Across The Desk: Tommy Teepell

What excites you about OOH right now?

It’s hard not to be excited about the many ways in which brands have embraced the creative opportunities we can offer with our digital billboard capabilities. This was beginning to happen before the pandemic but has really taken off as brands needed to keep their messaging relevant as the situation changed so quickly. Brands will continue to take advantage of this messaging flexibility long after the pandemic has eased. Even though we’re not out of the woods, there remains a tremendous amount of optimism and enthusiasm for OOH heading into 2021. Recent surveys like the OAAA/Harris Poll found that people have a renewed appreciation for the outdoors and notice OOH messaging more regularly as a result. OOH reaffirmed its status as a medium that consumers can trust. Just about every ad spending report, from eMarketer to WARC to Magna Global, has OOH rebounding strongly in 2021 and taking a leadership position among other media channels. It has been a challenging year, no doubt, but it’s still a great time to be in the OOH industry.

Which recent OOH campaign inspired you?

I’m trying not to be biased, but the UPS “Thanks for Delivering” campaign immediately jumps to mind as one of the most inspiring campaigns of the year. The campaign ran on Lamar digital billboards in April and displayed messages of support and gratitude, generated by local communities and posted on social media, for delivery drivers who were working so hard during those early days of the lockdowns and quarantines. The OOH portion was an extension of the social campaign and really showcased how the two channels can work together seamlessly. It also demonstrated once again how OOH can be used to lift spirits and rally communities. 

What is the next big thing for OOH?

The programmatic buying of OOH media is set to explode. With more digital displays being added to the overall OOH inventory and a range of new technology players, the stage is set for programmatic to take off in a big way. Programmatic will allow brands and agencies to activate campaigns in a matter of seconds, targeting precise locations and audiences. Campaigns can be turned on and off instantly and triggered by conditions such as weather conditions. Programmatic is also a great option for cost-conscious brands who need greater flexibility in their ad spending strategies. Lamar is already well-positioned to be a leader in this area, but we’re building even more capability to allow brands to buy programmatically.