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OOH Today Weekend Update —September 19, 2022

Vinyl made every sign, large and small, old and new, whole or broken, great again!

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A weekly recap of the top OOH stories you may have missed, along with colorful commentary from bb

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1. Paperless —Sept. 16th, 1959

Paper ads on OOH placements were the norm for a very long time. According to Geopath, back “in 2008, the OAAA made a commitment toward a more sustainable, green future, signaling a shift toward vinyl ads instead of paper. Since then, many OOH companies have gone paperless in this respect – and a portion have continued that evolution into digital displays, as well as implementing carbon neutral initiatives.”

BB’s Take
Not quite accurate in many respects. 

Actually, my first vinyl printing hit the streets in the late 1980’s. My first local sale of computer generated vinyl substrate was in 1986-87 with a Car dealer in Kansas City. Prior to that, I was using vinyl for hand paints of bulletins and 100% of my plant in Kansas City while managing Martin Media (County Tom) beginning in 1990.  And I know I was not the first. You? 

Regarding ‘environmental concerns’, this was addressed by a few of our readers as well…here is a take from one of our readers.

With ALL DUE RESPECT – shifting from paper ads to vinyl ads is in no way green or sustainable. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

Vinyl is not a naturally occurring plastic. It’s synthetically made from ethylene (from crude oil) and chloride (from salt). The process of extracting ethylene from crude oil, refining it, and processing it into Vinyl plastic causes significant pollution and causes harm to people and animals. During processing, it emits polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the environment, which lead to cancer, birth defects, and contaminated soil, air, and water.

And vinyl is not compostable, so when it is buried underground it is there for a long, long, time. And during that time it seeps its harmful chemicals into the ground.

There are alternatives – ecco flex being one of them. A material that is free of chlorine and 100% recyclable. Why isn’t everyone using it?

Digital is the next step, but even that can be taken further into sustainability by powering digital with renewable energy. I know one company who does this exclusively. Why isn’t everyone doing it?

Let’s get real about sustainability. Let’s take action and show the industry how we can operate the most powerful medium in the world and be kind to our planet at the same time.
Joseph Mancino, CEO at Greensigns. Chicago

While the innovation which vinyl brought to the OOH Industry is a great one. Let’s not kid ourselves, that the OOH Industry went from vinyl to paper because the multiple opportunities vinyl afforded the OOH Owners to become more environmentally correct. I mean come on, know your history.  What is more biodegradable and safer for the environment than paper and potato paste? Which were the two ingredients used in paper posters. Or the what was known as the 30 sheet format. Sorry Geopath.

We wondered if someone was going to address this. In fact, the OOH Industry went from vinyl to paper because the multiple opportunities vinyl afforded the OOH Owners starting with the ease of faithfully reproducing the actual design on the sign. No more hand painting of the larger bulletin boards or 30 day turn times which was the standard then.  Soon after bulletins went vinyl, it was apparent the industry could ‘wrap’ every poster panel as well. The paper billboards or posters (30 sheet and 24 sheet) as they were called, were quickly replaced with vinyl due to the fast turn times and ease of production including the quality image of the final product. Vinyl made every sign, large and small, old and new, whole or broken, great again! This is a story others will soon write once they read this. That’s what we do at OOH Today. True thought leadership. We ask the questions. We taste and examine the Kool-Aide and most important, we shine light (TRUTH/FACT) on the Industry. Don’t get me wrong, we love our vinyl at OOH Today.

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2. In Times Square and Piccadilly Circus —Wear Wool, Not Fossil Fuel

Via striking anamorphic DOOH  in iconic sites in London’s Piccadilly Circus and New York’s Times Square, and static formats as well, the Woolmark Company’s environmentally focused new global brand campaign ‘Wear Wool, Not Fossil Fuel’ aims to educate consumers about the hidden impact of synthetic fabrics on the environment and how choosing natural fibers such as wool can be a solution to reducing fashion’s impact.

BB’s Take

Environmental concerns are becoming more mainstream every single day. Here is an advertising campaign with solid reasons to buy natural fabrics while using OOH as the messenger. OOH needs to be more cognitive of its environmental footprint before the advertisers deem it’s a fundamental requirement for them to conduct business with our Industry in the future. More on this in another post below

3. OOH Best Creative Last Week Today

Big brands are consistently getting into out of home advertising. Check out the latest batch that came across our desk.

BB’s Take
As it turns out, more environmental concerns via OOH’s Best Creative. Evian Water-‘carbon neutral’—Plenish-‘less is more’-‘plant based milk’—Coca-Cola’s new clear bottle for Sprite to increase recycling. 

4. OAAA Names First New Head of Industry Initiatives

The OAAA recently brought on Jeff Jan as the organization’s first Head of Industry Initiatives. In this newly established role, Jan will oversee all industry initiatives, committees, and councils. Working directly with the trade association’s extended ecosystem of OOH media owners and ad technology subject matter experts, he will guide the development of research, technical standards and best practices, new ad formats, and thought leadership.

BB’s Take
One former Billups’ executive departs the OAAA (Rick Robinson) and another joins (Jeff Jan).  The Billups’ training center pipeline to the OAAA is still operating smoothly as the OAAA nabs another former Billups’ employee. OK, an unofficial pipeline, but it’s 2 of 2 in the most recent of hires. First Robinson now Jan. No slight intended to Jan, but once again the Association is hiring people light on OOH experience.  So it begs the question, who is currently with the OAAA and has OOH experience?  And does it matter? By our calculations it is net zero staff. Maybe that’s a good thing? Nah, it matters. 
Jeff Jan

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5. Where is this billboard located? OOH Gamified —Debut Billboardle

If you have some free time on your hands this morning, check out AdQuick.com‘s Billboardle, a free game that features a new billboard every day and gives players five chances to guess which state the billboard is located in.

BB’s Take
If you are a Wordle person, this maybe of interest. 
I am not a Wordle person.  A nice knock off of the ever popular Wordle game.  Anything to generate more interest in OOH. Give it a shot. Let us know if you ‘play’ and your your thoughts. 
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