Awards entry season: prizes that celebrate the best of DOOH

Award nominations can be a huge boost for companies looking to make a name for themselves

Award nominations can be a huge boost for companies looking to make a name for themselves

As the summer months approach, awards entries deadlines start to pile up. While there are several awards for this sector, we’ve chosen three that look at the soul of DOOH in terms of content: Ocean Outdoor, The Love Content Awards, and Doohdas.

The Doohdas awards, it has to be said, are not exclusively content-focused. The awards were launched in 2012 and for this year’s edition 13 categories, plus a Grand Prix, were available for submission. Next year’s Doohdas will be even bigger with the number of categories doubling.

Among last year’s winners were plenty of new names and projects that many might not have been aware of, such as Akqa (which won in ‘Customer Experience’ for its NatWest in-branch signage project) or System Nine Media (which bagged the ‘Content and Creative’ award for a history wall project for the Deinzbank).

Doohdas has an international focus and the awards themselves are purely virtual. The entry and results are online and there is no dinner and networking event. To enter you also have to part with £180 and the closing date for submissions is September 30th. Unfortunately, there is also no opportunity to glimpse of the entries in advance, so we don’t yet know the quality of what will be on show.

Love Content, the awards programme organised by The Screen, does give us a window to view its entries online. Lisa Goldstein, organiser of the event, says: “Now on its third year, Love Content has morphed and evolved, reflecting the changes of the industry and seeking to provide the fairest result possible on content creation and DOOH applications.”

The number of Love Content awards reduced to six this time around and companies were only able to enter into one category. Projects could only be entered as long as they happened between May 2012 and May 2013. Four industry experts, unrelated to the entries, make up the judging panel. The submissions deadline for Love Content has now passed, with the awards ceremony to be held at a lunch in October at the Hospital Club.

The DOOH Innovation category saw a further twist in the judging procedure, with all members of The Screen association invited to vote on the nominees. The ballot, also held at the Hospital Club, saw five media owners competing for this category, each presenting their entries accompanied by a previously submitted video. Since DOOH is so linked to the environment where it is installed and is often dependant on the public’s reaction, a video is by far the best way appreciate it.

Media owner Ocean Outdoor launched its own competition four years ago. The idea, according to Richard Malton, the company’s marketing director, was to kindle creativity using the digital medium as a rich DOOH platform: “We wanted to get away from the static poster,” says Malton. “We wanted creative agencies and brands to understand that DOOH has many possibilities and applications and we own some of the best spots in the country to highlight top content in the best way.”

The Ocean Outdoor Digital Competition has only two categories: ‘DOOH Techniques’ and ‘Interactive and Experiential’. All entries must be brand new projects that have not yet been released for the market. Last year there were 40 entries and 350 people attended the awards ceremony at Waterloo Imax, where these creative masterpieces were screened.

Entry for Ocean Outdoor is free and runs until August 30th. What is best about these awards is that winners will see their campaign come to life across Ocean Outdoor’s DOOH estate. The grand prize for the DOOH Techniques will receive advertising space up to the value of £100,000. The Experiential category will have advertising space for one full weekend on Eat Street at Westfield London. The breakfast awards meeting is to be held at the Waterloo Imax in October.

While awards are great events to run and recognise excellence in the field, organisers need to keep on their toes in order to deliver a result that will be both significant and useful for the industry. Not only must they provide prestige for the winners, but they must also aim to raise standards throughout the industry.

Why should you enter for these awards ceremonies? An award nomination is a tremendous boost for any company and a win can put a newcomer firmly on the map, which can be worth the equivalent of thousands of pounds in self-promotion. Content awards also raise the bar for the quality of material we see on the outdoors screen network.

First published 15 August 2013 – Output