CEO Spotlight: Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor Advertising

May 25th, 2018

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

This month, we introduce Candice Simons, Founder, President and CEO, Brooklyn Outdoor Advertising, Detroit, Michigan. U.S.

  1. Could you tell us your own background and why did you decide to focus on the Out-of-Home sector?

    I am currently the president and CEO of Brooklyn Outdoor and J’adore Detroit, a lifestyle blog – with the recent addition of Alley Taco (a restaurant) in Midtown. I grew up in Northville and went to Michigan State University for two years, graduating from DePaul University in downtown Chicago in 2006. After graduation, I had the pick of industries and interviewed for them all. The advertising industry found me and it’s been love ever since!

    I worked in Chicago for nearly a decade, before moving back to Detroit five years ago to bring my creative talents and fresh perspective on Out-of-Home advertising to my home state, resulting in the creation of Brooklyn Outdoor – now one of the most innovative and fastest growing outdoor advertising companies in the industry. Out-of-Home is my favourite format, naturally, as I’ve devoted my life and career to selling digital, static, and non-traditional OOH media formats.

    I love the flexibility and ‘can’t turn it off’ nature of OOH. I love how we get to flex our creative muscles and do really fun executions where we have the opportunity to be bold and outlandish to really capture our targeted audience in a meaningful way. We love to have fun and be connectors of brands and people. OOH is the perfect fit for us.

  2. Your website says that Brooklyn Outdoor is the only certified women-owned business with full national coverage. Was that your aim from Day One? Why? Do you intend to keep it that way?

    It was not my goal from the beginning and sort of happened on its own. It’s now a mission of mine to inspire and act as a role model for young women getting started in their careers or looking to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Not having known this would be my path and life’s work, I am so happy that it is and wouldn’t change it.

    The WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) has become a second family to us of support and knowledge. We are thrilled to be certified WBE.

  3. What special traits do you feel that women offer for working in the Out-of-Home industry?

    Women have a knack for juggling just about everything all at the same time: multitasking is key in OOH. Focus and determination is also another trait that we must have to be dominant and rise above the male-dominated layer in the C-Suite.

    We are really starting to turn the tables and become more of an equal opportunity industry. It’s because of these traits and the dynamic women that we have rising through the ranks that this is becoming possible.

  4. There doesn’t seem to be any form of outdoor media that Brooklyn Outdoor does not offer, but you have a relatively small staff. How do you manage that?

    Quality over quantity! The Brooklyn Outdoor team is a select group of powerhouse individuals. Everyone in the organization is a self-starter, independent, and driven intrinsically. It is essential to the business to have a competent team of trustworthy individuals. When employees are able to function autonomously, less time is spent on micromanaging and can be used more effectively elsewhere within the organization.

  5. Why the name Brooklyn Outdoor when you are based in Detroit? Does it cause confusion?

    I named my outdoor advertising agency Brooklyn Outdoor for a few reasons; My dog’s name is Brooklyn. He’s a little spunky Chihuahua mix that I rescued from a puppy mill. He has one pointed ear and one floppy ear and puts a smile on my face every time I see him. Rescuing Brooklyn gave him a better life and a chance to be himself – quirks and all.

    We are a personal group and love the authenticity of our family. We have hand painted murals and outdoor advertising locations in Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn, as a borough of New York, is a lot like our team – slightly off center. It’s shiny in some places, gritty and unique in others. It has our vibe and it works for us.

  6. How many advertising faces do you offer in total? What percentage of them are digital? And what percentage of them are in Detroit?

    We have roughly 1,000 faces across the US, of which 15% are digital, with that number rising very quickly. We love digital and the flexibility of offers for our customers, so expect to see a lot more digital coming from us soon!  While Detroit is our HQ, our Digital Out-of-Home is spread out across the US in most of the major markets.

    We like to make sure we have a solid media mix with static and digital in our main markets so as to be able to provide the best campaign results across the board.

  7. Whose Content Management Software do you use for your digital screens, and why?

    Most of our digitals are run by the type of board that was purchased – so I’d say Watchfire Signs is the most common. We are currently building a custom software system and will be developing a custom API with Ayuda to manage.

  8. You have four divisions: Outdoor, Hand-Painted, Experiential Marketing, and now the new Events division. Why the latter? And is it only available in Detroit where you have a dedicated location for same?

    We keep developing divisions as the needs of our clients expand. Outdoor, Hand-painted, and Experiential are nationwide. Events is in Detroit at our HQ office: The Brooklyn Outdoor Loft. (We can do offsite, large-scale events, as well). Insider scoop: Look for a Media division coming next from us!

