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Posts Tagged ‘Social’

Although I’ve lived in Boston these past 10 years and now spend much of my time in Orlando at Monster Media HQ, I grew up in London and many things British tug at my heart and remind me of my roots.

I’m not sure if I can really explain what the mere mention of the sea-side town of Blackpool means to a Brit. It’s loved for it’s ’50′s authenticity, Victorian heritage, piers, tower, amusements, its many famous and successful soccer players and musicians (including Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, David Ball of Soft Cell, Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys, Graham Nash of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Robert Smith of The Cure, Lemmy of Motorhead….)

As Blackpool competes with other tourist destinations, it is turning to digital marketing strategies to connect to people far and wide to spread the word about this jewel in the UK’s crown.

UK digital out of home advertising solutions company, Digital Guys called Monster Media to leverage our LocaModa social media platform. The same approach that attracts millions of people to tweet photos to screens in Vegas, Times Sq and thousands of bars, clubs, stadia in US and beyond, is being used by Blackpool to amplify its appeal.

The juxtaposition of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc and Blackpool’s Victorian appeal might seem odd at first, but actually makes perfect sense. Any subject that touches the passions of followers is a good starting point for a marketing strategy.

The campaign doesn’t start until the 28th November but it’s already getting the right kind of attention.

Digital Guys are cleverly and efficiently using multiple digital channels to promote, connect to and extend the Blackpool brand. They are leveraging Monster’s LocaModa platform to aggregate, filter and display tweets and Instagram photos around the hashtag #LoveBPL. They are then amplifying this attention via facebook and google+. They are doing this right by actively working all these channels: monitoring the conversations, responding, retweeting, and promoting their campaign in blogs. And it’s working. Quickly.

Within just 3 days a blog post about their campaign received over 12,000 views and over 400 shares.

Joanna Kay, from DigitalGuys, said: “Blackpool is great and so much more than a summer season resort. But just talking to people in London and elsewhere, too many people think it is all rock and donkeys. We want to raise awareness of everything else that goes on here from the people that live and work here. Blackpool has got the £220m Central Business District development, and all the culture and entertainments to offer.”

As I have reported we have been working with a number of networks and brands on similar approaches. It’s really important to not lose sight that such campaigns are short term tactics. When they are over, the brand and the networks need to continue to engage and have a dialog with their audiences. Having a long term approach, is where this works and impacts brand equity and revenue opportunities (sponsorships, ticket sales etc).

Imagine a not-too-distant future Blackpool with a famous interactive billboard on its North Pier displaying kiss-me-quick Instagram photos and filtered tweets and connecting to multiple social channels and screens to keep the Blackpool brand front of mind.


I’m fond of saying that a patent is like a poker hand. You can win a game of poker with a great hand and you can also bluff and win with bad hand, but you can’t win with no hand. So patents, even bad ones, can sometimes generate a win for their owners, even when they are at best dubious.

I received an email this morning regarding the invention and recent granting of a patent for a “cellphone changing an electronic display that contains a barcode”.

I know some folks think I’m opinionated about some things, especially when it comes to the use of QR Codes in DOOH, so it will come as no surprise if I say (again) that:

Putting an oh-too-small QR code on digital signage for oh-too-little time and ooh-too-far-away is a waste of pixels!

Even if a user can draw their phone from their pocket faster than the Lone Ranger AND have a QR Code app ready to launch AND and be close enough to the screen scan the code BEFORE the campaign spot changes, the campaign better deliver something so damn valuable that it pays for someone (not counting anyone at the network, brand or the agency) to do exactly that.

AND even if a patent application for doing exactly that kind of thing was applied for in say May 2011 , I’m surprised the patent office didn’t site prior art AND GRANTED PATENTS from 2004 that disclose:

A system and method of interactive, location based and presentation and advertising that enables users with wireless network addressable communications device to control multi-media content on network addressable screens and enables marketers to track, monitor and respond to users interactions in real-time. A Proxy Gateway directs a network addressable client PC, connected to a digital display, to serve a local content or pull content from one or more web servers. A wireless, network addressable device, typically a mobile phone, is used to communicate commands to the physically remote Proxy Gateway, The proxy Gateway bridges between the communications device, forwarding them to the client PC which may pull content from the appropriate web server or display native message content.

Even ignoring the above IP, leading “practitioners in the field” continue to leverage interactive OOH/DOOH techniques proven to engage the casual onlooker. I guess the patent office doesn’t read search the DailyDOOH or other stalwarts of our digital signage industry.


AdWeek called me last week to ask my opinion about the use of Vine in OOH. I had been involved in a recent Tide social media OOH campaign, so could I comment on Tide using Twitter’s new Vine video format for a broad-based OOH campaign?

I didn’t know about the details of the campaign and thought it both interesting but also puzzling as Vine does not have an open API (Application Programming Interface) yet. I assumed (correctly in hindsight) that it would be unlikely that multiple OOH markets (especially including roadside billboards) would be able to display these videos.

I gave AdWeek a quote to the effect that I had not seen a broad-based social video campaign in OHH and that this sounded very innovative.

So what’s the story here, what’s it’s impact and what did get reported?

The AdWeek story includes links to some of the videos which are fun but these are NOT being displayed on OHH screens. The Tide campaign uses stills taken from Vines for roadside billboards (roadside regulations stipulate that each 8 sec spot is static).

I’m misquoted in the article but the campaign is really innovative and I haven’t seen Vine leveraged on billboards yet so anything like this that pushes the envelope is great for everyone.

Although Vines do not officially have an open API for developers including OOH applications, we can only hope that will change and attention to this campaign might help accelerate that.

Congrats to the team at Digitas and Tide for continuing to innovate around social and OOH.


I’m speaking at the Location Based Marketing Association Amsterdam – Out Of Home Innovation tomorrow (Oct 30th).

For those who can’t be there in person (me included – I’ll be using Adobe Connect to present from US), my presentation is on slideshare here

I’ve been told there will be a case study on Playboy’s augmented reality OOH campaign in Europe. Now that’s one campaign that put the OOH in Out of Home :)


A few weeks ago I wrote that the OAAA published a standard and guidelines for the use of social media in Out of Home. That post is here.

As part of it’s efforts to promote the impact of social in OOH, the OAAA then launched a campaign using the call to action/hashtag #everyWhereUR. The campaign ran for two weeks from September 16 on OOH signage across the US and users’ tweeted photos would end up on a large screen in Times Square.

The results of this effort came out last week. The campaign only attracted 450 tweets and of those, less than 200 photos were posted in Times Square.

So what tactics could have been been used to get better results?

Well, the point of using social media to AMPLIFY engagement. Sorry, but we don’t get amplification simply by plugging in to Twitter, we have to “go where the party is”.

ONE thing that I would have thought would have been a better approach would have been to partner with a brand that has a large following on Twitter and Facebook and then leverage our screens as the reward. (When we did that with Paramount for Twitter, we got over 2,000,000 engagements.)

As I’ve said before, it’s not enough to have a beautiful Gibson Les Paul – you need to plug it in something LOUD to be heard.

I’m talking about how social amplification improves OHH engagement at a Location Based Marketing Association’s event on Wednesday 30th My deck is here.