Omnicom Media Signs $50 Million 2015 Upfront Deal With NCM

March 3rd, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Great news out of New York for National CineMedia with an upfront agreement by Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. to bring Omnicom client brands to movie patrons across NCM’s network in 2015.

NCM-Logo_2015_LargeThe deal, which will cover approximately $50 million in advertising over the next year, is the latest example of Omnicom Media Group’s video-neutral approach to media buying, placing cinema in its premium video tier. This landmark upfront buy is fully integrated to reach moviegoers on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices, and includes NCM’s FirstLook pre-show, Shazam cinema interactivity, movie theater lobby activations, and online and mobile video campaigns specifically targeting NCM movie audiences.

“This represents the continued evolution of our premium video strategy, and is another step toward ensuring that our clients have preferred access to a wide range of advertising alternatives,”
says John Swift, CEO, North America Investment of Omnicom Media Group. “Our clients expect us to identify the best video marketing options, and cinema fits perfectly into that category. This deal allowed us to secure some of the best NCM inventory, competitive pricing and the ability to integrate the big screen into our clients’ long term marketing plans.”

This 2015 upfront deal is an expansion of Omnicom Media Group’s successful use of cinema over the years for a wide variety of clients.

“This expanded relationship with Omnicom Media Group is a sign of a pivotal shift in the marketplace as we head into our fourth upfront season,” says Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing with NCM. “Cinema is now being recognized as premium video with high quality content, increasing reach, strong market coverage and great consumer engagement.“

This is NCM’s first-ever agency upfront deal with Omnicom Media Group and is the cap to a very successful 2014-15 upfront season, which saw upfront commitments increase nearly 100% over the prior year. NCM’s 2015-16 upfront luncheon event will be held on Wednesday, May 13 at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square movie theater in New York City.

Omnicom Media Group is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), the leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Omnicom Media Group includes the full service media networks OMD Worldwide and PHD Network, leading global data and analytics company, Annalect; the Accuen programmatic media platform: global search and social agency Resolution Media; print and digital media agency Novus; the Optimum Sports and Fuse sports media and marketing agencies; Outdoor Media Group; The Content Collective; and direct response agency Pathway.

National CineMedia (NCM) is the #1 weekend network in America and the largest cinema advertising network reaching moviegoers on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices. NCM offers captivating entertainment content, national reach and unparalleled audience engagement across its digital in-theater network of over 20,100 screens in approximately 1,600 theaters in 183 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). During 2014, over 700 million moviegoers attended theaters that exclusively present NCM’s FirstLook pre-show program, including AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), and over 40 other leading regional theater circuit affiliates. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) owns a 45.8% interest in, and is the managing member of, National CineMedia, LLC.

#PTE2015 Passenger Terminal Expo 2015

March 3rd, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

With thousands of software vendors and dozens upon dozens of display manufacturers all trying to make a noise in the digital signage space you would figure that the clever business development and marketing folks would find some niches they were good at; focus on them when appropriate but most of all, spend marketing dollars on the right shows – rather than being a me-too booth at one of the ‘biggies’ (that to our mind simply attracts a horde of channel people kicking tyres).

PTEXpo NDSAnyway, Net Display Systems who can most probably ACTUALLY lay claim to being the market leader in digital signage software for FIDS and NEC Display Solutions who seem to supply every airport we ever fly into with screens are two that ARE clever enough to exhibit at a target rich environment such as next week’s #PTE2015 which takes place in Paris, March 10, 11, 12, 2015.

You can find Net Display Systems in Hall 4 at booth no. 6105. and NEC Display Solutions in booth 5035

  • Net Display Systems will showcase their Smart Airport Signage – demonstrating a robust and dynamic digital signage solution that fits the mission-critical airport environment. NDS’s Smart Airport Signage is powered by PADS4, digital signage software.
  • NEC Display Solutions are on booth 5035 creating a journey for passengers showing display applications for Check-in, Security, Retail/Duty free shoppning and Gate/Boarding. Product solutions include touch screens, UHD displays and FIDS walls. Mobility and connectivity are key to enhance the experience.

