Let’s Talk About Digital Out-of-Home
Going digital is a natural evolution for the outdoor advertising industry. Hand painted signs gave way to paper posters, later to printed vinyl, and now digital display technology. Each step forward has significantly improved lead time, production costs, and environmental impact. Today you can go from Photoshop to digital billboard almost instantly. In this post, we’ll cover the basics behind Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH).
Size and technology
A standard digital billboard is 14’ tall, 48’ wide, and covered with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LEDs are the same technology that power HDTVs and smartphone screens. Just like traditional vinyl billboards, digital units are illuminated, weatherproof, resistant to UV & vandalism damage.
Traditional billboards are sold on a monthly basis and display a single ad.
Digital billboard advertising is sold in ‘slots’, akin to TV commercials. Each billboard has 8-10 slots which run in a continuous loop. Slots are roughly 10 seconds long, giving passing motorists plenty of time to view and process the ad.
In some markets, operators may also sell ‘digital network’ slots. With a network slot, ads air across several digital billboards simultaneously. This is a great way to create a market-wide presence without printing and installing multiple vinyl posters.
Digital billboards offer incredible creative freedom:
- Push tighter deadlines and eliminate delays due to printing/installation - email ads directly to the board!
- Purchase two adjacent slots to create eye catching multi-faceted ads - promote a local restaurant and the evening’s specials.
- Optimize your campaign by revising creative on-the-fly based on consumer response.
- Pull in dynamic content via Twitter/RSS/Facebook/HTML and tailor the ad to a specific market or time of day.
(Photos courtesy of Snap Orlando and OAAA)
Try it out
Whether you’re starting a new campaign or you want to add flexibility to your current media mix, DOOH is a great fit. It’s affordable, easy to implement, and dynamic.
The ADstruc team can help you find the best DOOH opportunities that complement your advertising goals. Get started today by signing up at ADstruc.com/register!
ADstruc and Varick Media Announce Partnership
(As posted on July 5th via MediaPost)
MDC Partners’ Varick Media Management, one of the first “agency trading desks,” has diversified well past digital media, expanding its capabilities to include trading of out-of-home media, including static outdoor placements. While the first deal implemented by VMM’s new out-of-home capability was a digital out-of-home buy for News Corp.’s The Daily, the MDC unit said it is capable of buying conventional outdoor media, including billboards, via the system.
“We are taking a first mover stance in other channels that wouldn’t normally fall into the realm of an agency trading desk,” explains Alexandra Galasso, the VMM account director who oversaw the out-of-home deal.
Galasso said the diversification is significant, because to date, most agency trading desks have focused only on trading online display and online video inventory they could procure through demand-side platforms, or DSPs, but the goal ultimately is to incorporate as many advertising channels as possible, including analogue ones that wouldn’t necessarily be thought of as part of a digital trading system.
She says the VMM deal was enabled by ADstruc, an online marketplace for outdoor advertising that she described as a “DSP” for out-of-home media. While the deals traded through ADstruc’s system do not have the same cookie-level profile data that agency trading desks normally based their buys on, she says VMM and its client News Corp. gained other advantages via the deal, including reduced agency workflow for VMM and its sister agency Media Kitchen, and the ability to target the digital out-of-home campaign on a hyper-local basis so that the ad impressions ran only in the proximity of Apple stores selling iPads.
“Traditionally, the outdoor industry takes time to deliver the data and only provides PDF maps,” says ADstruc CEO John Laramie, adding, “Our platform works for both agencies new to OOH but also those entrenched in the space. The majority of advertising mediums today are operating in some sort of exchange.”
“We weren’t optimizing it the way we would with an [online] display campaign on the basis of [cost-per-action], but it was another way for us to optimize the agency’s workflow and to add a geo-targeting element,” she says, adding that the VMM looked at incorporating other features into the buy, such as including RSS feeds of dynamic content related to the campaign, but ultimately opted not to. She said future campaigns traded via ADstruc conceivably could incorporate QR codes on static billboards, which would bring an interactive element to that analogue medium as well.
