We had our second annual DOOH Media Cross Media event last week in cooperation with the Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) and the Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA). Held at Gannett's HQ with a backdrop of Madison Avenue, the event attracted a mixed crowd of digital signage networks, agencies, brands, platform companies and mobile experts.
Speakers from NEC, MWW, The Wow Factor, Time Square Screen Alliance, Blue Bite and The Wall Street Journal dissected the overall growth of mobile, digital signage and best practices of this overall evolution of convergence. The common themes evolved around experience, media strategy and scalability.
Don Blanton, CEO of The Wow Factor
Theme 1: Experience
“It is so important to build an experience that creates an emotional response,” stated Don Blanton, CEO of The Wow Factor. Don is one of those true visionaries that had created some of the best campaigns in Times Square, bringing creativity and innovation to an environment where consumers are stimulated by digital media from every angle. He showcased some of the campaigns that had been successful, and shared techniques and strategies to best gauge the usefulness of the campaigns.
“We find that in order to have a successful campaign, the integration with the street-teams is a key part of process. We found that with mobile, sometimes the downloading of an app can be a bit of an obstacle. Getting users to activate the app is still not a perfect scenario, but overall integrating the campaign is effective in getting engagement with the massive screen,” said Blanton.
Mikhail Damiani from Blue Bite also shared his vision on how to drive a campaign first from the strategy of experience that then determines the right technologies to use. “NFC is going to be a key driver of this interaction in the future,” he stated and shared some statistics that proved this is happening faster than we expected.
Tom Hennigan of Times Square Screen Alliance and Blanton also shared a sneak-peak of what is to come with the connectivity of all screens. “Giving advertisers the best opportunity…massive emotional experiences are coming soon in our launch in October to Times Square,” Hennigan announced.
Theme 2: Media Strategy
The discussions also took on a perspective that the holistic view is a critical part in an overall media strategy with the brand. “Getting the strategy right from the beginning is essential and the platform with which you serve ads to the different screens is critical,” explained Carolyn Walkin of NEC. “When deciding on an ad server for your business, it is now the time to choose one that gives you the ability to work everywhere. That will make your planning much more streamlined.”
As we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the growth of digital place based media, having a strategy that looks to combine these areas is going to be quite essential. “Given that mobile is with you everywhere, especially when you are on the go, it can be a great resource in linking these strategies together,” said Michael Scheiner, executive creative director of MWW.
When asked by Jim Harris, CEO of the Wall Street Journal Office Network what we can expect in five years, the panel of speakers was quick to talk about the further fusion of media. And there was a strong consensus on the opportunities of augmented reality. “Augmented reality is going to bring amazing things to Times Square,” said Blanton.
Michael Scheiner, executive creative director, MWW
Theme 3: Scalability
Another common theme for the event was the issue of scalability. “When developing a plan, it is important to have a long-term scalable strategy,” said Scheiner. “Many campaigns that link these converging areas together have been created as one-offs without a long-term sustainable plan. But with the right strategy from the beginning, that campaign can have longevity and can bridge all the different areas of PR, social, interactive, mobile and digital out-of-home.”
Although scalability has been a topic discussed quite often and sometimes hard to qualify, in a world of an overwhelming flow of information, it is clear that getting the message right so that it can continue across all mediums is very important. Harris noted that this is a challenge they pursue every day when you have a 700+ location digital signage network. When he asked the panel their remarks on the subject, the common answer of “creating the right content experience for the user” was the key media strategy.
Matthew Snyder is producer of MXM Events and CEO ADObjects, Inc.