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The Most Important Things that Have Transpired in OOH Over the Past Decade

The 13 Most Memorable Moments of the Decade —OOH …Here’s One Thing —Jim Johnsen

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Shutterstock By Casimiro PT



OOH …Here’s One Thing  

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




“Old man, look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were,
Old man, look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were,
Old man, look at my life,
Twenty-four and there is so much more,
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two
Love lost, such a cost
Give me things that don’t get lost
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you”

Anyone else out there raised on Neil Young?  I sure was.  I know its an acquired taste, but IMHO, Young pumped out some transcendent stuff both with and without CSN.  Honestly, I am not even sure what his genre was.  Soft rock (listen to Cortez the Killer)…  Southern country rock (certainly not, Lynyrd Skynyrd wanted no part of him)…  Classic Rock…definitely not.  In my book that’s reserved for the likes of Deep Purple, Bad Company and the master of them all, Zeppelin.  While hard to pin down, its hard to argue that the 3 LP album “Decade” didn’t capture his best stuff from 1966 to 1976.  I certainly wore all 6 sides out spinning it endlessly on my B.I.C. turntable back in the day.  And to be honest, a bunch of those songs sound almost as good coming out of my iPhone today as they did then.

Okay, Johnsen, again I ask you…what the hell is the point.  Well, for those of you (like myself) who are crushed just trying to close out the year,  you may not have noticed, but we are about to say hello to a new decade and wave good bye to an old one.  Shit that was fast.  I do find it helpful to ponder on what the hell went on in the last decade during moments like this.  But first a confession.  I happen to be visiting my mom recently and while we sat around shooting the breeze I very rudely picked up a People Magazine and started to thumb through it.  I mean we all multi-task right?  More importantly, does anyone actually buy People Magazine any longer?  I mean yes, it’s like a non-smoker having a cigarette.  It’s a really cheap thrill…followed quickly by a “why did I do that, now I feel like shit”.  In any event, since we are here now, they had a segment on “The 20 Most Memorable Moments of the Decade”.  A partial list (just to keep you from throwing up) included:

  1. William and Kate got married
  2. Netflixed Reshaped TV
  3. Fifty Shades of Gray Heated Up
  4. #Metoo Roared
  5. George Clooney Settled Down…and last but not least
  6. Donald Got Elected…

(note they are not in People Magazine order…nor am I making light of any of the above).

Stumbling on this article triggered a thought that perhaps it would be helpful to make a list of the important things that have transpired in our industry over the past decade.  Perhaps we can show it to some of our friends that think that nothing ever changes in the “staid” out-of-home business.  So without further adieu, here is my list.  I really hope you write back and tell me what I missed.

  1. Piccadilly Circus, over a 100 year old advertising venue, goes digital
  2. Payphone advertising disappears (almost) and smart city kiosks become big business (almost)
  3. Google, Netflix and American Tower enter the business
  4. Hand-painted walls become a “thing”…again!
  5. Times Square goes 100% (almost) digital
  6. Outdoor execs and buyers start slinging around terms like DSP, SSP, CM, top of the stack, bottom of the funnel, API, KPI, neural network, NOC, feedback loop, deep data analytics and programmatic, proving that we have truly entered a brave new world
  7. The Rotary Program is now officially extinct, as is a 50 GRP showing
  8. One 350 foot tall digital screen goes up in Times Square
  9. Outfront Media whose DNA consists of Combined Communications, Outdoor Systems, 3M National, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Media finally spins out of CBS and becomes a public stand-alone REIT.
  10. Lamar Advertising’s revenue grows by over 70%
  11. The TAB becomes Geopath and is run by a woman (very competent IMHO) for the first time
  12. Two of outdoor’s G.O.A.T”s, Nancy Fletcher and Jim McLaughlin retire
  13. Last but not least, Richard Schaps exits the business with great aplomb…and then re-enters the business

So long short, for anyone who says our Industry never changes…take that.

And to change subjects for a second, I heard today that 4 million more Americans will be traveling this holiday season than last.  So if you have some excess unsold inventory, please think about wishing them a safe and happy holiday season.  Is it really that hard? (and it might just be good for business).

And finally in conclusion, as Mr. Nixon says, I will leave you with a riddle that I blatantly ripped off from “The Brew” (another online news-feed chipping away at our traditional brethren).  Three of the following news headlines are real, but one is made up. Can you spot the fake?

  1. “School bus evacuated due to overwhelming smell of Axe body spray”
  2. “School of Rock: The art of crowd surfing gets its own class at Oberlin”
  3. “Pigeons in tiny cowboy hats are a mystery in Las Vegas”
  4. “‘My boss lets us book hangover days’”


Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC

(answer:  #2)




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