NOVUS Media offers hyper-local, customized media programs, strategic planning, data and analytics and marketing services to advertisers and agencies across all major industries. Debbie Drutz, President, NOVUS Canada, recently told Digital Signage Pulse about the agency and its extensive work in out-of-home.
What services does NOVUS Media offer?
NOVUS Media is a specialized location-based media planning and buying agency that brings brands to where people live their lives. We are focused on value-based buying, audience analysis by location and driving sales for our advertisers.
Our readers will be interested in the “performance-driven outcomes” aspect of NOVUS Media, particularly as it pertains to OOH.
Our proprietary engine, called NOVUS GPS, allows us to understand the value of geography and the audiences within neighborhoods. We can offer any media channel where we see the highest concentration of the advertiser’s desired audience. After each campaign we provide measurement data to prove foot traffic attribution, sales lift and ultimately, business outcomes for clients.
Who are some of your largest OOH clients?
Our largest OOH clients in Canada are McDonald’s, Rogers, Pepsi, Subaru, Nissan and Infiniti to name a few.
Can you give us examples of recent OOH campaigns NOVUS Media executed?
In 2018, we worked on a Ronald McDonald House Charities Cookies campaign for McDonald’s, The campaign featured a Dundas Square Domination (Dundas is the Times Square of Toronto) with an experiential component that tied to the messaging. We had a food truck in the square giving out free cookies.
In 2019, we created a campaign for McDonald’s in Toronto to support their McCafe store at 415 Yonge. With our NOVUS GPS geo-local planning engine, we were able to identify OOH units within a three-minute walk to the restaurant (the time identified as “the most someone would be willing to walk to get coffee”). Simple, but brilliant, in my opinion.
In 2019, we executed the first Radio To Road campaign in Canada with OMD and Astral for the Infiniti brand. We synced radio ads with DOOH ads on several boards in Toronto around six times per day. The 30-second brand spot would play on radio and we’d have a 30 second matching “takeover” on our selected digital billboards.
What trends are you seeing in Canadian OOH media?
Some of the largest advertisers in the OOH space are really keen to work in the space and welcome research opportunities. The more we can prove the effectiveness of this medium, the more they will invest in the channel.
Our goal at NOVUS Media is to educate the planning teams and marketers about the role OOH plays not only in top of funnel marketing to drive awareness but in mid- to low-funnel marketing. With each campaign, we’re proving out more and more that those who have been exposed to an OOH ad have taken an action in a digital platform or have visited or “walked in” to a retailer.
We’ve been proving this connection between digital and the physical world for years now. As mobile consumption continues to dominate, the growth has helped us prove the validity of the OOH medium.
While still relatively small in Canada, the automated buying process of programmatic DOOH is beginning to resonate and is still quite trendy. We still value location in OOH but being able to identify an audience at a location and activating at key times versus purchasing a loop has become an even more attractive proposition. As buyers of OOH, we are continuously looking at ways to deliver savings for our advertisers while mitigating technology costs to serve up ads.
How does the Canadian OOH market compare to that of the U.S. with regard to how brands are using the medium?
The Canadian marketplace share of spend is heavily weighted towards national advertisers versus local, and that is definitely a difference that I’ve seen between US and Canada. In Canada, the top five vendors command almost 70% of the OOH spend.
In the US, the ratio of national to local is probably even in spend. OOH is a really compelling medium for local advertisers. NOVUS Media USA focuses on local media planning and buying at the zip code level so OOH is an important channel for us when planning for local advertisers across the country.
NOVUS Media went private in 2017. What benefits have you seen from this?
Privatizing the company under David Murphy’s leadership ( CEO, NOVUS Media ) has given us the opportunity to afford a strong and diverse leadership team, rebuild our tools and technology and diversify our product offering. This has helped to accelerate our transition from our roots as the largest print buying agency in North America to a geo-local, multi-media agency serving advertisers coast to coast on a local level.
On a personal note, you recently were named chair of DPAA’s Women’s Empowerment in Digital Out-of-Home, or WE.DOOH, initiative. Please tell us about the project and what you hope to accomplish in your leadership role.
WE.DOOH is all about engaging, enhancing and elevating women in DOOH.
I’m thrilled to be leading this organization to not only bring exposure to the power of DOOH and its advancements in driving sales results for clients, but also to connect with leading women in the space. Together, we can elevate, engage and enhance both our knowledge, shared vision and passion for the industry. Also, I want to support and mentor young women coming up in a very male-dominated industry and provide them with the tools they will need to succeed.
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