Douglas Watts is President of Urban Media Group. He acted as a brand officer for the OAAA in the lat 80’s and early 90’s. Here’s a recent email he sent to the OAAA CEO Nancy Fletcher talking about how media has changed and why he thinks out of home is at the beginning of a golden age. Insider thanks Nancy Fletcher and the OAAA for permission to publish.
It occurred to me after our Twitter exchange the rather remarkable transformation in the media marketplace that has taken place in the past 25 years:
- OOH was considered old fashioned, one-dimensional, hard to measure, hard to buy, and hard to schedule. Frequently, it was added to major campaigns simply to lower the CPM’s. Having lost its largest client, and battling federal, state, and local regulators, many thought outdoor was on its last legs. We were so envious of the core of mainstream media.
Today, the landscape it quite different:
- Newspapers are on their knees because they waited too long to adapt. RIP, but for a few.
- Broadcast TV is being overrun by the Internet, independent studios, and film production companies, and is considered ‘passe” by the coveted 18-34 market. Most think they have less than five years to live in their current format.
- Radio, still on very shaky ground, did adapt rather aggressively, but it is nothing like the premium medium it once was.
- The Internet is the catalyst for much of the change that’s occurred, but rather than hurt, it has served to enhance OOH, operationally, creatively, and commercially.
Today, OOH is truly meeting the expectations of its moniker: diverse, omnipresent, and integral to any effective ad campaign. Bobbing and weaving with the regulatory challenges by turning municipal foes into partners, recreating itself as a digital medium, and setting new creative norms for agencies to master and audiences who demand succinct messaging. OOH has undoubtedly reached the beginning of a new golden age.
While those other mediums are crippled and fading, OOH has survived, adapted, and succeeded. OOH is not only still standing, it is standing tall. Your members and the industry as a whole have much to be proud of.
Congratulations to you and the good people at OAAA.
You and the industry have done an exceptional job.