The Screen digital bus tour: an insight into the future of advertising
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By The Output team
30 January 2012
The Screen took members of the digital signage sector on a bus tour of London to see how DOOH is being used
This year's first event organised by digital signage industry forum The Screen saw a double-decker bus full of DOOH's top executives cruise the streets of London on a 'digital screen-spotting' exercise.
The networking event started at the Spafax offices in Marylebone, with a lavish breakfast and the announcement of the 2012 LoveContent Awards, sponsored by Kinetic. This year the awards will include the best use of social media in DOOH, recognising its impact and growing importance in engaging the public.
The 'digital bus tour' went from Marylebone, through Edgware Road and Euston Road to end at Euston Railway Station – one of JCDecaux's star showcases in digital out-of-home. En route, participants had a chance to see Clear Channel bus stop displays, Outdoor Plus's LEDs at the Euston Underpass and some six-sheet displays.
At the front on the top deck, Nick Mawditt, global director of insight and marketing at Kinetic, led the tour and the conversation accompanied by insights on the industry from Neil Morris, founder and managing director of creative technology and production company Grand Visual, Derek Manns, head of collaboration at Clear Channel and Stacey Knight, head of digital sales at JCDecaux UK, who dazzled everybody with facts and figures on Euston Station's history and its current dynamics – did you know that the number of people that go through Euston Station in a single day would fill Wembley Stadium?
One of the common themes highlighted by the speakers was the need to educate agencies and clients about DOOH, its potential and reach. "Clients are becoming more savvy and have high expectations from DOOH," said Morris, "however we also need to help them understand about time-lines and budgets."
"We need to get more and better creativity. It is essential to connect with the audience and make what we already have work harder," Morris added.
Knight pointed out that, as the boundaries between mobile, online and out-of-home get blurred, the industry has a chance to engage better and in new innovative ways with the audience. She also said that JCDecaux's mission is to help DOOH become a channel in its own right.
Clear Channel's Manns commented that so far the company has been focusing on creating its screen network and, although it is not yet seeing the dividends, this will be a good year to see the revenue increase with DOOH becoming more relevant to social media and exploiting the potential that digital offers.
Talking about the flexibility of the medium, Morris made an interesting comment: "Flexibility is a vague term," he said, "Maybe there is too much flexibility and we now need some structure in DOOH."
At Euston Station JCDecaux surprised all present with a bright message on its largest LED screen greeting the LoveContent assembly. A good example of what can be done.
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