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It’s Time for New OOH Rules —Part 2

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It’s Time for New OOH Rules—2


Thursday we shared the doom and gloom infographic from Visual Capitalist⇒ The COVID Impact on OOH Ad Spend and Beyond —It’s Time for New OOH Rules. Getting beyond the bleak outlook from the data shared, we contend there are strategies and tactics in the OOH divisions of marketing and sales which could help accelerate recovery.

First, I trust no one is surprised when we say there is not a magic pill. No silver bullet. No holy grail. There are solutions. We firmly believe disruption is required in content, pitch and delivery. The Industry must do something bold. When we say the Industry, we mean everyone. The other OOH Owners, whether traditional or non traditional, mobile formats or sticks in the ground, digital bulletins or place-based digital are NOT the competition. On a micro basis perhaps. To make your budget this month, maybe. Think longer term.

Side track for a brief word. Longer term because we do not know how long this is going to last. The health experts don’t know. World governments don’t know. OOH has not a clue, either.  So long term solutions are what we should be looking at. We are not forgetting our last statement from yesterday, we will share how to accelerate recovery. That is still the goal. Come out of this mess strong is another goal.


a message from Wrapify


Strategy and Tactics

Buy into the idea that OOH is not the competition, consider other media is not either. Let’s start with other OOH media. In an effort to not write a treatise, we are going to suggest solutions which should be examined. Again, think disrupt the way we sell and market. Agree on the plan. Details will rise.

Another side but important note: Agencies are not the competition. We recommend working with every agency but go direct every single chance you can. Don’t cut the agencies out. Include them. Ask their permission if you need to. Make sure however you proceed, the brand receives the pitch. Don’t get greedy. Don’t cut out the agency out of fees because “you sold it direct.”



Bring a solution that is amazing for the brand. Hyper Local is one solution. A very good solution. What about your roadside inventory? You only have so much hyper local inventory. Stop serving the medium and the industry and determine what the brands need and how to best service brands.


Lock hands with other OOH providers.

Imagine this:

When was the last time do it outdoors and Clear Channel Outdoor pitched an advertiser together? How about Wrapify and OUTFRONT Media collaborating on how they might team to provide a stronger plan for an advertiser? Starlite Media and JCDecaux partners in a pitch? Probably never. The premise? If indeed people are staying closer to home and only making essential trips and hyper local is a solution, then the Big 3 or 4 do not have adequate inventory to go into hyperlocal. When we say hyperlocal, we mean neighborhoods also. I have never seen a mobile truck or wrapped vehicle come into my neighborhood.  And there sure isn’t a billboard anywhere near where I live. OK, I live on a culdesack, but you get the point.

It comes down to stop selling what’s on the shelf. I know it goes against the very grain of what we have been ‘taught’. The rule of OOH sales and inventory management; we have inventory, we must find an advertiser for all our displays. What about one step back to gain two? Come on, how much inventory do you have open? You don’t have to answer that, we know, it is significant. It bears repeating: Bring a solution that is amazing for the brand, it does not have to be entirely your own inventory.

The bold move is simply solving a problem for a customer. We need to stop selling and really listen. We need to provide solutions for our customers and message our customers’ customers. Right, the ‘sell solutions pitch’. Yes, it is to the degree we need to give them success to gain our own. Are you still typing into the spread sheets that three or four pieces of inventory which you really know isn’t the right fit but you have to sell it?  Stop. We need to focus on what advertisers/clients are doing, their need and their pain.  The best answer may be not found in all or even a significant amount of your inventory by itself.

Collaboratively pitch with other OOH providers. And don’t get greedy. Come up with the right solution which increases the advertisers product moving out the door. More than attribution. Results. When TV runs a campaign the sales go up. Disrupt the way you sell and what you promise.  A bold move is what can be done right now to solve advertisers problems. Face it OOH is not the same right now. Who knows how long before it ever will be if ever again. Try guaranteeing results.

Align yourself with other people who can help you sell.


Partner with Other Media

Be willing to cede control and partner with other channels. Complete blasphemy. Check that occupancy report again. We’ll leave collaboration with other media broadcast, print and digital online, for another time. Know that they are hurting as well and they might surprise you in welcoming your phone call.



