Parallel Worlds: Asia’s Alternative Reality

Manolo Almagro, Weekly Columnist

My clients often ask me, why I choose to work in both the US and Asia, I tell them it affords me with a unique and global perspective on how  to integrate DOOH, mobile and on-line experiences into a cohesive marketing campaign.

manoloTo illustrate my points, I like to use the metaphor of being a “Slider” between two parallel worlds. I tell them that each “slide” provides me with a real-life simulation on how a particular digital technology eventually will impact human behavior.

The US represents a reality where the on-line and DOOH advertising markets have matured quickly, enabling a culture of “participation”, “sharing” and “conversation” to manifest over the past decade.

  • In this world, broadband penetration is at 60% per household and mobile advertising is just gaining momentum.
  • This reality provides the real world insights on what happens to consumer behavior where on-line advertising and out of home digital signage networks have evolved faster than the mobile industry.
  • A world where the iPhone is supreme and mobile penetration has barely scratched 80%. AND won’t get even close to 90% until 2020.

Asia (China, India, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines) represents an alternative reality where on-line and DOOH are still considered emerging markets, but are poised for explosive growth in the next 3 years due to more advanced broadband infrastructure and consumer demand.

  • In this world, mobile device penetration exceeds 100%, due to the fact that people that live in this world tend to own a minimum of two phones – not including various connected mobile entertainment devices.
  • The Asian reality is a universe where broadband is extremely affordable and is everywhere. In some places it is so fast it can stream HD live broadcasts to your mobile – even on a train traveling at 200Mph!
  • This alternative reality has fostered a society whose relationships with mobile phones has evolved at a rate +10x faster than the typical US mobile consumer, a world where your mobile phone can be used to pay for your commute, buy your lunch and forward some cash to your cousin in another hemisphere.
  • The alternate reality of this world, provides a glimpse at what the near future holds for the US consumers mobile experiences.

It is my strong belief that the future of the DOOH and its very survival – lies at the convergence of these two worlds – it will be a place where mobile devices and the symbiotic relationships that humans inevitably form with them – will ultimately redefine the value of DOOH campaigns and its overall role in vast digital ecosystem.

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