OOH Today Champion—Scott Carlovsky
OOH Today features women and men who Champion and define Outdoor Advertising. Sharing the faces and stories behind the names who add a personal dimension to Out Of Home (OOH). Relationships are still an important part of OOH and is an Industry where the people behind the company, are as important as the company itself.
OOH Today’s Champion —Scott Carlovsky (1968-2018)
Scott Carlovsky was a friend to many people in and outside of the OOH Industry. He was a knowledgeable leader in Outdoor Advertising, particularly when it came to Las Vegas. Scott’s expertise was so extensive and valued, one of the Big 6 OOH buying agencies would place their Vegas business through Scott. It is difficult to imagine one of the largest OOH buying agencies in the world, purchasing Outdoor Advertising through another OOH buying agency, regardless of who or why. That rarely happens in our Industry. Yet it did, and it was Scott’s Outdoor Solutions. Scott would modestly respond, “I’m just a billboard guy.” We all knew better.
Last Monday, April 2, a week ago today, Scott suddenly passed away at 49 years old. The following day, Tuesday, April 3, our OOH Today Champion interview, which was held with Scott the week earlier (March 26th), was scheduled to appear. After receiving word of his death the afternoon of the 2nd, we pulled the Champion Interview. Later last week, after speaking with friends, colleagues and co-workers, all expressed encouragement in posting Scott’s Interview saying, “He would have wanted it that way.”
He will be missed.
Here is our conversation with Scott Carlovsky
Scott Carlovsky | President, Outdoor Solutions, Las Vegas
BB: Welcome Scott:
Would you please give us background about yourself and anything you would like to share before we get to the question and answer period?
SC: Sure Bill. I have 26 years in the Out of Home Industry, with the last 15 years as President of Outdoor Solutions, an out-of-home media specialty company located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I started in outdoor advertising in 1992 in Pocatello, Idaho (Idaho Outdoor). I was offered a job back in California (Bakersfield, Ca) in 1994 with Martin Outdoor Advertising. Martin purchased 3 billboard plants in Las Vegas and I transferred to there in 1996. Worked in Sales over the next 6 years for most of the billboard companies in Las Vegas. Martin (now Lamar), Donrey Outdoor (now Clear Channel), and a smaller billboard operator in Las Vegas (Ad America which sold its assets to Lamar Outdoor). Then became Sales Manager for Clear Channel Outdoor in 2002. With two partners, I started Outdoor Solutions in 2003.
Outdoor Solutions started in the hopes of building billboards and selling them to the bigger media companies. 90 days after starting the company, Clark County (the county in which Las Vegas is located) passed a temporary billboard moratorium (still in temporary state 16 years later). We changed company tactics to be an outdoor media sales specialist providing a deeper understanding of what each billboard delivers.
With Las Vegas having over 40+ million visitors per year (but also being the 40th ranked DMA), national advertisers wouldn’t put Las Vegas into their spreadsheets and the TAB metrics didn’t understand how to measure the tourists. Through other research entities (no one measures tourists better than our casino industry), we were able to provide better valued numbers to the national advertising base and get brands to see the value of Las Vegas.
After playing college football at Idaho State. My football Graduate Assistant coach, Todd Hansen, helped get me into the outdoor world. Scott Butterfield (Lamar in Boise), Kent Marboe (Lamar Idaho Falls), Todd Jones (Lamar- Twin Falls), all are Idaho State Football alum that got into the outdoor advertising industry.
I have been married for over 20 years to Paige, and have 4 daughters (Brittany-26, Delaney 19, Madison 17, and Macey 12).
Q and A with Scott Carlovsky
BB: How did you find your way into the OOH business?
SC: I started in the television sales (NBC and then Cable) and then received my first job in outdoor on the leasing side at Idaho Outdoor (Metropolitan Outdoor sold to Greg Kuhn). Had opportunity to move back to my home state (California) in sales with Martin Outdoor- Market Manager Todd Hansen. Outdoor advertising sales was so much better than television sales as you can see the ad all the time, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. I didn’t have to set the recorder at the right time to capture the television spot for proof of performance. Over time, the three true values of outdoor (reach, frequency and CPM) were ingrained in me from Todd and corporate. Our Bakersfield offices were an hour away from Martin’s corporate office. We would travel to Paso Robles at least once per month and were able to meet influential people of the billboard industry. Names like Dave Yacullo, Monica Denny, and Mark Barns from Outdoor Services, Karl Eller (Clear Channel), Wally Kelly (CBS Outdoor), Frank Sanchez (Martin Media), would all share their wisdom when asked them. They all became mentors from all different viewpoints. They all provided huge insight as people who loved outdoor advertising.
BB: You have been with in OOH for many years! What has kept you there?
