For the past several years, Out of Home advertising (OOH) had back-to-back growth. Then, like so many changes in our daily habits, travel slowed, media habits shifted and signage became less of commodity. But, as Anna Bager, the CEO of the OAAA – the trade association for outdoor advertising recently shared:
Part of that is tempering excitement over new technologies with a focus on society’s heightened need for humanity and real connections. The right strategy helps brands ensure they’re reaching consumers where they are, providing an experience that’s contextual and relevant.
This conversation with Anna expresses the “what’s old is new again” value of OOH and its ability to offer that “where they are” connection with consumers and provides an experience that’s contextual and relevant, privacy-compliant AND hyper-local!
NOTE: It’s a terrific complement to Epi 43 with the CEO of Captivate which focused on how their form of digital place-based advertising — in-elevator media — also had to shift its “place” and pivot during the pandemic. In both cases you’ll hear about the value of both digital engagement and innovation and good old purpose driven messaging. (And if you want to learn about the IAB — Anna’s previous home before her focus on out of home — check out Epi 20 with David Cohen!)
The evolution of OOH from static hiway signs (think Burma Shave!) to interactive digital takeovers (think Times Square!)
How the medium survived the downturn in travel during the peak pandemic months by doubling down on its track record asa public service tool…
How OOH supports both “brand and demand” marketing.
We wrap with Anna’s personal preferences for cool tools of the future!
Marc Kidd, CEO of Captivate, lost sleep thinking about the lost foot traffic in office buildings when the pandemic hit. After all, his company specializes in programming the video screens in elevators. But, this son of famed NCAA football coach, Roy Kidd (as in Roy Kidd Stadium), is not one to panic at fourth down. In our conversation for Epi 43 he shared how Captivate evolved its Digital Out of Home (DOOH) offerings to include home and play locations, with an upswing in results for sales and marketers alike.
“There was a high stakes game on a really bad weather day and I said, ‘Dad, it’s raining, the wind’s blowing. What decision are you going to make about the coin toss?’ He said, ‘You don’t worry about the things you can’t control.’ It has always reminded me that there are things in life you have no control over … like a pandemic.”
Marc is not a stranger to having to pivot. Hear what happened when his college plans to work alongside his dad got waylaid… and he briefly considered accounting for a career! Luckily, he found his footing in sports marketing…then broadcasting, giving him the foundation for a storied career that included helping create the NCAA corporate partner program and the Breeders Cup’s World Thoroughbred Championships, WAC corporate partner programs and iHigh.com.
Now at Captivate, he had some tough calls to make in the past two years for the greater good, but like all boats when the tide rises he ultimately helped the elevator advertising business stay the course through more innovation.
Listen and learn about:
How Captivate transfigured awkward social spaces!
The evolution of DOOH (Digital Out of Home) itself and its use in brand and awareness marketing
The guiding path to advertising effectiveness and strategizing content
QR codes and other ways of building real attribution
How COVID-19 disruption prompted forward-thinking repositioning
Captivate’s 2022 plans, including re-engineered programmatic platforms
You can also reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re “hear” for you!
Podcast pro Steve Pratt, VP and Co-Founder of the multi-award winning Pacific Content, told me his company no longer makes branded podcasts. They haven’t for a few years. They make “original podcasts with brands.” And win awards doing it for brands like Ford Motor Company, Rocket Mortgage, Morgan Stanley, Slack, and Red Hat.
The difference? These are no “thinly veiled infomercials. Instead, Pacific Content works together with their partners to “make a show that’s designed as something that only that brand can make; you give a gift — or create a significant amount of value — for the people that the brand wants to have relationships with.” And that, says Pratt, is how and why a brand makes a show that solves for their specific business problem, AND makes them into “media companies,” too.
But don’t forget about the marketing. Good content that isn’t salesy has to go hand in hand with good marketing that doesn’t just try to “interrupt.” So, excuse me (!), but marketers should listen to this informative conversation all about connecting the dots between business objectives and audience preferences via podcasting. Steve should know: his company of “50 passionate podcast nerds” is focused exclusively on original podcasts that promote brands with authenticity and without compromising quality.
Steve and I also discuss:
How Dell Technologies’ podcast, Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson, became a “masterclass” on disruption and innovation, and sold listeners on Dell without selling products (and you can hear Dell Global Marketer, Rachael Henke, talk about this in Epi 6 from 5/20!)
Creating a branded podcast strategy like a Venn Diagram between business goals and listener interests
How podcasts drive loyalty
Opportunities for “brands as media companies”
Branded podcasts vs. Advertising in another podcast: What’s the litmus test? (And when Steve suggests brands call Bart Roselli at VeritoneOne, per episode 41 on effective ad campaigns!)
