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About Your Article: Let’s get a few things straight about OOH —and the Coronavirus Economy

Sugar Coating and Outdoor Advertising —Reporting

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Regarding your Article: Let’s get a few things straight about OOH  —and the Coronavirus Economy

 

Here is an interesting article, The OOH Renaissance Was Here – And Then There Was Coronavirus by James Hercher for ad exchanger. A link to the article is at the bottom of the page. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m not supposed to send readers to another site. But that’s why you read me; transparency and truth. We tell it like it is.  Love Howard Cosell.  Before you go to the link read on.

This article, as often is in many cases when the OOH spokes people are ones who have not been in the outdoor advertising industry very long, (10,000 hours) makes some relevant points and miss some important relevant points, along the way.

Let’s drill down. 

While the start of the article is true— ‘OOH seemed destined to have a strong 2020 year going’ based on the first two months.

What is missing and also true, is the amount of cancellations, particularly for ‘roadside OOH’, has been huge in the last two weeks. Projections for the year are unknown, which translates to very weak. Salespeoples’ forecasts and roadmaps are wishlists at best today, which makes management’s revenue forecasts intractable at best.  

“There’s no sugar-coating the fact that quarantine is about the worst thing that could happen to outdoor advertising,”

This Statement is very true— “There’s no sugar-coating the fact that quarantine is about the worst thing that could happen to outdoor advertising,” Matt O’Connor, co-founder and CEO of startup AdQuick.

The Statement—The article said, “few national OOH campaigns for the summer have been cancelled”

Not true—Our sources tell us, national OOH business has been crushed in cancellations and here’s the thing, RFP’s have been placed on hold. So while some biz has not been cancelled, a significant amount has been cancelled, and that statement ignores the way our OOH business operates. The planning and placement which normally is being negotiated and signed this month, has come to a screeching halt, kind of like the traffic right now.  So you call it not cancelled, I call it cancelled and not placed, which equals no revenues. 

The way March, April and May look right now, (and we know typically the agreements are in house for those months at this timeline) it will be nearly impossible to recover for any growth year, no matter how robust projections are for the second half of the year. And that’s frightening.  Yesterday’s unsold space can not be recovered. 

The statement— “digital signage reaching meaningful scale integrated into major DSP’s” ?

Okay, true, perhaps integrated, but not scale of use to place business yet. The percentage of dough $ is still well below 5% of total buys. Programmatic has a long way to go.

you don’t have to be a weather man to know which way the wind blows.
And you don’t have to be Geopath to know which way the traffic goes

True— “airports, transit centers and malls are ghosts towns”:

but not true, “people are still driving” and “road traffic is more stable”.   

People are not driving anywhere near the numbers we are used to reporting.  Let’s empirically quantify that with two measures:

1. Get in your car and sit at your intersection that is normally bumper to bumper at 7 AM or 5 PM.  The cars are not there. 

As Bob Dylan sang, you don’t have to be a weather man to know which way the wind blows. And you don’t have to be Geopath to know which way the traffic goes. (apologies to Bob Dylan)  Remember, OOH is typically referred to as the media with ‘box car numbers’.  Road traffic is not “stable” today or while we are in lock down. We have been asking for the coronavirus traffic and impression counts to no avail. What’s up with that? 

Everyone raise their hands who went to the office this last week? The dinosaurs who put their hands up, can put them down now.

2. Here is another way to consider the amount of traffic on the roads: Everyone raise their hands who went to the office this last week? Or just leave a ‘Like’ in comments or on our LinkedIn, if you are not a subscriber. The dinosaurs who put their hands up, can put them down now.

Traffic is waaaaay down

Look, I have been surveying OOH people and non OOH people from allover the county every day last week about a number of things and ‘describe your traffic’ is one of them. Not wanting to see anyone of my contacts loose their jobs, speaking in general terms, I can tell you, I have spoken to people in the top 15 markets this week, including one who traveled from Miami back home to a major Midwest market. And this OOH veteran said he has never seen anything like it. All markets reporting; Traffic is waaaaay down.  My friend of 45 years, not in #OOH, who lives in Detroit, says his commute is much faster as cars are not on the road. He reminded me of the UAW’s leadership to have the car companies close down for two weeks. Rank and file are off the assembly lines as of last week. My old home town of Charlottesville, was like a ghost town driving in at 7 AM in the morning Thursday, when traffic is typically at a stand still at the 29 bypass.

Let’s face it: The quarantine has literally taken OOH’s ROI right off the street. 

The quarantine has literally taken OOH’s ROI right off the street.  

True statement— “Right now, the unknown is what is causing inaction with planning and booking.”

We appreciate the positivism attempted by the contributors, however, the lapses in accuracy and not discussing certain points while surely not intentional, reminds us optimism needs to be checked with reality. 

Does OOH Today have a solution?  Yes, we think we do. It involves the ‘futures’ of Outdoor Advertising. It will be in our next released podcast currently scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th.

Does OOH Today have a solution?
Yes, we think we do. It involves the ‘futures’ of Outdoor Advertising.
It will be in our next released podcast currently scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th

I wish you all well and hope we all come out of this stronger, together.
Oh yes, one more thing,  Stay Home, at least for now. 

Here is the article written by James Hercher for ad exchanger we are referencing ⇒The OOH Renaissance Was Here – And Then There Was Coronavirus

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. Steve T. says

    Is the podcast on Apple? Can’t find it on search, thanks Bill!

  2. Bill Board says

    thank you for listening. We are currently only on Soundcloud. Here is the most recent one OOH, Personan Non Grata