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Billboard Insider
By Staff Writer
January 27, 2017

The Helma Larkin-moderated panel with executives from the big five out of home firms at the April 2016 Geopath/OAAA conference is aging well.  Larkin asked each executive where the out of home industry will be in 10 years.   Here's what they said:
  • Jean-Luc Decaux, Co-Chief Executive, JCDecaux.  In 10 years there will be further consolidation...The share of digital will grow tremendously...We'll be selling audiences as opposed to signs.
  • Scott Wells, CEO, Clear Channel Outdoor.  In 10 years there will be a proliferation of inventory types...In 10 years if we aren't integrated with other media we will have utterly failed.
  • Jeremy Male, CEO, Outfront Media.  In 10 years there will be seamless transactions for screens.  We need to think of our medium as the third screen...I don't think it matters whether it's a digital screen or an analog screen...We will continue to grow.
  • Sean Reilly, CEO Lamar Advertising.  In 10 years Cracker Barrel will still be one of our largest customers...In 10 years our physical structures are going to become more useful to society...Interconnectedness, wifi, other reasons to be around...We will ultimately either be off the grid or feeding the grid power.  I think we are going to have solar panels on most of our structures.  I think Tesla's going to invent a battery that's going to allow us to store power on site.
  • Kevin Gleason, CEO, Fairway Outdoor.  In the future I would like to focus on what's going on in the mind of the advertiser.  What are they thinking?  We talk about ROI...How much time do we spend sitting down and talking to an advertiser...We spend much more time talking about our inventory and out business than we do in the discovery process of what an advertiser is thinking...The next big breakthrough in the next 10 years is to build organizations which can dialogue with an advertiser and marry their expectations to our assets.
Ending Two Years of Debate, Pasco Okays Digital Billboard Swap
Tampa Bay Times
By C.T. Bowen
January 25, 2017
DADE CITY, FL- Pasco County commissioners agreed Tuesday to let the outdoor advertising industry step into the digital age along the county's federal and state highways.

After nearly two years of public workshops and negotiations with billboard companies, commissioners voted unanimously to allow the firms to take down static billboards and replace them with high-tech digital light-emitting diode billboards that can rotate messages.

Under the ordinance, the number of new digital signs will be capped at 37. And for each one installed, the billboard companies must remove the equivalent of six existing signs, based on square footage.

"I think less is better for the county and the community, but still give people the opportunity to advertise,'' said commission Chairman Mike Moore.

The 6-to-1 swap was greater than what industry representatives said they could accept in November. But it also was a reduction from the 10-to-1 ratio the county proposed two months ago. The messages on the signs can be rotated every 15 seconds, about half the frequency the billboard sign companies originally wanted.

Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, who, as a citizen activist, was instrumental in the county banning new billboards nearly 18 years ago, acknowledged she was nervous about amending the ordinance, and was skeptical about the industry's motives.

"I'm worried they're going to take down all the little ones and keep up all these monsters,'' Starkey said.

She acquiesced, however, and said she had faith that the end product would improve the county's aesthetics.
The ultimate goal for the county is to remove some of the 509 billboard structures along local roads. If the companies install all 37 digital signs, measuring 672 feet each, the county could see more than a 60 percent reduction in roadside billboards, to 188 structures.

"It could take decades,'' said Senior Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Blair, who drafted the ordinance. "But 188 structures versus 509 now, that's a huge difference.''

The county banned new billboards in 1999 amid public blowback against sign proliferation. However, in the weeks leading up to adoption of the ordinance, companies and private landowners flooded Pasco with permit applications for new signs.

In 2010, Clear Channel Outdoors, which has about a quarter of the billboard market in Pasco, got a cold shoulder from the county when it approached the commission about a digital swap. After the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg and Pinellas County approved similar ordinances, Clear Channel broached the topic again with the Pasco commission in early 2015 and found a more receptive audience.

Under the new ordinance, digital signs will be limited to U.S. 19, U.S. 41, State Roads 52 and 54 and Interstate 75, and half of the removed signs must come from those same roads. The only difference is along U.S. 19, where all new digital billboards must be must be accompanied by the removal of six billboards from the same road because of the county's efforts to redevelop the west-side corridor.

Smartphone Usage Patterns Inform OOH Opportunities 
By Staff Writer
January 26, 2017

As mobile device usage exploded, and resulted in enormous ad spend, it's evolved into a strategic ally for OOH. Instead of eroding audiences as it does with most traditional media, mobile is used most heavily in the OOH space creating a natural convergence of the two. To leverage the ability of OOH to impact mobile consumer behavior, it is important to understand trends in the mobile space.   

Many of those are tracked by comScore, a company that measures mobile audience behavior and brands. Their December 2016 report is filled with insights on the mobile landscape which allow OOH media companies to have informed conversations with clients and prospects using the mobile platform.

All numbers reported are for share of subscribers ages 13+ for the time period September - November 2016:
The Nielsen OOH advertising study examined the ability of OOH to drive mobile activation, and found OOH viewers had taken these actions in the past year:
The USA Touchpoints/RealityMine study, "OOH and Today's Mobile Consumer", found OOH had the greatest reach among all traditional media in reaching consumers in the half-hour before they engaged in key mobile device activity such as search, online shopping, and social media engagement.
 The power of OOH in amplifying mobile is clear. The USA Touchpoints/Media Behavior Institute study found OOH can increase the reach of mobile up to 318 percent, and the reach of social media up to 212 percent. 

When the Weather Is Bad, Digital Billboards for the 'Baywatch' Movie Will Try to Cheer You Up
By Christopher Heine
January 25, 2017

The ad campaign is underway for the Baywatch movie, which opens nationally on May 26. While the forthcoming flick most likely won't go down in cinema history with the likes of Citizen Kane or Chinatown, its Paramount Pictures marketers are approaching  out-of-home with a bit of innovation.
Utilizing the digital billboard system from Lamar Advertising, Paramount and its team are targeting 16 mostly rust-belt or corn-belt mid-sized markets with ads that change according to the weather happening around the signage. The towns being pitched include the likes of Flint, Mich., Waterloo, Iowa, Lincoln, Neb., Sioux Falls, S.D., Green Bay, Wisc., Syracuse, N.Y., and Casper, Wyo. A total of 52 digital billboards will be employed through Feb. 5 in the endeavor.

The ads highlight whether passersby are experiencing either brutal cold, snow or rain, with the promise that summer is coming in the name of Baywatch, which stars Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. What creative appears depends on the local weather data.

The movie, of course, is based on the themes of the Baywatch TV program that ran on NBC and in syndication from 1989 through 2001.

Weather-data-based advertising has become a bit of a "bright, shiny object" in the world of marketing, and it's often attempted to be done via mobile phones with precise, one-to-one targeting. What makes the Baywatch effort different is not only the traditional mass-advertising medium being employed, but also that the endeavor combines real-time climate conditions via automation with the idea of empathy.

Can empathy be automated? Whether these digital billboards nudge folks to the box office may help answer that question.