#MWC15 AccuWeather’s David Mitchell To Expound On Wearables

March 3rd, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

AccuWeather Inc., global player in weather information and digital media, says that its personalized and accurate global weather information is helping to power connected devices worldwide and offering users actionable insight into personal decisions related to their health and safety.

David Mitchell, AccuWeather vice-president of digital media – emerging platforms, will be a panelist in Wearable World at Mobile World Congress 2015. The ‘Connectivity 2020: Use Cases for Wearables and IoT’ panel is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 8pm in Barcelona, Spain at Makers of Barcelona.

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MRH Renew w/ @Amscreen & Upgrade Tech

March 3rd, 2015

Maddie Cotterill

The UK’s largest independent petrol network owner MRH who first got into bed with Amscreen back in 2009 has extended its agreement with Amscreen Group – adding in a new ‘real-time audience element’ (i.e Optimeyes / Quividi) and putting in new 24 inch screens.

MRH Amscreen

The renewal of the existing contract includes a network of 365 screens across company owned sites which are branded Esso, BP, Jet and Texaco amongst others.

The network provides brands the opportunity to reach 3.4m visitors to these venues every week and delivers store specific messages for customers as well as third party advertising sold and served by Amscreen.

Andrew Jackson, General Manger MRH Retail told us “Having worked with Amscreen for some years, we’ve seen the screens provide an invaluable customer messaging platform. With the addition of the new screen format and real-time audience measurement technology in the form of the OptimEyes technology, we are very happy to continue to work with the team and this excellent product.”.

Simon Sugar, CEO of Amscreen Advertising & Media added: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with MRH for an additional five years. With our new screen products and audience tracking, we can add further insight and audience metrics for both MRH and those advertisers looking to capitalise on our UK wide network. ”.

The MRH estate represents a key part of the larger portfolio of 3,765 within forecourt venues across the UK with 27 million impacts every week.

Captivate Rebrands Elevator & Lobby Screen Networks

March 2nd, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Captivate has unveiled an innovative, contemporary content presentation that says it will increase engagement with a captivated audience of upscale, hard-to-reach business professionals AND drive value for advertising and commercial real estate partners.

Captivate Standard Screen -2015

The on-screen enhancements introduce new features and functionality including a redesign of the viewers’ most popular destination, the time and temperature window. This feature now consists of a background sky that dynamically changes to reflect current weather conditions and a cityscape to reinforce Captivate’s unique positioning in more than 1,800 premier office buildings across North America’s top urban markets. The window also expands to include finance, weather and sports news, and now remains on-screen during full-screen, non-advertising content. All enhancements combine to deliver a more valuable viewer experience.

The upgrades take effect immediately and occur against the backdrop of strong growth in 2014 including expansion into new markets and 220% viewership growth over the past five years, resulting in 12 million unique monthly viewers.

Captivate- News Headlines 2015

The rebranding announcement comes just under one year since the company’s acquisition of Office Media Network, a strategic consolidation that leveraged the strengths of each company’s distribution, technology, media solutions and editorial content, resulting in a stronger network and a broader scope of solutions and options for Captivate’s advertising and commercial real estate business partners.

Marc Kidd, Captivate’s Chief Executive Officer told us “This is another exciting milestone for our company. Much like our strategic consolidation with Office Media Network last April, this rebranding will deliver significant benefits for our advertising and commercial real estate partners. Captivate delivers a prime time audience in the daytime and we wanted to contemporize the news, information and entertainment content with more impact to further engage our audience and offer our real estate partners new ways to delight their tenants. This is just the beginning of innovative enhancements to be unveiled this year and beyond, as we take our brand to new heights.”

