EE launches digital billboards to help Manchester Stay Connected at Night

The Saatchi & Saatchi campaign uses real-time data to provide useful travel updates

By Creative Salon

EE has launched Stay Connected at Night, a billboard-led campaign harnessing the power of Stay Connected Data to offer dynamic, technology-enabled routes home.

The EE campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi London, which won first prize in the brand category of Ocean Outdoor’s Digital Creative Competition 2022, uses Ocean’s out of home (OOH) technology in Manchester City Centre as a utility to bring to life the security that Stay Connected Data offers by keeping people connected even when they reach their monthly data limit.

Capitalising on the locations of large and small digital out of home (DOOH) screens in popular nightlife spots and areas densely populated with students, the creative uses Ocean’s live data feed to pull geo-located travel information to help passers-by plan their routes home as soon as darkness falls. The innovative campaign will be live from 8pm - 3am every night until 13th March, shortly before the clocks go forward and lighter evenings ensue.

From taxi waiting times to train, tram and bus schedules, 42 billboards including The Loop network and nine large format screens use dynamic creative and augmented reality to illustrate travel options and overlaid directions relevant to each location. Screens in four locations will also detect approaching pedestrians and respond accordingly, sharing location-specific travel options. The screens will also brighten, making the surrounding space feel safer. By day, EE’s Stay Connected Data creative will show in pride of place on the screens.

The decision to bring the work to Manchester, a city which has one of Europe’s largest student populations, was inspired by the Women’s Night-time Safety Charter, a scheme launched by Manchester City Council late last year to rally businesses to help make the city safer for those in the night-time economy. EE was also able to work with local bodies to integrate the work into Manchester’s transport network, and the initiative will also be supported by influencers DJ Semtex, Jodie Harsh and Chelcee Grimes who will be creating and sharing bespoke content as part of the campaign.

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director at EE, says: “This campaign is a brilliant example of how our Stay Connected Data can play an important role in our customers' lives. We’re excited to be using cutting edge advertising technology in a new and creative way to make the streets safer.”

Franki Goodwin, CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi, adds: “Ocean’s Outdoor Digital Creative Competition allowed us to harness the technological capabilities of DOOH to play a really meaningful role in a city’s nightlife and the journeys home for people that live there. We hope that our work is the beginning of even more integration between these amazing sites and their citizens."

Ocean Outdoor’s Head of Marketing and Events, Helen Haines, says: “This campaign solves a real problem and demonstrates the power, reach and role of digital out of home as a responsible community channel in Manchester and the wider public realm. Which makes it worthy winner of our annual digital creative competition.”

EE Stay Connected Data ensures that no matter where you are, no matter how late, and no matter if you run out of data, you can always continue to use essential apps such as WhatsApp, City Mapper and Google Maps, to help you get home safe.

Campaign Credits:

Client: EE

Advertising agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

CCO: Franki Goodwin

Executive creative director: Will John

Creative director: Ali Dickinson

Senior copywriter: Neil Ritchie

Senior art director: Sarah Heavens

Copywriter: Isabelle Johnson

Art director: Hemi Patel

Production designers: Mason Brownlow, Sean Connell, Sergio Ortiz

Motion designers: Devin Arden, Nick Pires, Ash Hoque

Planning director: Olivia Stubbing

Senior strategist: Tash Loeb-Mills

Managing partner: Jonathan Tapper

Business lead: Charlotte Elwig

Account manager: Tilda Raphael

Agency creative producer: Abigael Wilson

Media buying agency: Essence

Media planners: Sophie Franks, Thalia Cohen

Agency TV producer: Barney Ferguson


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