Galasso says VMM is working with DSPs to incorporate both mobile and social media campaigns into its trading systems, and is exploring ways of bringing addressable TV advertising on board, as well.
“VMM’s goal is to have a holistic, multichannel approach,” she says noting that while the data and executions may vary by medium, the goal is to have them “unified” via a single trading platform.
How To Effectively Use Outdoor Advertising
So you might be wondering, “Why should I get involved in outdoor advertising?” Aside from the fact, that having your photo or brand on a billboard in your town is celebrity status, it is a highly effective medium when you approach it correctly. We live by these steps to help our clients build successful advertising campaigns.
Who is your target audience?
- Who is your customer? How old are they, what is their demo breakdown, etc.? Understanding these questions help you prepare the next step of “Where are they located” but also starts to build the mood of your ad campaign. Nailing these two points helps lay the structure for building a successful outdoor advertising campaign and in setting various performance-based metrics.
Where are they located?
- Is your target customer in urban or rural areas? Do they travel in and out of the city on a daily basis? What’s the major highway in the area? Understanding these questions ultimately narrow down the most targeted areas to start searching for outdoor advertising locations. From here, you start to get a sense of the type of ad mediums available in that area and begin determining what is the best medium for your message. Street Furniture? Billboards? Bus Ads? Maybe your target audience actually lives outside of the city but drives in every day - a billboard heading into or out of town makes sense. For example, a client recently used our platform to target wealthy individuals going into the city to shop at their stores - billboards on the major highway heading into the city was an effective approach. Understanding where your customer is located, how they travel, and in what location is best for the ad, helps in communicating most effectively with them.
What’s your message and call to action?
- At this point in the process, you should have a good sense of who is your target audience and where they are located. Now is the fun part. Get their attention and make sure your message has a call to action. Whether that be a keyword, a unique web address or phone number, a coupon or QR code, an augmented reality app, whatever, just make sure the message has a reason why somebody should interact with it, and most importantly, receives a reward for doing so. This reward is the gift to the customer for answering your call to action. There is reason location based companies like Foursquare have success and it’s because we keep winning things, free coffees, badges, etc. The message needs to be exciting enough that the audience remembers the ad and interacts with the message on their mobile device or when they get home. For example, maybe your customers are mothers. Your message should maybe be focused on solving a problem that they can identify with and they get a bonus item for following that call to action. Creating a strong message with a call to action helps drive attention both online and offline. For example, our client Gary Vaynerchuk did a campaign where he put his cell phone on NYC ads - over 250 people called, he spoke with nearly all of them directly, and built great relationships with his community.
- Understanding your call to action is extremely important. By understanding the desired outcome of your ad campaign, it will help you structure success metrics of which to monitor closely. What do you want? More customer registrations? Transactions? Press? Partnerships? Do you want X amt of signups for every $Y spent on outdoor? It’s easy to determine your metrics, but important to monitor them closely over the course of your campaign.
What other ad campaigns are you currently running?
- It’s always important to align your advertising budgets with respect to time of year and metrics. Are you about to launch a new product? Are you currently running outdoor ads and thinking about following up with online ads? The beauty of advertising is how targeted it can be. The call of action in outdoor could lead to bringing a consumer online and converting them through online ads, or vice versa. Reminder advertising is an interesting thing to think about. Always being present, not being able to be turned off, with witty messaging and in great locations, helps to keep the brand top of mind. Especially, if you are preparing to launch a new product or open a new retail establishment. This also creates great Word-of-Mouth buzz.
When outdoor advertising is done right, it’s actually not about “advertising”, it’s about initiating a conversation and building a relationship. Stay tuned for more insights on outdoor advertising and check back for some case studies on some recently successful campaigns launched through ADstruc.
