A Creative Review: Equinox
In this week’s, “Creative Review”, Coop is fired up about the messaging behind Equinox’s latest advertising campaign. Maybe it was because he was stuck on a subway for an hour with a sick passenger, maybe it was because his morning tea and crumpets were cold, who knows, but one thing is for sure, he’s bringing out the negative energy.
In theory the internet should save advertising - at least the creative part of it.
Let me explain. In theory everyone should know everything about all products by now. In theory you should know everything about Equinox because you can just look at their site online or talk to your friends who have been there via the social network of your choice. So, in theory, all advertising - especially large format like OOH, should have to do is show some attitude and remind you to go purchase. In other words it’s there to build a brand. So the internet should be a boon for creative advertising. And yet rarely does it work like that.
These equinox ads are an attempt at pure brand advertising though. So I’m gonna give them props for that. No matter that they are very similar to the Jambox ads, again, you don’t need to know anything about the product, you should already know what a Jambox does and why it’s better than a Bose box or whatever. The Jambox, like Equinox, is an enabler.
These ads are fantasy. They are all about showing the person you want to be. Forgive me a little for my rant here. I hate gyms. I associate them with being injured because the only time I ever go to gyms is when I’m having rehab. Couple of torn ACLs playing soccer and a fucked up IT Band when training for the marathon. So I might not be the best person to comment on these ads, but that never stopped me before. In my head, Gyms = Tools. What can I say? There is almost nothing any gym brand could do - especially in the US - that would make be believe I’m not going to be sharing machines with preening juice heads.
Probably every gym thinks they will be the gym that is not known for tools. I can see that strategy - even though they are your core paying customer - there is a strategy of, ‘We are not like the other places. We are for cool, chilled out, sophisticated, dudes who may or may not have been schooled in Europe and appreciate a vintage Benz’. Well listen, I am that fucking dude. And I don’t buy it. I’ve been to the Tribeca Equinox and I didn’t see any of these guys there. Just bros in tanks, lifting.
So what is this ad for? I think it might be more for people who have already got their equinox membership. If you really want new sign ups I think you do a pretty flat out deal based message. This strikes me as the ad that makes you feel good about the fact that you pay for something each month or you paid the whole year in January. It makes you feel good about your purchase and continuing loyalty to Equinox. It re-affirms that you are on the road to cool, not driving a muscle car but a sweet seventies Mercedes.
Advertising can do that.
A Creative Review: Resurrection
Welcome back to A Creative Review with James Cooper. Today Coop ponders the strategy behind the ABC television show, Resurrection.
Resurrection is what ABC is calling a Television Event. I’m not entirely sure what that means other than they are spending a lot of money on it and clearly hope it’s going to be The Next Big Thing. I don’t know much about the show beyond the numerous trailers that I’ve seen and a few friends saying that it is based on French show that was really good. ABC tends to water things down a bit too much for my liking. You can see the way it’s even filmed - the colors are milky compared to the more vibrant colors of AMC’s Breaking Bad for example. But it’s an intriguing thought and great shows like Lost are all about asking questions at the start.
These billboards do a great job of setting up these questions. I love the simplicity of them. Handwritten white font on a backlit black screen really pops - especially when everything else is so colorful.
What is also interesting about these ads is they remind me a little of the religious billboards you see around the country. Quite often the headline is a simple quote from the bible. Who knows how far Resurrection is going to take the religious theme but again as a simple way to get people talking I think these do a pretty good job.
Out-of-Home Media Types - Which is best for you?
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<div style="font-size:12px; font-style:italic; margin:5px;"> <img src="http://i.imgur.com/g2rfVHW.png" width="700px" height="2400px" alt="Out-of-Home Media Types, Infographic by ADstruc" /><br/> Courtesy of: <a href="http://www.ADstruc.com">ADstruc</a> </div>
Visual Market Summary, Keyboard Shortcuts, and Editable POIs
At ADstruc, we believe that software should support you. This week’s update gives advertisers and agencies crystal ball clarity into their media plans.
Market Summary Timeline
ADstruc has always made it simple to plan campaigns based on media type and location. Today, we’re adding time into the mix.
Our new Market Summary is a timeline of your campaign by market and media type. So, instead of wondering how many bulletins you’re running in New York next month, you can see for yourself and adjust your plan accordingly.
RFP Manager & Status
Working on a deadline can be stressful and you need answers fast: Who received my RFP? Who responded to it? How many more proposals should I expect? What about Bob?! Fortunately, our newly revamped RFP Manager addresses all this and more.
Media planning shouldn’t give you carpal tunnel. Our new keyboard shortcuts enable you to star / hide units, send messages, and navigate through proposals - without using your mouse. Work faster and safer. This is currently a beta feature; email support and we’ll activate it for you!
It’s inevitable; things change. What made sense yesterday may not apply tomorrow. So, starting today, you can add and remove POIs from your RFP anytime.
Got 10 minutes to spend with us? We’d love to give you a demo of all our new features. Email us at email@example.com or call your account manager at 347.881.3622 to schedule a one-on-one webinar.
ADstruc and Blue Bite Partner to Offer Interactive Out-of-Home Campaigns
Enhance OOH media by delivering relevant mobile content to consumers.
New York, NY, June 11, 2013 – ADstruc, the leading planning and buying platform for the outdoor advertising industry, and Blue Bite, the mobile standard in out-of-home™, have partnered to allow advertisers to utilize NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth, QR Code and Geofencing technology to launch interactive outdoor advertising campaigns.
The partnership provides the industry with the easiest way to incorporate mobile into out-of-home campaigns. Blue Bite’s services and technology provide clients with detailed metrics and an opportunity for advertisers to evaluate the true effectiveness of each and every ad campaign in real-time. This level of accountability is a brand new currency for OOH; complementing ADstruc’s suite of planning and buying tools.
“There’s an obvious synergy between ADstruc’s planning and buying tools with our location-based mobile marketing platform. Our shared belief in a personalized approach, with the ability to be agile and nimble, has proven to be a winning formula for our clients and partners, and we look to build upon that mutual success with this partnership,” said Blue Bite CEO, Mikhail Damiani.
John Laramie, CEO of ADstruc, said: “There are clear benefits to incorporating mobile into OOH campaigns. By working with Blue Bite, we ensure that our clients have the most seamless experience integrating mobile technology into OOH campaigns. This partnership helps us continue to provide value to our clients by simplifying yet another piece of the OOH planning and buying process.”
About ADstruc (www.ADstruc.com)
ADstruc is the leading planning and buying platform for the outdoor advertising industry, including both traditional and digital Out-of-Home media. With an emphasis on data-driven planning, ADstruc helps agencies, national brands, and local businesses discover and efficiently purchase Out-of-Home media campaigns that deliver tangible and measurable results. ADstruc’s cloud-based solution also allows outdoor advertising operators to easily manage their inventory online and interact with new and existing clients in real-time. Learn more at www.ADstruc.com
About Blue Bite (www.bluebite.com)
Blue Bite is a leading mobile-marketing solutions provider utilizing a targeted, location-based approach to reach captive audiences on their personal mobile devices. Blue Bite has partnered with many of the leading Out-of-Home Companies in the U.S. and prides itself on creating an interactive two-way engagement by enabling consumers to connect with digital and traditional media via their mobile phones. For more information, please visit www.bluebite.com and follow the latest updates and developments on Facebook and Twitter.
All New Proposal Tools
Over the past few months, we’ve spoken with a lot of Out-of-Home operators about how they create proposals on ADstruc. We learned that while we had all the right features, we needed to improve the process of how those features worked together.
New Workflow for Creating Proposals
We kicked off 2013 with new ways to upload, search, and add inventory in proposals. Now, we’ve brought it all together to help operators build proposals more efficiently and intuitively. Our new workflow guides you through proposals in three easy steps.
Map-Based Inventory Search
Visualize inventory by market to identify the best units for a proposal. Search by unit number and export a list of selected units to confirm availabilities with your team. This is, by far, the fastest way to build proposals on ADstruc. Hosting your inventory on ADstruc will make your sales team more nimble and collaborative.
Flexible Packages & Pricing
Out-of-Home is more than just billboards, and we’ve updated our proposal tools to support alternative formats and pricing. You can now propose multiple units for a package rate. Considering a showing of posters, street furniture, bus panels, or media without lat/longs? No problem, draw your coverage area on our interactive map.
We improved our platform’s compatibility with excel; now accepting Excel’s standard .XLSX, .XLS, and .CSV file formats.
Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with our team, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article highlights the traditional process of buying outdoor advertising. For our readers, it’s important to understand how OOH was previously bought, in order to appreciate the new innovations in the market today. At ADstruc, we have brought the OOH industry online with powerful tools to help buyers and sellers better manage their operations. We hope you enjoy the post.
Out-of-Home advertising for your business
Out-of-Home, outdoor, or OOH, advertising refers to a broad range of advertising media including billboards, closed-circuit TV networks, cinema advertising, transit media, and even skywriting. In fact, any time you travel, commute, or walk out of your front door - OOH is all around you!
Whether you are launching a new product, directing users to a retail location, promoting an upcoming event, or just building brand awareness, you can achieve your goals with outdoor advertising. You can learn more about how advertisers are using Out-of-Home here.
Advertising firms which own and rent billboards are referred to as operators, and include large integrated firms such as CBS Outdoor, Lamar Advertising, Van Wagner Communications, Adams Outdoor, Titan 360, Fairway Media Group, and many other local and independent firms.
A detailed look at planning an OOH campaign
Planning your first Out-of-Home campaign need not be daunting. The following flowchart illustrates the traditional buying process, including major milestones and the average time necessary to put up your first billboard. To avoid delays, we recommend planning your campaign at least 6-8 weeks in advance.
Submit a New Request For Proposal
In order to find billboards and get quotes, you must contact individual operators and send them a Request for Proposal, (RFP).
This process is very similar to your last home remodeling project. However, instead of inviting contractors into your kitchen to evaluate your old cabinets and countertops, your RFP is a document that defines the goals and criteria of your advertising campaign including location, timing, the type of media, and budget.
However, using ADstruc, you can submit your online RFP to dozens of operators with one click. We work with hundreds of operators across the country so that you can focus on finding the right billboard instead of the right phone number. You can learn more about creating an RFP through our online tutorial.
Once an operator receives your RFP, a sales rep will identify which of their billboards fit your criteria and send you a customized proposal. This proposal can be online (via ADstruc) or offline via Excel spreadsheets and PDF maps. Depending on the number of markets and operators you send your RFP to, it can take several business days to receive all of your proposals.
ADstruc proposals live online and use interactive Google maps to illustrate where each board’s location is and why it was selected for you. Instead of shuffling inpidual spreadsheets and email attachments, you can compare price, location, and other sales data in one streamlined view.
Negotiate and Accept a Proposal
As with most service proposals, OOH pricing is often negotiable. It’s a good idea to compare pricing and coverage across operators before negotiating a discount. If you are purchasing multiple units from an operator, you may be able to secure a discount or other concessions.
You can use ADstruc’s built-in messaging tools to negotiate with each operator on individual billboards or entire proposals. Afterwards, you can accept the proposal to initiate a media contract.
For an explanation of the factors influencing OOH costs and a comparison against other media, please refer to our detailed help center article.
All outdoor advertising operators will require you to sign a contract to secure and finalize the purchase of a billboard. The contract will be similar to a self-storage lease and covers the terms and conditions of the sale. Operator may also require a basic credit check for new customers.
Whether you use ADstruc or go direct to operator, contracts are always written between yourself and the operator.
Deliver Art to the Printer
If you’re new to Out-of-Home, printing a billboard may sound trivial, however it’s an important component which affects your budget and campaign timing.
A standard billboard is 14’ tall, 48’ wide, and printed on special type of vinyl. As a result, you must contact a specialized OOH printer to produce it. Most printers will accept digital art files (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc). Both the artist designing the advertisement and the printer will require production and design specifications which will be provided by the operator.
ADstruc has partnered with Circle Graphics, the leading OOH printer in the country, to offer you extremely competitive production rates.
Print, Ship, and Post the Vinyl
Regardless of the printer, it takes several days to setup, approve proofs, print your billboard, and deliver it to the operator’s installation department. Operators typically ask that the billboard vinyl arrive 10 business days prior to your campaign’s start date. Once the operator receives your billboard, an installation crew will install it the evening before or morning of the start date specified on your contract.
