In today’s mobile first world, you might think outdoor ads and billboards are yesterday’s news. But someone forgot to tell DOOH, or digital out of home advertising.
With the news that Netflix paid $150 million for a DOOH ad to attract new talent, and four of the 10 largest spenders on billboards being Apple, Google, Amazon, and Netflix, perhaps mobile first isn’t completely the way to go.
In this week’s episode of Marketing on Tap, we look at how digital out of home advertising continues to drive impressive revenue, and what that means for brand advertisers and marketers.
Settle back and enjoy this week’s topic, brought to you in the usual unscripted manner that you’ve come to expect when Sam and Danny take the mic.
If you prefer to listen on the go, the audio version of this week’s episode can be listened to below.
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Intro: Join marketers, authors, and craft beer enthusiasts Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown, for a hoppy discussion on all things digital over a cheeky pint or two. Topics on the menu include influence marketing, social media, brand advocacy, and a taste-testing of real world digital marketing campaigns. Some are smooth, others don’t sit so well. Don’t forget to stick around for Last Call, where the boys will serve you up one final marketing takeaway that you can go out and apply in the real world. It’s a great primer before the weekend.
Sam Fiorella: Welcome back, everybody, to another episode of Marketing On Tap. This is my mate, Danny Brown. My name is Sam Fiorella. Happy New Year to all of you!
Danny Brown: Happy New Year! Hey, that was good.
Sam Fiorella: That was good.
Danny Brown: I thought you were going to forget, so I better not forget. Then you didn’t forget.
Sam Fiorella: That’s why there’s two of us here because singly we can’t handle this. Welcome back, Danny to you as well. We, today folks, want to talk a bit about an article that I read while we were on our holiday break. It was an article in Curbed which talks about the importance of billboard advertising. It really caught my eye because everything that I’m typically reading and seeing in my stream is the importance of influencer marketing, the importance of targeted ads in games-
Danny Brown: Mobile ads.
Sam Fiorella: And mobile ads and everything. The article that struck my fancy, I guess, is “Why Billboard and Outdoor Ads are Booming in the Smartphone Age.” It was really interesting. The main story in this article is about Netflix. Netflix digital platform, we’ve talked about them many times on this podcast. They were looking for new content. New producers, new actors, new writers to develop more content for their platform. They chose to take out some massive billboard ads in Los Angeles. The article says, “In the entertainment capital of the world, where your waitress could be producing a movie, Netflix chose to buy billboards.” I thought that was really interesting because we’ve often talked a bit about omnichannel and the importance of online, offline, whether it was when we were talking about Sears or other retailers. I thought this would be really good way to start the year, especially in light of the article that we just posted on our Sensei blog about the trends to look forward to in 2019, and this ties into that. I thought it was an appropriate topic.
Sam Fiorella: That’s what we’re going to talk about today, but before we do that, what are we drinking?
Danny Brown: We are drinking Old Tomorrow Brewing, Monty’s Aged Rye Ale. This is one of my go-to for winters. It’s a glorious ale. It’s basically infused with obviously some rye whiskey in there from the barrels, but they give it … You’ve got sweet, oakey notes infused with rye spices. By the way, there’s a real history behind this ale. Go to OldTomorrow.com and check out Monty’s Rye Ale-
Sam Fiorella: Old Tomorrow?
Danny Brown: OldTomorrow.com, and check out Monty’s Aged Rye Ale it gives the whole history. It’s a great story behind it. It’s a low IBU at 16, so it’s not too bad. ABV is sitting at 6.2, which is nice. It says, “100% Canadian rye Whiskey and aged in oak wood.” It should be a good one. Now we’ve poured Robert some to give him a nice … Robert [crosstalk 00:03:29].
Sam Fiorella: All right, Robert.
Danny Brown: You can smell the vanilla and the caramel and everything coming through there.
Sam Fiorella: I like it. I’m going to get the body cam going.
Danny Brown: Make sure you record this thing.
Sam Fiorella: Yes, I do.
Danny Brown: Cheers.
Sam Fiorella: Cheers.
Sam Fiorella: Oh, I like that.
Danny Brown: It’s good, right? It’s really good. It’s a shame this podcast, or vlog, isn’t in Taste-O-Rama. Just to be shared.
Sam Fiorella: That’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do a Taste-O-Rama. You know what, I really like this. Rob, you’re going to have to expand your beer palette. Okay, cheers everybody, let’s get onto the topic.
