OOH Owner Today — RockBox Advertising
by Benny Taubman, OOH TODAY Reporter
RockBox Advertising is a London, England-based owner that specializes in student and music-lover-based OOH locations. The company has posters and digital screens in over 1200 sites in universities and music venues all across the United Kingdom. Self reportedly, the company makes over 52 million impressions within the 18-24-year-old demographic every two weeks.
Across around 90 universities in the U.K., RockBox has 300+ portrait digital screens, 500+ landscape digital screens, and 200+ 6-sheet printed posters. These faces reach students where they work and study and are located in walkways, cafes, bars, libraries, gyms, and study areas. Additionally, RockBox has a strategic partnership with Mother, a U.K.-based vending machine business, which allows the company to advertise on vending machines in student dormitories.
RockBox reaches “gig audiences” with its 50+ portrait digital screens and 200+ 6-sheet printed posters in 45 iconic venues. Reaching music lovers in additional places, RockBox has 63 screens in 30 HMV shops – a U.K.-based pop-culture merchandise retail chain – and growing. Dave Lightfoot, RockBox’s Marketing Manager, answered questions in an exclusive OOH Today interview.
Q: Why should advertisers choose RockBox?
A: “GenZ and students are hard-to-reach and overly targeted audiences on digital channels. Having an OOH presence in Universities is a great way for brands to reach students in their daily lives and be at the forefront of the mind. This can massively increase return on all other metrics. If you see an Instagram/TikTok-style advert in your University building first, you are far more likely to pay attention to it when you see it on your phone or on a google search. In independent music venues, you are reaching people at an aspirational moment when they have made an effort to go out and see live music, brands are able to link themselves to this occasion and be associated with UK live music.”
Q: Why does RockBox work primarily in student and music audience locations?
A: “RockBox offers a way to reach niche audiences. By focusing on specific environments we create a clear audience demographic for brands to engage.”
Q: What is RockBox’s key to success in the OOH business?
A: “We are very proud of our repeat business rate. We believe every campaign should work for the client and get the most out of the audiences we reach. We have a strong in-house design and creative team and we are able to work with advertisers to give honest and helpful feedback on what we know works well. We are also willing to test and try new things and always open to new ideas.”
Q: What are some of the differences between a standard campaign and one in a student or music audience location?
A: “A RockBox campaign is targeting a very specific audience, be that students or a gig-going music fan. This means brands can adapt their messaging to fit that audience and not waste it. Students react more to ads that have made an effort to be relevant to them, be that tagging their campus or referencing part of student life. This also applies in music venues, where everyone sees the ad and has made a conscious effort to go out and watch live music.”
Q: What are some future goals for the business?
A: “RockBox was founded by people working in the live music industry. Our goal is very much to support live music in the UK. We share revenue with our venues and provide a valuable additional income stream. Through 2023 we have big plans to expand our independent venues network. The goal is that anyone wanting to reach music fans, albums, festivals, gear, and tech, can do this easily and effectively at short notice on our large digital screen network. By doing so they are also helping support independent music venues and live music in the UK.”
Q: Share a fun fact about your company!
A: “Our Founder, Paul Carr, once sold the rights to his band’s track to the American TV show, Charmed. He still gets a few dollars in royalties in the post each year.”
The United Kingdom