Parallel Worlds: The DSA’s Awesome Asian Adventures…

Manolo Almagro, Weekly Columnist

Bob Michaels - Founding Member DSA.

It’s been a very busy few weeks for the DSA. Bob Michaels and yours truly kicked off a short – two city tour of DOOH conferences, all in the span of 3 days.

13-14 July, Singapore – Palmes Asia/Digital Display Tech Conference at the Marina Bay Sands Conference Center. The DSA sponsored a 1 day seminar to share learnings, strategies and best practices for the emerging digital OOH industry in Singapore and Malaysia. I had the great honor of speaking along side industry advocates, Bob Michaels, the President, Signage Division of DigitalView and the CEO of BrightSign, Jeff Hastings. The DigitalOOH community of Singapore continues to struggle with pinpointing successful business models for existing operators in the market. This city will prove to be one of the most challenging for the local DOOH industry, even with continued government sponsored incentives.

Speaker Line Up for DOOH2 event†

15 July, Manila – the DSA participated in the 2nd Annual Philippine Forum on DigitalOOH Media. I was lucky enough to convince Bob to make a side-trip to Manila since he was already “in the neighborhood” Once again, we were able to share more of our international experiences in DOOH with the fast growing community of DigitalOOH suppliers, OOH agencies. This year’s event was even bigger than last year – illustrating the significant opportunities that DOOH plays in a market with people spend over 60% of their time outside their home.

Additional support for the Filipino DOOH community came from other industries. From Mobile; Christian Belser, one of the founding members of Mobile Mondays, Philippines- an international group dedicated to build advocacy and share ideas within local mobile community- presented examples of how mobile + DOOH can work together to create engaging and interactive digital OOH experiences. Also, one of the largest FMCG brands in the country endorsed DOOH as a viable digital channel, when Nestle’s Digital Executive, Ricky Baizas – presented case studies of their recent DigitalOOH campaigns in the past year.

Our adventure took an interesting turn when Bob and I ended up in an impromtu news conference with the local TV channels, covering the event to solicit comments from the attendees on the recent controversial censorship decisions made by the government, which required advertisers to take down “lewd” ads on outdoor billboards in Manila.  Bob had to field interesting questions like, what do you think about our country’s recent decision to censor outdoor advertisers, how much annual revenue do you think the DigitalOOH industry in the Philippines can generate.

Of the two cities we visited – The Philippines has the most opportunity for significant growth for DOOH in the coming years. I attribute this to its fast growing community, strong support from other digital channels (mobile) and the big brands like Nestle that are willing to make investments and learn from what DigitalOOH can do. Whereas the Singapore industry faces a very skeptical “wait and see” community, from brands, advertisers that are afraid to experiment with the new channel- and potential investors of DOOH properties that remain “undecided” about converting their lucrative traditional OOH networks to digital.

Photo: From left to right, Manolo Almagro (DailyDOOH), Bob Michaels- DSA/DigitalView, Ricky Baizas-Nestle, Christian Belser- Globe Telecom, Lloyd Tronco-Philippine Center for OOH Media Research and Sciences, Bing Kimpo-Narra Digital Media + Marketing.

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