OUTFRAME Contest Is an Opportunity for Artists to Leave Their Mark Through OOH

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​​​Posted January 15, 2020
Eddy Herty, VP, National Creative Director of OUTFRONT STUDIOS

As Seen in Media Village

I live in Atlanta, where the city is alive with street art. In fact, the city has an interactive street art map and street art walking tours, and tourists come from all over the country not just to witness the art, but also to engage with it. Whether you're enjoying your weekend in a new section of the Beltline, walking through the Krog Street Tunnel, or taking a pilgrimage to the famous Jon Lewis "Hero" mural, you'll see dozens of people taking selfies in front of the art, sharing it, and making that art a part of the collective consciousness.

The celebration of street art isn't limited to Atlanta; Detroit, LA, New York, and San Francisco all boast vibrant street art scenes. Each speaks to the impact of the movement and the deep connection people feel towards physical mediums.

When a viewer snaps a photo of art they see on the street, that art also becomes an extension of one's personal brand. You want to be associated with it and distribute it across social media. The same can be said for an artist. If an artist wants to communicate a message, say it boldly, and reach their audience, the wall is their canvas.

We've also seen forward-thinking brands — from Mailchimp to Porsche — embrace street art and make their own cultural stamp on the streets of Atlanta and beyond. Physical mediums make a message tangible in a way that no other medium can, making a physical impact and stopping someone in their tracks.

Many creatives in the ad industry are inspired by street art and want to honor the rich visual traditions and culture that is all around us. But sometimes our creativity can be boxed in. What would creatives do if given a blank canvas? What message would they want to share, and how would the art make that message even more clear? This was the inspiration for the OUTFRAME contest.

OUTFRAME, which recently concluded its first year, is an art competition to celebrate the "Artists of Adland" and the art that represents their talent outside of their "day job" and speaks to their personal passions. I think of billboards as canvases that can change the way people think. With that in mind, OUTFRONT displayed the Best in Show and Best in Discipline winners' artwork on OUTFRONT Media canvases (digital billboard displays) across the United States during the holiday season. Additionally, OUTFRONT provided the Best in Show winner, Ryan Artell, art director at 160over90 (formerly Red Interactive) with digital billboards to support his chosen charity, The Nature Conservancy, during the month of January. The contest aims to not only connect the artist to new audiences, but also give social causes their time in the spotlight.

When I think of an artist who has helped change public perception, elevate street art, and show off the potential of what OOH can do, I think of the artist Shepard Fairey. He's someone who has been using OOH as his canvas for decades, and he's committed to sharing what he's most passionate about through some of OOH's most iconic campaigns. To have Fairey as one of the judges for this year's contest is an honor, and it's been exciting to bring him and some of the brightest creative minds together, including creative directors at top ad agencies nationwide.

OUTFRAME is an opportunity for creatives to show off their artistic talents while showcasing what drives us, our work, and how we can make an impact. It speaks to the basic design principles of OOH: Brands and creatives can explain the best ideas in a sentence or a single, powerful image.

What would happen if you were in control of that image and that message? That's the power of OOH, the ability to concisely communicate the exact message that's important for your audience to hear — a message so inspiring, they are left wanting to share it with the world.

Thank you!