What we’re going to do is change the game. With storytelling. Digital storytelling. It will lean into culture. And it’s gonna be disruptive.
Guess where I am. Media agency? Social agency? Creative agency?
What if I told you I’m a manufacturer from Stevenage and I’m going change the way you work, even though you might not know it yet. (Unless you’re one of visionary the people we’ve been working with for the last ten years).
My company, Esprit Digital makes digital out of home displays – dynamic advertising and information screens. You’ll know our work if you live in London or Oslo, Prague or Vienna and travel on the tube, or if you visit a Westfield shopping centre, or any major UK airport.
Inside of the next decade, the kind of screen pods we make will replace outdoor print advertising in every developed market in the world. We have led the way in bringing the down the cost and environmental impact of displays, by making screen pods so robust (our metalworkers also make tanks), efficient (they operate 99.9% of the time without fail) and safe (the pods will safely burn for hours down the tube). They are also a fraction of the cost of paying a man with a bucket of wallpaper paste to slap up posters.
For media owners and media agencies the implications are huge - a screen can generate revenues of over 10x print - but for creative agencies the creative opportunity goes from static poster to dynamic experience in one go. You can now have a Range Rover drive up a staircase or provide local information that’s useful to the person looking at the ad - wayfinding is a big part of the offer.
However, our pods contain technology that can read the demographic information of the people looking at them, so with beacon technology we can target ads not at demographics, but at individuals. We can serve ads so targeted they hit people as they walk by. The creative opportunity goes from mass and vaguely interesting to personal and essential. Imagine a brand giving me the info I need, right where I need it, when I need it (like Minority Report). In the days of ads that follow me round the internet selling me stuff I didn’t even know I needed, we can now do it in the real world in real time.
We’ve just signed a deal with Scentre Group, the owners of Westfield in Australia, to change their entire estate of 39 shopping centres from print to digital. It is the world’s largest ever digital out of home deal, and cost over $20mil. Other media and infrastructure owners will follow suit. So the challenge for agencies is how to outperform the competition on this growing channel.
The opportunity for planners, media buyers and creatives is massive. And I’m in no way trying to kill the beauty of the long copy print ad. I just think it should have explosions to go with it.
Peter Livesey is the MD and Co-Founder of Esprit Digital, the UK’s leading manufacturer of digital out of home screens. Esprit recently completed the installation of 800 double-sided 65” freestanding advertising pods into all Westfield Australia Shopping Malls. In 21 nights they transformed a paper-based poster estate into a 100% digital one…
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