Captivate Logo- March 2015(2)The next generation of Captivate underscores ongoing innovations and strategic partnerships focused on driving value and expanding engagement opportunities with the Captivate audience:

  • An increase in full-screen and rich-media content, creating a more engaging presentation with layouts reflecting modernized designs.
  • An extended agreement positioning The Wall Street Journal as the preferred business news provider across the elevator network.
  • Expanded content offerings on the lobby network through 100+ best-in-class content providers.
  • Captivate Concierge, a full service building solution, enabling property managers to tailor and enhance the Captivate Experience.
  • Mobile campaign extensions via a partnership with xAd, the global location marketplace.

In addition to the on-screen changes, the company has dropped the word ‘Network’ from its name and will now be known as “Captivate’

Marc Kidd said this will “allow us to be more flexible to support future corporate expansion and growth with a variety of business units.”

Mini Babybel & @Primesight Team Up 4 #ComicRelief

March 2nd, 2015

Maddie Cotterill

Babybel, the UK’s number one snacking cheese, is rolling out an interactive campaign across the UK’s busiest cinemas in collaboration with #ComicRelief’s ‘make your face funny for money’ fundraising initiative.

Baby Bell Cin D6_2

The campaign, planned by OMD UK, Talon and Toast, makes full use of Primesight’s digital 6-sheet screens and will invite moviegoers to ‘become a laughing Babybel’. The animated, sound-activated screens situated in cinema foyers will allow participants to take a selfie which is then transfigured onto the image of a Mini Babybel. After choosing from a variety of different sounds, participants will be able to tap the Babybel to make it laugh, as well as using a QR code to send the picture to their own mobile devices.

The campaign aims to raise awareness for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day and allow people to explore the brand new ‘Babybel Yourself’ microsite, a reduced version of which is hosted on Primesight’s screens to transform faces into a laughing Babybel.

Baby Bell Cin D6_1

Running now, the campaign will run across three consecutive weekends in 16 cinemas with high footfall. The foyer location of the screens is designed to reach a reactive audience which spends on average 14 minutes before and six minutes after films in this space.

Andrew Goldsmith, Agency Sales Director at Primesight, told us “We’re thrilled to be part of the Babybel ongoing partnership with Red Nose Day. Our cinema digital 6-sheets are a great way to connect with an increasingly digital-savvy audience including grandparents, parents and children who are willing to make themselves look funny for a great cause.”

Primesight also donated GBP 30,000 of media space to Comic Relief in February. As the leading provider of cinema foyer advertising and audience details, Primesight has 125 digital 6-sheets across 124 cinemas nationwide giving a range of solutions through internet access, touchscreen capabilities, motion sensor technology, in-built cameras and facial-gender-mood recognition.

Primesight also has 962 static 6-sheets across 305 cinemas and 1960 washroom panels across 962 cinemas nationwide.

#AmplifyOOH OAAA/TAB National Convention

March 2nd, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Registration is open for #AmplifyOOH - the 2015 OAAA/TAB National Convention and Trade Show, May 11-13, 2015 in San Diego.

Michael Cooper, president of Rapport Worldwide, and Jeremy Male, chairman and CEO, Outfront Media, will be co-chairs of the convention.

logo amplifyKeynote speaker is Malcolm Gladwell, noted business author of the New York Times bestsellers The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. Staff writer for the New Yorker, he has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People by TIME magazine and one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.

And if Gladwell isn’t enough to draw your attention, take a look at the featured speaker list: Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for Politico; Mark Boidman, managing director, Peter J. Solomon and responsible for the firm’s digital media, marketing services, mobile and OOH media practices; Andrew Lippman, MIT Media Lab where he currently heads the Lab’s Viral Communications research group; Lee Nadler, marketing communications manager, MINI USA, where he oversees the work of three agencies and is responsible for advertising creative and media,, digital/video marketing, social channels, partnerships, gorilla/stunts, multicultural marketing and research; and Mike Sukle, founder and creative director, Sukle Advertising.

