Clear Channel Outdoor’s Cannes Lions Creativity Debate Culminates in World’s First Hand-Painted Micrography Billboard Made from Tweets

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE: CCO), one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world, celebrated its fourth year as a sponsor of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity by completing the world’s first hand-painted micrography billboard made entirely of tweets and creating the world’s first gigapixel image searchable by tweet.

The billboard showcases a mural composed of hundreds of tweets around the idea of ‘realizing creative potential,’ generated by the company’s highly successful #canvas for creativity social media debate – the third most used hashtag at this year’s Cannes Lions.

Over the course of the festival, high-profile billboard muralists, Tait Roelofs and Patrick McGregor, painstakingly hand-painted the best comments, perspectives, observations and quotes from the conversation onto the 16m x 4m canvas, showcased in this celebratory “making-of” film:

The artists are seen in time-lapse, painting the canvas with the industry’s response to Clear Channel Outdoor’s challenge: how can it realize its full creative potential, against the backdrop of a global, real-time and increasingly digitally-connected world.

The mural, set in the grounds of Le Grand Hotel in Cannes, features the 60th Anniversary Cannes logo, celebrating the creative potential of the global advertising industry, and Cannes’ 60 years of recognizing and inspiring exceptional creativity.

To bring the debate to life beyond Cannes, the mural also provides the canvas for the world’s first gigapixel image searchable by tweet. Contributors can search for their tweet by keyword or Twitter handle, to see exactly where it was painted, in incredible high resolution detail.

Search the mural here:

As the basis of the mural, the Twitter debates saw widespread engagement and response to our industry leaders:

  • The first debate topic, “Who owns the creative agenda?,” trended number two worldwide on Twitter
  • #canvas became the third most popular hashtag used at Cannes Lions
  • 1,217 tweets were contributed using #canvas or @CCOutdoor, delivering a total campaign reach of 15.7 million impressions on Twitter over the four-day period
  • This gave @CCOutdoor the fifth largest social footprint at Cannes – greater than any other media owner
  • The most popular debate topics were “can creativity be a bigger force for social good?,” generating the most opinions, while “is creativity an art or science?,” and “is technology redefining creativity?” drove the most comments and conversations

“Cannes Lions is an important global celebration of the brands and businesses that push the boundaries of creativity,” said Paul Evans director, marketing and planning, Clear Channel International. “Our hand-painted Twitter mural acts to symbolize, both metaphorically and literally, the powerful audience effect that can result when physical and digital experiences collide in meaningful ways.”

“This incredible project has allowed Clear Channel Outdoor to demonstrate the continued opportunity and relevance of outdoor media by harnessing the power of social media to champion the idea of realizing our creative potential across the industry.”

Social media visualisations of the #canvas Twitter content were streamed on CCO’s website (, digital screens at the festival, and a high-resolution projection on to a separate 18m x 5m canvas located on the roof of the Le Grand Hotel, Cannes. The projection canvas was built specifically for the festival and sat at the highest spot on the Croisette - a spot never before used for advertising or media at Cannes Lions. This content played for a total of 18 hours every day to over 11,000 delegates from 92 countries.

For content assets, please visit:


Clear Channel Outdoor’s international in-house marketing team created the program concept, working with a roster of agency partners, including Buzz Radar (data visualisation), CURB Media (outdoor mural, high-resolution projection), Visualise (gigapixel image, 360⁰ images), Fishburn Hedges (PR), Proud Creative (design) and We Are Social (social media management).

The artists are Patrick McGregor and Tait Roelofs, as part of CURB’s team:

Patrick McGregor is an artist trained in hand-painted billboard ads and fine arts since 1993. His work spans the past two decades, delivering extraordinary outdoor ads for a wide range of companies ranging from Nike to Marc Jacobs as well as galleries.

Tait Roelofs (aka T8) is a Los Angeles based artist working in various media, mainly painting, sculpture, and video. T8 has exhibited in numerous art fairs including Art LA, Scope NY, Pulse Miami, and at the ISLIP Art Museum in Long Island. He has had numerous solo and group shows in Los Angeles and New York. He is currently represented by De Soto Gallery in Los Angeles.

Social media debate leaders included:

  • Jason Beckley, VP of Innovation @ fusion92
  • Thomas Crampton, Veteran, award-winning journalist and digital media specialist for Social @ Ogilvy
  • Mark Cridge, Director of Consulting at BERG
  • Theo Delaney, commercial filmmaker and writer at Hotspur and Argyle
  • Will Humphrey, M&C Saatchi / LIDA as a Senior Strategist
  • Laura Jordan Bambach - Vice President of Design & Art Direction
  • Rich Leigh - Account Director of 10 Yetis PR Agency and blogger
  • Angela Natividad, strategist and co-founder of AdVerve
  • Will Pyne - Co-Founder & Exec. Creative Director for an engagement advertising agency, Holler (UK)
  • Amelia Torode - Head of Innovation and Venture Strategy for an engagement advertising agency, Holler (UK)
  • Faris Yakob - Award-winning strategist and Creative Director

Notes to editors:

Micrography is the technique of using text to form an image when viewed at a distance, creating an interplay between the text and image.

About Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO)

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, with more than 750,000 displays in over 40 countries across five continents, including 48 of the 50 largest markets in the United States. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings offers many types of displays across its global platform to meet the advertising needs of its customers. This includes a growing digital platform that now offers over 1000 digital billboards across 37 U.S. markets. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings’ International segment operates in nearly 30 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America in a wide variety of formats.

Certain statements in this release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Clear Channel Outdoor North America:

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Clear Channel Outdoor
Jason D. King, 703-582-9512
VP, Corporate Communications
Fishburn Hedges
Mike Harris, 212-459-5738

Source: Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings