Archive for June, 2009

Traditional vs Alternative OOH: You Decide


As many already know, this week marks the 56th Annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the largest competition for advertising creativity in the world. And new this year: judges are focusing more on actual business results of the entries instead of relying on creativity alone.

This week, a trend revealed itself among the Outdoor Lions winners, a trend that appears to represent the out-of-home industry as a whole. In past years, traditional out-of-home–such as billboards and street furniture–has dominated the winner’s pedestal. But the times are changing.

Out-of-home advertising used to refer mainly to one type: traditional forms. But that’s before the introduction of digital screens and internet access for the masses. If this year’s Outdoor Lions revealed anything, it’s that out-of-home isn’t what it used to be. What was once limited to a static, one-way message is continuously evolving into an interactive experience that not only targets an audience, but involves them as well.snapshot-2009-06-26-13-01-23.jpg

The Outdoor Grand Prix runner-up (that only lost by 1 vote), the “Dig Out Your Soul” campaign promoting Oasis’ new CD, included street musicians performing some of the album’s unreleased tracks in the subway stations of NYC. It was creative, innovative, and got people’s attention. By utilizing the outdoor space like they did, the campaign grew exponentially when passersby began taking pictures and videos, later posting them on the internet and sharing them with friends and family.


Another interesting entry was HBO’s Big Love interactive billboard which won a Gold Lion. According to the entry’s presentation board,

“Everyone has something to hide. HBO’s show Big Love is about a large polygamous family leading complex lives full of deception and lies. To promote it, we developed interactive audio billboards featuring everyday people (not characters from the show) with jacks built into their heads. You could use your headphones (or ones handed out by our street teams) to plug in and hear their secret thoughts. These ranged from alcoholism to gambling addiction to an overweight man who wears a slimming girdle to a woman who secretly hates her baby and what it’s done to her life. The boards also featured a jack by the logo with a promo of the clips from the new season.”

What used to be an industry centered around billboards with one-way messaging has now become one in which limitations have all but dissolved. This year’s Cannes Lions winners & runners-up redefine out-of-home as we know it by developing innovative campaigns capable of interacting with consumers.

Out-of-Home: The Art of the Ad Industry

Thanks, in part, to the introduction of digital signage capabilities, today’s billboards are not only more visually appealing, but consumers are now able to interact with them in a way that wasn’t possible before.

And it isn’t going unnoticed. In response, Ad Age recently introduced the first annual Art of Outdoor special report which highlights the most creative out-of-home campaigns from around the world. The report brings a whole new light to the industry, looking at OOH as artistic innovation capable of engaging mass audiences with a simple, well-chosen message & corresponding image. Simple, but effective.
Check out the recent Ad Age article, “Celebrating the Renaissance of Out-of-Home Advertising,” which includes a slide show of their top choice campaigns. I just love the Chevy Volt Concept car ad . . . talk about the “big picture.” It’s a perfect example of using a simple message and powerful image to get a point across.


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DO’s in the News:


Earlier this month, featured DOmedia’s Jeff Lamb in, “Online B2B Marketplaces: Should You Dive In?” Minda Zetlin’s article, which centers around the many emerging business-to-business marketplaces on the web, focuses on companies that understand the needs of the industry and reflect that understanding through their marketplace management.

The article shows how DOmedia’s marketplace connects the fragmented out-of-home advertising industry, quoting both our own Jeff Lamb as well as Massivemedia producer, Ashley Robinson.

So what sets a successful marketplace apart from the rest? Read the full article on

Out-of-Home Forecast is Looking Up


While it’s no secret the advertising industry as a whole has felt the repercussions of the economy this past year, a recent forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers tells us there’s hope yet! Once again, the future is looking bright for out-of-home, especially compared to some traditional media.

While radio is expected to continue declining over the next five years, PwC is optimistic about the out-of-home industry, according to After a year of decline, ad spending is expected to increase in as early as 2010, with continued growth for the next three years. By 2013, PwC predicts OOH ad spending to grow to $8.2 billion at an annual rate of 2.5%.

Some of the success of the out-of-home advertising industry can be traced to its ability to incorporate new and improved technology such as digital screens and interactivity, making ads more visually appealing and engaging to consumers. Plus, with audience measurement constantly improving (TAB’s Eyes On Ratings, for example), advertisers are more likely to turn to OOH than ever before.

‘Eyes On’… The Future of Out-of-Home


The out-of-home advertising industry has always struggled with an efficient ratings measurement system, relying on daily traffic numbers and assumptions about the visibility of the media. But that’s all about to change, thanks to the good people at the Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB) and the “Eyes On” measurements they’ve been working on since 2003.  The new ratings, which were recently released in their first stage, will be much more precise, focusing on the actual number of people who saw an advertisement.

According to a MediaPost article, “Eyes On” combines, “auto and pedestrian traffic counts with route and destination surveys and in-person interviews.” Using the in-person interviews, TAB can then determine the likelihood that a passerby came in contact with an ad.  And what’s more, the weekly TAB ratings will provide the advertiser with much sought-after demographic information on its audience.

The conversion to “Eyes On” is scheduled for this fall when the second batch of ratings are ready for the public….  a huge step for the out-of-home industry!