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As some in the Out of Home (OOH) world head out to Vegas for DSE2014 (Digital Signage Expo), Monster Media today announced that it has been granted a patent for social media on Out-of-Home screens.

The patent, 8,615,565 “Automatic content retrieval based on location based screen tags,” relates to the automatic retrieval and display of social media on location-based screens such as Out-of-Home networks and signage at venues, events and arenas.

Monster Media’s growing intellectual property (IP) portfolio contains two issued patents and numerous other applications focused on interactive engagement technologies primarily for Out-of-Home applications covering mobile, social, touch and gesture technologies.

The granted patent describes how to amplify audience engagement on Out-of-Home screens. LocaModa, a company acquired by Monster Media in August 2013 (full disclosure, I was the founder and CEO of LocaModa) invented a number of products that improve engagement for Out-of-Home networks.

Automatically creating a sustainably interesting screen was a problem that needed to be solved for our industry. Simply using local messages or single content sources gets boring very quickly as audiences lose interest if content is repeated. We solved the problem by leveraging conversations across multiple networks and tagging those conversions with keywords that the local screens then subscribe to. Of course we filter the content to make sure that it is appropriate for each venue, but the result is an automatic system that increases interest in and value of the media.

Monster Media’s IP, which pre-dates the now popular use of hashtags in social media, is regularly used to systematically aggregate, filter and display Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram on Out-of-Home and event-based screens. The company’s technology platform enables Out-of-Home campaigns reaching more than 100 million people every month for brands including AT&T, Clorox, ESPN, Levis, Gap, Pepsi, Sony, Paramount, Tide, New York Rangers, Miami Dolphins and Ciroc.

As some know, LocaModa, the company I founded over 10 years ago, developed a number of firsts for the OOH and DOOH market. Way ahead of our time, we patented a suite of technologies that made screens more engaging and measurable.

In my opinion, this is a biggie – it’s a core part of Monster Meida’s value proposition and it’s fundamental to the best practices and industry standard that I helped draft for the OAAA (that Stephen Freitas will be speaking to at the OOH session at DSE2014 this week).

In essence, the predominant way social media is being used on OOH networks and at events hits this patent and clearly, as our market get serious about leveraging real time media to enable more engaging OOH screens and events, it has to be mindful about IP issues.

One side impact of this patent is that it can help remove friction from our market. By way of an example, assume network A and network use different content management systems, have different screens formats, but use the same standardized method of deploying social media. A brand or agency can now deploy social media to both networks without needing to worry about their different CMSs and screen formats. This means we (finally) get less friction in our market.

In much the same way as the internet exploded only once the browser sat on top of different platforms – and resulted in the revolution of frictionless media, we can only hope that something similar happens in the OOH industry.

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The stats for the #BellLetsTalk 24 hour campaign are impressive and heartwarming (details of the campaign are here)….

· Original Tweets: 969,993
· 945,554 English Messages
· 24,439 French Messages
· Total Tweets (Including retweets): 3,043,248
· Average of 126,802 messages per hour

Over 100,000,000 txts, calls and tweets were received, each unlocking 5c, raising over $5,000,000 for mental health.

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Today (Jan 28th, 2014) in Canada marks the fourth year for Bell Let’s Talk Day, dedicated to increasing awareness, reducing stigma and helping to change behaviours and attitudes about mental health issues.

Monster Media, together with Media Experts and creative agency LG2 launched the #BellLetsTalk campaign over three Canadian OOH networks; Lamar, Pattison, Cogeco in French and English.

Bell is donating 5c for every tweet, phone call, text message and Facebook photo share.

As I write this post at 9.30 am, they have already received over 12 million messages!

Great work team!

UPDATE 1.30PM The total is currently over 35,000,000 messages = over $1.5 million raised.

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CIROC and Uber, today turbo charge their new year campaign with the launch an OOH Social campaign using Monster Social (the platform formally known as LocaModa), Twitter and the huge Times Square digital billboard at 1568 Broadway at 47th Street.

Sean Diddy Combs’ Ciroc vodka has teamed up with on-demand transportation app Uber, who will provide discounts for safe rides home on New Year’s Day 2014. Throughout the remainder of 2013, consumers are urged to pledge to #CIROCthenewyear on Facebook and Twitter and make their commitment to never drink and drive.

Tweets with the hashtag #CirocTheNewYear are filtered and age-gated before being displayed in Times Square. For every message CIROC receives with #CirocTheNewYear, Uber will provide new Uber users with a $25 coupon code, up to a maximum total of $1,000,000.

At 12:00pm EST on January 1, 2014 Combs will personally tweet and post a special code for new Uber users to redeem their discount. The rides will then be made available on a first come, first-served basis beginning at 12:00pm on January 1, 2014. Consumers will be able to sign up with their code at Uber.com.

Celebrities have been joining the cause at pledge parties including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Zoe Saldana, Michael Yo, Kevin Frazier, and Thea Andrews and CIROC will also host additional pledge parties throughout December in key markets including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Washington DC and Chicago.

The campaign runs 24/7 until Jan 1st 2014.

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Now the very nature of the “look at me” selfie is being leveraged as a strategic tool that OOH networks are using to help drive awareness for their screens. This is an engagement STRATEGY not a campaign. Designed to be attention grabbing and improve engagement for Cemusa, #TSQselfie enables advertisers to skin the application and be part of the consumer dialog in New York City’s busiest intersection.

As our very own Mr Beauchamp said in today’s press release “#TSQSelfie application enables Cemusa screens to be even more engaging for pedestrians, and therefore more valuable to brands and agencies. It has the perfect balance of fun and fame to get pedestrians noticing and participating.”

Expect to see more OOH networks working on similar strategic initiatives to drive engagement and therefore value.

The application runs for 30 seconds every 5 minutes, 24/7 across 20 screens on 10 Cemusa newsstands in Times Square.

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