Following the usual pattern of Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Traffic Audit Bureau alternating the program planning, the OAAA is compiling the 2015 program. However, with Nancy Fletcher both as president of the OAAA and temporary head of TAB following the end-of-year retirement of Joe Philport, TAB CEO, you can see that she has been very busy putting together a solid program that will interest both organizations. As usual, workshops on specific topics are included as a key part of the convention program.

The Convention and Trade Show, which draws thousands of delegates, will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

Curved @Nanolumens Lands (IATA: STN, ICAO: EGSS)

March 2nd, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

This massive curved Nanolumens screen spans 12 metres and integrates state of the art, digital copy with all important flight information – maximising consumer engagement, has just landed at London Stansted Airport a part of Eye Airports continual ‘Redefining Airports’ investment.

Curved Screen - Stansted - Eye Airports 470

Sarah Parkes, MD of Eye Airports, told us “This product offers an unparalleled platform for advertisers to inspire and strongly engage with audiences at London Stansted Airport. It is one of the most advanced LED screens which, together with its size, brings optimum value to any advertising copy.”

With a second screen soon to also be launched; this marks the latest in Eye Airports’ recently announced GBP 8 million ‘Redefining Airports’ investment spanning London Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Bristol and Newcastle Airports.

The Nanolumens screen provides maximum visibility right at the heart of the airport’s retail environment where, most importantly, ‘purchase prompts’ can immediately be acted on.

Pivotal to the Eye Airports network, London’s Stansted Airport offers more scheduled European destinations than any other UK Airport and is currently the fastest growing major airport in the country serving over 20 million passengers each year. The Airport is undergoing a significant re-development with an £80 million terminal transformation project due to be completed later this year as part of a wider £260 million investment programme.

CEO Spotlight: Steve Ellman, Branded Cities Network, Phoenix, Arizona

March 2nd, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

This month we welcome Steve Ellman, chairman and CEO, Branded Cities Network, Phoenix, Arizona.

NASDAQ and Reuters Image Boards in Times Square

  1. Your company is heavily into real estate. Please tell us a bit about your background, what drew you into digital outdoor (and how did you first get into it).

    We have been in real estate and development since the mid-80s and have developed or re-developed over 12.5 million sq. ft. of commercial space through the US and Canada. In 1998, we formed a company with Eller Media and Cadillac Fairview to build outdoor signs on our properties, Cadillac Fairview properties and third-party landlord properties. Our first signage company was CEE Realty which we started in Toronto. The company was renamed Clear Channel Outdoor Canada in 2001.

  2. You own some of the biggest and most iconic digital signage sites in the US, including several in Times Square and Harmon Corner in Las Vegas. What was your first screen and why did you choose that location?

    Our first sign was the largest sign we have ever built to date. The 223-foot tall, 27,000 sq. ft. Atrium on Bay Media Tower is located in Dundas Square in Toronto. We first began work on this sign in 1996. Yonge and Dundas Streets today is the busiest intersection in Canada with approximately 55 million annual visitors.

  3. Did you take over any/many of the billboards or were they all built by you? And I know that you work with private landowners and public entities, but do you own any of the properties on which your displays are seen?

    Branded Cities (BCN) and Clear Channel Outdoor Canada have built most of our existing inventory in the US and Canada. The majority of our assets are on landlord owned properties with long-term lease agreements.

  4. What do you think makes Branded Cities different from its competitors?

    BCN is an iconic digital and spectacular signage company. We own and build oversized signs at world renowned destinations. Most out-of-home vendors offer traditional media opportunities, typically building 14’x48’ signs on freeways and/or arterial roadways. We selectively invest in destinations, not simply locations. Most of our digital signage is spectacularly over-sized which best showcase our clients’ campaigns. We invest in high dwell time sites that are intentionally positioned as backdrops to major vehicular intersections and pedestrian crossroads found in urban life. Our displays can’t be ignored and invite consumer engagement from the street. We stand apart from industry competitors because we are the only out-of-home company that can now offer spectacular digital screens in multiple markets where the ability to run dynamic, full motion content in real time.

