good campaign as a worthy follow-up to last year’s Scary Clown Night. Nightmare at Burger King transformed one of its establishments in Spain into a House of Horrors, a terrifying experience that lets the bravest pay for their burger with fear. While Hiscox’s The Hack managed to make cybercrime interesting and dramatic with its doppelgänger store in Shoreditch. But it all seems a little fragmented and a long way from a brand dominating such as Apple’s Shot on iPhone 6 from 2015. 

For as long as we live in an angry world (that seems to be getting angrier by the tweet), protest work will have the upper hand.

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Above, left to right: Burger King's House of Horrors, Hiscox's The Hack
Great outdoor feels big, for the masses, not scared to be judged; it kind of shouts ‘look at me!’ in a way no other media can.

How much of an impact has technology had on this category?

Xbox Football Decoded is a brilliant example of making tech work in outdoor. It felt relevant, clever, subversive and very outdoor.

Where do you think this category is heading; is it still an important part of a brand’s advertising strategy?

At its best, outdoor can literally change a brand’s fortunes in seconds. An iconic, memorable image can be seared into Instagram and live news feeds quicker than you can say Fearless Girl. Great outdoor feels big, for the masses, not scared to be judged; it kind of shouts ‘look at me!’ in a way no other media can.

Libresse Sverige – Viva La Vulva

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What, for you, is the most exciting part of working in advertising at the moment?

To be paid for your ideas that can help shape and influence modern culture is not a bad place to start.

What’s been your favourite campaign of any category over the past year?

Libresse, Viva La Vulva.

Will you be attending Cannes this year and, if so, what are you most looking forward to about the event?

My wife and my liver have decided against it this year. 

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