The Advertising Club of New York’s 9th Annual #OOHNow Recap

Guest Contributor, Anne Judge

The Out of Home industry’s thought leaders came together on November 29, 2016 at Chelsea Pier 60 for discussions with an overarching theme titled ‘Contextual Connections and The Evolution of OOH’s Value Proposition’. The age of rapid technological acceleration is here, which presents challenges to keep up but also brings richer consumer data and the ability to impart more meaningful interactions with brands. Speakers addressed how these momentous forces will continue to drive increased demand for contextual relevancy. Today’s technologies advance the industry with abilities to gather deeper consumer insights; layer on ‘wow’ elements; and deploy credible measurement in real time or post campaign. Specifically, the event opened with the acknowledgement that segmentation has evolved to become more precise and easier to hone, and thus must be embraced by the industry and brands to “reach the right audience at the right place at the right time.”

The first panel, titled Creative Conversation, OOH Embarks on a New Frontier was moderated by Fred Schonenberg, Founder, VentureFuel, Inc. Panelists included: Walter Connelly, Global Creative Director of TBWA\Chiat/Day New York; Michael Kelly, Director of Experience Design, McGarryBowen; Michael Tennant, U.S. Director, Content Collective, PHD; and Will Travis, Executive Chairman USA/Global Partner, Sid Lee. Mr. Tennant encouraged us to think of Out Of Home as a story that will travel, while he and the panelists discussed examples of campaigns that took on lives of their own because consumers found them either gripping, cool, inspirational, thought provoking, cool or fun enough to share with their own connections on multiple social media portals. In terms of best creative attributes, there was a general consensus among the panelists that campaigns incorporating something useful to consumers at the moment of encounter and regionalized creative that taps the spirit of a community or even a local fan base can be quite effective.

  • Case Study One was presented by Sarah Jones, Manager, Connections Capabilities, Anheuser Busch and Ian Dallimore, Director, Digital Innovation and Sales, Lamar Advertising. During the Country Music Awards Festival in Nashville last June, they discussed how Anheuser Busch regionalized their message and aligned with country music lovers by creating an Out of Home experiential event called The Budweiser Country Club. The open-air build out provided elevated views of the festival and featured two 20-foot bars, celebrity engagements, outdoor games, and goods for purchase from local craftsmen. Mobile push notifications invited attendees to help promote the immersive experience for a 360 degree winning result.
  • Case Study Two was presented by Peter Edwards, Senior Director, Marketing and Analytics, Street Easy and Clive Punter, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Outfront Media. The emphasis of this session was on Street Easy’s relatable copy to most New Yorkers. ‘Where having a Washer and Dryer means you’ve made it’ was one example and the campaign also featured beautiful illustrations as a love letter to New York and New Yorkers with humor and wry wit. The brand enjoyed significant app downloads during the entire campaign flight.
  • Case Study Three was presented by Eileen Crossin, VP LinkNYC Ad Sales, Intersection and Benjamin Ezrick, Marketing Lead, Zagat & Google Local Guides, Google. They recapped Zagat’s Tiny Café experiential campaign, another consumer immersion involving a branded pop up which served delicious tiny samples of New York’s best noshes cooked on tiny skillets which inspired actress Rashida Jones to tweet her desire to see the campaign replicated for Los Angeles.

Jeremi Gorman, Head of North American Sales, Amazon Media Group delighted as the event’s Brand Keynote speaker and shared a major key to Amazon’s success — they focus on their customers (not consumers). She presented a feel good video about a giant Amazon box that was driven on a truck from New York to San Francisco (which had a lucky break with a tweeted sighting by Jerry Seinfeld). Once at its destination, Amazon and Nissan displayed a massive mystery locker. Together the two brands encouraged passersby to post comments/photos of locker using hashtag. Those who did earned a code to open the doors on the locker to win a variety of prizes, including a brand new Nissan car for one lucky winner.

Another session titled OOH Teams Up with Live Sports was moderated by Eric Fernandez, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, PCG, SportsDesk Media. Panelists included Bill Hirsh, VP, National Sales, Learfield Sports; Bill Mear, CEO, Access Sports Media; and Doug Smoyer, Chief Sales Office, Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment. Mr. Hirsch noted a smart strategy for brands that touch sports: “fan passion can be one with brand passion.”

The event concluded with OAAA’s Media Plan of the Year Award, which was presented by Stephen Frietas to Jaime Byrdak, Group Director, Kinetic, Chicago on behalf of Totinos, a General Mills brand.

Anne Judge is SVP, Sales and Marketing, Judge Outdoor

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