Digital accounts for the lion's share of growth in the out of home (OOH) advertising market as all players invest in upgrading sites to digital and new technologies. However, digitisation should only occur in the right environment for the right reason, reckons JCDecaux chief commercial officer Max Eburne. He warns that technology shouldn't be used to gain a premium from a bad location.
Eburne tells AdNews digital sites are best suited to highly pedestrianised areas where it can be proven to advertisers there is a high dwell time.
“There's a genuine benefit for advertisers to be involved and to be engaging with that digital inventory,” he says.
“But if you're digitising panels on fast moving roads in certain types of environment, the only benefit then is to the media owner. Historically they could only sell a panel to one advertiser, whereas now they can sell it to six advertisers.”
Six months after rolling out 80 digital screens across Australia's busiest cities, the French outdoor company claims it only puts digital screens where it is beneficial for the media company, advertisers and consumers.
CEO of JCDecaux Australia, Steve O’Connor, says despite the increase in advertisers per screen, digital is definitely worth the premium, but that it's not currently being realised by a number of advertisers because they’re yet to get tactical with their creative.
“At the moment there's not a lot of advertisers taking the opportunities that contextual [outdoor advertising] provides. Probably as an industry we're being a little bit limiting about how advertisers can buy and sell [inventory]. We're giving people a better chance of seeing it because of the places were putting [digital screens] but as the opportunities evolve and people start taking advantage of the technology - then you'll start to see some more exciting things take place and the premium being realised,” he says.
Outdoor as a medium has seen continually growth in recent years, even as other mediums experienced declines. According to the September Standard Media Index (SMI) figures, outdoor experienced a lift in agency bookings of 5.1%, with JCDecaux accounting for 10% of this burgeoning market.
O'Conner says the growth climate in the market will continue as technology develops and as more advertisers realise outdoor can help achieve reach goals in a fragmenting media landscape, but that it "brings heightened competitive challenges".
Eburne adds advertisers and agencies are just beginning to scratch the surface of the medium.
“I think agencies and advertisers are more engaged in what’s going on in outdoor than they ever were before. When they scratch beneath the surface they realise there’s more sophistication in the channel than they may have previously thought, and that’s down to the data that sits behind the audience, as well as the creative and content opportunity. It does feel there’s real momentum in the category,” he says.
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