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Creative Wins, Still —Jodi Senese

One in Five- of Obie nominations awarded to OUTFRONT Studios.

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Creative Wins, Still

By Jodi Senese

  • 70% of an ad’s effectiveness comes from the creative.
  • 100% of boring ads don’t matter.
  • 19%- nearly one in five- of Obie nominations awarded to OUTFRONT Studios.



As the ad world shifts, debates, and relies more heavily on data-fueled and programmatically delivered displays, it might be prudent to keep the conversation regarding excellence of creative at the forefront.  Creative is, of course, important for all media, but it plays a heightened role in OOH.


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There are many significant talents in our industry who beat this drum: Eddy Herty, Rick Robinson, and Rob Jackson to name a few. They understand the craft, the importance, and difficulty of great creative. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal famously wrote “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” Simple, concise, and visually arresting is hard work.

All of us in the OOH sector, from CEO’s and senior management, to account executives, and creative talent must care, really care, about the images we put on the streets, the efficacy of the campaigns we deliver, and how our displays impact consumers’ journeys and lives. Our assets live very publicly, which is both a strength of our medium and results in a responsibility we share.

OUTFRONT Studios was nominated for 26 Obie awards this year, and scanning the Obie nominations list, I don’t think there is a close second place – in fact I am sure there is not.

OUTFRONT Studios was nominated for 26 Obie awards this year, and scanning the Obie nominations list, I don’t think there is a close second place – in fact I am sure there is not.   That makes me both super proud of the OUTFRONT Studios team and a bit nervous that the industry may not be focused enough on one of our absolute core values.  As an industry, we need to focus on both the art and the science. We should be speaking to our clients about excellence in creative and the right locations for targeting audiences. Both are important in equal measure (perhaps a debatable point); the perfectly executed ad in front of the desired audience scores the goal.  Award-worthy creative can also capture the attention of convertible prospects outside the core target demographic, presenting an additional opportunity for businesses and brands- and for the OOH conversation.

As we move into an increasingly digital place in terms of asset type and campaign delivery, and as we seize the opportunity to be part of omni-channel/programmatic buys, we must not forget that creative matters, perhaps even more.   Let’s get enough talent, the right talent, and train our teams on the art of “pushing back” against subpar copy regardless of the channel from which it is placed.  Let’s allow ourselves the audacity to tell a client that their creative won’t work -or has not been optimized for the placement- and to advise them that we can help them do it better.  When the ad gets posted, it’s our (name) tags that sit underneath the display. We should not be okay with anything less than excellence on our assets, in our communities, and in front our customers, our customers’ customers and our friends and families.

Spring and vaccinations have arrived in tandem; everyone is digitally fatigued and tired of doom-scrolling and stream-surfing. There are 330 million people who will soon be outside in droves.  This is our time, and out of home is our space. Let’s make sure we can feel proud of what America encounters as they get out.

And congratulations OUTFRONT Studios – thank you for setting a high bar!

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