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Time Keeps on Slipping

OOH …Here’s One Thing

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message for Johnsen, Fretty & Co.
By iQoncept shutterstock

OOH …Here’s One Thing

by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company

Time Keeps on Slipping

Into the future.  Tick Tock do do do dudew

Fly Like An Eagle (man that still sounds as good as it did in 1976!)

I listened to a podcast on non-fungible tokens (NFT) recently and the lightening bolt struck.  Blockchain and NFT will change EVERYTHING.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  Anyone remember the scene from the graduate: the graduate one word plastics

 I’m going to got out on a catwalk on a 125′ HAGL and say it’s also going to revolutionize the out of home business.

But before I go there, let’s remember the future has always looked, well, like the future. Anyone old enough to remember 2001 Space Odyssey when it first came out in 1968? I beg you to tell me you didn’t leave that movie saying “Far Out!”  (ya the youngens used that the way youngens use “fire” these days). But when you said that you also were saying…that was so far in the future that that will never happen. Guess what? Everyone of those things happened but HAL taking over (but maybe that has happened as well…just watch a teenager with her screen).  Alright, let’s think about it a little closer to home. Can you imagine if you sat with a billposter in 1921 and told him that there would be a coast to coast interstate system where cars would travel at 65 (or 85) mph and there would be a plethora of supersized billboards advertising to them. My guess would be he would say (sorry back then he definitely would not have been a she), get the funk out of here, sport. How about stopping an erection crew in 1950 and telling them to throw that angle iron shit away because soon we will be erecting everything on a single pole. Or how about going to Naegele’s paint studio in the mid 80s and telling him that that contraption that moves the panels up and down while the painter stays on the ground is absolutely ridiculous because in a few years everything will be precision painted by a computer on a large piece of vinyl that could be turned around in 24 hours and hung across the face in a half hour.  My guess is ol’ man RO would have given you a black eye.  Anyone remember Whiteco coming up with profile2000?  Guys were doing a Richard Simmons because they no longer had to “ride lights”.  Someone told me a story about taking Arte Moreno to one of the first digitals (in CA btw) and saying “what do you think” and him saying in response…”will never work, advertisers don’t want to share”.  Full disclosure I have never fact checked this story (and hats off to Arte for naming the company Outdoor Systems…that was definitely forward looking!).  Can you imagine if you got a chance to sit down with Lew Manderson and talk programmatic?  Prograwho?

Anyone still think this industry doesn’t change in big ways over time?

Have I got you yet?  Anyone still think this industry doesn’t change in big ways over time? So, now let me bring it all the way back.  According to Chris Dixon (feel free to google) on this podcast, we are about to enter the era of web3.0.  Web1.0 was about websites and web crawlers (aka brochures and search engines). We know who won that battle. Web2.0 was about social media and “crowdsourcing”.  Think of Instagram as the gate keeper…who basically makes money at your expense.  You created the content.  They just gave you the means to bring it to the people.  And guess what, they then got to own that content and monetize it.  Dixon believes that with the advent of wide NFT usage, all this will change.  In a word (or at least in my words) my people will talk to your people. no middleman needed.  Or more specifically my computer will talk to your computer, no “translators” needed.   As he puts it, think of an NFT as a safe deposit box in the clouds.  Incredibly safe.  Unhackable. You have the only key.  And you can hand out the key if someone pays you for it.  So they can now have access to that safe deposit box. Piece of electronic art work.  No problem. Pay me $1MM and you will have the only key.  Now imagine a world where everything is findable.  Or more specifically where my NFT, who is looking for a specific piece of art can find your NFT automatically and then hand over the dough, all without an art dealer or a bank.

Programmatic on steroids to the 39th power

Alright Johnsen, you are making my hair hurt.  Me too.  But stay with me for just one second.  I believe that every interstitial out there (fancy way of saying sign) will be addressable at some point.  That vinyl we hang on boards…will be electronic at some point.  So will that special paper we put in bus shelter panels.  One will be able to change every board out there from a cell phone.  (Bring it…I feel the bullets whizzing by my head).  True not every board will have a digital permit.  So the ad will only be allowed to be changed once a day at 3am…or once an hour…or once a minute, who knows maybe it will have to go to black for 10 minutes.   But my prediction is it will still be “changeable” as a static.  Okay so if you “buy in” to this big picture, then you will really love this.  Each board will also carry it’s own NFT.  Want to rent it for the month…or week…or hour?  Have your NFT talk to my NFT and try to work out a deal.  (These NFTs are almost costless to set up btw.  Just need a “mining” operation).  See where I’m going yet?  Programmatic on steroids to the 39th power.  Put an NFT on each face and watch the cash register ring.

Rather than give the whole business plan away…I think I’ll leave it there.  As the Brits say, “Cheerio”.

Final Food for Thought:
“What the smartest people do on the weekends is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years.”— Chris Dixon

Happy Thanksgiving if I don’t talk to you first.



Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC

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1 Comment
  1. […] had a batman moment.  As in Holy Shit Batman, data is the new plastics (reference: “The Graduate”).  Johnsen, what rock did you just crawl out from underneath?  After all, the industry has been […]

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