Across The Desk: Jon Carmack

What excites you about OOH right now?

With the continued emergence of data-informed OOH placement, the unique, dichotomic nature of OOH is being realized by advertisers. On one hand, you have the blunt force, always-on, brand-building “in your face” power of traditional OOH as a true reach and frequency driving medium. But on the other hand, you have “maturing” data-informed capabilities. The integration of data and technology has exposed the hyperlocal nature of OOH, which allows precision placement that moves people and business. And in a COVID-19 world of shrinking media budgets, the time is right for an OOH renaissance.

Which recent OOH campaign inspired you?

Over the last six months, two stand out. First, watching our client Cracker Barrel and team react to safer-at home orders across the country, effectively pausing dine-in services for guests. Cracker Barrel quickly pivoted their brand message to highlight curbside and delivery services, as did many restaurants at that time. And while “curbside or delivery” might not be viewed as an inspirational message – knowing that a national advertiser immediately viewed OOH as their best option to quickly change messaging for their brand was inspiring.
Secondly, I am impressed by the #OUTPOUR campaign. Created by our agency as a personal “thank you” to healthcare workers fighting on the frontlines of COVID-19, this campaign went from pencil and paper to execution in seven days. As a result of an immense collaboration between agency creative, OOH specialists, and our outdoor partners across the country, the messaging reached hundreds of markets – from California to New York City. It was both incredible and humbling during such an unprecedented time.

What is the next big thing for OOH?

Great question ‒ I believe Jeffrey Buntin, Sr. articulated the next big thing for OOH in 1982 with his vision of a fully integrated OOH online marketplace with real-time availability. Forty years later, add into that marketplace new maturing mobile data, custom audience segmentation, hyperlocal and digital integration, and closed loop processes utilizing GeoPathID tracking from planning, buying, printing, posting, attribution and, eventually, ROI. Well, now you’ve handed advertisers, planners and buyers the ability to access the “dual threat” nature of OOH, a true “broadcast” medium with hyperlocal, data-informed precision placement capabilities – a bright future for the OOH industry.