UK: Ocean Group announces restructure

Ocean Outdoor has announced a restructure following its acquisition of MediaCo earlier this year. The London-based company agreed a deal with MediaCo – the company behind state-of-the-art digital touchscreens around Manchester – back in April. It also bought West Midlands-based outdoor media owner Signature Outdoor last year in a £15m deal.

The changes see Ocean finance director Stephen Joseph promoted to Group chief operating officer. He will take responsibility for all commercial contract negotiation, procurement and oversees finance, which is now headed up by Billy Byam-Cook.

Nick Shaw, previously Ocean associate director and head of international sales, is promoted to sales director of the Ocean brand, reporting to Group sales director Iain Chapman. Signature sales director James Harrison takes on added responsibilities as deputy managing director of Signature Outdoor, also reporting to Iain Chapman.

Gerry Bew, founding partner of Signature Outdoor in Birmingham, becomes chairman of the Signature brand and businesses with a focus on operational integration in Manchester.

His co-founder Steve George becomes managing director of the Signature Birmingham business and oversees the management of Signature’s contract with Birmingham City Council.

Joseph Arshed, a founder of Mediaco, has joined the Ocean Group operating board and will continue to coordinate all key contracts in Manchester with a major focus on Manchester City Council.

CEO Tim Bleakley said:” Over the years we have grown and developed some top talent and recently, as part of the Signature and Mediaco acquisitions, we have taken on some hugely talented senior figures with a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit. “At the core of the Ocean Group business is our desire to always find ‘another way’ for all our stakeholders, landlords, OOH specialists, agencies and clients. These changes ensure the breadth and depth of our experience and expertise is made available to our partners to help them grow.”

The changes follow a huge year of investment across the Ocean Group in 2015, with the expansion of its footprint to Edinburgh, the expansion of The Grid full motion network in Newcastle, the launch of the world’s first Media Eyes in Birmingham and Signature Outdoor’s launch of The Loop.

Ocean also recently announced its ground breaking content partnership with Team GB for the run up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

UK: Burberry launches interactive campaign on the Piccadilly Circus screen

Burberry has launched an interactive marketing campaign that lets consumers personalise the Curve screen in London's Piccadilly Circus.

The initiative, which launched today (14 December), has been inspired by the fashion label’s monogrammed scarf offering. Consumers can head to a microsite on their smartphone, 'flick' their screen to choose their favourite scarf and monogram their initials on the accessory.

The scarf will then be broadcast on the billboard-style outdoor screen in the busy London district. Fans of the brand can then play with their enlarged digital creation by moving their device in the direction they wish the scarf to fly.

Up to five users at a time can interact with the screen. Consumers will be given the option to purchase their scarf on, or receive directions to the nearby Regent Street flagship store, once their experience has ended. The 3D technology has been developed in partnership with Dreamworks Animation’s technology company Nova.

It will run 24 hours a day until 31 December.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive of Burberry, said: "[Dreamworks Animation] have constantly pushed the boundaries of what is possible in digital animation and with their latest Nova platform we have been able to partner with them to create something really beautiful and engaging for our customers. "We are looking forward to seeing how audiences react."

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of Dreamworks Animation, added: "Burberry is a world leader in luxury, and, leveraging Nova’s technology, we’re thrilled to help them demonstrate a new and innovative product experience that enables consumers to both personalise and visualise the iconic Burberry scarf."


Netherlands: JCDecaux The Netherlands rolls out digital network Métropole

As the first outdoor advertiser in Holland, JCDecaux The Netherlands has rolled out a Digital Out of Home Network at street level, right in the middle of the city centre of both Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

With the installation of the first 20 digital CLP’s with 84 inch led screens JCDecaux The Netherlands presents the network ‘Métropole’. This network might be extended soon.

The objects carry high-end digital screens with extraordinary image quality. Therefore, ads are clearly visible all the time, no matter what weather conditions. This DOOH-network opens the door to a lot of new opportunities for the Outdoor Advertising Medium.

For example, Métropole makes it really easy to adjust an image and show a different dynamic advertisement in the morning, afternoon and evening.

The digital CLP’s can also show practical information for passers-by, such as events, the time and the weather forecast.

Also, during emergencies municipalities can instantly interrupt the broadcasting and, for example, show Ambert Alerts or use the screens as a crow management tool. This way the digital CLP’s contribute to the urban environment.

