Ifti Ifhar Steps Down As @Comqi CEO

July 2nd, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Ifti Ifhar known to his friends, okay known to us, as ‘Shifty Ifti’ has stepped down as CEO of Comqi, Inc., a position he held for some eight years.

He will, however, remain with display manufacturer AUO (TAIEX: 2409), the group that acquired Comqi back in February 2018. Shifty is now M&A and investment in the US, still based in New York.

In February 2020, under his leadership, Comqi / AUO acquired JohnRyan.

This is not the only Senior Exec change within Comqi. Last month, long time Comqi staffer and industry veteran Stu Armstrong switched roles and became Chief Revenue Officer at JohnRyan.

Social Safety Signage @HIKVISIONUK & @NDS_Signage Collaboration

July 2nd, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

To help create retail, transport and corporate environments that are as safe as possible, Hikvision and NDS, developer of PADS4 have collaborated on ‘Social Safety Signage’.

Described as a way to give companies the digital means to create a safe and trusted environment, it’s aimed at helping where employers do everything in their power to prevent exposing their employees, visitors and customers to unnecessary risks. The security products and solutions of Hikvision, combined with the powerful PADS4 digital signage platform developed by NDS make for a perfect fit.

PADS4 digital signage platform allows for the cameras’ relevant data to be translated into smart signage on screens across company premises. Companies can display their rules and regulations to inform their people, or they can send warning messages when a Hikvision camera registered a security breach. With PADS4, rules and regulations are understandable for everyone and requirements for the new normal are met, simply by integrating all the available data.

In the post-pandemic era, Hikvision’s products protect people to ensure a safer environment. Thermal cameras are used to screen skin temperature, detect non-mask usage and measure distances between people as well. Countries also set different rules regarding distance between people. Besides temperatures, the products allow for distance measuring. Whether the distance has to be 1.5 meters, 2 meters, or 6 feet, install the cameras to react to one distance and know exactly when rules are not followed.

Hikvision is a world leading manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions. Featuring an extensive and highly skilled R&D workforce, Hikvision manufactures a full suite of comprehensive products and solutions for a broad range of vertical markets. In addition to the security industry, Hikvision extends its reach to smart home tech, industrial automation, and automotive electronics industries to achieve its long-term vision. Hikvision products also provide powerful business intelligence for end users, which can enable more efficient operations and greater commercial success. Committed to the utmost quality and safety of its products, Hikvision encourages partners to take advantage of the many cybersecurity resources Hikvision offers.

You may not be old enough to remember but NDS developed their first digital signage solution back in 1994, at the cusp of the digital signage revolution. Their focus on dynamic display communication enabled them to stand out, even as one of the first data-driven digital signage software providers and they have stayed true to that from day one. Data integration is in their DNA. NDS has continued to ride the wave of modern technology to provide next-level solutions in their high-end digital signage software. PADS4 is one of the leading digital signage software platforms, with flexible and scalable solutions for every industry, varying from transportation, corporate and government to hospitality, retail and healthcare. With Social Safety Signage, PADS4 transforms relevant data sources into smart and versatile signage to inform employees, customers, or visitors about the measurements you are taking to guarantee a safe and trusted environment.

Retail #OOH In Combo w/ TV Delivers Greater Impact

July 1st, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

Shopper Media this week released findings from its latest ‘Media Multiplier Effect’ Shopper Study, confirming that using retail OOH in conjunction with television advertising will deliver greater efficiencies for brand and product campaigns.

Jamie Hollebone, Shopper Media’s Head of Revenue, stood us “The findings indicate that a combination spend on TVC and retail OOH will boost memory retrieval and create more powerful touch points throughout the consumer journey, compounded further with the addition of contextual and relevant creative.”

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Wominjeka! Nĭ hăo! Marhaban! G’day Says @JCDecauxAUS

July 1st, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

JCDecaux has launched a national Out-of-Home campaign to say ‘Hello’ to Australians as audiences steadily return to workplaces, shopping and dining precincts and their regular routines and commutes. JCDecaux will be there to greet them while also celebrating Australia’s rich multicultural and indigenous heritage.

Created by JCDecaux itself, the simple message promotes greetings in 10 of the most commonly spoken languages across Australia (according to latest ABS data), as well as Auslan for the hearing impaired and traditional First Nation dialects. The campaign will feature across JCDecaux’s extensive multi-format networks this week.

JCDecaux has harnessed comprehensive audience data intelligence to geo-locate signs in areas where a population with a high propensity to speak different languages reside or congregate. JCDecaux also worked closely with First Languages Australia to display appropriate greetings from the indigenous dialects spoken by the traditional land custodians across Australia’s capital cities.

