Saatchi & Saatchi & Mr President awarded first prizes in Ocean Outdoor’s annual digital creative competition

Saatchi & Saatchi & Mr President awarded first prizes in Ocean Outdoor’s annual digital creative competition

17th October 2023

Saatchi & Saatchi and Mr President have secured the top prizes in Ocean Outdoor’s annual digital creative competition which rewards bold, original ideas that push the boundaries of digital out of home (DOOH) advertising.

Replicating last year’s successful partnership, Saatchi & Saatchi and EE have once again taken first prize in the brand category, this time for the creation of the first ever interactive OOH schools’ field trip. The idea forms part of EE’s wellbeing work on behalf of the many UK children who miss out on outdoor activities they can’t afford.

First prize in the charity category goes to Mr President and Stonewall Housing for Behind Closed Doors which draws attention to the housing crisis affecting LGBTQ+ people who are often “kicked out for coming out”.  

A panel of 18 independent expert judges drawn from the creative industries chose this year’s winners who were announced at an industry event hosted by Ocean at Frameless in London.  The six winners share £500,000 worth of airtime for their concepts to be shown across Ocean’s multiple environments and iconic digital formats in cities across the UK.

Ocean Outdoor UK CEO Phil Hall said: “The nation’s narrative sits at the heart of this year’s competition winners who use the power and scale of out of home to tackle some extremely important issues. Their ideas harness the role and purpose of DOOH as a channel which truly supports and connects with the communities it serves.

“There’s not a single campaign here that won’t make people stop, think, listen or act if they are in a position to do so. An admirable reflection of how far the DOOH medium, and Ocean’s competition, has come in the past 14 years.”

Second prize in the brand category goes to Creature London and Moonpig for Moonpiggadilly, a joyous, interactive campaign using the brand’s familiar mascot to deliver personalised messages on the famous Piccadilly Lights in an effort to lift the nation’s spirits during tough times.

Third prize in the brand category is awarded to ACNE London and Diageo for Greetings From Tomorrow, which asks people to responsibly pace themselves on a night out by introducing some 0.0% into it, an opt in choice which makes them the star of the poster.

Second prize in the charity section goes to Open Creates and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity for Big Face which plays delightfully with the entire space and scale of Ocean’s large format screens, starring children to help fundraise for an urgently needed new cancer treatment facility.

And ACNE London picks up its second award for The Hygiene Bank which comes third in the charity category for Hiding in Plain Sight, a powerful grassroots campaign using Ocean’s Loop network to help the 3.2million people affected by hygiene poverty.

Helen Haines, head of brands and events, Ocean Group, said: “We asked for big, impactful creative ideas which build brand value at scale and concepts that work beyond the screens alone. Congratulations to this year’s winners who have once again excelled the brief. We look forward to bringing these ideas to life.”

Last year, Saatchi & Saatchi and EE also took first brand prize together for Home Safe, a campaign which addressed the safety of lone women at night, using live travel data, AR and lighting technology to help them plan and track their journeys home or get to safe spots.

Previous winners of Ocean’s digital creative competition have gone on to win six prestigious Cannes Lions.    


First Prize: EE

Campaign: Free Field Trips

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Almost half of all school children miss out on field trips because of the cost of living crisis, but they learn a lot by getting out of the classroom and exploring in real life. Already committed to supporting kids’ wellbeing, EE uses its Pearson educational partnership to create the first ever OOH field trip to Birmingham city centre. Using all the technology provided by The Loop network, they present an interactive walking tour using full motion, mobile interactivity, haptics and AR to bring the WW2 history curriculum to life through quizzes, puzzles and the vivid recreation of Birmingham street scenes during the Blitz. The trail ends at the Birmingham Media Eyes with an AR experience which puts pupils inside the street scenes themselves.  

The judges said: “It’s very hard to find fault with this idea. Holding an OOH field trip across The Loop is a wholesome way to learn and an incredible use of OOH technology for educational purposes. It’s really scalable too. It gets students outside; it gets them moving and it’s very engaging.”

