Bringing Soul and Character to OOH
As 2018 wound down I started thinking about my “next step” professionally. I was the Group Director for one of the best Global Out-of-Home agencies. I led half of their New York office, as well as helped open and grow their Boston office. I oversaw some incredible pieces of business, and worked on a handful of award winning campaigns. In my four plus years there I saw the agency grow immensely. Year over year billings constantly increased, new biz wins were frequent and we were hiring at a rapid pace. The incredible leadership, positive morale, and true passion for what we did made it an amazing place to work. When you love going to work every day, you know you’re at the right spot. I was never upset to head into that office.
My time at Rapport
My time at Rapport was invaluable for a number of reasons, none bigger than finding a true passion in working with DTC brands. I found that there were those brands that loved the OOH channel, but weren’t aware of how vast it was. There was the NYC Subway….but then what? I was fortunate enough to develop strong direct relationships with over thirty brands – from Casper to Ro to Luminary and more. These brands ultimately were looking for help in either launching, testing or scaling OOH. Some brands decided they could handle the NYC market on their own, but wanted help with outer markets. Some brands wanted someone who could handle it all. The budgets varied, but at the end of the day, the goal for me was the same – I wanted them to see lift, growth and an actual result that proved to them that OOH worked.
I sat with friends from the OOH industry at our quarterly dinner last November, and they asked me a question they had asked me a handful of other times –
“When are you going to start your own agency?”
“I’m going to start thinking about it for real in the next few months”
“You know what? I think you’re all talk.”
That’s when I decided my next step was going to be in 2019, and it was going to be a big one. It was then when I decided I was going to take a massive leap and stop thinking, imagining, and talking, instead actually “do.” The vision I had was to create an agency that wasn’t an “agency” but rather an extension of the brands they worked with. A shop that specialized in working with brands in the DTC, Tech & Startup space – but wasn’t relegated to only those categories. A shop that truly offered a personalized approach to buying and planning OOH, that could work with brands regardless if they had a $50k or $5M budget, and one that focused on strategy & attribution. I wanted a shop that could be extremely flexible, meaning that if a client already was working with Outfront directly – but wanted us to handle OOH buying across all other vendors – we could do that. If a client wanted to buy NYC on their own because it was their own backyard, but needed us to help them scale to San Francisco, we could do that. While AOR letters are always nice, I didn’t want to make that a mandate for clients to work with us. I was always a firm believer in letting the work speak for itself – and ultimately the clients will stay.
Where did the name “Quan” come from?
If you guessed “Jerry Maguire” you’re right. I toyed with a lot of try-hard names like “GrOOHth” and “Cultivate” but I hated them. In the movie, Quan is a loosely defined quality combining or uniting athletic skill with love and respect, as well as money. When I re-watched the movie on a flight last winter, it stuck with me. I like how the word embodied all incredible traits, and didn’t have a true definition. Why can’t Quan be is a loosely defined quality combining or uniting a strong knowledge of how to buy & plan OOH, with love and respect for the brands you work with, with the ultimate goal being “money” (i.e. growth/lift, sales)? Without getting into the specifics, ironically there’s so much synergy in “Jerry Maguire” with what I’m looking to do. What really stuck out is Jerry’s Mission Statement, which he writes when he has crisis of conscience and ultimately gets fired from his cushy large agency job. There are two lines that pop in his written epiphany (published in full by Director Cameron Crowe to celebrate the film’s 20th Anniversary in 2016) – “The secret to this job is personal relationships” and “let’s bring soul & character to what is already there.” A great read when you have time: – http://www.theuncool.com/films/jerry-maguire/jerrys-mission-statement/
I understand the love & infatuation with Automation
The ability to press a button and buy a billboard is alluring – but I’m someone who doesn’t use Turbotax, because I’d rather have a CPA personally handle my finances and know I’m getting everything I’m looking for. Why do pro athletes have agents – and not negotiate their own contracts? The agents know exactly what they should be getting, and ensure that every nuance of the deal benefits their clients.
OOH grew 4.5% YOY in 2018, and continues to prove itself as a media channel that outperforms others. The continued growth of DOOH, opportunity to leverage technology & data to truly understand where your target audience is, and evolution of attribution all lend itself to reasons why brands should believe in allocating additional budget to the space. Additionally you have social media further amplifying OOH with Nielsen’s recent research indicating that 1 in 4 U.S. adults surveyed posted a photo on Instagram after seeing an OOH. It works. You can’t block OOH, turn it off, or skip it. If you have the right creative, and right message – you’re going to create buzz, social chatter, and ultimately see results.
Working with Quan
What you’re going to get from working with Quan is pretty simple. Rapid response first & foremost. A fully transparent approach to buying & planning OOH – what markets work, what markets don’t, where should you test, how you should test A true creative mindset where we look at OOH formats you may have never thought of as a way to hone in on your target audience. A focus on audience vs. scale. We’ll take the time to understand who your target consumer is, and where they live, work and play so you’re not just buying placements for the sake of blanketing a market (unless of course you want to do that!). Full market knowledge across North America, and the ability to buy & plan Canada as well as select markets internationally. Tireless work to deliver the lowest rates possible coupled in tandem with strong Added Value. A true focus on attribution where we can utilize partners in the data space to understand drive to site, drive to store, and foot fall analytics. Full production capabilities. Partnerships with key entertainment companies to marry brands with music festivals & other major annual events. Lastly – a home for DTC, Tech & Start-up brands to come when they need guidance with how to best navigate the OOH space, regardless of budget, market, or commitment. Having said that, we have all category experience, and welcome clients of all sizes, and kinds.
It’s the beginning of an exciting journey, and I’m excited to create something that will live alongside the other incredible agencies already out there in the OOH World. The support, words of encouragement, and well wishes from friends, colleagues, and partners have been beyond humbling. This industry is incredible in that it doesn’t feel like work, rather family – and that’s been made evident to me in the past few weeks. Looking forward to watching the brands that we work with continue to grow, see success, and of course, truly believe that OOH works.