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 Five TAB/Outdoor Advertising Association of America Conference Themes

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​​​​​​​​​Five TAB/Outdoor Advertising Association of America Conference Themes

​​​​​​​​​Can I Close My Tab?

5 Themes Consistent Through the 2016 TAB/OAAA Conference

Congratulations 2016 OBIE Winners at TAB/OAAA Conference

​​​Posted: April 25th 2016 By: Elizabeth Rave,​ Senior National Marketing Manager

​Last week, over 800 members of the OOH industry got together in Boca Raton, FL at the 2016 TAB/Outdoor Advertising Association of America Conference to collaborate, network, educate, and strategize for a transformational year ahead. The following five (six if you count partying) key themes were threaded throughout all seminars. 


1. Location Is the New Proxy for Why: The importance of location as a key indicator of consumer intent has been a hot topic of discussion recently. In some cases, its importance trumps that of demographic information (“where” becoming more important than “who”). More than ever, consumers are on the move, with 70% of their day spent outside the home. The ubiquitous use of mobile​ de​vice provides an effective way to identify travel patterns, and deliver impressionable media both in the real world (OOH!) and on their device (complementing banner ads!) This shift from traditional billboard audience ratings to audience location measurement was apparent in the rebrand announcement from TAB of their new name, Geopath, and the start of Operation M.O.R.E. (Measurement Optimization and Ratings Enhancement). This spotlights the industry focus on creating predictive and actual audience delivery by time of day, which will provide key insights and value to advertisers when planning. Simply put, sophisticated media plans powered by relevant smart data.


2. OOH Is Real and Drives Digital: Last Fall, the Outdoor Advertising Association of American put out a great campaign called Feel the Real, developed by PNYC, aimed at spreading awareness, particularly among media professionals, that OOH impressions are “real” and not susceptible to bots or ad blocking. The campaign also called for them to visit Feelthereal.org to learn more. The multifaceted campaign exemplified that OOH is not only great at mass brand building, but can also be quite targeted, by posting around media agencies, dominating Ad Week in NYC, and even calling out by name key marketing influencers. What I was interested to learn is just how well it drove hits to website and social chatter. In the six weeks that it ran, there were 27,601 unique visitors to the FeeltheReal.org, 73% of which came from a mobile phone. Of those people, 40% were identified as media, marketing, or advertising professionals… AKA the target audience! This is a great case study that we as an industry should be promoting to get the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. we deserve, while hopefully earning some digital dollars along the way. 


3. OOH Attracts New Talent: One huge difference this year was the presence of new talent in the OOH industry, especially transfers from the ​digital​ industry and even some really smart data people. With digital’s fame, it begs the question, why are digital natives are joining our “traditional” industry? A few reasons…OOH is still an untapped opportunity—always present, never skipped, and starting to transform and be powered by new audience insights. This new talent will propel OOH into the real competition over digital dollars. The skill set for the new OOH experience is going to be different from what came before! 


4. Consultative Selling​: Gorden Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, told a RFP story we should all be ashamed of. In short, he reached out to three different media formats for a $25,000 plan for a local advertiser, for which the OOH vendor only provided photos of six billboards. Can you believe that?! Embarrassing, but probably something we are all guilty of. The same sentiment, but on a national scale, was echoed in Turner’s Dennis Camlek’s presentation. These stories highlight the industry’s initiative to elevate all AEs to be true consultants for our customers. First, learning their business objectives and then providing ​solutions and audiences​ (not billboards) that will achieve them. As big data becomes more prevalent, we need to remember that size doesn’t always matter… we need smart data that builds insights for our clients. 


5. Creative, it’s a Beautiful World​​: The Obie’s are always a highlight of the conference, a chance to celebrate the great ​creative executi​ons​ over the year. One strength of the industry that we often glaze over, is the creative impact of these massive canvasses. Our clients love to create the artwork for our boards, so let’s lead with it! The storytelling done through great creative is credited in driving 70% of ad effectiveness. With that type of impact it needs to be in the forefront of every conversation. Congrats to the best in show winners: Downtown Partners for Adler Planetarium, Jackson Marketing Group for Big League World Series, MRY & Colossal Media for Adobe, and Sukle Advertising and Design for Denver Water.  ​


Now, the real work begins, as we must act upon these promises now to ensure that it is a revolutionary year for OOH. Let’s empower our customers with smart data, beautifully executed creative, and meaningful impressions.

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