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DOmedia Travels to the Big Apple for MediaPost’s Digital OOH Forum

Is this glass half full or half empty? Well the one in this picture happens to be wine, so if it’s mine it’s probably more than half empty. But in terms of the metaphor everyone is familiar with, I think the answer depends on who you are and what you’re doing. As members of the digital OOH (ahem’€¦ place-based video) industry, I think in 2009 it was easy to say half empty. After spending a day with the industry at the MediaPost 2010 Digital OOH Forum, I think the attitudes of the group have made an optimistic transition.


Jack Sullivan from Starcom demanded the early attention of the conference with powerful insights from a panel of Big Buyers. Tough questions were posed throughout the day, and from what I can tell, some still need answered. These include:

  • Consistent Measurement ‘€“ More networks are starting to get measured’€”which is great’€”but now we need to find a consistent way to compare apples to bananas to better understand the differences in the quality of impressions when we look for scale.
  • Consistent Formats ‘€“ Sure it would be great to create a custom creative message for each unique consumer in each unique environment (and at different times), but given digital OOH is still small potatoes to most advertisers, how practical is it to do so?
  • Growth Plan ‘€“ Given digital signage has many technical strengths and capabilities (geo addressibility, mobile integration, POS positioning, etc.), why are we still chasing traditional formats and budgets? How can we balance the need to lower barriers of entry to advertisers, while allowing the core strengths of the medium to shine through? Where do local advertisers fit in?

As the day rolled on, our own Jeff Bell revealed screenshots of DOfind, the highly anticipated enhanced version of our directory service, during the vendor showcase (which included some other cool companies, too, like interactive gaming provider MegaPhone who used the audience’s mobile phones to demo a few games in what was probably the day’s most unique presentation).

Late in the afternoon, I enjoyed the irony of Dave Weinfeld’s point about how the event missed an opportunity to integrate mobile with the digital screen. In the session before his panel, the creatives were dismantling certain example executions for ‘€œnot utilizing the strengths of digital signage’€ (like mobile integration). People (including me) were tweeting on their phones throughout the event, but there was no tie in to the ‘€œscreen’€ that was on the stage (except for MegaPhone; applause again guys). I guess we can all learn to improve as we better understand the capabilities of this media.

Overall it was a great show and I look forward to working with the industry in addressing these key issues for growth!

Thanks PRN for the lunch and the Starbucks card from bingo. And thanks to Bob Martin and the folks from RMG Networks for buying the beer after the show!

Find me @mattwarholic or email to matt[at]domedia.com

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