Karine Moses, President of Astral Media, the OOH (out-of-home) advertising division of Bell Media, spoke with Mel Stott for this Digital Signage Pulse exclusive.
Please tell us about Astral Media’s OOH assets. Where are your advertising faces, what types are they and how many are there?
Astral is one of Canada’s leading out-of-home advertising companies with more than 31,000 ad faces strategically located in the British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia markets. We have built one of the country’s most innovative media platforms that keeps up the latest technological trends. This allows us to deliver powerful messages that engage and connect with consumers on behalf or our advertisers.
We have five product lines: Outdoor, Digital Large Format, Airport, Transit and Street Furniture. 10% of our faces are digital and we have a five-year growth plan to convert a number of static faces to increase the number of digital faces.
One of the big launches this year was the unveiling of our new digital wrap, named the Roofscape, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. It’s the longest horizontal full motion digital display in Canada and is a major addition to Astral’s high profile portfolio.
Also, in partnership with Toronto Pearson International Airport, we introduced two new large- format digital superboards in close proximity to the country’s largest airport. The new structures are designed to resemble the tail of an aircraft and provide information about the airport while offering an advertising opportunity reaching millions of commuters and passengers annually.
We are steadily expanding our footprint in Canada’s biggest markets.
In December, you announced the launch of a new programmatic solution for large – format digital OOH inventory. How has that been received by advertisers and agencies?
We launched the first ever, automated, self-serve digital OOH programmatic platform and our agency partners and advertisers are eager to run their campaigns through it.
This automated buying platform cause a great deal of interest on the part of media planners. We discovered that digital (online advertising) planners, are most interested in this new tool as well. This mechanism follows the same workflow they use to buy all online media so it gives them another tool in which to optimize their cross-media campaigns.
In Q1, we’ve already had tier one advertisers use the platform and are pleased with its delivery.
At the time of the programmatic announcement, you mentioned that the platform is being launched in three phases. What phase are you at now, and when do you expect the rollout to be completed?
Astral’s programmatic solution is being released in three phases, the platform includes inventory across all major Canadian cities, real-time reporting, and attribution measurement capabilities.
Astral was the first to roll out this innovative platform to advertisers and it’s a major step towards truly integrated, audience-centric advertising that generates measurable results for brands. We are currently working on phase 2 and we expect to deliver the full solution as planned.
Can you describe how your programmatic digital OOH platform works?
Through the self-serve platform, as deal ID’s are created, clients can monitor budget allocation across the network in real time and update creative assets at their discretion.
Location data is used to determine an advertiser’s target, and the tool automatically serves the creative to the selected board. Every few minutes, the data is being reviewed behind the scenes to confirm the audience concentration of each board.
At the end of a campaign, an advertiser can review their delivery on a map in full motion across each board, by time, day and market.
Do you provide OOH ad attribution data?
Yes, by using our geo-mobile location data to capture audience indices surrounding our boards, we can then re-target those desired audiences through mobile devices and capture them walking into a store or taking an action on a website.
Whatever the desired attribution metric is, we are able to define these key performance indicators, track them throughout the campaign and provide a full attribution report on the findings.
Last June, you unveiled the longest horizontal, full-motion digital sign in Canada, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. Can you give us an example or two of how advertisers have been taking advantage of this property?
The Roofscape has been a huge success as it commands such a presence at Yonge–Dundas Square. Categories like CPG, movie and entertainment, retail and automotive have all included the site in their advertising campaigns. For example, the movie category has leveraged this quite perfectly while running their trailer in the middle of the structure with two powerful static images on either side of leading characters in the film.
With more than 140,000 daily circulation at the square, it’s the perfect spot to get consumers’ attention.
Learn more about Astral Media by clicking here.
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