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OOH Advertising Agency —$47 Million year & 132 Client Roster

55 full-time staffers — 8 regional offices —on plan to $100 million by 2019.

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Giant 15-foot, 2D sculptures of this season’s judges and host were installed outside a Hollywood metro station

Grandesign has blossomed into a $47 million-per-year business with 132 clients, 55 full-time staffers spread across 8 regional offices and a plan to hit the $100 million mark by 2019.  Its a lofty goal which appears CEO, Aaron Gaeir and team will be reaching.  Gaeir located in in San Diego and Rick Hilmer in Orlando, founded the boutique out-of-home advertising company. Their impressive list of brands and clients is only exceeded by its outstanding OOH placements and executions, examples of which, you will find as you read on. Gaeir also shares his team’s contacts information and accounts list which can be found at the end of this post.

Headquartered in beautiful San Diego, CA, Gaeir shares the Grandesign story. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did hearing it.


OOH Agency of the DayGrandesign


We are continuing our recent conversation with Grandesign’s CEO, Aaron Gaeir.

BB: Aaron, p
lease tell us about your agency. How long have you been in business? Staffing?  Size?  Specialties?  Billing? Regional offices? 

AG: Our boutique out-of-home advertising company started in 2008 with 4 full-time employees and $2 million in business and has blossomed into a $47 million-per-year business with 132 clients, 55 full-time staffers spread across eight regional offices and a plan to hit the $100 million mark by 2019.  Grandesign has three innovative divisions in-house–Traditional, Experiential and the newest division, Assets, that no other media solutions company offers. This new division, proved scalable, is pioneered based on the 1 + 1 = 3 philosophy that incorporates both traditional (billboards) + experiential (stunts and activations) = Assets (combining both to get the ultimate effect in the same proximity). We’re introducing this new arm at Comic-Con in San Diego and New York City.

SD Comic Con -TBS

BB: Do you work with clients direct and agencies?  What is the percentage breakdown?

AG: We work with a combination of both agencies and direct clients.  We find that a higher percentage of experiential activations tend to be handled direct with the client.

BB: What do you want the OOH Advertising Industry to know about Grandesign?

AG: Grandesign does the impossible – from Bud Light’s promise during the Super Bowl celebration parade to the American Idol Stunt–and goes above and beyond to ensure the proper permits are in place. As the second largest independent out-of-home traditional specialist in the country, we work on your behalf to create a media plan from the RFP to strategy, recommendations, negotiations, contracting, production, execution, POP’s and post-campaign reporting.

BB: How have you (and your agency) adapted over the years to changes in the industry?

AG: Agencies and clients are now looking at justification and ROI on all media choices including out-of-home. The industry answers this call with advances in data and measurement and Grandesign prides itself on keeping up with all the advances available for our use from organizations such as Geopath and OAAA. The newest release from Geopath is Insights Suites which offers specific audience targeting which will be our next tutorial! In the future, we look forward to additional advances such as VR and AR and will ensure our team the pioneer.

BB: Is there one thing which has created the greatest adaptation for your shop?

AG: The ability to target a specific audience as well as pairing digital geofencing and retargeting for greater campaign success.

BB: Digital ad spending is poised to surpass TV ad spending. Is this a problem for OOH agencies or an opportunity? 

AG: This is absolutely an opportunity. It’s been proven statistically that OOH paired with digital increases the success of a campaign. Out-of-home drives online activations more than any other media.

 BB: How has the availability of data changed marketing (or not) for Grandesign?

AG: We are constantly educating ourselves with the newest software programs and technology designed to help us plan for our clients. We know traffic patterns of our target demo and can reach them on their way to work, shopping or play.

BB: How do you assure you are creating the best work you can for your clients? 

AG: A satisfied client is a happy client. A happy client is a returning client. Many of our clients have worked with Grandesign since we opened our doors in 2008 and remain loyal because we’re nimble, prompt, easy to work with, passionate and we have a track record to prove it.

A replica of Warner Brothers’ movie, “IT’s” -The Neibolt House in In Los Angeles at the corner of Hollywood and Vine

BB: Let’s discuss OOH campaigns by the Grandesign. Any memorable or particular interesting campaigns you could share? (BB note: the 6 campaigns below, are links to very short videos sharing the tremendous talent and skill set of the Grandesign team. We encourage you to view each one.)

AG: Absolutely! Grandesign’s notable campaigns are below:

  1. A replica of IT’s The Neibolt House in Hollywood
  2. Activations at San Diego Comic-Con 2017
  3. Zappos’ Porta-Party stunt
  4. Atom Ticket’s fly-in theater at JFK on Thanksgiving Eve
  5. Monterey Bay Aquarium land submarine
  6. American Idol takes to the sky to promote premiere

BB: What are your general thoughts on the OOH medium and how it’s utilized at your shop?

AG: Grandesign prides itself on delivering the best solutions to satisfy our client’s goals and objectives. Whether the request involves a 200 GRP Bulletin program in the Top 10 DMA or a mobile billboard for day to cover an event – we deliver the best solutions within any budget.

BB: Who are the key media personnel at your agency who work on OOH?

AG: We have many key members. In media its Kristy Schlepp, EVP, Strategy OOH; Aileen Shaw, VP, West Region; and Chris Kramer, VP, East Region.

BB: Will you share with us your OOH customers you work with now?

AG: Grandesign is diversified across many different client categories. We are well-known in the QSR category, education, insurance, entertainment and alcohol…just to name a few. The unique quality about Grandesign is we rarely turn down a client or idea, no matter how far-fetched the event may be or lead time. When Bud Light promised the entire city of Philadelphia free beer for the Super Bowl parade, the team turned to us to execute in under 72 hours. When American Idol needed a special helicopter flight across Los Angeles to carry 15-foot tall cutouts of the judges and host in anticipation of its epic premier, the team turned to us to pull strings with the military to execute this seemingly impossible task. We’re dedicated and we guarantee a flawless production.

When Bud Light promised the entire city of Philadelphia free beer for the Super Bowl parade, the team turned to us to execute in under 72 hours.

BB: Can you name specifics in working with any of them? Who are they and how do they use OOH?

AG: With any traditional OOH client, we design a program based on goals and objectives.  An OOH program for an event or experiential activation needs to include a different action plan for brand awareness. There is no cookie cutter plan, no study guide, no playbook. Each plan is customized specific to our client’s needs.

BB: Do you have suggestions or comments for the OOH Industry to make buying easier? Or making #OOH more attractive to advertisers?

AG: Industry trade organizations including OAAA and Geopath offers viable information needed to provide recommendations and develops new tools to make our lives easier.

BB: How do you obtain new business? 

GD: Luckily for us, our new business comes from returning clients and referrals.

BB: Does OOH Owner/Provider Geopath audited locations matter to you?

AG: Yes, CPM is one of the main ways that an agency measures the cost effectiveness of an OOH Program.  Audited locations provide an accurate count of eyeballs on your ad-based on location, facing, angle of board, size etc. vs. DEC’s which tend to be inflated as they are only based on street traffic counts. We are members of Geopath.

BB: Any comments or suggestions for OOH reps in approaching or working with Grandesign?

AG: We consider our reps our partners…our family. We have high expectations and in return we expect repeat business.

Grandesign’s OOH contacts are Aileen Shaw, for traditional (949-292-2672) and Christie Adams for Experiential (908-296-2433).

Notable past and current accounts include Bud Light, Amazon, Warner Bros, West Coast University, California Avocado, St. Joseph Health Care, Universal Studios Hollywood, Dominos, Wendy’s, TBS, Blizzard, Freeform and many more.






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