UK: Everything you need to know about… The fundamental transformation facing agencies

It can be hard to keep pace in the fast moving space of programmatic, which is where we come in. The Drum has teamed with the Trade Desk for a series of short video primers and accompanying features in print to tell agencies and brands everything they need to know about complex issues.

In the latest instalment, we take a look at how agencies need to redefine their role. It’s the advertising arms race of today: as programmatic moves to become the industry’s de facto trading mechanism, agencies are having to reimagine their very businesses for future success. UK programmatic digital display ad spending will reach £1.80bn this year, according to eMarketer, accounting for more than half (59 per cent) of the overall display ad market for the first time.

It is not just affecting display – the UK’s IAB estimates that up to 80 per cent of all digital advertising will be spent programmatically by 2018, buoyed by a rise of its use in video and mobile. Outdoor, radio and (whisper it) TV are also beginning to be traded in this way too. But what does that mean for agencies and how they are shaping themselves to deliver for clients?

The sixth episode of Everything You Need to Know About Programmatic explores just that. The series aims to get under the skin of the fast-moving programmatic landscape and bust prevailing myths – automatic trading will not, for instance, negate the need for real smart practitioners in media agencies. The bots will not take jobs, although roles might change – an example being the world’s money markets, where automatic trading has been the norm for some time, and yet Canary Wharf still throngs with city slickers.

Programmatic, says the Trade Desk’s UK general manager James Patterson, “is a tool that is helping both marketers and agencies better do their jobs”.

Full article and video here


USA: Advertising Drive Sales, Supports Jobs

By Nancy Fetcher, President & CEO, OAAA

A just-released national study affirms that advertising is an economic driver. The numbers are compelling: every dollar of ad spend generates nearly $22 in economic output (sales). The report estimates every million spent yearly on advertising supports 67 American jobs; sales that occurred as a result of ad spend in 2014 supported about 20 million workers. Click below for a copy of this new research, prepared by IHS Global Insight for The Advertising Coalition.

The OOH Medium

Separate independent research highlights the economic importance and relevancy of OOH media. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, nearly 6,000 local businesses use billboard advertising. On average, each billboard advertiser employs 49 workers.

That’s economic importance.

This analysis – commissioned by OAAA – was done by PlanetRisk (formerly iMapData), a tech firm focused on the science of analytics and the art of analysis in support of informed decision-making. Similar reports for Phoenix and Tampa will be available in days.

Meanwhile, Nielsen surveyed public opinion in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Tampa, and two other markets. More than seven of 10 said ads on digital billboards stand out more than online ads. More than one of five who noticed digital billboards said they changed plans to visit the business promoted in the billboard ad.

That’s relevance.

Motives for this type of research are varied. Our industry culture hungers for facts, not myths, and localized job information is useful in explaining OOH advertising to public officials, advertisers, and the press.

A National Debate

The Advertising Coalition’s research motive – in part – is defense. This group is comprised of agencies, advertisers, and trade associations.

Some in Congress have proposed limits on deductibility of advertising as a standard business expense. The ad lobby wants fresh evidence that advertising is an economic driver and proof of the harm that would be caused by cutting deductibility.

Decreasing deductibility from its current 100 percent to 80 percent would dampen ad spending by billions, cut economic output by nearly half a trillion, and eliminate 1.6 million American jobs, according to the report.

Advertising deductibility will be on the table in Congress, as part of overall tax reform. The OOH industry is doing its part to make the case to protect full deductibility. For example, Aaron Guyton, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, met on this topic with Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) in North Carolina.

People like Aaron bring a powerful grassroots voice; they can attest that deductibility is important to their advertisers, especially small businesses.

An Important Local Voice

A key player in Congress in the tax-reform debate is Paul Ryan, the new speaker of the US House who was previously chairman of the tax committee. Ryan is from a small-town called Janesville, WI.

In April, Rep. Ryan (R-WI) received a hand-delivered letter from a long-time acquaintance also from Janesville – David Babcock, Babcock Outdoor.

“I’m sure you are hearing from big national advertisers, the broadcasters, and ad agencies making the argument that advertising is and should be a business expense. I emphasize to you that advertising is important to businesses right here in Janesville, and communities like Janesville.

“Paul . . . we’re counting on you to keep in mind the impact of tax reform on small businesses and their ability to reach consumers.” Well said. Yes, OOH is relevant to the economy of Janesville and the nation.

