Weatherman for Outdoor Advertising

Vehicles will be the New Living Room

When Autonomous Vehicles are in,
Out of Home will be out.

It pains me to write or even think this, but it seems it is being etched in stone daily for the future.
I have been saying it since a fateful trip to LA over two years ago making sales calls and riding Uber to every meeting. Forbes writer, Agency CEO, Jessica Hawthorne-Castro has just come out in support of the same.

While in LA, I never looked up from my cell phone.  I am in the grand daddy of all OOH markets, Los Angeles, and never saw one billboard. It’s near blasphemy!   Outdoor is what I do for a living.  38 years of OOH passion.  My billboard company, I have owned for 17 years is threatened. I am biased for Outdoor to a fault.  I see myself as a weatherman of sorts for the Industry.

So, stating, ‘When Autonomous is ‘IN’,  OOH will be ‘OUT’, is not said easily.  Watch the 1:47 second video below.

It is a peek into the future I would like to deny and ignore.  It’s a forecast I don’t want to make.  But the experts are coming to the same conclusions.  No matter how much we don’t want it to happen, it’s happening. See this articled on future of window displays. Interactive Car Windows

Hop into a vehicle, tell it where your going and sit back and watch your favorite movie or Xbox one x to your destination. It’s where the auto industry is headed.  Ford, Audi, Toyota.

Andrew Bolwell, Chief Disrupter, HP,  writes in HP’s Megatrend magazine about the The butterfly effect of self-driving cars. There he discusses the ‘ripple effect’ of self driving cars to the economy.  His graph below, does not bode well for us.  That is $16 Billion representing Radio and OOH going away.

Fortunately, autonomous cars appear to be over 30 years away before they realize any critical mass.  In the meantime, we have to pull our heads out of the sand and stop denying its happening and start doing what we have done so well over the years, and that is, figure out a solution to keep OOH relevant.

As much as I am a weatherman in OOH, Bob Dylan has it correct when he says,  “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

stop denying and start doing, figure out a solution to keep OOH relevant

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Below is another voice, by way of Forbes Magazine,  part of the authoritative and exclusive Forbes Agency Council, Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is CEO of Hawthorne.

Ms Hawthorne-Castro is very specific regarding her vision of the future of  advertising and Autonomous Vehicles.   She has no experience in OOH in her LinkedIn profile. She doesn’t even have OOH as a Skill and Endorsement.   Read selected highlights from her recent writing in Forbes below.

Forbes Agency Council, PR, media strategy, creative & advertising execs share trends & tips Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.




POST WRITTEN BY Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is CEO of Hawthorne, an analytics and technology-driven accountable advertising agency.

“Vehicles will be the new living room, featuring multimedia surfaces for viewing a variety of media and advertising/branded experiences. They will encompass a 360-degree environment, all from the comfort of your moving living room. Autonomous vehicles will become the new entertainment field, so while consumers are relaxing on their commute to work, they will not only be on their phone and computers, but they will also have touchscreens in the car and projections or even holograms on the windshield with which to interact.”

they will also have touchscreens in the car and projections or even holograms on the windshield with which to interact.”

“An outdoor/billboard type of environment where a product placement or still ad billboard could pop up before any article or organically flash across your screen as you geolocate near a particular store or brand.”

“An outdoor/billboard type of environment where a product placement or still ad billboard could pop up”

“The new self-driving vehicles will begin to not only shift the way people look at transportation but also change the way people behave within those vehicles. It will mean a whole new level of personalization to the brand experience where, if an advertisement comes into your car, you could click on the ad and the vehicle could physically take you to where you can personally experience the brand or the offering.”

“when you consider that the average person today spends about 17,600 minutes each year driving, it isn’t a stretch to think about how that consumer’s time will increase once self-driving cars and other autonomous forms of transportation are the norm. And that expansion speaks volumes about how important a medium in-vehicle could be to marketers in the future.”

The full Forbes article Read Here⇒

Autonomous Vehicles Will Be A New Opportunity For Marketers




AdvertisingAndrew BolwellAutonomous VehiclesBob DylanDigital AgencyForbes Agency CouncilinnovationJessica Hawthorne-Castromarketing strategyOOHoutdoor advertisingself driving carsweatherman
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  • Rick Robinson

    Thank you “Mr. Weatherman” for bringing this forward. It’s high time we began to chop wood through this challenge. We have a seemingly enormous advantage with hundreds of thousands of real estate adjacencies. The rub being it was curated over decades upon the fundamental assumption that people in cars always look front forward out the windshield. No what? I’m not so sure we are hiding in the sand so much as scratching our collective heads…

    It’s going to require a ground up re-think. Do we turn all bulletins into WiFi towers? Are we now part of the universal GPS navigation system? What does the IoT mean for us? It’s all unknown and the law of unintended consequences awaits. In these situations there is only one good option – dive in, invest, begin failing forward, learn and ultimately lead the conversation. We’re a resilient bunch. It’s in us to figure this one out too. Onward!

  • Bill Board

    Here’s to you Mr Robinson! Thank you for commenting. We could not agree with you more.

    Our apologies if you felt we lumped you in with the few hold outs. Our intent in writing and the ‘hiding in sand comment’ was to prompt those few remaining OOH influencers, who are are steadfast and unmoved by the obvious changes in technology and the consequences autonomous vehicles has on OOH. For those ‘scratching heads’ we get it. Our challenge, are those people who are sitting on the sidelines collecting monthly space checks with unsharpened axes denying the potential consequences of self-driving cars.

    We hope to win them over, to join us in collaboration and cooperation, supporting our OAAA leader and moral compass, Nancy Fletcher.
    We fully support Nancy’s call for taking action and help accelerate OOH growth and market share through collaboration.
    Autonomous vehicles are a real and serious threat to OOH as it stands today.

    We are with you Rick, as you said, we need to “re-think, dive in, invest…”.
    OOH has solved these kinds of problems before and we will again. Let’s not delay.

    Those who do not accept the inevitable consequences ‘autonomous’ presents as a threat to OOH, as it exists today, will find themselves repeating the same fate newspapers did in failing to recognize and act on the emergence of the world wide web. Newspaper is paying dearly for their over confident, short sighted miscalculations and failure of their leadership to act. Newspaper did not believe the change of the Internet was going to effect them, pridefully acting as they were bullet proof.
    Out of Home should heed caution not to repeat those miscalculations.

    We are delighted to hear Rick Robinson is “diving in, investing, failing forward, learning and leading the conversation.”
    As a small OOH plant owner the last 18 years, I am sleeping better tonight knowing you are at the front leading the charge. Thank you!

  • Bill Board

    Newspaper misjudged the future with internet. Outdoor Advertising should shape their own future when it comes to Autonomous Vehicles.

  • Kristy Vivian

    In this case – in car OOH will be the new medium. But I should be retired by then! Seriously, I have mentioned this to Outfront at a meeting that perhaps the OOH companies need to buy and own autonomous vehicles and pump in their advertisers to the cars and but offer free rides to consumers.

  • Bill Board

    Thank you for your comments Kristy. We agree 100% with you. Our discussing it is not going to make it happen. However, discussion in the subject will help us find answers to survive and thrive the impending tech disruption which appears to be in the foreseeable future.