  5. El Media is Branded Cities parent company. It also owns Clear Channel Outdoor Canada. Please tell us how that came about, and if you foresee building any new huge signs in Canada. What is the biggest there now?

    EL Media is the parent company of BCN which also owns 50% interest in Clear Channel Canada. Yes, we are aggressively pursuing new signage opportunities both in the US and Canada. As mentioned earlier, Atrium on Bay Media Tower is our largest sign in Canada which stands 223 ft. tall, encompassing more than 27,000 sq. ft. of signage.

  6. You’ve had a strategic alliance with Panasonic since 2010 to provide all capital and technology to build signage for Branded Cities North American portfolio. Why did you make that alliance, and what do you each get out of it? What has been built since that agreement?

    We formed an alliance with Panasonic in 2010 because it is one of the most established, trusted and advanced technology companies in the world. Its R&D budget exceeds $5B annually.

  7. Cantor Fitzgerald now has a joint venture with you as well, supposedly to help you grow globally. Do you currently have displays ‘globally’? What is on your agenda for the global market?

    Our advertising displays are currently in the US and Canada. However, we are presently exploring opportunities in select foreign markets.

  8. And since May, 2013, ABC Regional Sports and Entertainment has been involved with building your network in association with Panasonic. What is its role? I know it was handling your advertising sales, as well. Does it still or do you have your own sales force?

    We have a selling agreement with ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment. We each take responsibility for our own signage sales and each have the opportunity to co-sell each other’s signage in network domination packages. Our iconic signage strategy is much aligned.

  9. Now that you’ve made these agreements, what is the breakdown on Branded Cities’ Ownership? Are you looking for other investors, either in the US or abroad?

    We are a private company and do not disclose. No, we are not looking for investors.

  10. Whose content management software (one or more companies) do you use for your screens? Why?

    We utilize multiple content management software platforms both in the US and Canada.

  11. You have all sorts of digital and LED screens in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix. In all, how many screens of each type do you offer? What’s the next city you are targeting?

    We don’t disclose new investments/destinations of interest other than to say that we are aggressively pursuing several new markets within North America, and we do not disclose numbers.

  12. Have you ever had one advertiser buy a campaign on all of your screens at once?

    In November, 2014, we were thrilled to work with Apex Exchange on behalf of their client, Verizon Wireless, who purchased all of our US screens for its ‘Connection Day’ promotion.

  13. Tied in with your displays, I understand that you offer experiential services as well. Can you tell us about those? And, as an example, perhaps you could tell us about the award-winning Fruit of the Loom campaign in New York, and another?

    BCN continues to grow and evolve the experiential side of our business. Having signs at some of most famous locations in the US like Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip, which have heavy pedestrian traffic and high dwell times, allows us to offer unique experiential and activation technology to our clients. We are fully adept at securing proper permits, bringing strategic technology partners to the media mix and creating ‘first to market’ activations that thrill consumers and bring next-level ROI to our clients.

    We applaud Fruit of The Loom, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Billups who won an OAAA ‘GOLD’ Media Plan Award for their campaign in Times Square in September, 2014. The campaign involved the famous Times Square character, ‘Naked Cowboy’, being outfitted the brand’s underwear and posing with pedestrians in the square for a photograph. The photographs were uploaded to our Thomson Reuters tower. Revelers were able to see themselves on the big screen and upload selfies and share the moment.

