After challenging 18 months, out of home launches initiatives in Out-Front event


Council of agency executives collaborate on making outdoor easier to buy

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) had three key messages for the market at its first Out-Front event this week. (Out-Front is the outdoor industry version of a TV upfront.)

The changes were mainly to make the sector easier to transact with after what has been a pretty horrid 18 months for the sector.

How bad have the past 18 months been?

“As a channel, we have been doing it pretty tough,” OMA chief executive Charmaine Moldrich explained to Mediaweek. “Some more than others. The winners have been retail and roadside, while public transport and airports have been hurting, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

“In 2020 it was really horrible for lots in the industry. The moment the vaccine was announced, we realised we would get out of it.

“We all feel that when the market comes back, which is happening now, it will come back stronger. In July last year the OMA board started talking about innovation and planning for what we would look like when we came out of the pandemic. We have been very future-focused.”

Out of home initiative #1

Move 1.5 is coming in January 2022. Moldrich: “We have moved from our current measurement system to adding the digital factor. This is something that agencies and clients have been asking us for. While we build 2.0, which will be much more of a scientific-based measurement system, we have built into 1.5 a series of factors that look at digital signs. Move 1.5 measurement takes into consideration things like dwell time of the sign, dwell time of the audience and the size of the sign.

Moldrich said that adding to the digital factor is a new measurement tool to give a qualitative measurement of the impact out of home signs have on the audience. “That is based on neuroscience research we have done. It’s been a world-first massive study over two years with over 2m data points. That has provided us with an algorithm that looks at the peak moments of memory and emotion and multiplies those peak moments to provide an impact score.

“There has been a lot of conversation about the attention economy and that reach and frequency is a blunt instrument. We have gone one step further with not just who is looking at the advertising. Neuroscience lets us not only know who is looking, but when they look what do they see and what impact it has.

MOVE 2.0 lead Grant Guesdon with data and insights director for oOh!media, Tara Coverdale and managing partner of Avenue C and OFC Chair, Pia Coyle

Out of home initiative #2

The second message from Out-Front is standardisation. “In order for us to become a much easier channel to buy we needed to do some things like matching geographic areas to the TV ones,” said Moldrich.

As to a question about why that hasn’t been done previously, Moldrich explained: “Because digital has grown so very fast we are now playing catchup. We have changed the way we are buying and selling. We are using share of time for digital instead of share of voice. We have got all the members to agree to it, and they have had to change quite a bit in their systems and processes.”

Moldrich said this change has been part of the OMA collaboration with the Outdoor Futures Council, made up of members from various agencies. All OMA members were quick to jump on board. “We have had a lot of agreement from our members. Working in partnership with agencies has really helped us to get different points of view. Everyone has learnt something along the way and our members and agencies have found compromise in the middle.

“About 61% of our revenue is now from digital which means we had to review how we work. Consolidation in the sector has really helped that too. We are now dealing with fewer members which makes it easier for consensus.”

Chief customer officer for QMS Media, Mark Fairhurst with executive GM, revenue strategy and operations for JCDecaux, Cassandra Cameron and national head of investment for MediaCom, Nick Thomas

Out of home initiative #3

We are heading toward net-zero as our members calculate their carbon footprint,” said Moldrich.

“We will put a price on it and then work with advertisers to ensure that out of home is carbon neutral.” Moldrich noted that German outdoor companies had a similar scheme which will now be introduced into Australia.

“It is not only our clients who are interested in that, it has also hit a nerve with our workforce with great support from staff across the sector.”

Who’s who at Out-Front 2022

The virtual Out-Front event was hosted by OMA and MOVE CEO Charmaine Moldrich and general manager of the OMA and MOVE Kylie Green.

The event featured a discussion with data and insights director for oOh!media, Tara Coverdale; managing partner of Avenue C and OFC Chair, Pia Coyle; and MOVE 2.0 lead Grant Guesdon.

Moldrich then hosted a Q&A about the new standards with executive general manager, revenue strategy and operations for JCDecaux, Cassandra Cameron; chief customer officer for QMS Media, Mark Fairhurst; and national head of investment for MediaCom, Nick Thomas.

General manager of the OMA and MOVE Kylie Green

The OMA more important than ever

Even during the dark days of Covid lockdowns, Moldrich noted her members didn’t question the size and the future direction of the organisation.

“Each year I do something called a health check where I talk to the OMA board about how the OMA has performed in terms of the business planning we do.

“The rating we had last year is the highest we have ever got. The members feel a lot closer to us because of the focus we had on audience measurement and future outcomes from the changes.”

Who’s who on Outdoor Futures Council

This body of media agencies has been managed by the MFA. Current members are:

Craig Cooper, Carat
Bridget Cooper, Nestle
Pia Coyle, Avenue C and OFC Chair
Tina Gavros, Publicis
Emma Hegg, Dentsu
Luke Hutchinson, Hearts & Science
John Lynch, Omnicom
Sophie Madden, MFA
Simon Reid, Initiative
Nick Thomas, MediaCom
Clare Tsubono, Lion

See also: OMA neuroscience study shows the impact of out of home signs

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