OAAA Across The Desk with Jim Wilson

Across the Desk with Jim

1. What excites you about OOH right now?

This is an exciting time for the OOH industry, which has shown great resilience. The adaptability and flexibility of OOH demonstrated during the pandemic is proving to be invaluable to advertisers, and this remains crucial for driving future growth. The data and technology investments made by specialists has put OOH on the same playing field as other media channels. As such, we are seeing more brands return to OOH advertising. The ability to dynamically adjust ads, hyper-target audiences and locations, and leverage creative to the fullest is what makes OOH hugely compelling to advertisers. Furthermore, the integration of data around measurement, brand objectives, and consumer change are pushing OOH to the forefront of accountability. We are bullish on the industry as we’re doubling down on our focus to bring new innovations in both media buying technologies and audience data and insights to make OOH easier to execute and evaluate for advertisers.

2. Which recent OOH campaign inspired you?

On March 2nd, Wendy’s launched its national “America’s Soon To Be Favorite Breakfast” campaign, marking the first time the brand unveiled an extended menu and underscoring its bold entry into the hyper-competitive morning daypart. Their objective was to build mass awareness of the new breakfast menu and grow market share in the breakfast category. They prioritized investment in OOH given its ability to deliver the scale, precision, contextual targeting, and creative impact required to cut-through and deliver on their brand/business goals. With Talon N.A.’s careful strategic planning and precision, Wendy’s executed a successful hyperlocal OOH campaign on a nationwide scale across 134 DMAs, resulting in a 15% uptick in breakfast sales during the first week of the OOH campaign.

BUT what makes this campaign inspirational is how we collectively pivoted due to COVID-19. Historically, few brands have initiated OOH campaigns of this size, scale, and scope. And, of those, even fewer had to contend with a pandemic that seemingly changed the trajectory of a campaign overnight. The Wendy’s breakfast campaign, which was 13 months in the making with Talon and others, had to be reformulated just days after going up. The campaign strategy shifted from one focused on a robust breakfast offering to the brand’s pandemic response – and Talon was tasked with devising turnkey solutions to reflect the fast-changing marketplace conditions.

Talon acted swiftly on Wendy’s behalf by acquiring 921 additional digital roadside units and adapting the revised response creative into 49 unique sizes at lightning speed, switching on locally/contextually relevant messaging to remind customers that Wendy’s was still open. The herculean effort showcased Talon’s agility and the flexibility/scale of DOOH advertising. It also showed Wendy’s steadfastness in converting the ad buy into a platform that conveyed its unwavering community support, as well as safe delivery and drive-thru retail options.

Moreover, we were thrilled when Wendy’s announced on its Q2 2020 earnings call that “Despite breakfast being the hardest hit daypart in QSR since the beginning of the pandemic, our businesses continue to grow each month with sales coming in at approximately 8% of total U.S. sales in Q2. Our breakfast awareness levels have remained strong at approximately 50% in the second quarter.”

3. What do you envision as the next big thing for OOH?

The next big thing for OOH is maximizing the medium’s full potential. This can be achieved when the role for OOH is part of the early planning process in a cross-platform media strategy. With the rise in data insights and targeting and measurement capabilities, OOH campaigns can now be planned with greater levels of precision, reaching specific audience segments based on market/location, behavior, and movement intelligence. By empowering advertisers with such real-time insights, they can seamlessly integrate OOH with connected TV, digital, mobile, and social channels and optimize targeting using channel-agnostic datasets. Essentially, moving OOH upstream is incredibly powerful for brands and agencies as they will be able to narrow the gap between in-home and out-of-home touchpoints along the customer journey.