OVAB Metric Just The Beginning

The new metric for out-of-home video viewing is a crucial step in making the medium more accessible to media planners and advertisers, a number of execs working in the out-of-home space recently agreed. They also said out-of-home networks need to go beyond the common metric, building their own custom measurements (in partnership with third-party research firms like Nielsen and Arbitron) to highlight the particular qualities of their venues and delivery.

According to Rob Gorrie, the president and founder of Adcentricity, his company has aggregated about 90 different networks with a focus on making sure "we fit into the existing media model, making sure this looks and tastes as much like traditional media buying." Indeed, a large part of the company's mission is "planning support, figuring out what works to reach a very specific audience."

In that vein he praised OVAB's metric, which essentially multiplies foot traffic by likelihood to see, for providing the basic elements of a "reach-frequency model" that will "look and taste a lot like what media buyers are used to seeing." But he added that "there is a lot more data out there" to help media planners and buyers calibrate their out-of-home media mix. In the case of AdCentricity, the company combines proprietary data from retailers, detailed demographic data from censuses, and custom research to determine by all the networks it has aggregated to determine not only the rates of viewing, but "how effective advertising is in different environments."



Gorrie explained: "Obviously it's all about the context where you see the ad. For example, does a spa or gym environment really help the message? Is a gas station better? Which environment will be the handraiser?" Ultimately, he said "there are two or three different levels of research that need to happen, and the medium is just hitting that stage now."

Likewise Lon Otremba, the CEO of Access 360 Media, said he thought the OVAB metric "was absolutely a necessary step" for attracting more media dollars, in particular from television, where advertisers are despairing of reaching an increasingly fragmented and mobile audience. However, once advertisers have been coaxed across the barrier, he added that DOH companies will have to demonstrate their superior reach and impact with custom, proprietary research. Otremba agreed with Gorrie that a large part of this must address the influence of advertising on consumers in different physical and behavioral contexts.

It's probably no coincidence that Gorrie and Otremba expressed a similar outlook, as both own or have struck deals with multiple place-based networks in a variety of venues; for them, distinguishing between different networks is simply a matter of picking and choosing from their portfolio. However, execs from "pure play" networks - i.e., ones focused on specific venues - also emphasized the importance of custom research that offers advertisers data expanding upon OVAB's.

Here, Gas Station TV CEO David Leider said he has commissioned a number of custom studies by Nielsen and others to determine the precise impact of ads delivered at the gas pump. Citing one example, Leider revealed the finding of a Nielsen study showing that 10- and 15-second spots are equal or superior to 30-second spots in terms of brand recall -- at least in that medium. The study was conducted over a two-week period at 24 GSTV-equipped U.S. gas stations in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Dallas, comparing ad recall for 10-, 15- and 30-second spots from two national advertisers.

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