  9. Is your Brooklyn Outdoor Loft in the same building as your offices in Detroit? Is it being used often? Mainly for what activities?

    We work most days out of the Brooklyn Outdoor Loft unless it is booked for an event. The space functions as our office by day and an event space by night. A lot of our national, Fortune 100 clients utilize our space for corporate meetings, conferences, events, cocktail parties, VIP catered dinners, speaking events, panels, and more.

    It has really been a powerful inbound marketing tool for us. We also house a lot of non-profits and fashion/lifestyle events in relation to my lifestyle blog: j’adore Detroit.

  10. How many Digital Out-of-Home networks do you actually own as opposed to putting campaigns on those of other companies?

    We own and operate our digitals here in the Detroit market. In other markets, we represent independent digital networks.

  11. What kind of measurement is used on your digital properties?

    The majority of our digital plans are audited by Geopath.

  12. Brooklyn Outdoor offers hand-painted murals, and handle all permits, insurance and whatever else is needed for them. Is that unusual? For murals in other cities, do you use your favourite Detroit-based artists or do you use locals?

    Yes, this is what majority of Hand-Painted companies do, but some just offer the painters and have the media company or client directly handle the rest. We are a full-service firm and handle everything from beginning to end to ensure the most favourable experience for our clients. We typically try to stay local when it comes to our painters and artists. If we are painting in New York, we have our painters in NY handle the painting – same with Detroit.

    If we are doing a project in other markets where we do not have painters, we will bring our best Detroit team to handle the job. No job is too big!

  13. Does Brooklyn Outdoor locate the sponsors for many of your events or experiential marketing happenings?

    I would say it is a mix. For some of the events and experiential campaigns we work on, we just handle the build-out and another company handles the tour – or we handle it. We outline our responsibilities at the beginning of the project, so we are aware if sponsorship is needed and go from there. Again, we are full-service, so our capabilities are infinite.

  14. Detroit is the 13th largest DMA in the U.S. You have large Asian and Hispanic communities there, and your Arab population is, I understand, the third largest in the U.S.. How much advertising is done to them in their own languages by Brooklyn Outdoor? How do you handle that?

    Detroit is a super diverse market, so for the larger scale properties, we recommend a GM (general market) creative. When you start going deeper in the neighbourhoods, you’ll see specific language creative on posters typically, as there is not a lot of OOH in the neighbourhoods of Detroit at this time. Unlike other markets, the percentages of various populations are throughout the market as opposed to pockets as in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

  15. What are your plans for expansion?

    As mentioned earlier, you can likely expect to see a Media division coming from us. We spend a lot of time drilling down to the base level of our clients’ needs to fully understand them and how we can better assist them with those needs.

  16. What are your thoughts on Smart Cities?

    Smart cities enhance and promote liveability, workability and sustainability in our major cities, so we are all for that. We are working through how we can implement these trends in Detroit as effectively as possible at the moment.

  17. What are your views on the OOH/DOOH industry over the next two-to-three years and what trends are you seeing?

    I think the biggest trend overall is going to depend on how technology changes even further. We have truly been able to roll with the punches when it comes to OOH. At Brooklyn Outdoor, we have been and will continue getting down to a deeper level with our clients to really understand their needs and assist them in developing their ideas and campaigns, instead of just being told what they want.

    It’s becoming harder and harder to connect authentically with people, due to all the technology, so developing unique ways to do that with pairing OOH, Digital, and Experiential together has been and is a fun challenge.

International Franchise Expo, @FASTSIGNS Recruiting

May 25th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

FASTSIGNS International, Inc., franchisor of FASTSIGNS will be attending and sponsoring the International Franchise Expo from May 31 – June 2 at The Javits Center in New York City. FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson will speak at the event and share insights gained during her more than 30 years in franchising.

FASTSIGNS is recruiting franchisees for expansion throughout the U.S. and Canada, particularly in the Northeast, including the New York City metro area and Long Island. The brand also is seeking international partners worldwide to be master franchisees.

Mark Jameson, EVP of Franchise Support and Development, FASTSIGNS International, Inc. told us “Throughout North America, FASTSIGNS has over 400 markets ready for development, providing ample opportunities for entrepreneurs to join our leading brand. The International Franchise Expo is a strategic way to connect with thousands of entrepreneurs and future business owners both in the U.S. and abroad. We are thrilled to be exhibiting at the IFE and look forward to showing prospective franchisees some of our cutting-edge technology and why FASTSIGNS is the top-ranked franchisor in the sign, graphic and visual communications industry.”

