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DOOH comes to The Apprentice, but were they any good?

It’s been a big week for DOOH - a week that saw it rightly get the recognition it deserves as one of the best ways for brands to engage audiences.

Watchers of the “The Apprentice” will have seen it play a prominent role in last week’s episode. And it had also been in the news after the unveiling of the world’s largest digital billboard in Times Square. The fact that Google has snapped up this space demonstrates global recognition of the way that DOOH can create exciting and memorable experiences for the masses.

But back to The Apprentice. Both teams were given the chance to design a digital billboard to be on display in Times Square alongside a TV commercial and website. And while it’s great to see DOOH being showcased, it felt that neither team really seized the opportunity to use it to its full potential.

Granted, there were cost constraints from the brief but it would have been fantastic to see the teams use the interactive capabilities of DOOH. Like the British Airways ads which changed to depict a child pointing up when a plane was overhead, or our Pride in London campaign which fed user-generated content onto Underground screens during the festival.

Similarly, the teams could have chosen to make their ad react in real time, perhaps designing the billboard to offer a cool drink once the temperature reached a certain height.

Team Tenacity’s Aqua Fusion advert was bright and eye-catching. The drink was prominent and it was obvious what was being advertised. But Times Square is one of the world’s prime spots for advertising real estate - did it stand out and create an experience? Probably not. The positive was that the message was clear and concise while the billboard still looked aesthetically pleasing – if not completely original.

Team Summit’s Big Dawg billboard was eye-catching but was it for all the right reasons? The tagline shown after the initial display was confused and didn’t seem to relate to the product. If you happened to be walking past at that moment you wouldn’t have known what was being promoted and you probably wouldn’t bother to stop and learn more.

OOH, in all forms, has to put the consumer first and create a memorable and engaging experience. So while seeing Felipe wipe away tears of pride seeing his billboard live in New York may have made for great TV, it also really highlighted the impact that these screens can have on consumers and the emotions they can evoke.

Image credit: BBC