Second Prize: Moonpig

Campaign: Moonpiggadilly

Agency: Creature London

Times are tough. Hate crimes are on the rise, there’s a war, protests and bad news at every turn. Time to spread the love, something the nation does every second of the day apparently by sending someone important a heartfelt message. To make these moments even bigger, Moonpig uses the scale of Piccadilly Lights and the impact of Ocean’s DeepScreen® 3D tech to bring its mascot to life in adorable ways. Participants create their personalised messages which are then shared on the Piccadilly screen and live streamed across Moonpig’s social channels, giving all of us a reason to smile.

The judges said: “This is cool and fun. So many people will engage with this on Piccadilly, look out for it and send it to their loved ones. It’s the sort of idea that will go viral.”

Third Prize: Diageo

Campaign: Greetings From Tomorrow

Agency: ACNE London

This attention grabbing opt in campaign uses AR technology to entice people to sensibly pace themselves on a night out by seeing what their tomorrows could look like when they do, transporting their faces live on Ocean screens in to fantastical, over the top ‘Tomorrow’ sequences. The OOH journey ends with a few pearls of wisdom, a QR code to scan and redeem for a 0.0% non-alcoholic drink of their choice at a local bar and a digital postcard from their “Tomorrowself” to celebrate their choices.

The judges said: “This is a fun idea which incorporates tech in a useful way. The message is right and the journey is fantastic. It’s not preachy or worthy and has thought about how to get people to take action by being the star of the poster.”

Charity Winners

First Prize: Stonewall Housing

Campaign: Behind Closed Doors

Agency: Mr President

Almost one in five LGBTQ+ people experience homelessness in their lifetime, with 77% citing family rejection as the reason. To spread national awareness about the resulting housing crisis, Stonewall Housing harnesses the interactive technology of Ocean’s The Loop network. Participants are invited to hear what actually goes on behind closed doors when LGBTQ+ people are kicked out for coming out, standing on doormats in front of the screens, which are turned into front doors, to trigger sound technology. Onlookers are invited to knock to make it stop and make a donation, upon which the door is opened by an LGBTQ+ person who has been helped.  

The judges said: “This intriguing, impactful idea is incongruent for the High Street which is why it works. It’s a smart use of 6 sheets at audience eye level. This is where OOH works so well, for a charity that no one knows.”

Second Prize: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

Campaign: Big Face

Agency: Open Creates

Great Ormond Street Hospital has outgrown its current treatment facilities for unwell children which is a problem because cancer is the biggest killer of one to 14 years olds in the UK. GOSH uses a child’s face pressed up against the digital screen in a fun and entertainingly compelling way to demonstrate how they have outgrown the space. But there’s an obvious tension because she’s poorly. Viewers are invited to scan a QR code to donate and help Build It. Beat It, their money triggering a 3D rendition of the new cancer facility and a massive, personalised message of thanks.

The judges said: “The image of the child pressing their face against the screen plays beautifully with the proportions of the screen. The message is simple and we like how it manifests donations in real time. It’s about normal kids that want some help.”

Third Prize: The Hygiene Bank

Campaign: Hiding in Plain Sight

Agency: ACNE London

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, more than 3.2million people in the UK are affected by hygiene poverty, going without toothpaste, shampoo and sanitary products. Grassroots charity The Hygiene Bank tackles the need for donations by moving hygiene poverty out of the shadows and into the light. Both intimate and surprising, Ocean’s sound shower tech is used to attract people’s attention, telling different stories triggered by live data based on what stock the local hygiene bank needs at that time. People who donate via a QR code are invited to share their generosity with their networks, encouraging wider support.  

The judges said: “This idea thinks about the end to end consumer journey, using tech at every step of the way. It’s contextual and tells you where your local hygiene banks are. We like the intimate directional use of sound in an OOH setting and would be more inclined to stop and look at this than we would be stopping to talk to a person.”