Click to Download PDF


USA: Beacon-Triggered Coupons to Hit 1.6 Billion a Year

Mobile shoppers often are looking for deals and it looks like more of those deals will be coming thanks to beacons.

While the number of coupons delivered via beacon technology this year is estimated in the millions, it is on the way past a billion, based on a new study.

The number of coupons delivered after being triggered by beacons is projected to hit 1.6 billion in 2020, up from 11 million this year, according to Juniper Research, which interviewed leading couponing players.

Some large retailers already have installed beacons in most or all of their stores. For example, Macy’s has deployed 4,000, they’re in all Lord & Taylor stores and being tested in 50 Target locations in major U.S. markets.

The report identifies four keys to digital/mobile coupons, all of which we have chronicled here over the last many months:

  • Enhance engagement with the end-user
  • Track purchasing patterns
  • Analyze the relative success of campaigns Deliver targeted, personalized offers based on location

Coupons generally are used essentially to drive transactions. The next phase for coupons triggered by beacons is hyper-personalization, effectively creating individualized engagements across all brand offers, according to Juniper.

Companies using beacons have told us that redemption rates of those who engage are high, a point reaffirmed in this study. One of the reasons for the rather high growth projection of beacons is the expansion of beacons for Android phones, which dominate mobile market share globally.

Only time will tell if the projections for beacon-triggered coupons come true.

While many studies and points we hear in the market indicate that the actual deployment of beacons at retail will be very high even just into next year, the ultimate question is the best use case that materializes.

While beacons can facilitate more relevant coupons based on location, they can do so much more.


USA: Are Outdoor Advertising Companies Becoming Tech Firms?

During a recent meeting with the CMO of a Fortune 500 company in San Francisco, I discussed the benefits of utilizing the outdoor advertising (OOH) medium and noticed myself answering questions about our digital inventory ad servers, pixel pitch, dynamic capabilities, color compound distance, connection types, and security.

It was during this briefing that it dawned on me, as if I were in a scene from a movie, that the conversion was in fact a reality which had occurred: the OOH industry, specifically the digital outdoor advertising industry, has evolved into a technology industry. Many OOH providers now have CTOs. In fact, many have larger IT/digital teams than sales teams in their corporate offices.

Our core mission—to communicate a brand's message in a meaningful, effective, and responsible way to the target audience—hasn’t changed. The way we conduct business, however, has and will continue to transform as technology develops.

Here are three parts of our business that I feel technology is changing:


OOH companies will soon generate pricing by using proprietary algorithms that will take into account various factors such as trends and availability. Orders will be taken from buyers and processed electronically utilizing proprietary online software, which will also automate backend operations, like invoicing, proof of performance, creative, and logistics. The software also will have the ability to manage risk and identify trends.

In addition to in-house proprietary systems that are currently being developed or have already been developed, multiple startups like Adstruc and Signkick are attempting to fill the gap and automate the workflow for OOH. Even Google is testing a method for premium billboard ads to be bought online using their ad-buying platform, DoubleClick. As trends in technology evolve, they will continue to give birth to a whole host of supporting businesses and startups.

Who & When?

Data has come a long way in the world of Outdoor Advertising. The OAAA and TAB have been instrumental in educating customers and developing a robust audience measurement system for the industry.

There have been some exciting developments of late, the most recently AT&T’s announcement of a new service that will allow outdoor advertisers to better understand audience demographics passing nearby. Anonymous and aggregated group insights will help advertisers to better plan their campaigns and place ads that are more relevant to the audiences that see them.

Another great advancement is Marketing Evolution’s recent development of the data exchange API for the OOH industry. This will help integrate digital behavioral audience data, geo-location, and first-party data into their planning software.

Full article here


Australia: Mondelez launches 'Australia first' programmatic outdoor campaign

Lovers of that 'big cherry taste' may soon find an irresistible urge to buy Australia's oldest chocolate bar next time they fill up a tank of fuel, thanks to a novel new advertising campaign.

Confectionary giant Mondelez, in collaboration with Carat, Posterscope and Amnet, has launched a digital out-of-home (OHH)campaign that uses live data and real-time facial recognition to target Cherry Ripe consumers at the pump.

The campaign will run across Val Morgan Outdoor’s Pump TV network and is the first national campaign to utilise real-time audience measurement in the OHH space. The technology uses historical data to identify when Cherry Ripe's target audience is most likely to be paying attention to the petrol bowser screen.

