Open and Unsold Space. What’s the smart thing to do?

the sooner you adv her ethe better self promo all three photos

We were buying $600,000 in bulletins in 4 of the top 10 competitive markets, with the Big 3– Outfront, Lamar and Clear Channel.  Two vendors had a significant number of ‘open bulletins’ on the freeways and major arterials. We advised the sales reps in initial discussions, we were aware of the ‘white space’ on the streets.  We positioned their significant open inventory equating to similarly significantly reduced rates.  The reps countered explaining the dozen units were sold and were ‘in the middle of rotation.’

Why would they have a dozen units in the middle of rotation?  1. Poor operations scheduling? 2. Must take down deadlines of current advertisers? 3. The classic excuse, late arriving production?  4. Does it matter?  Why dispatch a crew to remove expired copy, if there is nothing to replace it?  Believable argument?

The OOH reps were at a disadvantage from the outset, and forced to defend the poor judgment by their company’s’ management, displaying ‘white space’.

 We negotiated generously discounted rates for our new client.

White, black or unsold space, equates to perceived sales/market issues.            

clear channel black reverse billobard above fatburger

If an OOH Owner has open faces, whether skeleton, uncovered sections or vinyl’s turned to the ‘blank side’, the message on the street is: ‘this space is not selling’.   To the untrained advertiser or buyer, white space could indicate something is wrong with the location.

Rent Me! Space Available! Ad Here! 

porlier farm

If one must post ‘space available’, the creative should not include the word available or ad here and design must be Rob Jackson creative clever!  Utilize the rules of great Outdoor Advertising design. It is essential to persuade prospects your company possesses expertise in OOH, including creative design. Promote with a great OOH design to convey the perception you have the expertise and skills to design for advertisers. click this link for Van Wagner solution.

Keep the number of self promo units limited to less than 3% of your inventory.  Remember, no matter how it’s creatively cloaked, the sign might as well read: ‘We can’t sell this space’.

Management, don’t handcuff sales staff with ‘space available messages’ or ‘blank faces.’

Always maintain paid copy or the appearance of paid copy, on your better billboard locations. As an OOH Owner, create the impression your inventory is sold. You’ll reap greater rewards extending a client campaign past the contract date as override time.

As a buyer, know the market occupancy and demand. Top OOH planning and placement Agencies keep historical rate data.

What are your thoughts on ‘White or Open Space’?