JCDecaux’s Audience Mobility Monitor tracks global audience movements and reports on increases weekly. This monitor shows that people are indeed returning to more normal outdoor behaviour patterns after COVID-19 restrictions have eased across Australia. Through an exclusive mobility data agreement with Adsquare, JCDecaux leverages mobile GPS data from more than 4 million Australian devices. Interestingly, the Australian audience recovery trends are currently following a similar trajectory to the UK and US.

In addition to its Audience Mobility Monitor, JCDecaux conducted extensive local research in June and found that seven in 10 people surveyed (69%) said they are looking forward to spending a lot more time out and about, while 86% said they are excited to be outside once more, in fresh air, public spaces and the buzz of the city (source: JCDecaux Pigeon Project survey, in field June 4, 2020).

JCDecaux Chief Marketing Officer, Essie Wake, told us “JCDecaux is in a unique position to make meaningful connections with communities, wherever they are, be it in the hearts of cities or deep in the suburbs. The easing of restrictions is seeing people returning to public places, and people have a strong desire to get back to business and spend more time outdoors. Our ‘Hello’ campaign acknowledges the return of communities and aims to make people feel welcomed and comfortable moving about within those communities.”

The ‘Hello’ campaign follows JCDecaux’s ‘Thank you’ campaign in April that thanked essential workers and supported local businesses and charities across Australia.

The AdTECH: OOH – Sydney Conference will take place on Wednesday September 23, 2020. The venue is the same as last year, HOYTS Broadway
Greek Street &, Bay Street, Broadway, Sydney, NSW 2007 Australia

The event is being chaired by Seedooh’s Joe Copley. Registration is open and tickets can be purchased here.

#OOH and Brand Safety During #COVID19 Era w/ @AnnaBager

June 30th, 2020

Guest Contributor, Anna Bager

On June 16, Anna Bager, President and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) sat down with Scott Wells, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA) for an engaging and oftentimes surprising conversation about Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising and brand safety during the Virtual Brand Safety Summit New York hosted by The 614 Group. The following is an excerpt from the discussion.

AB: Scott – It’s such a pleasure to be here with you today. With the nation starting to reopen and consumers starting to resume a more normal lifestyle, we know that OOH is going to be one of the mediums brands turn to first as they seek to reengage with consumers. From a brand safety perspective, OOH has several unique attributes that serve brands well including (1) control of the medium and creative; (2) the ability to amplify other media channels; (3) The ad itself is the content so you can’t block it and (4) there’s no fraud. 

I’d love to dive into this topic with you as well as discuss how OOH has been working with brands through the current pandemic. And I know you’re as optimistic as I am about the opportunity for OOH in the weeks and months ahead, so I want to talk to you about that, too. 

SW: Anna, it’s great to be here and I agree with you that this is a fascinating time to be in advertising and a particularly exciting time to be in OOH. Many people don’t realize how sophisticated OOH data analytics are these days, and we have some really interesting observations to share with you about consumers’ change in behaviors over the past few months.  

AB: I can’t wait to hear. So let’s dive right in. Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) has always played a vital role as both a brand and community partner. In late Feb/early March as COVID-19 was quickly becoming a major health risk, your company was among the first in the industry to step forward offering its team, its services and its media to help health professionals at the local, state and federal levels. What role did Clear Channel seek to play during these early days of the crisis and how have your brand and community support evolved as the situation worsened and shelter in place orders were issued?

SW: Early days were about public awareness for hand-washing, covering your mouth – it was what we knew at the time given guidance and direction from the CDC. As we learned more, the term “social-distancing” was coined and we worked with the Ad Council and the CDC on a campaign called #AloneTogether—which encouraged everyone to stay home and was the on-ramp to instructing people to practice “social distancing.” The creative went live in under 48 hours. 


Next, as non-essential workers holed up safely inside their homes, we turned our attention to those frontline workers like grocery workers, truck drivers, warehouse workers and nurses who couldn’t just “stay home.” And we wanted to send a message to them that we valued what they were doing for us all. As the situation progressed even further, we turned our attention to our valued brand partners who remained open as an essential business during the pandemic. We then created the #OpenforBusiness campaign as one more way to support them during this challenging time. Over 60 brands ended up participating. Our local and national business partners are the lifeblood that drives our economy.

AB: This was, and will continue to be, a challenging time for brands as they work to “get their advertising message right” against an ever-changing tide of consumer sentiment, and, as they work to rebuild their businesses post-COVID-19. Talk about how you worked with your partners who stayed in the advertising game during this time to remain “on message” and “brand safe.” 