Establishing marketing effectiveness in podcasting
Success measurement tactics and KPIs
And, since Pacific Content gives good content themselves, don’t miss Steve’s own musings on the future of podcasting, how he did on his 2021 predictions made in our friend James Cridland’s show…and what he’s projecting for 2022!
A milestone! It’s Episode 40 of Insider Interviews! And for that, who better to interview than Cadillac’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Grady Dias, who is, herself, marketing a milestone: the launch of what will be the first all electric line of luxury brand vehicles (EVs), starting with the Lyriq!
This episode was recorded in September, and since then the new Lyriq has sold out of pre-sale reservations. So how did it get so popular? Why is Cadillac “the maverick” of the GM brands, and how does its marketing deliver on its corporate parent’s promise to be the most inclusive company in the world?
For the past two years, Melissa Grady Dias has held the key. She is a marketer’s marketer, a master of math and of insight-driven creative. With a heart. That “brand and demand” combo (as I’ll write more about in The Continuum) is what’s helped infuse those corporate cause-oriented values into everything from gaming tie-ins to 6-second ads, to experiential marketing with Michelin-rated chefs. To hear Melissa be moved by the definition of equity and inclusion is to understand what “drives” (sorry) much of the brand messaging, but messaging that is always backed by data.
As she explains:
“I try to understand how and where my audience is consuming media, and how they’re entertaining themselves. Then I try to be in those places, but to do it in a different way, so that it really breaks through.”
While always in pursuit of an advertising career, (“I used to watch Who’s the Boss and I loved Angela and I wanted to be like her,” she confesses) Melissa almost took a wrong turn. But discovering Database, Direct, and e-Commerce studies in a Masters program led her to expertise in performance marketing and technology. Her passion for good creative added the rest of the fuel.
After discussing how she “followed her career north star to OnStar” we took some deep dives into how she is marketing the 125-year old brand, including:
What it means to “show up differently” and how the Cadillac marketing team approaches the funnel differently, too (hint: upside down!)
With GM looking to go all EV and towards a 0, 0, 0 world (zero emissions, zero crashes, and zero congestion) how Cadillac, historically an innovator brand, is at the forefront of that effort:
Just why Cadillac overall — from the Escalade to the XT6 — is like the maverick of GM brands, while still infused with corporate cause-oriented values.
“Cadillac is also a bit of a maverick and we’ve always stood for those people who really have big dreams and bold ambitions, but really they’re the change-makers.”
Melissa’s reaction to CEO Mary Barra’s statement on making GM one of the most inclusive companies in the world, and how they’re doing that — on social, in a campaign or in how they’re spending money;
“Equity is treating everyone the same and fairly. So if there’s a dance everyone’s invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
“When Regina King heard the brand manifesto, she could relate it to her story. And …it inspires me to be a better person, too. That’s how the “Never Stop Arriving” campaign was born: it’s about hitting a moment, celebrating yourself and then thinking ‘Now, how do I keep making the world better? How am I going to keep moving forward?’”
How they identify prospects and find them, starting with addressable and digital then filling in as they go up the funnel, right to tentpole events like their Oscars™ or PGA sponsorships;
Melissa’s perspective on audience demographics “I’m never saying, ‘where are the 25-54 year olds with a certain income’” and feelings about linear TV to podcasts…even their innovative use of gaming and AR and VR as part of the sales process;
(Note – Take a look at Cadillac Live for a unique view of how vehicles can be experienced in our showroom and supply-chain challenged times! And fun fact: More test drives happen on YouTube than in a car dealership! So hear how Cadillac Live deployed a takeover with a “first” on the video site!)
Hear how data is handled and respected and leveraged;
How experiential comes to life in unexpected ways, like finding inspiration in the Lyriq grill for food recipes!;
How future CMOs can follow a similar path to success? Melissa shares a three-point plan of action which, of course, starts with follow your passion.
Finally, hear why my heart was pounding – as with most people who experience Super Cruise for the first time – but in my case just from watching their effective long-form celebrity videos about the hands-free driving option! Melissa has described this as the “let go” moment.
As voiced by Tiffany Haddish in the video, “Sometimes you gotta grab the wheel and sometimes you just have to let it go.” It’s trust that you’ll get where you need to be. Melissa, who makes it a point to meditate daily, thinks her personal mantra – ‘I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be’ – “ties into that idea pretty well.”
Easter Egg Moment: Insider Interviews aims to give you the “insider scoop” on media, marketing and advertising, along with the personal side of execs. And you’ll catch a very human moment around 20 minutes in…. But do enjoy all 40 minutes of this informative and jam packed conversation!
If you found this helpful, feel free to help support ANOTHER 40 episodes of Insider Interviews and add to my virtual tip jar to “buy me a coffee“: https://buymeacoffee.com/mossappeal
And please support us with a review wherever you listen, share this episode. Or allow me to help you get started with a podcast or content marketing strategy: email@example.com.
