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Ramble On

OOH …Here’s One Thing

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OOH …Here’s One Thing

by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company


Ramble On



“Leaves are falling all around
It’s time I was on my way
Thanks to you I’m much obliged”
Led Zeppelin

As I had my Happy Thanksgiving sign off last week, I was all set to skip the ramblings this weekend and watch some football. But then someone fired a razor bomb right down my chimney in response to last week’s musings and frankly it amped me up a bit. Hats off to the veteran that pointed on that there is no such thing as a haggle, but there is a HAGL.  After 30 years of talking signs you would think I wouldn’t have performed such an atrocious blunder. Truth be told, however, I have never built a sign in my life, nor sold a piece of advertising. Pretty bizarre, right?  It’s like the team’s seamstress not knowing what a penalty kick is. What can I say. I guess we all play a roll in this mishegas they call the outdoor advertising industry.

So in honor of the fine gentleman who pointed out what a piker I am, here are few fun technical terms that are probably child’s play for you veterans out there (thanks to the OAAA and Exterion Media):

Embellishment:  Letters, figures, mechanical devices or lighting that is attached to the face of an OOH unit to create a special effect.

Bleed: Display area which extends beyond the live copy area, often to the edge of the finished size.

Circulation: A measurement of traffic volume in a market. Circulation only estimates the number of people with an opportunity to see an out of home display and, therefore, is no longer a credible measure of an OOH audience and is out of step with other media metrics (huh..no politics in that).

Facing: The cardinal direction that an OOH unit faces. As an example, a north facing bulletin is viewed by vehicles traveling south.

Commercial Audience: Audience estimates of people exposed to actual advertising. Geopath/TAB OOH Ratings are the first media measurement system providing true commercial audiences of OOH advertising rather than audiences that are merely exposed to editorial content (e.g. read a magazine, read a newspaper or tuned to a TV program, etc.) (…ah, whadja ya say booboo?)

Lifestyle/Retail: Out of home media that are used to create customized advertising programs that generally target specific consumer audiences. Lifestyle/Retail includes, but is not limited to: arena and stadiums, placed based, digital networks, health clubs/restaurants/bars, exterior placed based (i.e. airborne, marine, resorts and leisure).

Percent Composition: The percent of the total audience for a display or schedule that a brand target demographic group comprise.

Likelihood to See (LTS):  The portion of the OTS (Opportunity to See) audience who are likely to see an ad. OOH is the first medium in the US to move from reporting OTS audiences (DECs) to LTS (Likely to See) audiences, which can also be referred to as commercial audiences (…anyone getting this measurement stuff yet).

Opportunity to See (OTS):  A basic measure of media exposure. OTS estimates are measures of media exposure (e.g. magazine readership or the TV program exposures) and not the advertising. OTS is today’s standard for reporting ratings for all media types except OOH. (wow…did not know that)

Line of Sight:  The simultaneous viewing of more than one OOH unit (aka damn it the guy followed right after me in the city council meeting).

Proof-of-Performance (POP): Certification by an OOH company that contracted advertising services has been rendered.

Snipe:  An adhesive strip that is used to cover a portion of copy displayed on an OOH unit (aka pay your damn bill).

Plant:  A term used to identify a media company and its entire OOH advertising inventory in a market (some manufacturing wannabe must have made this up…it never made sense to me…although I sling it around with the best of them).

Spectacular:  A bulletin that is usually larger than 14’ x 48’ and is positioned at a prime location in a market. A spectacular often utilizes special embellishments. (yes one of my favorites industry terms)

…and once again demonstrating that the Brits say it much better than us:

Target Rating Points (TRPs):  The total number of in-market impressions from a target audience delivered by an OOH campaign expressed as a percentage of a market population.

A2 Back of Driver: A bus Passenger Panel format positioned behind the driver and facing head-on towards those onboard

Free of Charge

Backlit T-Side: As per a standard Bus T-Side format, but fully illuminated from behind, offering maximum advertiser standout during darker seasons

Mega Rear: An advertisement site which covers the whole area of the back of a double-deck bus (Benny Hill could have a field day with this one)

Cycle: Outdoor advertising operates in 2 week bursts i.e. a cycle. This is the length of time an outdoor campaign is in-situ for. Multiple cycles can be purchased to extend the length of a campaign. View the cycle calendar.

POP: Point of Purchase (wow, that’s confusing, this dumb American thought it was proof that the damn vinyl went up and stayed up)

OTS: The average number of times an individual notices an OOH advertising message during a defined period of time (I guess the Brits haven’t called bunk on this quite yet)

PurchasePoints: An Exterion Media 6 sheet poster located at the point of purchase e.g. at a supermarket or shopping mall (anyone remember green stamps?)

SOV: Share of Voice – The percentage of advertising activities for one brand within the total advertising activity for an entire sector or product type (as Austin Powers says…ya baby)

A visibility adjusted contact or VAC is the audience rating for an advertising panel. It is not a measure of quality but simply one of the scale of the audience.  You convinced yet that buyers have something to gripe about when it comes to measurement?

And to top things off, here is something about thanksgiving that we probably don’t want to know about, but hey since we are in the process of taking down every other holiday…what the heck: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/11/04/thanksgiving-anniversary-wampanoag-indians-pilgrims/

Good luck with the turkey trot (play Ramble On at the gun and you will be fine) and have a fantastic, guilt free Holiday folks. 



Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC

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