SW: Our partners are quite savvy and in-tune with consumer sentiment—and some even more so during this time. And our teams are too. I’d say what we were able to do as a consultative partner was work with them to leverage our full suite of tools for maximum impact during a very uncertain time where consumer habits, behaviors and travel patterns were in upheaval. One of those assets was leveraging the flexibility of our digital displays at a time when each state and market were in a different stage of “shelter in place.”

AB: I love the juxtaposition of the Chic-fil-A and Eaze campaigns we discussed because the contrasts are great examples of the different paths brands took to get out the message that they were open for business. While Chic-fil-A was a more obvious essential business, Eaze seems, at a glance, more of a non-essential business, when in fact that wasn’t the case. Talk a bit about the significance of Eaze remaining in the game, as essential, and staying “on brand.”

pastedGraphic_1.pngSW: I thought this was nicely done on the part of the marketing and creative team at Eaze. While everyone can appreciate why QSRs like Chic-fil-A wanted to stay in front of consumers during lockdown, cannabis businesses were also deemed essential in many states across the country – and I’m sure many of their customers agreed! Eaze’s OOH strategy illustrates how you can take a creative approach to advertising—even during a pandemic and still remain “on brand” and “brand safe.”

AB: I know that CCO has been hard at work using your measurement tools to try to uncover brand relevant changes in consumer travel patterns and behavior during the pandemic. Can you share some of what you’ve uncovered thus far?

SW: Sure. We wanted to better understand consumer travel and exposure to billboards and their combined influence on in-store visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we put CCO’s RADAR suite of solutions to work to help get a clearer sense of how consumers were behaving. The big takeaway is that our research revealed that brands that continued to use OOH advertising during COVID-19 saw their in-store visit rates increase. More specifically, our analysis showed the average visitation rates to QSR, grocers and convenience stores during the pandemic were significantly higher after seeing OOH ads, and, in some cases, higher than pre-COVID visitation rates.

What data suggests is that while the crisis altered consumer travel behavior and patterns, OOH continued delivering for advertisers who maintained their ad spend. What this means looking forward is that coming out of the pandemic, advertisers will need to reach those customers who haven’t visited their store since shelter in place orders were issued. And our tools are delivering the insights to help them identify those audiences and those new travel patterns.pastedGraphic_4.png

AB: One final question. What’s the biggest opportunity in OOH right now? From my vantage point, I  think another can be found in the OAAA study we just released that looked at Americans’ travel plans for the summer. Americans are looking to travel in big numbers this summer and spend even more money than last summer while they’re vacationing. We think this is great news for roadside, in particular, and many other forms of OOH. That’s the opportunity – focusing on travel and vacation and all of the businesses that are buoyed by summer travel and supporting them with our assets – from hotels to national parks to restaurants and shopping.

SW: Ditto. We’re excited by the opportunity for brands as the country opens back up and we can’t wait to support businesses that cater to summer travelers.

Mick Bennett To Leave @MoodMedia

June 30th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

We note that Mood Media’s Managing Director in the UK Mick Bennett is stepping down from his role this week.

In a note to his followers on LinkedIN he wrote “Hi everyone I hope this e-mail finds you well, a quick announcement to you all. After a great career at Mood I have decided to hand over the reigns and will be leaving as from the end of June, this has been very amicable and I wish nothing but the best for Mood and all the staff”.

Uber’s UK GM Leaves to Join Electric Scooter Start-Up @TierScooters

June 30th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Uber’s General Manager of UK and Ireland, Fred Jones didn’t last long, he only joined in February. It was announced earlier this week that he has left to run the UK division of Berlin-based scooter startup Tier.

Rental e-scooters are expected to become legal on UK roads from this Saturday – all in a bid to ease pressure on public transport amid the coronavirus crisis.

The government will shortly set out the rules by which e-scooter-for-hire firms and riders should abide, including the recommendation that helmets be worn and scooters limited to a speed of 15mph.

Privately owned e-scooters will not be legalised.

Ada Shows #OOH Audiences Boosted by a Return to Retail

June 30th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Talon Outdoor has reported the latest findings from their proprietary Out of Home data management platform Ada, covering the week ending June 21, 2020, the first full week since lockdown restrictions were lifted on non-essential retail in England. The latest figures show a significant week on week impact on footfall across Shopping Malls, Department stores and Supermarkets with a boost to overall population movement and travel as roadside traffic returns to normal levels in some areas.

