You don't want that, you want this
I can't think of a business, except perhaps Ryanair, which regularly tells its customers they are buying the wrong stuff from them and they should buy something else instead.
I also can’t think of a successful media channel where the ad sellers tell media buyers they’re not buying it right, and there’s a better way of doing it, media trading negotiations excluded.
Outdoor is in rude health, and rightly so, so why, like a broken record, do senior ad sales people repeatedly tell media planners they’re doing it wrong with digital billboards? Recent example from Media Week, "When you have a Ferrari why drive it like a Volvo?" By Chris Forrester of Primesight.
The central premise being, brands should be using digital posters by daypart, bands of time by day-of-week. Selling media space by daypart has been a long-used strategy by TV and Radio broadcasters to package their most valuable commercial airtime with less demanded slots, or, to create peak and off-peak price differentials.
How is this desirable for most brands currently feasting on Outdoor?
Why should coffee brands only be advertising in the morning? Would Gold Blend have really achieved fame by only being on TV in the morning?
Why should car marques only want to advertise during the evening rush-hour, can’t petrol-head’s dreams be fulfilled at any other time?
Stella Artois’ current Outdoor billboards shout "a cut above", does this only work in the evening?
Why would film distributors only want to tell people about their latest releases at the weekend?
Clear as a backlit 48 sheet to many Outdoor sales people, not at all obvious to me.
Outdoor will eventually be the only broadcast media still standing, delivering mass-audiences to advertisers day in, day out, all-day. Tech and digital distribution will one-day destroy the bulk of other "traditional" media’s daily mass audience propositions.
Outdoor media owners should be chasing brands whose communications plans don’t currently prioritise the medium, particularly if the reasons include lack of display flexibility, a digital billboard’s strength.
For this to happen of course the industry will need to show a willingness and ability to offer more dynamic audience data, plus improved buying administration and copy scheduling like TV has with the Caria system.
Although some Outdoor media owners, including Primesight, have made moves to open-up their availability to outside eyes, trading is managed using traditional methods, daypart pricing is characterised by cost premiums for all segments, delivering brands relatively less exposure for more cash.
There are also no centralised ad clearance and copy distribution services, however hard companies such as Grand Visual work to deliver these.
Media owners need to give agency planners and media buyers, a more intelligent, streamlined and cost effective way to get the best out of DOOH.
Hopefully speakers and delegates at this week’s Outdoor Works conference won’t need to be putting buyers on the naughty-step.
Otherwise Digital Outdoor could be accused of being a Trabant in a Ferrari’s body.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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