Sam Fiorella: Danny, you read this article, right?
Danny Brown: I did, yeah.
Sam Fiorella: I sent it to you earlier. There are some really interesting statistics here. What were some of the numbers that we’re finding? I’m surprised actually, I shouldn’t be surprised, I don’t know why I say that, because there are billboards everywhere. I haven’t seen any billboards empty, so why is it surprising to me that it’s still a thing?
Danny Brown: I think (a), it’s a mobile-first world. We’re always told it’s mobile first.
Sam Fiorella: We’re so fixated on it.
Danny Brown: Exactly. I mean coming in on the train this morning, you look around and everybody’s down either playing games, checking emails, or whatever. Everybody’s mobile-first. People are expecting well everybody’s on their phone, there’s no time to look at billboards and that.
Danny Brown: But an interesting point the article made was the fact that yes, you’re on your phone, but you can quickly skim by ads or anything. You can’t skim by an ad, a billboard, that’s in your face traveling by on the train, or walking to the office. You go up to, is it Bloor and Dundas here in Toronto? Massive, it’s like New York Times Square, and it’s billboards everywhere. Some get lost, but some of the big guys that are there, it just stays there. I think with some of the digital form advertising, like the brand lift and recall that you can get with your advertising campaigns, makes it still a valid media.
Sam Fiorella: I would agree with that. The interesting thing about the flipping, and yes, everybody’s constantly … I find myself thinking the exact same thing today when I was on the train platform. While everybody was waiting, I would say 99 percent of the people had their head down into their phone and there were billboards.
Danny Brown: Right.
Sam Fiorella: I was thinking about it on the way in. There were billboards across from the train that I don’t think a lot of people saw. I thought, “Okay, well which one is actually working?” But on your phone, not only can you skip past ads, you can close down the ads, right? Or you can change your preferences necessary to see what kinds of ads you want, don’t want. There’s less control by the advertiser, and that’s in terms of what you see because you can scroll past, skip.
Sam Fiorella: With billboards, think about the contextual advertising that can happen when you have … You’re walking downtown, and there happens to be a store there, and there’s a billboard directing you to the store. Or, because of the geography, there’s something about the climate, there’s something about the culture, and you place an ad specifically there. I’m thinking contextually, you might be able to target even better with outdoor ads, as opposed to the indoor, or as opposed to the mobile ads … or Facebook ads, where everybody’s trying to stay away from anyway.
Danny Brown: When I know certainly, where I am, when I used to work at the government agency I worked with, they have a lot of offline data because of their client base. [inaudible 00:06:46] people that had to go to brick and mortar or retail stores to-
Sam Fiorella: Buy their products?
Danny Brown: [crosstalk 00:06:49] Exactly. Then you had a shit load of information about that, that customer base. And advertising by billboards, etc … was geared towards them graphics off that post code, that clientele. If people could only afford to buy $10 or $20 of product, that would reflect in the advertising. If it’s more affluent, they could advertise in-
Sam Fiorella: That’s actually a really good point because a lot of the transactions that we’re having online, the data that you’re collecting about their preferences and their habits, when you marry it to their postal code … Right? And all of a sudden, you can better target that, I guess, in-live? Inline, in-live. Basically, the physical ads that you put in people’s faces.
Danny Brown: Exactly.
Sam Fiorella: That actually makes a lot of sense, when you think about combining the two. It’s not just about omnichannel, when it comes to have offline and online and make sure they work together, but look at the analytics of your online, and use those, what you’re learning from that engagement to then better target your offline and billboard-style ads.
Sam Fiorella: I know that in New York, I see this quite a bit. I’m going there next week. There’s … what do they call it? Link? I think it’s called Link, where basically it’s digital ads that are the sides of bus shelters. Now, that’s the other thing, I’ve noticed there’s been a couple of viral videos that have gone around where they put interactive videos. Where you walk up and it actually engages with you. There’s some really funny stuff, and interesting stuff that could take a lot of money.
Sam Fiorella: Again, if you take a look at what are people engaging. The geolocation that we can track … If we know that people in a particular city or in a particular neighbourhood are engaging in certain types of activity, it would be really interesting to them in almost real time to be able to mimic or mirror that engagement on the sides of these digital bus shelters. Whether it’s something that’s interactive or, at a minimum, maybe has a second phase. Let’s talk about that.