    Another great experiential campaign example happened just last week. For its ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2′ movie promotion, Paramount Pictures worked with BCN and cross-platform digital agency Candyspace, to create an interactive game using smart phones. The concept was to ‘fling’ a ball by swiping your smart phone screen at a target on our digital display and try to knock a character in to a digital dunk tank. The call-to-action lead participants to a reward (free download, additional content or a coupon for redemption at a later date) just for opting in via smart phones. Screen engagements like these enhance entertainment and measurement factors for participants and spectators alike.

  14. Harmon Corner gets a lot of attention. What do you see as its value?

    The Harmon board is 306’ long x 60’ tall (longer than a football field); the largest sign in the US outside of Times Square. It is strategically located at the 50 yard line of the Las Vegas Strip.

  15. Interactivity plays a big role with Branded Cities screens, especially in Times Square. Why do you feel that interactivity is important for big screens?

    We currently live in an age where most consumers understand how to personalize their news feeds, put their favorite shows in the queue and avoid advertising for the most part. This creates a monumental challenge for brands trying to reach their audience. Interactivity and adaptation are very important to the evolution of our industry. Consumer expectations are higher than ever and it will be the brands and media companies who exceed those expectations that will win. BCN and our technology partner Panasonic have been working together to build several experiential plug-ins that will be sure to intensify the user experience and make the platform even more attractive for advertisers.

  16. Where do you foresee Branded Cities in five years’ time?

    BCN will continue to expand and hopefully dominate the digital and spectacular signage market throughout North America.

  17. Please describe for us your views of the digital signage industry over the next few years.

    There has been much talk about the future of digital media in multiple environments. Everything from using the signs as an analytics tool and identifying who is in front of the display to catering content to a specific individual. The next generation interactivity focus will include an even more direct connection between mobile and display. Advertisers and media vendors certainly have challenges to overcome with all the technological advances but from where BCN is positioned, this is a very exciting time. uses @Signagelive 4 Internal Comms

March 2nd, 2015

Maddie Cotterill, the world’s largest online windows covering provider, has implemented a digital signage solution, powered by Signagelive, in its busy customer services centre to motivate employees and to enhance internal communications.

Blinds 989 chats

Signagelive’s cloud-based software is being used to automate content delivery processes to more than 70 displays and to manage dynamically updated social media feeds containing customer feedback on four 75” Samsung Commercial displays, referred to internally as ‘The Voice’.

Blinds best, a Home Depot company, has been covering over a million windows a year since 1996.

With a cutting edge online ordering system and ‘The Window Shopper’ augmented reality shopping app, makes ordering custom blinds, shades, shutters and draperies a no brainer with huge savings and selection. offers installation videos, award winning customer service and a SureFit Guarantee to make buying blinds online surprisingly easy and stress-free.

Productivity and accountability are key drivers in customer service centres and prior to installing this Signagelive system, was dependent on antiquated communications processes and a variety of standalone systems to update staff on performance, targets and HR information.

Blinds chartBrad Parler,’s Digital Communications Administrator investigated the possibility of implementing a digital signage system to improve internal communications and Signagelive was selected as the preferred software provider because of its simplicity and multi-vendor support.

This new system has provided with a centralised network to manage its motivational messaging and social media feeds. Displayed content, which is a combination of staff videos (created by performance-related facts, and social media feeds are managed centrally using intuitive advanced scheduling tools.

Team leaders can use Signagelive to quickly compile sales stats, such as best average sales value, best sales conversion rate, star performer of the month and communicate this information on a company-wide basis in real-time, which improves performance and engagemen – signagelive is also used to dynamically manage multiple social media feeds (sourced by displayed on a 4 x 75” video wall.

Blinds incentive

Brad Parler, Digital Communications Administrator of told us “The emotional impact digital signage has had on our staff has been phenomenal; it is a great motivator because they all want to see their name in the limelight and be recognised as star performer of the month. The three key points that convinced senior personnel at to invest in Signagelive were the ability to schedule updates, have players sync and play the same assets at the same time and ability to mix HTML and AV assets on the same playlist to create eye-catching content.”

There is more here.