September 23, 2014
Asia OOH Magazine interviewed me on all things outdoor, as well as discussing Talon Outdoor and Blis Media’s latest exciting ventures. See the original article on Linked In, or in the October 2014 issue of Asia OOH.
AOM: As CEO of Talon Outdoor, would you please share with us, why did you join Talon? how is Talon different from other OOH agencies?
Eric: I’ve been involved in every aspect of the Out of Home industry from the bottom to the top and feel part of the industry’s history as it has evolved. I see a wealth of opportunities for experienced entrepreneurs in the OOH sector today. So Talon was a natural opportunity to seize upon. Talon’s stakeholders include a fantastic group of proven executives. The chance to work and build a business with them was fairly unique.
AOM: As global head of Kinetic before, you’re looking to repeat your success at Talon, having developed Talon into a 60-strong, £200m turnover business within year, what would you credit this to? would you please share with us some secrets in fast growing start-up OOH business?
Eric: The key to the early success of Talon was in attracting the right level of talent to start with. Advertisers and agencies could clearly see we had put together a strong and driven team. The biggest lesson for any company in this position is about attracting the right people.
AOM: Talon is a significant player in the Out of Home agency sector with a focus on delivering innovative and forward-thinking strategic OOH solutions, integrated with wider communications, please elaborate this with us some recent representative campaigns of Talon.
Eric: We are now involved in a medium which can deliver incredible diversity in terms of types of communication. As the digital footprint expands rapidly, you will see new methods of utilizing what is the world’s oldest advertising medium. We are working with our advertiser and agency partners using smarter planning, wider use of data and a location-centric approach, with messages tailored to people very much in context. Google has triggered its second OOH campaign for its Search App as part of the Google Outside branding. Using digital OOH across London, the campaign uses over 2,000 unique copy executions each day and shows content based on each location’s GPS coordinates. They are using a greater variety of content in more locations and engaging directly with people around context, mindset and location in a very innovative and technology-driven way.
Earlier this year we conceived an augmented reality campaign for Pepsi Max, involving a 6 sheet poster, giant robots, flying saucers and runaway tigers which played out to critical acclaim on the streets of London. The execution featured on CNN and the BBC (where it became a top 3 video) and has been the recipient of over 6 million views on YouTube alone, demonstrating the power of both technology at work in OOH and the earned media potential if creative, brand and idea come together like this. It was part of a wider integrated Outdoor and media initiative from the brand and ended up as the centrepiece.
Watch the Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter in action:
AOM: You’re also chairman of Blis Media, an advertising technology company that uses very accurate location data to define digital audiences, how has your experiences at Blis helped your work at Talon?
Eric: I am fortunate to be involved in two vibrant, cutting-edge businesses. Both companies can learn from each other and are collectively stronger. Both involve effective communications in locations and there are obvious synergies. It is fascinating to see the Blis Infinity+ platform in operation, dealing with literally billions of events per day. The data, which the platform uncovers, is exceptionally useful for Talon planners to understand more about moving audiences and therefore engage through OOH more effectively. We recently used this data in planning a campaign for a major UK bank, TSB, targeting mortgages and house buyers. Talon was able to use the data topinpoint and map the location of people who are actively in the market for a new mortgage, using their location and behaviour-based mobile internet browsing data to target the highest converting macro areas and even the micro location of panels to postcode level. The real-time mobile location data was also combined with OOH industry audience data Route to provide a real example of smarter, more efficient OOH planning.
AOM: In which ways do you think OOH and mobile is converging? how should the OOH industry prepare for the coming media convergence? Please kindly advise.
Eric: In many ways and putting location at the heart of communications. The examples given above show how the synergies created by Talon and BlisMedia prepare us for the future.
(The interview is going to be published bilingually in October issue of Asia OOH)