Sam Fiorella: It’s important, I think we’re all agreeing, that offline and online multichannel is there. What’s some recommendations we can give to people about working together. How do you make online work with offline? Do you just mirror the two? Are they just separate and you’re tracking them differently? How do they-
Danny Brown: I think you can tailor it. You’ve mentioned we’ve got a whole bunch of online data, terms available to us. I know Google over in Germany, they tried one, a pilot at the moment, where they’ll target the advertising using the double-click platform, and they’ll target the advertising to people that are walking by. Bus stops, as you mentioned, or billboards, etc … based on their Android phone, and the knowledge that Google has of that Android user.
Danny Brown: It gets like Minority Report. Remember Minority Report?
Sam Fiorella: Yeah.
Danny Brown: He’s walking through, and everything’s popping up, based on your likes. I think you have to work together. It’s like we’ve spoken before, how PR marketing and advertising has to work together to really punch the most effective way if you like for the clients.
Sam Fiorella: If that was … For example, if Netflix was our client and they came to us and said, “What are we gonna do?” By the way, Netflix, if you’re out there, if you wanna hire us, give us a call. One of the things that they did is … They’re really striking ads. Very visual, but there isn’t a lot of call-to-action between the billboard and on offline channel. It’s $150 million that they spent on this billboard ad, which is a fair number, but there was very little interactivity.
Sam Fiorella: I like the idea of offline advertising. I like the idea of gorilla event-based advertising, again, because you can place it where people are walking, not just where they’re swiping and surfing. But I would have liked to have seen a call-to-action that drives you back to the mobile app, or the desktop, while you’re there.
Danny Brown: You can just say scan a picture, or something. Scan the QR code.
Sam Fiorella: Scan … [crosstalk 00:10:56]
Danny Brown: Not the QR Code.
Sam Fiorella: We don’t wanna do the QR Code. Scott Stratton is gonna lose his mind if we say QR Code [crosstalk 00:11:01]. All those kittens that are gonna die.
Sam Fiorella: But they do work. Something to the effect where this is something up there, if you want, you can gauge the reaction and the success if you’re driving some kind of call-to-action, or, if the billboard is part of the online engagement.
Sam Fiorella: Joel Ostrovsky had this … Remember the ad that we did? The Fat Jewish? He had an ad that he was promoting for a wine … White girl wines, or some white wine, where there was a billboard, I remember, of a bottle coming down, pouring into a glass, and then he stood there with the perspective, and made it look like it was going into his mouth [crosstalk 00:11:44]. You know what I mean? And then he took a photo, a selfie, of himself, with that board. Not only did the billboard get a lot of ads, but then through him and through his social platform, and it got a lot of additional onlines. And, then, of course, he asked all of his followers to do it, and then there was this viralness that happened during that.
Sam Fiorella: The idea of having that offline connect to the online, and then based on your analytics with your online, better produce your offline. I really like that idea, and I think that’s something that we have to look at if you’re a brand out there, if you’re a marketing up there, looking at doing digital, the digital and the offline should really interact with each other and play off of each other.
Danny Brown: Especially when you look at something like a trade show where you can really lock-in a geolocation for that event, and then you got call-to-actions at various booths or various demo products, ideas or whatever, and then you see how many people actually took action within that. What the phone system was, when they took it, was it a busier time of day, demographics based on Google data.
Danny Brown: There’s a whole ton of stuff you can do to mix up the offline and the online components, and vice versa.
Sam Fiorella: I agree. The other thing that I think is important, especially when it comes to trade shows. That sparked something. Lately, and a lot of the campaigns that we’re working on, the notion of pop-up shop or similar, depending upon the nature of the business and the industry, is coming up more and more and more, I’m noticing. Using digital marketing or advertising to drive people to some physical event, and then use that physical event, whether it’s a pop-up shop for a retailer or an event at a trade show. Whether it’s in the trade show or at a hotel locally or inside of the show, we’re doing a lot of this stuff lately, where you drive people to that event and then have them use their phones, or whatever type of … for a game, or some selfie promotions or something that then drives more visitors in, and then more people to the brand.