SC: What has kept me in outdoor advertising, is providing solutions to clients advertising needs with the true values of outdoor: Reach, Frequency, and Cost Per Thousand.
BB: What is it about OOH you enjoy?
SC: I am hopeful that our industry can find the value in Geopath’s work in delivering us better measurements with the overlay of mobile phone data. I love that we can finally tell the story of who is driving by the ad. BUT- don’t get entirely lured by those numbers as you trash all of the other impressions that the board delivers. And with social media, good and thoughtful creative will live outside the space and add more impressions.
BB: What is the most important thing you have learned working in OOH?
SC: Know your client’s objective to the advertising campaign, and create a sound execution, everything else will take care of itself. I started my own company to try to do the right thing as it is the right thing to do. Keep focused in selling. Over the last 15 years of outdoor, sales people are doing less selling than ever before and are instead, filling out the necessary paperwork to satisfy corporates.
BB: Any advice to others in Outdoor Advertising?
SC: Know your industry better than anyone else. Offer an opinion that can be backed up with facts.
BB: What do you attribute to your personal success OOH?
SC: Having a sports background has taught me to be nimble in the advertising world. If you keep doing the same tasks over and over but expect different results, you are sadly misguided.
BB: What have you done for OOH and you are most proud of?
SC: Over time we have become the company that figures out solutions for advertisers. This was never more evident to us then when we helped with the Adidas campaign in Las Vegas for the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. We were able to get the MGM Grand (headquarters for the NBA All-Star Game), Adidas, the NBA, and all the other moving parts to work together and provide a complete domination within the tourist corridor in Las Vegas. Figuring out how to put an All-Star jersey on the MGM Lion and have it look great was a relief. We project managed the client’s expectations and were able to turn all the doubters into believers in making the City of Las Vegas, The Las Vegas Strip and NBA and Adidas all one big happy family.
BB: Do you have a prediction for the future of OOH?
SC: With all of the new data being provided to our metrics, we are at a critical point in making the data relevant to the client’s needs, but we also need to remember the basic values for out-of-home. We need to figure out how to create a value for both sectors of measured people and put those into our pitches. No other media can give both, but that is and should be our strength. It can pertain to you sector of the business or any OOH prediction in general.
BB: Is there anyone you most admire or credit to providing significant influence in your Outdoor career?
SC: I was fortunate enough to work with several different types of managers and owners throughout my career. Tom Martin taught me to know my craft (know what you sell and sell what you know). Todd Hansen taught me that if we lost a pitch or a piece of business, make sure it wasn’t from a lack of effort (110% always, right Todd). Another manager taught me to be active in the advertising community and know what is going on throughout the market not just in advertising. Bill Doak, one of my business partners, has taught me how to make educated decisions. Tom Jones, my GM in Las Vegas when I transferred into Las Vegas, taught me how to be a good person and look for the best in people. When Vector Media broke into the Las Vegas market I met Bill Schwartz and we have been great friends since. I learned so much from Bill on how national clients think and buy.
BB: If you could change 3 things in OOH Industry today what would it be? What is missing in the OOH Community? What are your solutions?
SC: Stop changing our measurements and figure out how to give the clients what they are asking for with the metrics we have. The biggest thing missing in our OOH community is true leadership from the top. Our changing of the guard that our industry has gone through over the last 5 years has hurt us as we don’t have a sense of direction. All the scientific and mathematical phrases that have become standard in our industry (Algorithms, analytics, etc) only reduce the impressions to the core, but there are so many more impressions that are being delivered that aren’t being accounted for. We need to create the story that both are important.
Scott Carlovsky | President
We asked a few of the many OOH friends of Scott’s to share their thoughts:
Sr Vice President at Outfront Media
Scott was the kind of friend that you may not speak with every day or even every week, but when you did, it was as if you spoke yesterday.
We typically discussed many things. Sports, family, friends and the latest and greatest in the OOH world were always included. We spoke just a few days ago and had a bunch of good laughs… there are so many that will miss his humor, candor and friendship .
My heart goes out to his entire family, He is tremendously missed.
General Manager, Sun Outdoor
He just got it done, whatever it was, you could count on Scott.
Sales Manager at Adomni
Las Vegas, Nevada
We are all heart-broken over the loss of Scott.
I learned about his death as I drove into the office Tuesday morning.
I haven’t been able to clear my heads since learning of this horrible news.
Scott was an incredible asset to the out of home industry.
He will be missed!
A scholarship fund for Scott’s daughters has been established at Merrill Lynch. Please send checks to Carlovsky/Account No. 41824435, Attn: Derek Rosenberg, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 300, Las Vegas, NV 89145 or call (702) 341-2063.