Across the Desk with GSTV's Sean McCaffrey

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Every month, OAAA’s editorial team sits down with an industry leader to discuss the latest insights, trends, and best practices for the OOH industry

This month, we’re excited to spotlight Sean McCaffrey, president & CEO of GSTV.

OAAA: What excites you about OOH right now?

Sean: Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we’ve seen our clients re-arbitrage value across all media investments. Advertisers are looking at things differently – there are now more platforms and players in different places across the advertising universe. Many media platforms now have a multitude of ways to deliver audiences. Advertisers are looking for the most value defined as where their dollar can work the hardest. They care less about the format, but they are looking for platforms that reach audience in the right time, right place, right moment that connects genuine attention into measurable actions. What excites me is that DOOH, and in particular, video, is rising to meet that need, as seen by growing advertiser demand.

There is an increasing recognition of the value of DOOH, particularly the flexibility and creativity offered by video. More than just signs as screens, brands and agencies are looking at their media plans with an omnichannel lens and seeking to reach the right audiences at scale who are primed to take action in the near future – whether it be dining at a restaurant, making a purchase, or tuning into a program.

With each screen being addressable, DOOH has grown into a medium that speaks the language that digital media and CTV has been speaking since its inception. The evolution of DOOH platforms and networks offers buyers the best of all media – the targeting and measurement of digital coupled with the scale, sight, sound and motion of broadcast, and the real world context of OOH and mobile.

OAAA: What message do you have for brands that haven’t bought DOOH before?

Sean: Simply put, consider DOOH as digital media. Digital media at one time was display and search; we then added pre-roll and then we all got stuck for a moment on “performance” vs brand. The smartest agencies and brands that we work with today have embraced digital muscle memory being applied to their entire media investment realizing it’s a spectrum of audiences, targeting and campaign performance whether delivered via Super Bowl Sunday, CTV, podcast, esports streaming, DOOH or legacy analog choices. Consumers move fluidly through digital and physical worlds to listen, watch, buy and more, and DOOH is one more increasingly scaled way to reach them with attention.

The real-world attention of DOOH audiences combined with the addressability of digital-first strategy planning, creative flexibility, campaign measurement and more is a chance to entirely reframe how DOOH is used in media plans. Consumers still respond differently to media in the physical world whether in Times Square, while fueling on weekly errands day or game day commute or a multitude of other moments of recency and receptivity. If CTV is an entirely different way to think about a TV media channel investment, so too is DOOH another way to consider audiences and opportunity across the OOH ecosystem.

OAAA: What’s the next big thing for DOOH?

Sean: I believe what’s next for DOOH is the rising tide of omnichannel video that provides consumers with a better, more meaningful, and more engaging content experience, and offering advertisers the closer connection to real consumer moments of attention they are seeking. It’s finally a time for true “digital” thinking around context, content, targeting, delivery and measurement to be applied and delivered in DOOH.

Relevant video content provides a respite and moments of entertainment and delight to consumers, and content that is meaningful to consumer context while they are out could be quick news bites, music content for drivers, latest cultural trends for shoppers, or wellness content for gym goers. A quality content experience combined with growth in omnichannel media buying strategies that focus on overall audience, behaviors, and impact, drive true moments of engagement, and ultimately helps an advertiser’s activation dollars work harder -- which remains paramount in an increasingly diverse ocean of platforms, content and advertising and economic disruption.