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That’s Quite an Impression You Left, or Are You Just Happy To See Me

Once a Week, but never weakly. Especially this week

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Once a Week, but never weakly. Especially this week

That’s Quite an Impression You Left, or Are You Just Happy To See Me

by Nick Coston, U.S. Sales Director, The Neuron, Industry Consiglieri & Humorist

Earlier today, at my advanced age, which I’m pretty sure is far older than the rest of you, I learned a brand new word. A word that shockingly to me is a perfect description of the industry I have recently entered into, but had no idea it ever existed. While I’ve taken and passed two lengthy, well produced and written, pDOOH tutorials, this year, not once, that I could recall, did the term narrowcasting come up. Not that it had to but it’s such a perfect description of this advertising category that I think I’m gonna copyright it.

OK, I made that last line up. But someone should, or at least name a hamburger after it.

message for Circle Graphics

“Narrowcasting”. I guess it’s been around a while because it shows up on spellcheck. “Narrowcasting”.  And for those of you who are shaking your noggins too, narrowcasting, which I’ll stop putting in quotes now, is based originally on targeting certain television transmissions to specific or localized audiences. One easy way to remember narrowcasting is that is the opposite of broadcasting. I didn’t make that phrase up, it’s been around for a long time too.  Narrowcasting doesn’t reach the the masses, instead, just like it sounds, it’s aimed at targeting audiences in specific, particular locations.  This relates to the direction much of our digital OOH media formats are heading, aimed like a fine, bright laser pointer, not a Civil War cannon. 

what is the actual value of that impression versus seeing that same copy that could now be in full motion

In advancing the way our industry sells space, narrowcasting, using digital technology, pushes us to think about what we can do next week and next year not what’s available just today. Today we have a bounty of OOH media, beautiful, big and easy to read billboards. BBB you might say. And in any outdoor media plan you should always consider these amazing, traditional BBB units that dot a lot of our roadways, streets, sidewalks, bus stops. They show off incredible copy and art. These BBB’s also have some big-ass impressions, huge numbers that result in some very efficient CPM’s. But we can easily make an argument as to how efficient these CPM’s really are, as a buyer am I really getting value for this impression if someone is driving by my digital unit at 70 miles an hour, how much are they retaining based on the actual dwell time of seeing that flip? Maybe a little longer for a static unit. But the question is, what is the actual value of that impression versus seeing that same copy that could now be in full motion, sometimes have some sound, up close, one-on-one, say in an elevator or the gas station or a shopping mall or your office building lobby. Is that impression as valuable as the one that someone sees driving past in their automobile?

Well, I don’t have that exact answer, but I do expect you to be thinking about it and would enjoy seeing your feedback. Just because that CPM, bought programmatically on the smaller digital screen is $12 vs the traditional OOH CPM of $3.50, is it of any less value to the person who’s standing 2 feet away and can take the time to process that ad copy more accurately then you can from a moving vehicle? Especially if you’re the one driving.

DOOH is building quickly in places you can’t reach

What is then the true value of each of these impressions? Is that even a fair question considering how these products differ? I do know that I really like the direction our industry has taken especially in the last three years. Having the ability to do both, the big “shotgun” approach of delivering mega impressions to the road masses and the targeted, “sniper-style” approach of programmatic ad delivery, is so very key to the expansion of overall OOH revenues that we should be pushing both. Knowing that pDOOH, although growing, is a very small percentage of overall OOH spend, if we want to grow our overall share of the advertising pie worldwide we know where we can add some girth. It’s not like they’re building that many new static billboards these days, just drive through a big cities and see if you notice any new structures. You rarely will. But look around next time you’re in public spaces especially newer buildings, gyms, retailers, college campuses, bars, sporting venues, trucks, even my local public library. The list goes on and the growth potential on DOOH is limitless.So all you big brands out there, take note, while many traditional, non-OOH products like TV, radio and online are having revenue issues, just see how many damn times on prime-time cable networks they keep running that annoying DuckDuckGo spot with that even more annoying voiceover saying it’s none of our business, DOOH is building quickly in places you can’t reach.

Have I made an impression yet on you?


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