OAAA By Staff Writer October 11, 2016
The nature of today’s out of home advertising (OOH) is truly unique and dialectical. As the oldest advertising medium, it has become a most innovative, tech-heavy method of advertising that keeps growing even when other media shrink.
The Last Mass Medium.
While other traditional media (print, radio, on-air TV) suffer from the expansion of the online news and entertainment channels, the past few years have seen OOH getting stronger by absorbing the latest developments in mobile marketing, consumer targeting, audience and ad effectiveness measurement, and programmatic media buying.
That explains why OOH is the only true mass medium left standing.
Traditional radio is also being eroded by the Internet and smart phone capabilities.
Even the growth of online advertising and its offspring – mobile marketing – have been affected lately by the revolt against intrusive advertising and ad fraud.
New media technologies are relentlessly proliferating, causing consumers to change their behavior in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. With all these changes coming simultaneously from many directions, there is no wonder why many media companies, advertisers and their agencies can feel overwhelmed and disoriented.
The hunger for guidance, insights and trustworthy information amid the chaos in the disrupted media ecosystem has drawn businesses closer to trade bodies, whose role now appears more vital than ever.
As I look at the big picture, it is clear that trade associations have been steering the OOH industry in these turbulent times. Here is a glimpse at how they do that.
USA: OAAA, DSF, DPAA.
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).
OAAA is the second oldest media trade body in the United States (est. 1891), after the National Newspaper Association (est. 1885). It is the largest national association representing OOH advertising business in the world. OAAA is widely viewed as a trailblazer in advancing the cause of OOH.
Historically, the organization has led the efforts to defeat draconian legislation and helped the industry out of slumps, most recently those caused by the loss of tobacco advertising (1999) and the recession (2008).
A decade ago, OAAA recognized the potential of digitising static billboards and never looked back.
Since then, the trade body has successfully opposed the outdated legislation restricting digital billboards, developed best practices and standards for digital out of home (DOOH) advertising, and positioned and promoted the medium to the advertising community.
OAAA has funded independent marketing studies and effectiveness research; it has the most comprehensive compilation of industry information, market analysis, and case studies.
OAAA’s annual national convention is a must-attend event today for anyone who is anyone in OOH advertising. OAAA holds it together with the OOH measurement body Geopath (formerly TAB). One of the highlights of the event is the OBIE Awards, the US ad industry’s oldest creative excellence program.
In August 2016, an OAAA report marked a phenomenal 25 consecutive quarters of OOH ad revenue growth in the US.
OAAA has 795 members, including: 492 media companies (billboards, street furniture, transit, and place-based OOH); 126 suppliers (manufacturers, ad tech suppliers, attorneys, and financial institutions); 106 advertisers, agencies and affiliates; and 71 international companies.
The world’s largest OOH media owners such as JCDecaux, OUTFRONT Media, Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar Advertising Company are OAAA members.
For the past 25 years the organization has been headed by its President and CEO Nancy Fletcher, who is one of the most influential leaders of the advertising industry.
A more detailed list of the OAAA’s achievements can be found here.
Digital Signage Federation.
The Digital Signage Federation (DSF) is focused more on the tech side of the digital out of home market, also referred to as “digital signage.” Unlike OAAA, DSF covers not only the ad-based networks but also corporate communications, retail, hospitality, and other applications of networked digital screens.
According to DSF Chairman Randy Dearborn, the mission of DSF is to “support and promote the common business interests of the worldwide digital signage, the interactive technologies, and the digital out-of-home network industries.” The DSF serves end users, advertising agencies, media, network operators, vendors, system integrators, consultants, and distributors of digital signage products and services.
Since its inception in 2010, DSF has developed several standards for the emerging industry, a glossary of terms, guides and numerous case studies. The association holds regular educational webinars and professional events both for its members and non-members.
DSF members enjoy access to a vast collection of resources and recorded presentations.
DSF has been funding research and working to improve legislation, regulations, codes and standards pertaining to the sale and use of digital signage products and services.
DSF is fighting patent trolling, a malpractice that plagues the digital signage software market.
In 2016, the trade organization has expanded into Europe, forming affiliate relations with DSF Europe (formerly OVAB Europe).
The association has 693 individual members representing 304 corporate members. The corporate membership includes: 101 end users/network operators, 25 consultants, and 178 vendors.
The Digital Place-Based Advertising Association (DPAA) stands apart from the OAAA and the DSF. It focuses on video advertising as it follows the consumers who switch from one media device to another, with the emphasis on “digital place-based” and DOOH networks.
According to DPAA President and CEO Barry Frey, its members include “digital place-based and DOOH media owners, plus all the companies that work with them. Software and hardware companies, those who provide mobile data, mobile targeting and re-targeting, programmatic media buying, research, as well as venues and content companies.”
Frey says the goal of the organization is to promote the irrefutable benefits of digital place-based/DOOH advertising and persuade the ad world to allocate larger media budgets towards these new formats.
In the past few years, the trade body has been credited with raising the profile of the DPB/DOOH medium as a whole and of its members in particular.
The association’s member base has doubled in size in the past three years (no numbers were revealed to me.)
The DPAA’s annual event “Video Everywhere Summit” has grown from 200 attendees in 2008 to 800 in 2016 and is now a major part of the New York Digital Signage Week.