Val Morgan Outdoor’s DART audience measurement system then ascertains whether the viewer is within the target demographic.

The advertiser is only charged for a qualified audience viewing. “We are achieving what we consider to be a key requirement of 'programmatic' - the ability to deliver a more relevant message to a more targeted audience which has patently been missing from claimed 'programmatic OOH' in recent times,”

Posterscope managing director Joe Copley said.

“This campaign is another big step towards a data-led and programmatic future for brands who want to make the most of the DOOH opportunity”. Chocaholics are warned to make sure they preset their fuel limit next time they fill up.



China: JCDecaux selected as Guangzhou Metro’s long-term Media Partner

JCDecaux SA announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary JCDecaux Advertising (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. has been appointed as a long-term media partner of Guangzhou Metro Corporation. JCDecaux has won the 15 year tender to operate all the lightboxes, stickers, wraps, train-doors & in-trains media resources within lines covering half the Guangzhou Metro network. The contract will be operated via a joint-venture, 51% for Guangzhou Metro Corporation and 49% for JCDecaux, to be co-managed by both companies.

With a total of 153 stations, covering 260 kilometers, Guangzhou has 8 metro lines under operation, making it the third-largest urban rail transit system in China Mainland. As the primary means of daily public transport for Guangzhou 13 million inhabitants, the Metro carries over 6 million passengers on average per day, accounting for approximately 40% of public transport passengers in Guangzhou.

In March 2015, JCDecaux and Guangzhou Metro signed a contract to operate metro media during a 9-month transition period from April 1, 2015. With its solid experience and operational capability and thanks to the professionalism and the involvement of its Chinese teams, JCDecaux was able to implement its rigorous safety procedures and be fully operational within 1 week of the contract being signed.

During this transitional period, thanks to a close working relationship with Guangzhou Metro, JCDecaux was able to improve the media offer, and the results have been well received by advertisers, effectively regaining the advertising market share of the Metro in Guangzhou. The result of this tender is a strong confirmation of the quality of this work and of the genuine desire to work together, building upon a solid foundation.

Jean-Charles Decaux, Co-Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux, said:

“We are very pleased that Guangzhou Metro Corporation has appointed JCDecaux as its media partner for the upcoming 15 years. The signing of the agreement is a strong endorsement of our management, our operational abilities and our mutual collaboration over the past nine months. As the number one in metro advertising in China, we will continue to roll out the latest innovative technologies and new creative concepts in addition to comprehensive media solutions, as part of our plan to build a high-quality media platform for Guangzhou Metro whilst considering the importance of social factors and economic benefits.

Our aim is to enhance the passenger’s experience and ensure optimal visibility for advertisers and their brands. This strategic partnership will allow JCDecaux’s coverage of metro media to reach over 30 million passengers per day in China across eight cities, including the four megacities of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.”

India: Clear Channel exits venture with DDB Mudra; Gour Gupta picks up 51%

Clear Channel has exited its 50:50 joint venture with DDB Mudra that was formed in 2009. Gour Gupta, erstwhile CEO of Clear Channel Mudra and former CEO of Madison's Platinum Outdoor, has acquired Clear Channel India's stake in the JV.

While Gupta now owns 51%, the rest is with DDB Mudra. The company has been renamed Ignite Mudra. "It is an exciting time to be a part of the marketing services industry," Gupta said.

"The success we have achieved as Clear Channel Mudra has given me the confidence to take the next step in our growth journey. Along with the team, I am excited at the prospect of what lies ahead for Ignite Mudra. We have already begun initiatives in emerging areas like sports and youth marketing." The company defines itself as a through-the-line communications agency with a special focus on out of home (OOH), promotions and retail marketing.

"Ignite Mudra is a future-ready organisation. Being digitally enabled... is now a part of the basic hygiene checklist for any organization, as has been the case with Ignite Mudra," Gupta said. "We are here to ensure that we deliver brand solutions that solve our clients' business challenges in the most effective and efficient manner possible."

The client roster includes Bata, Budweiser, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Dunkin Donuts, Godrej, Healthkart, Honda, ITC, Michelin, Patanjali, Pepsico, Puma, Reliance Jio, Snapdeal, Sony, Telenor, Vodafone and Worldwide Media.