Sam Fiorella: Don’t get stuck. For the people that are listening and that are looking for some ideas, don’t get stuck on the traditional billboard ad or bus shelter ad. Offline advertising could also be an event. The idea of a pop-up shop or some type of gorilla marketing event. I think as long as your incorporating the digital, whether it’s a lead up, or if you’re gonna plan something that’s maybe one of those flash mobs. Do a flash mob, but then make sure that there’s an embedded digital call-to-action for the people either watching or for the people participating, so that it’s got some legs online after the fact. I think that would really work.
Sam Fiorella: We’re getting the bell, the notice. That’s our last call bell. Thank you, Steven for our bell.
Danny Brown: It survived the New Year.
Sam Fiorella: It survived the New Year.
Danny Brown: I thought that would have been rung out all of the place with the new year coming in.
Sam Fiorella: No, it didn’t.
Sam Fiorella: Danny, in your best attempt at speaking English, what is your last thought that you wanna leave everybody with on this topic?
Danny Brown: Well, [inaudible 00:15:04] Samuel. This is what I would say.
Sam Fiorella: Is that a Scot trying to do a British accent? I couldn’t tell what that was [crosstalk 00:15:15].
Danny Brown: I have no idea what the heck that was. That was some weird [crosstalk 00:15:19].
Sam Fiorella: Please stop. Please stop.
Danny Brown: The voices.
Danny Brown: I think, we’ve spoken before on the channel. Don’t be afraid to mix up the … using all the data you’ve accrued online, whether it’s by Facebook and Sites Google, analytics, email campaigns, etc … and tie that back into geolocation, zip codes, postal codes. Even the revenue that we know these people … the spending budget these people have based on where they live, and then tailor your offline stuff to actually drive up that back to your website or physical retail location, or physical location.
Danny Brown: I don’t know if makes sense because you threw me when you asked me to speak English. That’s like asking a Scotsman to drink not beer.
Sam Fiorella: I know that’s one of the biggest challenges, I know, is speaking English for you.
Sam Fiorella: For me, it’s more of a call-to-action. I wanna challenge everybody, as my final thought, to get out of the digital world because I notice even the clients or existing clients or the new clients that keep asking us to work with them now, the firs thing they call us with is, “Okay, I’ve got a digital campaign idea I wanna run by you.” Very few people ask us … Actually, I can’t even remember the last time somebody asked us to do on offline ad, or an offline campaign of any kind. The challenge for marketers out there, as well as brands, is to think about offline and the importance of it. There is a resurgence, I think, with how inundated we are with mobile messages and our ability to skip and pass through to do something that breaks the mold. Whereas digital was breaking that pleather. Now digital’s become so cluttered that let’s go back to offline, and then, to your point, how do they work together.
Sam Fiorella: But it’s interesting, one of the stats that I read in that article that we started this whole conversation with, indicated that the four of the 10 largest spenders on billboards are tech firms. Apple, Google, Amazon, and Netflix. What do they know?
Danny Brown: Exactly.
Sam Fiorella: They know something, clearly that they’re spending a lot of money on these offline because it’s working. Some of the ROI that they’re tracking is pretty impressive. We’re looking at almost 40 percent, they’re calculating in terms of an ROI uplift in sales or activity, based on dollars spent or dollars earned. An increase of 40 percent over what it is that they’ve spent.
Sam Fiorella: That’s gonna based on the company, but that would be my thing. I’m challenging you to … Whenever you come up with an idea, think about what’s the offline engagement and what advertising or promotion or event do we need to produce offline to augment and get more value out of that online, and then vice versa.
Sam Fiorella: That’s it for our chat today. Thank you everybody. Robert, I need that glass closer to me because I’m gonna finish it if you don’t like it. If you like this podcast … What do they-
Danny Brown: They drink beer.
Sam Fiorella: You wanna drink more beer?
Danny Brown: Yeah. If you’re watching on YouTube, please hit the subscribe button and the little bell on the top to get the notifications when it goes live. Hit a little like, and leave us a comment. Tell us what you thought about the show. If you’re listening to podcast, there’s about 12 energy catches on Spotify, Bean Pod, [inaudible 00:18:44] … Apple Podcast-
Sam Fiorella: Alright, you’re cut off. That’s it. That’s enough.
Sam Fiorella: Basically, it’s available out there on podcasts. Thank you very much everybody. Until next time. Cheers.
Danny Brown: Cheers, guys.
Sam Fiorella: Cheers.
Outro: You’ve been listening to Marketing on Tap with Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss the next one. And please, feel free to leave a show review. That’s always worth a cheers.