OOH: NOW Q&A: Mark Tutssel, Global Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett


Yesterday we held our 8th annual OOH: NOW Conference, where panelists discussed the future of OOH advertising. In advance of the event we asked Mark Tutssel, Global Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett about the changing digital landscape and how marketers can make the most of OOH media. See his responses below!

What needs to happen for OOH to align with the overall digital landscape? And with other media?

Outdoor advertising remains one of the purest forms of communication. Nevertheless, OOH fits in to a larger picture of what an organization is trying to communicate and whom they are trying to reach. New technologies have resulted in a more seamless, integrated experience between OOH and other media. It’s easier than ever to connect the message on a billboard to responding to a call-to-action, whether it’s finding the right product site or participating in a massive movement.  It boils down to the big, creative idea and the strategic implementation with the right technology for the best user experience across all platforms.

How do marketers make the most of OOH media? Is there a perfect storm of events/issues/circumstances when OOH is most effective?

When it comes to OOH, we’ve been seeing an increase in the brilliant alchemy of creativity and technology. Marketers have leveraged the latest technologies and transformed one of the oldest forms of advertising to a medium of the future. However, the most important thing to remember is that nothing has really changed when it comes to the measure of effectiveness. Great effect comes from a great idea. What technology brings to the table is the ability to create interaction in fresh, new ways to turn this form of communication into one of the most modern, persuasive canvases we have available to us. Out-of-home is a creative canvas that calls for distillation, pure reduction. It demands potent graphic language and pure simplicity. It creates visual drama that results in maximum meaning using minimum means. Distillation is the key that unlocks the door. The message must open up inside our minds, not on the space in which it appears.

In 1996, Leo Burnett London observed a simple human behaviour — children pointing to airplanes flying overhead in the skies — and created an outdoor campaign for United Airlines that is contextually relevant in that environment. Fast-forward to 2014 and British Airways leveraged the technology of real-time data tracking to transform a 2D poster into a modern, real-time interactive billboard, “The Magic of Flying,” that captivated audiences worldwide. These two cases demonstrate the evolution of outdoor advertising rooted in the power and potency of an idea.

As technology propels us further down this supercharged highway, out-of-home will become a creative canvas second-to-none. It is one of infinite possibilities to create a “theatre of the streets.”

Are there any non-traditional places we are seeing OOH that have not been common in the past?

Samsung’s “Safety Truck” is one of the most awarded ideas in 2015 and the best modern day idea for out-of-home for a good reason. This highly innovative idea is a game-changer for out-of-home and the rest of the industry: creativity coupled with technological ingenuity that will change the way people drive, making highways safer and ultimately saving lives. “Safety Truck” pushed the boundaries of what out-of-home is capable of not only in effective communications, but also in product innovation for brands.