ADstruc Announces Appointment of James Cooper
April 28, 2011 – New York - ADstruc, an online marketplace for outdoor advertising, is proud to announce the appointment of James Cooper, Chief Creative Innovation Officer at JWT, as an advisor to the startup. ADstruc has been widely publicized lately for their new platform, which brings the outdoor advertising industry online. Cooper, hailed as “one of the brightest stars in digital advertising” by Campaign Magazine, will advise the team in unveiling a large-scale marketing campaign.
“Having James join the ADstruc team is an integral part to developing our relationships with agencies,” says John Laramie, CEO of ADstruc and friend of Coopers. “His creativity and innovation are exactly what we want to continue to surround ourselves with as we grow.”
Cooper, originally from London, came to New York in 2008 to be a partner of Anomaly where he created and launched the YouTube sensation Lauren Luke make up brand. Previously he was the Creative Director of Dare, named the Digital Agency of the Decade.
When asked about how James first got involved, he replied, “I first met John when he won one of my ping pong tournaments at Anomaly. He told me about the idea for ADstruc and it was one of those ideas that is so simple you can’t get it out of your head. Even though I’m an ad man I’m fascinated by the New York Start Up scene so having helped behind the scenes for a few years it’s great to be more involved. I never realized that you could get a billboard so easily – and cheaply - the platform delivers huge opportunities for me and my clients so I’m looking forward to being a sounding board and getting them some buzz through some really smart ideas.”
Laramie went on to say, “We are really excited to be a part of the advertising industry and look forward to bringing a lot of innovation and efficiencies to outdoor advertising.”
Gary Vaynerchuk Promotes Book Through ADstruc
More information about the campaign and photos to come this week however we had to share with you the first of many outdoor advertising installments in NYC. Soooo, if you want to call him directly, you have to find one of his ads in NYC to get the number….the first one is at the 23rd and Park Avenue subway station.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s ”The Thank You Economy” is a book about saying much more than just “Thank you.” The Thank You Economy represents a much bigger movement. This book could easily have been called The Humanization of Business or Manners Marketing. To purchase, click here: http://amzn.to/bzvl1u
Proposal Generator: New Feature!
Simply, the easiest way to respond to RFPs and generate custom proposals.
We are excited to announce the launch of Proposal Generator. latest feature, the
ADstruc’s Proposal Generator is simply the easiest way to help outdoor companies respond to RFPs and create custom client proposals. It enables sellers to instantly search through their inventory on ADstruc, select specific units and then add them to a client branded proposal. The typical arduous process of charting and mapping is now completely automated.
In the time it takes to order a coffee the proposal is complete and ready to be instantly shared online through a unique link. Simply email the link, no attachments or formatting issues.
The Proposal Generator is just one of ADstruc’s many smart features that aims to take the outdoor industry’s buying and selling process online, creating huge efficiencies and ending time wasted on tedious spreadsheets.
Billboards for Everyone
We are excited to announce a new ADstruc project titled, “Billboards for Everyone”. ADstruc’s goal is to make billboards accessible and easy to purchase. Our first billboard (below), in Arizona, was designed by Shepard Fairey’s creative/marketing agency Studio Number One. Shepard is a world renowned artist who is known equally for his picture of Barack Obama and for pioneering a form of street art with his Obey work. The project is coordinated by ADstruc, BA Reps, Spread ArtCulture Magazine, and JWT New York.
We also worked with our partner Onsite Insite for the billboard space!
Stay tuned for more.
Enhanced Communication Tools
Based on feedback from several of our users, ADstruc improved the communication tools between buyers and sellers through our platform. As of this morning, we released a new “Contact” feature (see image below) that enables logged-in users to contact the seller directly, ask questions, confirm details, etc.
We are excited about this new feature because it advances our goal of bringing efficiency and transparency to the process of buying and selling outdoor advertising. Tools like our new “Contact” feature will help buyers and sellers communicate more effectively while inevitably improving the efficiency of the overall transaction. Of course, if you see anything else that we need to improve, we’d love to hear it! Just contact us here.