OOH will continue to steal a march on other media: Tim Bleakley
By Rajiv Raghunath - January 21, 2019
As conscious brands apply caution to safeguard themselves from the rise of fake news and address online brand safety concerns, they will migrate to those channels best placed to deliver strong messages, says Tim Bleakley, CEO, Ocean Outdoor, UK
What were the 3 most important factors that influenced OOH business in the UK market in the year 2018?
• Resilience. Out of home put in a robust performance in 2018 despite 12 months of political turmoil and its inevitable impact on UK business confidence. For Ocean it has been a transformational year following the Ocelot transaction and the acquisition of Forrest Media in Scotland. This significantly increased our UK DOOH footprint and puts us on an exciting trajectory. Consolidation was top of the OOH UK agenda, kick started by Ocean and then the subsequent emergence of a new UK player in Global Radio to challenge the broad inventory based market leadership of JC Decaux.
• Innovation. In terms of audience and brand experiences, genuine technical strides have been made. DOOH now offers a presence at scale not just in London but in 11 other key UK cities. This growth connects even more national urban audiences and mindsets with iconic and premium OOH and that includes the elusive younger, mobile audience. Big strides have also been made in the use of data, location planning and accountability which has kept the medium relevant and contextual.
• Creative brilliance. OOH is now being talked about as a disruptive, dynamic channel. Major investment in roadside, inner city, transport and retail environments have driven growth and creativity. Genuine insights around the emotional impact of OOH have enhanced the narrative of brands’ emotional led strategies using dynamic video, live events, consumer experiences and social media stories to bridge offline and online environments.
What would be the top 3 factors driving OOH growth in the year 2019?
• Further consolidation, convergence and organic expansion. We are about to move into our 12th UK city and our pipeline is strong, with more than 120 new locations at various stages of development. We hope that a more focussed and consolidated market will supercharge the medium’s organic growth with a focus on the benefits to the advertiser over other media.
Growing audiences, an ability to reach light TV viewers, dynamic targeting with measurable real time data analytics, brand safety, creating exceptional fame, amplifying all other online and mobile content distribution channels would be the other key developments.
• Audience delivery and ROI. By leveraging new strategies around location and measurement, OOH will become more accountable. Closer collaboration between OOH operators and the specialists regards site availability, data and play-out reporting will accelerate. The maturing of digital will drive channel strategies and efficiencies as share and smarter location based planning come to the fore.
• Creative brilliance 2.0. OOH will continue to steal a march on other media. As conscious brands apply caution to safeguard themselves from the rise of fake news and address online brand safety concerns, they will migrate to those channels best placed to deliver strong messages which enhance the consumer experience. As growth in online stalls, DOOH will demonstrate its value because it exists in those very places where money is spent. 2019 will be all about integrated, content led strategies that transcend expectations and deliver on our digital cities for digital citizens proposition.