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Bill Fordyce Joins BackLite Media Dubai

May 25th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

After nearly ten years as Managing Director of BackLite Media, Dubai, during which time the company tripled in size, James Bicknell will move on from his position as MD at the end of June and will relocate to Columbus, Ohio U.S.A. where he will take up an Executive Director and Board member role within BackLite Media with special responsibility to continue to oversee the strategic direction of the company and explore new initiatives both at home and abroad.

In the meantime, the board of BackLite has announced that Bill Fordyce has been appointed to take over as the new CEO.

Bill has a strong and extensive experience of Out-of-Home advertising and is well known in the media business community across the Middle East. He has lived in Dubai for ten years working for HyperMedia as their COO, and most recently as VP for Business Development for DXB Entertainments.

Multiple Joiners at @ROE_Visual

May 25th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

LED display solutions provider ROE Visual tells us that it has strengthened its team to execute their ambitious growth plans for 2018 and to further expand the LED display and video processing market.

  • Tony van Moorleghem has over 25 years of experience in global operations, customer service and product marketing with European, US and Chinese world leading companies. He has been actively involved in the complete product management process, from development to marketing of a wide variety of Video and LED technologies. As Product Marketing Director, van Moorleghem will be responsible for building a new product management organisation for ROE Visual. Expanding the product portfolio and custom product development division.
  • Dries Vermeulen brings in a track record of almost two decades in LED display technology. He has successfully supported and serviced LED display and video processing systems for BARCO and VER. As Product Manager, Vermeulen with experience on the manufacturers as well as the customer side will help ROE Visual to further develop the products that high-profile users demand.
  • Claude Ostyn has been in the R&D trenches for more than 20 years and spent most of his career designing, developing and managing products for the entertainment industry in general and for LED display technology in particular. He has been engaged in every stage, at every level of a product’s life cycle and has a special interest in working with teams spread all over the globe. Claude will now bring his savvy and know-how to ROE. He will join the product management team and help managing the development of the new and future products that will establish and confirm ROE even more as the LED display brand in the industry.
  • Marina Prak is experienced in developing and implementing marketing and sales strategies, customer support, PR, organising events, product launches and off- and online marketing. As Marketing Manager for ROE Visual Europe, Prak will be responsible for supporting and growing the ROE Visual brand in Europe and the Middle East.

Jason Lu, General Manager of ROE Visual told us “Tony, Dries and Claude bring both knowledge and exuberance to their new roles, which demonstrates both our leadership in the industry and commitment to serving the evolving market. They also share our spirit of innovation and focus on product quality. We are fortunate to have them joining our team”.

#InfoComm18 @onelan_ltd Can Be Found on Booths #C1874, #C2546 & #C1646

May 25th, 2018

Andrew Neale

At #InfoComm18 we note that ONELAN is showcasing Reserva Room Summary and various Digital Signage enhancements and will be exhibiting its solutions, not only on its own booth #C1874, but also on the LG booth #C2546, and the Stampede booth #C1646. We understand that ONELAN’s Reserva partner, NFS Technology Solutions will also be showcasing their solutions on the ONELAN booth.

New this year, ONELAN will be demonstrating a major update to the Reserva Room signage solution which includes ‘Find Free Room’ functionality allowing users to find and book free rooms from any Reserva Room Sign.

Another new feature allows staff/students to report issues with meeting room resources such as projector or conferencing facilities to an IT team. This not only alerts service teams that a fault requires investigation but also uniquely notifies organisers of meetings in the affected room so where necessary, alternative arrangements can be made.

We are told that these enhancements underline ONELAN’s commitment to developing a truly world class workspace optimization and room signage solution. These new features will have a direct impact on employees and students, greatly improving the efficiency of booking and using meeting rooms.

Alongside enhancements to the Reserva Room Signage, ONELAN is also releasing new digital signage updates including shared playlists, significantly improving the efficiency of playlist management. A range of enhancements will be introduced to make management of System-on-Chip (SoC) devices easier, such as bulk software update and selective channel download to optimize storage utilization.

ONELAN’s latest digital signage developments demonstrate its ongoing strategic commitment to providing scalable enterprise-level solutions within retail, QSR and hospitality environments.

Leyard and Planar Announce Fully Integrated Video Wall Synchronization

May 25th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Leyard and Planar recently announced Leyard WallSync, a set of technologies integrated into the Clarity Matrix G3 Video Wall System, which address a range of common video synchronization needs and make it simpler, to deliver perfect video playback across entire video walls without manual configuration.