With non-essential shops opening across England as of the week commencing 15th of June, large numbers of people have been enticed Out of Home to Shopping Malls and Department Stores. Department Stores are outperforming Malls overall, with footfall levels now just -33% below the baseline average, compared to -47% below for Malls, suggesting a consumer preference for open-air high street shopping over enclosed Mall environments. Other notable uplifts were seen in Supermarkets where footfall was up week on week by 7% and is now only 23% below the baseline.

Emily Alcorn, Head of Insight at Talon told us “It’s really promising to see roadside OOH viewing almost return to pre-Covid19 levels across many regions of Britain. The reopening of non-essential retail has been another welcome boost to OOH audiences with exposure to small formats and street furniture rising fast – great news for advertisers looking to reconnect with audiences as they go about their day. We expect to see these figures rise again in line with the reopening of restaurants, bars, and cinemas, as the UK begins its phased recovery.”

More broadly, population movement continues to rise as do roadside traffic levels which saw a WoW increase of 8% and is now only 15% below the standard baseline for the period. Many regions such as Border, the North East, and the South and South East of England are close to pre-Covid traffic levels. The South West of England is exceeding baseline traffic levels by +19% thanks to exceptional weather which saw many Brits take advantage of the coastline and the re-opened National Parks following long stretches spent indoors.


New AV Trade Show Cavlo Aimed At Casino & Entertainment

June 30th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Now would appear to be a weird time to launch an exhibition of any kind, let alone a new AV-based ‘trade show’ aimed at the casino and entertainment industry but that is exactly what Mike Brown-Cestero, QI (NV), CTS-I, who describes himself as a consultant, contractor and conventioneer, is trying to do.

Cavlo is described as a two-day event focused on commercial entertainment and communication technologies that will put commercial A/V/L manufacturers, specifiers, integrators and end-users together under one roof in Las Vegas,

It’s not really two days as we note that the show opens with a poolside reception on Monday, September 14 (5 – 7:PM) and the show floor will only be open Tuesday, September 15th from 9:AM – 5:PM. All events will take place at The Ahern Hotel & Convention Center (formerly the Lucky Dragon), 300 W Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas. As each exhibit space comes furnished (table/two chairs, wastebasket and power) with no drayage, handling or union fees it seems as though this is going to be more like a Showstoppers event, i.e. a hotel ballroom with same sized tables around the edge than a trade show per se.

Mike Brown-Cestero was quoted as saying “Six of the ten AV-focused trade shows that were scheduled to be in Las Vegas in 2020 canceled their 2020 event. Cavlo will get those exhibitors and attendees back face-to-face for the first time in Vegas in 2020; we’ll have the full experience: exhibit spaces, discussion panels, demo rooms and training sessions. If still recommended at the time, masks will be mandatory and we’ve already secured thermal cameras and tablets for quick, hassle-free temperature checks. We’re committed to a safe, professional working environment that will help instill confidence in conventioneers and bring them back to Vegas again”.

There are two discussion panels;

  • Tuesday morning sees ‘UCC Has Gone Mainstream: The New Normal In Workplace Design’ which will feature Mark Coxon of Tangram interiors, Kevin Potts of Coherent Design and architect Zach Broyles, AIA of IZ Design.
  • The second discussion panel on Tuesday will bring together live production veterans Garry McGinness of Boyd Gaming, Dan Abdalla of 4Wall and Kim Scott from Intrigue Shows to discuss ‘The Show Must Go On – But How?’

There are also a limited number of training room time slots and demo spaces available.

You can find out more here.

Beijing Metro Renews w/ @JCDecauxGlobal

June 30th, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

JCDecaux SA (Euronext Paris: DEC), the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, has announced that its joint venture with Beijing Metro Operation Co. Ltd (BJ Metro) has renewed and extended its advertising contract for the nine central lines of the Beijing Metro for 20 years.

Zheng Guang Xie, Chairman of Beijing Metro, said: “Beijing Metro is extremely happy to continue our long-term partnership with JCDecaux. Together, we will give our best endeavours to forge forward development of high quality advertising, in particular with a high level of integration of our media and the internet, to achieve creativity & innovation in all developments”.

Based in the Chinese capital, a city of over 20 million inhabitants, this joint venture has managed advertising for the nine central Beijing Metro lines since 2006 After acquiring a stake in Clear Media (announced March 2020), JCDecaux is continuing to reinforce its presence in China’s domestic market. It will hold the advertising contract for the nine central lines until 2040, with currently 8,500 lightboxes and 160 digital screens, which reached a daily audience of 10.5 million passengers in 2019.

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