ACTIVEZ: Highlights

November 28, 2016

“In commercial urban spaces, illuminated signs and advertising billboards create the very fabric of place: if you take the signs away, there is no place”

-Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas, 1972



Tim Spencer, founder of Cognitif, spoke about the vital role of OOH for brands, how it is part of the cultural landscape and the language of a populated space. Tim went on to talk about how technological changes affect not only the way we live but also what is happening around us. From the invention of stained glass to the evolutional changes that occurred with the advent of print, TV and radio, OOH prevailed. It was not swept up by the tsunami of technology that affected other media, but instead embraced the changes to position itself as the most compelling doorway into a customer’s journey. One of many key takeaways that Tim spoke about was the advantages of OOH for brands:

  • Scale & Dominance – own the space
  • Repetition & Absorbency – singular message with strong branding / creative
  • Propaganda & Seduction – OOH window into a story
  • Wit & Enchantment – make consumers think / react
  • Synergy & Symbiosis –  the future of OOH embracing the real and digital
  • Adaptability & Evolve-ability – use of technology / digital

Tim summarized his presentation “if life was a supermarket, brands would have the choice to be present or absent on the shelves….and the perils of not being part of the visual landscape should be apparent to everyone.”



Denis Gaumondie – Founder, Digital Media Village, spoke on how to integrate DOOH smartly given the technological changes that are currently in play. He also reminded us that even though OOH companies, brands and marketers are embracing the digital revolution, there is still a lot of work to be done. Denis took the audience on a digital journey that looked at DOOH and its place in our daily lives. Whether used as street furniture to enhance the environment, change the shopping centre experience or entertain the public by offering a unique, interactive experience, DOOH will provide marketers and brands the opportunity for personalization of advertising. Lastly, Denis’ idea that future wearables will replace the mobile phones as a means of interacting one-on-one with DOOH, reinforces the fact that OOH is more than an awareness media and that it can drive purchase intent and brand consideration.



Emilie McAllister-LaPierre from Sid Lee and Janie Thériault from Loto-Québec demonstrated that with sound consumer insights, a fun and targeted advertising campaign can be executed using OOH & DOOH. To convey the key messages of the new Loto-Québec positioning for Lotto 6/49, #TuDevraisAcheteruUn649 or #YouShouldBuyA649 hashtags were used.  A Quebecer’s notion of feeling lucky should a mishap or startling action occur provided a humourous approach to everyday life that was driven by the consumer insights and how lucky they feel. While 6/49 sales were declining or flat throughout Canada, the impact of this campaign in Quebec resulted in increased sales. Quebecers truly embraced the brand and the campaign. The tagline made a comeback in the Quebecois vernacular.


headshot Robert Levy

Robert Levy – President, BrandSpark International, provided insight on the relevancy and impact of OOH with media fragmentation and clutter affecting marketers and consumers. From a marketers perspective the challenges are significant in trying to reach consumers who are active, mobile and spend over 70% of their time outside of their home. The latest Shoppers study showed that OOH continues to have high attention levels with 8 out 10 shoppers noticing OOH ads and that over ¾ of shoppers recall seeing an OOH in the past week. Conversely when they looked at media disengagement and clutter the impact on advertiser reach was significant with just under 39% of shoppers using adblocking software to avoid online ads and just under 50% for 18-34 year old. Robert went on to talk about how consumers are also disengaging from TV, shifting to online video, streaming. However OOH continues to have high recall and attention levels. What does all this mean? OOH ads reach shoppers and motivate them to take action on the path-to-purchase.



Sally Dickerson, OMG, Feb2016, photographer Bronac McNeill

Sally Dickerson – Founder & CEO at BrandScience  and Managing Director, Benchmarketing at Omnicom Media Group, shared research gathered over the last 10 years on the effectiveness of OOH. Using data pulled from the most recent TouchPoints Canada Study along with the BrandScience results Vault, Sally provided detailed insights on the changes occurring within the media landscape. What was interesting is that OOH has a weekly reach of over 90% with Canadian millennials while TV and other media are declining in reach and average daily hours. While TV and other media are declining in reach and average daily hours. Social Networking and Messaging have higher reach but almost half of the average daily hours. From the BrandScience results Vault, Sally showed that by including OOH in the media mix it can improve the ROI of the other media. Her research also spoke to how we can determine what level of OOH expenditure is optimal versus overall budget and category vertical to maximize OOH effectiveness and ROI. Sally also went on to say that OOH advertising can be very effective, but spend needs to be increased. OOH is under-utilized in the mix for most brands and categories. She concludes by saying that OOH’s power is in its reach particularly among millennials along with its ability to integrate with other media channels.