OOH Agency Of The Day Today: Project X Media
We recently caught up with John Laramie, founder and CEO of Project X Media, for our perennial Agency of the Day series.
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What differentiates Project X from the other agencies? We know the standard answer is people, but there must be more?
JL: We believe in customer-centric planning. PJX works to understand your brand, objectives and core audience on a deeper level, and then builds an OOH strategy that reaches your customers in a meaningful way. We built the first OOH tech-platform (ADstruc) to integrate planning data and automate buying, enabling our team to plan and buy highly-targeted OOH smarter, and more efficiently. We believe the right team and the right technology produce better OOH campaigns and enable us to consistently deliver on our core principles of Service, Strategy, and Value.
What are three keys to winning new business for Project X?
- Anyone can buy you media, but the true value lies in how the story is told. Telling that story through OOH is a journey and our team and technology deliver the most impact for our clients’ dollars.
- We’re not in the business of account management. We’re in the business of account development. We don’t just sign-up to manage your business, we are determined to grow your business.
- We Know Data – We develop audience segments using demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data to identify areas with high concentrations of a client’s potential audience. We can tap into our proprietary platform to analyze consumer behaviors across multiple attributes and dimensions that best describe audience prospects. Crafted nuanced audience portraits inform our plan recommendations and enable us to prioritize hyper-local geographies and review OOH formats/placements by an Audience Index.
What has been your favorite OOH campaign to work on?
JL: Glossier “Lash Slick” Mascara – Theater Campaign. Collectively with our client, we recognized a huge opportunity to partner and support businesses that were struggling during the pandemic, while simultaneously helping them achieve their marketing goals.
In addition to launching the mascara line through a series of “movie trailers”—running both digitally and on linear TV—starring celebs like Saturday Night Live’s Ego Nwodim and improv actor Catherine Saint Sien, and on-screen with :30 pre-roll at the theater, we took over the Marquees with OOH installations and poster boards at nine indie movie theaters in NYC, LA, CHI, DAL, BOS, and SF.
Biggest win over the past year?
JL: WeBull Market Limited. One of our New Business Directors saw an ad WeBull was running on Digital Taxi Tops, which featured a small QR Code. Knowing intimately how OOH is consumed and the strategies we implement here at PJX, we had some alternative ideas to engage the consumer in a more meaningful way. After a few phone calls and some topline discussions, we ended up planning & implementing their Q4 21’ campaign across 6 US markets, and numerous environments and formats. It was not only a great win for Project X, but showcased how strategic thinking can help optimize OOH executions to better resonate with a desired audience.
How has the business been impacted by the pandemic?
JL: Obviously the entire out-of-home media industry, from specialist to operator, was tremendously impacted by the pandemic. We chose to focus on the aspects of our business that we could control (process, team, technology, operations, etc.), to strengthen our organization at a foundational level, ensuring we were ready for the eventual resurgence of the OOH channel.
What’s on the horizon for Project X?
JL: We continue to focus on new and existing client & agency relationships, ongoing education for emerging brands interested in the OOH space, and growing/scaling Project X through a diversified offering. Our goal is to continue to push the boundaries of the channel, leading with our best-in-class tech & product development to further measurement/attribution giving clients tangible ROI to justify increased OOH investment.
1. What is the condition of OOH right now May 2022? Thriving.
2. Who (brand/advertiser) should be in OOH but isn’t? Greyson Clothiers.
3. Will programmatic reduce agency personnel? No.
4. Describe the status of OOH programmatic today. Relevant.
5. Describe what it will be in 2 years? Expected.
6. Are the fees or revenues agencies such as Project X charge today strong enough and heading in the right direction for the planning and placement agencies to survive? Yes – as long as you continue to provide clients with service, strategy, and value, revenue will follow.
I find it comical that in the OOH industry, you continue to call third party brokers “agencies”. A true agency has a sit at the table with the client and is involved in all aspects of strategy planning, creative, budget allocation, PR, social media, audience measurement and media placement among other duties. Brokers such as Project X, Kinetic, Billups, OMG, Wilkins and many others founded by employees fired by the top 3 start their own business poaching clients from one another. These brokers make their money by buying right hand reads cheap, marking up the rates and reselling to the advertisers and keeping the difference. If you show me an actual case study where these brokers truly implement data, audience and measurement to make their buys and not rely on the top 3 to do their homework, then you may have a case. Until then, I consider all of them to be poachers, bottom feeders and will eventually canabilize themselves and disappear from existence.