Steve Seminario, vice president of product management at Leyard and Planar told us “With Leyard WallSync, video tearing and synchronization challenges are a thing of the past and while Leyard WallSync is fully configurable for more sophisticated uses, for the majority of customers, the default configuration will just work—delivering perfect video playback across the entire video wall every time.”

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World Cup Content Options w/ @Screenfeed

May 25th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

According to ESPN, 3.2 billion people, nearly 47% of the world’s population tuned into the World Cup in 2010, and 2014.

In readiness for this year’s tournament, Screenfeed is adding two limited-time products to its standing library of 100+ digital content offerings – both feature multiple language options, enabling network operators everywhere to connect with followers of what is the biggest single-sport event in the world.

The Match Results, which include group play, and bracket play graphics, will be available in six languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Arabic. The

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Adspace Networks Have a New CEO

May 24th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Adspace Networks have a new CEO. Look out for an announcement early next week.

How @NEC_Display_UK Celebrated a ‘Day in The Life’ at #NECShowcase LIVE 2018

May 24th, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

NEC Display Solutions annual show, which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary, saw it reach new levels of success, appealing to an even broader audience. Although the event, for the first time ever, was held in the same location as last year, there organisers moved to a new Showcase format giving greater focus to experiential themes – this cleverly took visitors on a digital journey through a typical London day.

This more immersive approach was borne out as end user attendance increased to close to 50%, compared to channel. The visualisation of technology in action greatly appeals to end users looking for inspiration to recreate solutions within their own environment. Over 15% of all visitors attended from outside of the UK as Showcase continues to attract a wider out-reach across Europe and beyond.

Unanimously, the positive feedback regarding NEC’s creative delivery was astonishing as attendees enjoyed experiencing the exciting ‘story’ of their day. Visitors were taken on a journey through a typical London day – travelling by tube, grabing a coffee on the way to their first meeting then strolling along the high street for lunch. The visual experience was widely shared over social networks with #NECShowcase seeing extraordinary twitter traffic reaching close to six million impressions, according to DailyDOOH’s sister site

NEC’s display technologies, including LCD large format and desktop displays, projection and dvLED digital surfaces, shaped visitors’ visual engagement with capabilities perfectly suited to support a wide range of applications, as demonstrated along the Showcase journey which addressed transport, retail, DOOH, QSR, corporate, education, leisure and command and control.

NEC worked with 42 partner companies who were universally committed to the valuable part they played in creating the Showcase experience. Steve Pryor, director of Oblong was quoted as saying “The Showcase is an excellent forum to draw the industry together through collaboration. We’re showing our Mezzanine solution integrating with the NEC InfinityBoard – by connecting technologies and presenting them in a real-world simulation, Showcase becomes a highly impactful and innovative environment. Partnering with NEC is a very cost-effective way to show our product, the set is built ready for us to simply turn up and add our technology. The quality and quantity of visitor through-put has been outstanding”.

Mark Taylor, solutions sales manager and technical orchestrator of Showcase told us “We are overwhelmed by the hugely positive response to our fresh new Showcase concept this year. The holographic telepresence solution from our partner Musion proved a particular talking point as visitors received a personal welcome as they entered the venue! Live interactions were central to our theme running throughout Showcase.”

Other highlights included a highly relevant conference programme with AV User Group Chairman Owen Ellis leading a panel discussion regarding the challenges of adopting new technologies and Clive Couldwell, Editor of AV Magazine hosting an expert panel discussing LED. Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications delivered his expert insight into the emergence of huddle spaces and addressed the future of projection.

London Digital Signage Week will take place May 13 – 17, 2019 and as with its counterpart in New York, the week is for anyone in digital signage; interested in retail, employee communications, smart cities, digital out of home and of course digital signage!

Canadian Growth for @Captivate

May 23rd, 2018

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Captivate, North America’s leading location-based digital video network, has officially expanded into the Ottawa market. The Canadian capital and fifth largest market allows Captivate to increase its footprint both nationally and internationally, rounding out coverage in over 30 top markets in North America.

Barb Huggett, General Manager of Captivate Canada told us “Captivate remains focused on both sides of our business – expanding our footprint within commercial real estate as well as creating new opportunities for advertisers. The addition of the Ottawa market brings us even deeper into North America as we work to strategically add top tier buildings throughout the continent and offer even more compelling features to tenants.”

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