Shock with one message. Not a series of messages with the same theme. One message. When was the last time you ran or witnessed a shocking show stopper OOH campaign? We advocate an approach which requires more, yep tired of the word already, collaboration. Collaboration as an Industry. If Lamar has 20,000 open units( I have no idea how many they have open. This is for example), CCO has 20,000, OUT has 20,000, Adams, Intersection, Decaux, and more OOH providers. OK, we are adding up a lot of open space, combine to present one message. 100,00 faces. Actually we could easily do 200,000.  How about that for impact? One Voice. It has to be disruptive content and impact in space.


One Voice

Yes we have heard that before, but come on ‘OOH is Real’?  Not a show stopper. Nothing shocking. Not disruptive. Yes bold for OOH, but really did it leave any one else gasping for breath when they saw it? I would like to see our Association assemble everyone. Members or not, include everyone. I would suggest organize the meet and step back. Referee, set the ground rules, allow the owners to do what they know best. 



That is the easy one for OOH. We are pros at that. Make it bold. Disruptive. Shocking. People are thirsty for something to see. Thirsty not to see our billboards but for content. We caution not to be concerned about whose idea. Ownership or bragging rights do nothing for the client or you. The publisher doesn’t matter to the audience. The content does. Include OOH providers large and small traditional and non. Bring your best.


Mobile and Social

There is a great deal to say about incorporating mobile and social media. Suffice it to say, it is Essential, with so many people still in-home, to incorporate an effective mobile and social media plan/campaign. Most of you know that. For doubters, here is one example from my good friend and one of the top media minds in advertising Mark Moritz with Zeta Global.  Click the link immediately below. 42 seconds. Watch and listen. Before you dismiss it, it’s not about the content for our example here. Understand over 12 million people viewed this in one day on Tik Tok. That is Essential with a capital ‘E’! 




Much to discuss with measurement. We need to come to a consensus. We firmly believe it is best via Geopath. Next steps, real time traffic and enriched data. Others deliver it. We can not make that a reason for advertisers to say no. Our data needs to be all over social media for brands. Fund it and start now.

I am afraid I wrote a bit of a treatise anyway and yet we have more! 

If you thought this was only going to be my thoughts, not a chance. We asked others. 

For comments of leading OOH Agencies and OOH Providers you will have to see Part 3 of our ‘It’s Time for New OOH Rules’ in this post⇒Time for New Rules Part 3 



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  1. Eric Ennis says

    I like your message. Its refreshing and bold and inspirational.

    I get the feel of united we stand divided we fall.

    Imagine if you will, you leading the charge and getting every outdoor medium to commit some of their residual unsold inventory NOW, and for the next Month to put forth One campaign, One Common theme with a cohesive message across the country – Always On!… for Outdoor, Indoor & Transit Advertising.
    Consider it the entire USA, “South of the border- Project” ( Think of the signs leading for miles and miles reminding drivers, “Pedro says, stop by “south of the Border – Just 25 miles”, and the next” Pedro says, our bathrooms are clean”…you get the picture.
    But now every open digital slot and open poster and open bulletin gets a series of messages reminding people ( especially business owners), that 83% of the population has continued to go out to go shopping during the Covid lock down and now 98% are out. Remind everyone that billboards and transit advertising is here, it was here before the TV, before the radio, before the internet before the cell phone, and if anyone wants to go anywhere in this country by car, plane, train , taxi or Uber, they will have to pass a piece of outdoor or transit signage or 10. Almost a “we were here first and we are still here campaign.”
    I might suggest using multiple messages reinforcing the theme and point. “This billboard is unskippable, unless you want to crash – Outdoor Advertising – Always On!”, “This taxi top can not be unfriended- Transit Advertising Always On!” ” This poster, cannot be blocked…unless you park a truck in front of it – Outdoor Advertising – Always On!” , “This bus shelter does not require a subscription – Outdoor advertising-Always On!”, “This Poster in the this train station, does not just run during the evening news – Outdoor advertising -Always On!”

    I know, pie in the sky, but for a country not showing much backbone against criminals these days and people living in fear, either warranted or unwarranted, it seems to me way past time for businesses and industries to start to stand up for business and stop being cowered into pandering or apologizing for what they are. Especially when they have done nothing wrong. Outdoor can get the message out, it just needs a rallying cry to remind advertisers that Outdoor and transit are time tested , proven, and cannot be ignored with a click or a flick.

  2. No Fear No Favor says

    Eric Ennis right on point! The message is critical and will take great effort to perfect. Utilizing every open OOH format for a Country wide campaign, that is the golden pass.
    Thank you for your comments and excellent share.

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