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When I met Pearl Servat three years ago, Visible was brand new in the world of wireless carriers, and Servat was generating content about it. Now she is fairly new in an elevated role as Head of Brand Marketing and Demand Gen for the disrupter division of VerizonWireless, and gives good content herself in our conversation about driving customer connections.
Servat honed her PR chops in the entertainment and brand world under the mentorship of marketing heavy hitters like Pat Kingsley (PMK-BNC), but made the switch, as they say in the world of carriers, to helm “brand and demand” marketing. In Epi 39, she discusses both her own evolution, and that of Visible. Hear how she leverages partnerships with like-minded brand ambassadors and ensures the first all-digital wireless carrier in the US doesn’t forget its mission of kindness and transparency:
“I essentially sit at the intersection of where I’ve always loved to be. Between brand building and conversion and acquisition, driving and growth.”
Mission First, Marketing Next.
Servat explains that Visible’s mission drove her to lead efforts to connect people during some of the scariest days of the pandemic.
Hear how a simple email campaign that Visible sent asking how customers were holding up during the pandemic had unexpected impact.
Staying true to its DNA, the brand launched the #VisibleActsofKindness campaign and garnered over 2 million organic interactions.
Hear her perspective on the importance of both brand and demand marketing, as her title implies, AND experiential marketing — such as when they turned Los Angeles bus stops into mock living rooms, and even ski lifts settings giving customers a tactical connection with the all digital brand in lieu of physical retail locations.
“It’s beyond just retaining the consumer for us…We truly try to be as intentional as we can at every touch point with the brand. So, it doesn’t just start and stop with marketing.”
Partnerships that Matter
Partnerships and brand ambassadorships help extend the reach of the brand.
Servat emphasizes the importance of partnering with people who live by the same mission as the company.
Potential partners have seen the work Visible is doing and reached out to the company, interested in collaboration—the mission drives these kinds of partnerships.
Staying on trend? Servat credits her team, modestly saying she’s not “nearly as hip and cool as they are.”
And on working with marquee names like Kevin Bacon and Dan Levy? Well…
“When it comes to talent partnerships, we do a significant amount of research…And we only work with talent who walk the walk when it comes to social impact, what they stand for on an ongoing basis, [and] how they connect with their own communities.”
Katie Kempner may have appeared in the cult-classic films Scam and Class of Nuke ‘Em High, but she’s much better known for her corporate communications credentials. In Epi 38, she switches roles from interviewing others, or landing her clients interviews as a PR phenom, and sits instead in my guest seat.
Kempner and I took a few fun minutes at the top to discuss our mutually limited—yet memorable—acting experiences (see bonus image, below), but then dove in to how taking a risk paid her career-making dividends, and her tangible takeaways about earned and owned media today.
Stumbling into her Niche
When her prospects as an MTV VJ or starlet seemed slim Kempner took a job at a staffing company to avoid having to return to her parents’ home after college.
An opening at one of their client’s shops, the then still nascent advertising agency CP+B, changed her career path forever; Kempner talked her way into a role working with their new business division!
Kempner stayed with the award-winning agency for almost 20 years, and its acquiring company, MDC, from its roots as a small Miami office to regional powerhouse to a global super machine. But…
She always dreamed of starting her own firm. Solid relationships with her employer allowed her to launch Kempner Communications and keep CP+B as her first, and biggest, client.
How she lives the “reinventionist” philosophy of one of her current clients and my previous guest, Joe Jackman! (Check out Epi 37 if you missed it.)
I am the product of hard work and being in the right place at the right time.
Kempner has witnessed the rise in popularity of owned media, and she discusses why she still leans more toward earned media, but…
Always one to embrace future concepts, Kempner also discusses the benefits of client-created media and how it can help reach an intended audience.
Speaking of audiences, we discussed the shifting audience perspectives as the media world functions with fewer high-profile journalists with readership at scale, and more outlets to tell stories.
Listen for Kempner’s recommendations on balancing quantity and quality in earned media.
In one way, the proliferation of media is fantastic because there are more places to go.
Kempners Tips for Getting Started in Today’s PR World
Be a strong communicator
Be careful with your words and a scrupulous editor
Knowing why you’re crafting a message can help determine where to place it.
Knowing what your clients are trying to say helps to determine to whom they’re talking.
And personally? Just as she asks of the guests she interviews on Perspectives, Kempner’s answer to what advice she’d offer: “You should speak kindly to yourself…and I don’t mean live in some kind of la-la land where you’re not being realistic, but be good to yourself and be your own best friend.”
If you found this helpful, or liked any of my Insider Interviews episodes, please add a review anywhere you listen to podcasts, share this episode, and you can even add to my tip jar to “buy me a coffee!”
If I can help you connect your podcast/tv/content dots—or, just want help getting started with a podcast or content marketing strategy, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.