My Turn: OOH Collaboration in Action

After I spoke on the benefits of collaboration (at the OOH Media Conference + Expo in Austin May 8), many people have asked what they can do to advance the industry.

Here are five action categories that combine self-interest with industry progress.

1. Cooperation

OOH groups have proliferated, absorbing time, resources, and dues. If you belong to more than one OOH organization, strive to share information, brainpower, and what works for the sake of efficiency, effectiveness, and unity.

With 4 percent of ad-spend going to OOH, our (small) part of the advertising industry is strongest and more successful when we speak with one voice with brands, agencies, Wall Street, and the press.

Examples of Collaboration in Action:

To simplify the buying process and avoid confusion in the marketplace, five groups are collaborating to develop one set of standards for digital OOH. This milestone should be completed by the end of 2018, with digital OOH standards endorsed by Geopath, Digital Place-Based Advertising Association, Digital Signage Federation, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and OAAA.

As a tandem project, the Media Ratings Council (MRC) is developing standards related to OOH measurement. OAAA and Geopath, as well as other entities, are participating on the committee. The MRC standards will establish common approaches to measurement within the OOH industry.

2. Promote OOH

This fall, our industry will launch an effective, attention-grabbing national campaign designed to shake up the media-buying market. This campaign is created by the award-winning Publicis agency. Vibrant creative is aimed at brands, creative agencies, and media planners and buyers. A multi-tiered messaging approach will capitalize on the use of ad industry “champions” who tout the power of OOH. A comprehensive “local toolbox” will provide assets that members can use to tailor campaign messaging in local markets.

The success of this promotional campaign will help all OOH media companies regardless of size, formats, or location. Success is built on scale and reach; we need premium donated space and financial contributions. The OAAA point of contact is Stephen Freitas ([email protected]).

Example of Collaboration in Action:

The 29-member OAAA Board of Directors has endorsed the OOH promotion campaign and is supporting it with donated space and financial contributions. During the launch at Advertising Week New York in October, mobile media companies Do it Outdoors, National Mobile Billboard, StreetBlimps, Vector Media, and other members will help deliver our message to the assembled ad industry. Then, we hope you will bring the campaign to your local market through the Local Tool Kit.

The Creative Testing Tool helped Lamar Lancaster reach this creative, shown here live in the market.

3. Exploit resources

Expand the use of the (free) Creative Testing Tool, OOH Media Locator, and research on return on investment, the power of posters, and OOH effectiveness to drive online activities. Download a free app with all these resources and more (OOH Resource App).

Example of Collaboration in Action:

The Creative Testing Tool has been used more than 48,000 times. An account executive at Lamar Advertising in Lancaster, CA, recently used it to convince an advertiser to change billboard creative. Bryana Volkenant said, “I strongly believe the tool helped us show the client less is more when it comes to actually being live in market. Ultimately, it was a major instrument that helped us win our creative battle.” Volkenant also sent the client an OBIE Awards book with a note that said, “We believe this brand can be represented here!”

4. Help position OOH

Align your communications and business practices to the industry’s OOH Value Proposition. Use the online OOH Positioning Tool Box, which houses the OOH Value Guide, videos, key positioning talking points, and top-line data points.

Example of Collaboration in Action:

Many OAAA member companies have adopted the OOH Positioning language about the medium’s core attributes on websites and in marketing materials. OUTFRONT Media has developed collateral focused on the top three core attributes: creative impact, contextually relevant, and media amplifier. Let us know how you are using the OOH Positioning tools and language.

5. Support OAAA

Supporting your trade association supports your trade. Here are ways you can actively collaborate with OAAA and your peers in OOH:

  • Support the industry’s foundation (FOARE), which produces relevant research and awards generous scholarships. Scholarship applications for the next school year are due this month.
  • Attend OAAA events. Upcoming ones include:
    • Operations & Safety Seminar in Chicago October 8-10
    • Legal Seminar in New York November 14
    • The Ad Club of New York OOH Day in New York December 5
  • Think “Members First” when purchasing goods and services. Use the OOH Directory to find attorneys, financial services, manufacturers, and tech partners.
  • Know your elected officials, help OAAA political outreach (give to the industry’s PAC), and attend industry-sponsored events.
  • Submit entries to the OOH Media Plan Awards (CFE open in June) and OBIE Awards (CFE open in October).
  • Support industry public-service efforts, and provide OAAA with photos to share with the public, elected officials, and the press.
  • Follow @yourOAAA and @nfletcherOAAA on Twitter, and be sure to use the industry standard #OOH. Also join the conversation on LinkedIn; be sure to follow OAAA and Nancy Fletcher. Share good news, innovative campaigns, and exceptional images to highlight OOH’s ability to deliver big, bold, and immersive storytelling.
The award-winning graphic novel by FOARE scholarship recipient Noelle Stevenson.
The award-winning graphic novel by FOARE scholarship recipient Noelle Stevenson.

Examples of Collaboration in Action:

Winners of the annual FOARE scholarships have launched successful, interesting careers, helping to shape the ad and arts industries.

Anna Jacobson received a FOARE scholarship in 2009. A former employee at Lamar Advertising and Posterscope, she now leads a team of brand specialists at IBM.

Noelle Stevenson, daughter of Grace Outdoor leaders Hal and Diana Stevenson, earned FOARE scholarships in 2009 and 2010. She has become a renowned cartoonist, working with Marvel and DC Comics, and publishing her own award-winning graphic novels. She said, “I would probably have not been able to remain in school if not for the FOARE scholarship.”

I urge you to take action and help us accelerate OOH growth and market share through collaboration.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at [email protected] or call OAAA at (202) 833-5566.