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The Work That Made Me: Emma Lang

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Talon Outdoor creative solutions manager reflects back on the out of home campaigns that have influenced her career

The Work That Made Me: Emma Lang

Emma has a growth mindset, she consistently pushes the boundaries within creative OOH, whether it’s finding new formats, new production techniques or working with media owners. Since joining Talon, Emma has successfully managed a number of creative solutions campaigns, including creating a giant foam pit, she's devised a way to project onto a building from inside a hotel room and most recently set a billboard on fire for BBC a Perfect Planet.


The ad/music video that stays with me from my childhood…


I wish I had some unique, meaningful answer here but unfortunately, I don’t. I’m going to have to pick what I suspect to be one of the most common answers: the Cadbury’s Gorilla ad. I remember being at school and everyone talking about it, that was probably the first time I experienced the impact a good ad could have. 


The ad platform which made me want to get into the industry…


I grew up in a village in West Yorkshire where I don’t think they had any OOH so I wasn’t aware of the industry growing up. When I left university, press was in the decline and I just knew I wanted to get into media so I started to apply and then I just got incredibly lucky and fell into the industry.  So rather than a platform,  I think my Dad probably was the biggest influence – sounds corny I know... He is a very creative person and a keen photographer. I remember growing up he’d take his camera everywhere and would be able to capture a stunning photo of something most people wouldn’t have looked twice at. Each week he’d buy photography magazines we would look at the photos together- that’s probably when I started to gain an interest in aesthetics and how brands portray themselves in advertising. 


The creative ad that I keep on revisiting… 


Anything Mother creates for KFC is brilliant, I don’t know how they do it but each campaign is even better than the last – if I could be a fly on a wall in any brainstorm it’d be one of theirs. 

In terms of OOH campaigns, I think the Calm’s Call for Help campaign by Adam&Eve DDB and Ocean Outdoor was incredible. They used Ocean’s screens to mirror the number of incoming calls Calm gets every day to tackle the stigma around seeking help, it was so simple but so powerful. 

Then there’s the recent Playstation 5 launch which hit the ball out of the park: the roundels at Oxford Circus, the 3D creative on Piccadilly Lights to their domination of the Burj Khalifa etc- the whole thing was great. I love the fact none of it required revolutionary technology but was just OOH done exceptionally well. (Sorry, that’s 3…) 


My first professional project…


I think it was a mural for Amex’s ‘Don’t Live Without It’ campaign where we commissioned an artist, Hixxy, to create artwork around this tagline. The final artwork was stunning and looked amazing once live. It summed up Summer and kept popping up on social media across the four weeks. 


The ad which made me so angry that I vowed never to make anything like that… 


Nivea’s ‘White is Purity’ ad from a couple of years ago was exceptionally bad. There’s just so much wrong with it, it was even picked up by the far right… 


The creative project which changed my career…


I’m pretty early on in my career so I don’t think I’ve had that one project yet. 


The work that I’m proudest of…


I am actually proud of most of my campaigns… no campaign is smooth sailing so to see the final product going live and being well received is a great feeling. That being said, I’m always excited for the next BBC campaign. Our work with them for His Dark Materials, Dracula and A Perfect Planet have all been such a collaborative, creative process. They are very talented over there so it’s great working with them every time. 


I was involved in this and it makes me cringe… 


I’m not sure I should answer this one but let’s just say we tried to incorporate some new technology into an OOH campaign and it wasn’t quite ready… 


The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…


I recently worked on a project with the BBC for A Perfect Planet where we create a billboard which was made to look like it was on fire. I’m pretty proud of that one. 


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Talon Outdoor, Tue, 16 Feb 2021 14:00:22 GMT