Case studies that revealed how advertisers met the challenges of 2020 and maximized the value of digital out of home (DOOH) were among the highlights of the annual DPAA Video Everywhere Global Summit. And there was clear evidence that the medium is gaining traction with advertisers.
The conference took place in person on Oct. 12 and was followed by two more days of virtual events. In his opening remarks, Barry Frey, President and CEO of the DPAA, set the tone. "There is no better way to see trustworthy messaging in an utterly brand-safe environment," he said. "No fake news, no echo chamber talk, no ad skipping or pod fraud."
An overview of a recent study from programmatic company Xaxis, confirmed DOOH's growing strength. The study, which polled brand and advertiser executives, showed that 77% of respondents had an increased awareness of DOOH, and 66% had activated new DOOH campaigns over an 18-month period. Also, 81% plan to recommend DOOH in their media plans in the next year.
"There was a strong correlation between activation and greater sophistication," noted Roey Franco, Vice President of Product and Innovation at Xaxis. "We can credit it to two things: a lot of investment in education and, from a sophistication perspective, we found that enhancements within the space itself drives adoption."
Facing COVID and a Business Transformation
Another speaker, Patrick McLean, Senior Vice President and CMO, Walgreens, noted that in the early days of COVID-19 it was a matter of unknowns and survival. Even adding plexiglass dividers inside all their stores was daunting as well as finding certain products for increasingly empty shelves. Masks became a must-offer followed by meeting the demand and complexity of the vaccine roll-out.
"We had to build this new muscle to take this on the road," McLean explained. "We were very customer-driven at this time. We learned quickly that everyone is different. Approach had to match up [to specific consumers]. A lot of dynamics were in play."
Prior to the pandemic, Walgreens' marketing was largely traditional. The retailer's loyalty program moved swiftly into a more one-to-one digital customer experience. This required a re-authentication of the full customer database, which could then enable a more seamless customer communication process. That enabled Walgreens to fortify their first-party data, as well.
McLean explained that the company got back to its core of health and wellness brand positioning. Walgreens' data strategy has become "a powerful asset for our company," he added.
Connecting with the Social Media Generation
There is arguably nothing more ubiquitous than milk. But the product has experienced a weakened brand position, especially with the digital generation. For Yin Woon Rani, CEO of Milk Pep, this was a challenge that needed to be overcome.
"We realized that to change, we needed to build a bold new strategy, one for the social media generation," she said during her presentation. "They are a challenging generation. They are true digital natives and are sophisticated about marketing." This presents high standards for marketers. Her goals was to "drive reconsideration of milk through new messaging and positioning," something that was "assertive and muscular."
The tagline "You're Gonna Need Milk for That" was developed and supported by DOOH marketing, which was eventually migrated and shared on TikTok with great success. Going forward, the milk campaign is dedicated to greater cultural collaboration, experimentation using constant reiteration and the mantra "be remarkable."
The Importance of Both Data and Creative
"It has been said that data is the new oil," commented Jonathan Gudai, CEO of the OOH digital measurement company Adomni, during his session. "You need an engine for oil to matter." In his view, programmatic platforms and data analysis are equivalent to that engine, working to create "all sorts of new opportunities to reach consumers in brand new ways that drive relevancy and engagement. But data is useless unless it's being applied."
On the creative side, Rob Master, Vice President and Digital Engagement, Unilever, has seen great creative possibilities with the convergence of media and commerce. "[It] is one of the most exciting things we are facing today," he said. "It's filled with so many great opportunities." For example, retailers connect with consumers through platforms and technology. "And e-commerce products and experiences tend to create a premium," he added.
Brands can strengthen their presence through storytelling that heightens consumers' love of a brand, or leads them to understand why they need it, Master explained. "Storytelling is such an integral part of the marketing experience, and all these platforms and the convergence of telling that story allow what we hope is a frictionless great consumer experience."
The DPAA's speakers all pointed to a central conclusion, that the convergence of media and commerce, the ability to cultivate a range of data sets and the immense potential for creativity places DOOH in the epicenter of media and marketing.
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