NU: Grand Visual, now a leading global creative shop specializing in digital out-of-home advertising, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. What was the idea behind creating this company?
Neil Morris: Grand Visual was founded in 2005 with the belief that it could deliver real value by specialising in a ‘medium of the future’.
I remember seeing those first escalator panels at Tottenham Court Rd Station and admiring the sense of awe and wonder that they were instilling in the commuting public. They really captured the imagination and took advantage of what was clearly very valuable media ‘real estate’. Dan Dawson and I, having had some experience in digital advertising, saw the potential, but also the lack of digital out-of-home expertise in the market, and that’s why we founded Grand Visual.
In 2005, DOOH made up only 3% of the total out-of-home spend. For us, it was about realising the potential of an emerging medium; being there to help people see the creative capabilities of this new digital canvas and help it grow into what it is today.
NU: What was the founders’ professional background?
NM: My background was in TV, commercials and multimedia production and I had previously founded and sold a production outfit called Junction 7.
Dan Dawson’s previous expertise was in design and technology and how the two fuse together. He had spent his years before Grand Visual creating interactive and motion graphics for screen technology and events, and one day our paths crossed. The rest, as they say, is history.
NU: How did you get your first clients and what were their campaigns? Continue reading