Receive Photo Confirmation
A couple of days after your billboard has been posted, you will receive a Proof of Performance report from the operator. This report will contain photos of the actual billboard and certifies the date it was posted. If you are buying the billboard as part of a co-op marketing program, you will need this report for reimbursement.
Of course, ADstruc always has your back - you can reach our account team by calling 646.692.4966 or emailing us.
A Creative Review: The Dark Knight Rises
Welcome back to A Creative Review with James Cooper. Today Coop critiques one of the fantastic promo billboards for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Photo credit: Rob Sheridan, via Instagram
Will people talk about this billboard? Of course they will. Ok, you have a rabid fan base that is just waiting for any Batman related content - but still there is an epicness (if that’s a word, spellcheck seems to think not) about this that would work even if people weren’t nuts for the Dark Knight.
Holy editing Batman! We talked about trying to keep text to a minimum with the mini ad last time. This does that brilliantly. Six words? Nah, try six characters.
There have been a lot of billboards destroyed for effect so this is nothing new, but I like the bat shape. It draws you in and is not gratuitous. There is a reason for the destruction. It’s always great to see a bit of sky in the middle of a billboard. I just think it makes people do a double take.
This is an ad for a film. A moving image, a highly polished moving image that is super-fast high-paced adrenaline pumping non-stop! It’s hard to capture that on a flat piece of board. Yet this has all of that energy. In your mind you visualize a giant bat ripping this board to shreds and streaming down the highway. Crap, I really need to go see this movie!
That’s all folks! Want to get involved? Send us the best or worst billboards you’ve seen and we’ll choose one every week. Just email email@example.com.
A Creative Review: Mini
Today we’re introducing our new weekly feature, “A Creative Review” by longtime friend and advisor James Cooper. ‘Coop’ enthusiastically volunteered to share his thoughts on some of the most innovative and effective Out of Home ads he’s seen around the world.
Based in New York, James has spent over 15 years leading creative projects for several top agencies including Anomaly, Saatchi, and JWT where he was the Chief Creative Innovation officer. He recently won a Gold Lion for Mobile at Cannes for the Band-Aid app featuring the Muppets. James is now pursuing consulting, tech start-ups and entrepreneurial projects in the retail, film and music industry.
Photo credit: Coloribus Creative Advertising Archive
Can A Billboard Go Viral?
Pretty much every client I have worked with over the last 10 years has wanted a viral. What they mean by that is that they want to do something that will reach a ton of people without spending any money. Of course it doesn’t work like that. Who could ever predict that a cat playing a keyboard would turn into a cultural phenomenon? The more you try to force that the more obvious everything becomes.
So really the only thing left is to create a piece of work – it can be a film, a billboard, a postcard – it doesn’t matter, but it needs to be so simple and interesting that people feel compelled to share it. If people want to share something they will find a way of doing it. I don’t think this piece is the strongest in terms of sharability but it does have a simple strong message that a lot of people would have found engaging. I would assume some people shared it with their friends.
Is Your Piece True To The Product?
It seems simple to say this but a lot of billboards just don’t feel like they belong to the product. They don’t ring true. However, this one does. The best thing about it is that although it’s a static image, everything about it implies movement. The ropes and the copy are all about speed and trajectory. How many times have we seen billboards with tire tracks in an attempt to do the same thing. This works so much better. It also leaves a little to the imagnation which is great. The consumer creates in their head what would happen if the catapult was released. Anything where the consumer fills in the last part of the story is also great – as everyone will have their own version.
Just Two Words
The general rule of thumb was that if your billboard uses more than seven words then it’s too complicated. Maybe now that’s not as true, as people are more used to deciphering messages at speed, but for me it still makes a huge amount of sense. And two words is better than seven. Of course everyone knows what a mini is so there is no need to waste any time explaining the product – this is pure branding but it’s still brilliantly economical. If your billboard is purely visual then I would suggest that a visual that can be summed up in seven words or less will also work much better than an intricate piece of layered art.
Not only is the visual intriguing, the copy is too. Agrippez Vous? What the hell does that mean? The literal translation in French is ‘Hold on Tight’ – which obviously works in this context. This was posted in France, so it makes sense, but even if you didn’t understand French this works. It has a cheekiness about it that feels spot on for a European brand.
On to the next one. Want to get involved? Email your favorite or worst billboards you’ve seen and I’ll choose one a week to critique. Just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org