Media360: Outdoor 'wins' battle of big media

Spencer Berwin from JCDecaux topped the Media360 audience poll for Outdoor
Spencer Berwin from JCDecaux topped the Media360 audience poll for Outdoor

Outdoor advertising is the new smart medium for 2015, Media360 was told this afternoon, as representatives of each major media platform went head to head.

Spencer Berwin, JCDecaux’s managing director of sales, topped an audience poll of seven panelists who each championed their respective channel.

Berwin said: "Outdoor is so smart that it reaches 98 per cent of the UK population every week. That’s more than TV. It reaches 1.5 billion eyeballs every day. That’s bigger than the population of China.

"All of those eyeballs are delivering 100 per cent above the fold. It’s the real deal. Even better than that, there are no ifs and certainly, absolutely no buts. What you see is what you get.

"And out-of-home is the new smart medium for 2015. It’s been used by brands for generations. Right now, they’re still talking and singing about it for 2015. It keeps on working. Because digital out-of-home delivers in buckets what brands want: fame."

In a panel debate format that was popular at Media360 last year, each champion was given three slides and six minutes to make their case.

Jonathan Allan, the sales director at Channel 4, made the case for television and said the medium was not standing still but was strongly transitioning in digital. He said: "Nothing fucks me off greater than being called ‘traditional’.

"Along with ITV, Sky, and Channel 5 – God bless their souls – we are transforming the opportunities available in TV."

Allan added: "We’ve grown through proving our effectiveness. TV still delivers. Cost per reach is now lower than ten years ago; 88 per cent of TV is still watched live. The entry cost has reduced and the choice available to clients is huge."

Making the case for radio Travis Baxter, the content and external affairs director at Bauer Media, said: "Effective music, scheduled and curated, is showing a significant appeal with an audience.

"You’ve also seen well-curated speech listened to by an audience and appreciated by them. That’s what creates good radio. The audience appeal of speech is higher than music, but it’s the integration of those two things… that makes radio work well."

Justine Southall, the publishing director at Time Inc UK, argued that the "multiplatform fabulous-ness" of print meant that it is "absolutely not dead".

Southall said: "Hundreds of fashion, photography, film-lovers spend quality time with magazines. That’s immensely powerful in a world where levels of engagement are going down.

"Magazine content is immersive; there’s a sense of belonging and community. It says something about who you are and defines how you think of yourselves, which is very important in a world which is so full of information."

Karen Stacey, the chief executive at Digital Cinema Media, said cinema was uniquely placed to deliver the most effective forms of advertising because of how people react to stories.

She argued: "In 1985, cinema admissions were 54 million. This year, it will be over 172 million.

"Stories drive memory, which is key for emotional decision-making, which is crucial for purchasing behaviour.

"Emotional advertising is twice as effective and delivers twice the profit against traditional advertising. These evergreen forms of creative remain powerful marketing tools as people want to escape from their everyday lives and chaos."

David Wilding, the planning director at Twitter, said it was "quite tricky" to talk about social media in the round because different platforms do different things.

Rather than compete with other media, Wilding said, social media is actually fuelled by other forms.

He said: "Every single other medium makes the social media experience better.

"The flipside is that social media makes all these other channels enjoyable too. It’s also a cliché because it’s true: social media isn’t an island, it’s a bridge. Growth for all of our media will come from adopting that mentality."

Making the case for mobile, Libby Robinson, the managing director for EMEA at M&C Saatchi Mobile, said mobile phones are "the best proxy we can get to a person".

Robinson said: "It’s the most personal device we own. It knows everything about you and 83 per cent of people look at their smartphone within the first 20 minutes of getting out of bed.

"They’re using mobile all the time so it’s about hitting them with the right message at the right time. That’s very challenging.

"When you compare it with other channels, it’s still rising and rising ridiculously. Desktop is going down but mobile is on the way up and will continue to be for a long, long time."

But, Robinson warned, there is a disconnect between how much mobile is used and the money that is being spent on advertising.

She said: "Traditional brands are moving quickly but there are some challenges to get to that level… I think some agencies and brands might need to change the way they’re set up to champion mobile."

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