CES 2014: We Need a New Name for Advertising - Suzanne Grimes

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We welcome our new contributor Suzanne Grimes, President and COO, Clear Channel Outdoor North America to MediaBizBloggers.

I’ve just returned (escaped) from the frenzied energy of International CES where visions of curved TVs, 4K screens and Monster headphones will continue to invade my dreams for weeks. At a company like Clear Channel Outdoor where screens are our business, 4K and 5K will have an enormous impact on the clarity and impact of future campaigns. And while the core of CES is product, it’s the content displayed on that product that truly turns the power on.

A few hours before the madness of CES officially began, I joined a group of Media All-Stars at Digital Hollywood to discuss exactly that -- contextual advertising. As he delved into the revolution of real-time marketing, Doug Scott, president, OgilvyEntertainment and moderator of the panel, reminded us to launch every program with measurability in mind. At the end of the day we are all held accountable for our promotional programs. “We sell or else,” said Scott.

“Data doesn’t have to be sterile,” added AnneMarie Kline, senior vice president, managing director of BrandLIVE at Digitas. Data visualization and storytelling make the numbers more relevant for the client. Listen to your institution, but have the stats to back up your vision and strategy.

Media terminology is shifting just as quickly as the technology we use to launch campaigns. Earned media has transformed into “Involved Media.” The acronym ROI also refers to “Return on Involvement.” We no longer solely focus on reach and eyeballs, but what those eyeballs did after viewing the brand message. Were they engaged? Did they comment on the video? Did they tweet a picture of our creative? Was the brand part of their debate at lunch? Another key learning -- good content travels, but it will be DOA if it does not come with a distribution strategy as advocated by Kline.

Scott lobbed a question my way in regard to smart screens and reaching soccer moms during drive time. And we are. At Clear Channel Outdoor, we reach over 76 million adults a month, soccer moms included. We don’t just push content; we create it, we integrate it. We had hoped our Chicago colleagues would be able to join us at CES to share a recent head-turning campaign launched by Arizona Tourism. But we now know why they missed their flight -- their cars were crushed

by giant flip-flops. This is contextual advertising at its best.

To fuel this trend of real-time marketing, I proposed five industry resolutionsat the start of 2014 and they all focus on providing more targeted messaging for the consumer and better reporting for the client.

Kline challenged us at the end of our panel to coin a new term for advertising because it is not reflective of our industry’s evolution. Context-ertising? Adgagement? Still thinking…I need to get back to her on this one.

Suzanne is leading the transformation of Clear Channel Outdoor North America into a dynamic media business that fully recognizes the potential of integrated digital and mobile marketing opportunities in out-of-home across the US and Canada.

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