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OAC 2023 clicks on talent, technology & creativity as growth levers

By N Jayalakshmi - July 29, 2023

The second half of Day 1 of OAC 2023 held at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi gave the OOH industry much to mull over, with a line-up of sessions that focused on critical aspects that can take the OOH medium to new heights.

Dr-Dwarika-Prasad-UniyalDay 1 of the 17th edition of Outdoor Advertising Convention covered a dynamic mix of aspects in the post lunch sessions, aspects that drive the Out of Home Advertising industry forward - talent, technology and  creativity. Dr Dwarika Prasad Uniyal, Pro Vice Chancellor, RV university, Bengaluru, threw the spotlight on the talent aspect of OOH in his session, ‘Building a game-changing talent strategy for OOH’. 

The session especially attains significance, given the perceived dearth of talent in the OOH industry. Indeed, Dwarika’s session brought home the need to make OOH an attractive medium for fresh young talent and drew the audience attention to some of the collective inherent challenges. “We are a data illiterate country; we don’t do data analysis. Also, there is no collaboration between the academicia and the industry and OOH is not seen as a cool career option,” he said drawing attention to a big challenge in drawing the right kind of talent and on the need to invest in best practices, research and training.” Dr Dwarika summed up his session by zeroing in on some key challenges in the context of grooming talent. Interestingly, he also summed up the session with a recommendation for an OOH Academy. It certainly   left the audience and the OOH eco-system much to think about.

Matt steffensonTalent grooming in OOH also attains urgency, given the way the medium is evolving by embracing new technologies. Programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) advertising for instance is set to redefine the medium, having already become an established practice abroad. The next speaker Matt Steffenson, Director of Supply, APAC, Vistar Mediain fact emphasised the relevance of pDOOH in his session ‘How pDOOH can be the growth multiplier’. 

Starting by  defining pDOOH, Matt took the audience through Vistra Media’s journey  and in the process revealing the possibilities that unfold when pDOOH gains ground for both buyers and sellers of OOH media.  With transparency, focused audience targeting and real time measurability being the cornerstones of pDOOH, it is only a matter of time before it becomes an integral part of OOH practices, and Matt’s presentation highlighted these competitive advantages. Matt also made a very valid point when he stressed on why traditional OOH and pDOOH were in fact complimentary to each other, addressing the concerns of traditional media owners. He also explained why pDOOH could help deliver brand objectives in a much more efficient manner.  

Being part of the world’s leading provider of software solutions for pDOOH, Matt also enumerated, supported by examples, on how pDOOH could be managed for best results by onboarding the right players in the eco-system

Liam RushforthThe other key component of OOH, namely creativity, was the theme of the next presentation, made by Liam Rushforth, Co-Founder and CEO of UK-based Flux Outdoor. Liam spoke on ‘Unlocking the creative potential of DOOH’. Liam in fact has been blending creativity with the latest in Digital OOH technology for the past 8 years. From experimenting on a single screen in 2015, to now working globally with the world's biggest advertisers and across 250 publishers, Liam and the Flux team understand the significant challenges of delivering data-driven content to digital sites and have developed the Flux platform to address these and therefore truly unlock the creative potential of DOOH. His session quite naturally  took a deep dive into the dynamics of creative DOOH. Liam began by drawing on the example of the iconic British Airways  campaign launched over 10 years ago, which in effect is a classic example of how creative DOOH could generate engagement and impact when planned strategically.  He then took the audience through his own journey with DOOH, sharing how technology  could help meet each brand’s unique campaign objectives in the most creative manner. Liam also threw the spotlight on ROA - Return on Attention - basically the reward the audience expects for giving their attention to a brand. This is where creative DOOH, the one that combines interactivity and audience engagement by harnessing data, plays a crucial role, and Liam made a compelling case for this in his presentation.     


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