Adshel admits there is work to do to convince sceptical media buyers over outdoor digital ads

adshel live networkOut of home ad firm Adshel has admitted it still has work to do to convince sceptical media buyers of the benefits of outdoor digital ads as it launched its national network of 270 digital screens.

Sales and marketing director David Roddick told Mumbrella the approach from buyers remained mixed with some embracing the concept while others were doubtful of the benefits.

Adshel spent 18 months negotiating with its JV owners to finance the network and eight months trawling through the complex regulatory processes of installing the screens before finally switching on the network this week.

At an event last night to officially launch Adshel Live to launch customers – which include Tag Heuer, Helloworld, Arnott’s, Commonwealth Bank, Optus and Telstra – Roddick said Adshel has received “extremely positive” feedback and support.

Asked if the market was truly embracing out of home digital advertising, Roddick said: “Yes and no. There is definitely a growing cadre of clients who understand how digital can be used in a way that is not just a fancy, very bright beautiful display, although that is clearly an asset.

“But it can go beyond that and incorporate dynamic feed, display something which is more relevant to the audience because it can be adapted by time of day, day of the week, and by weather conditions. There is a group of clients who have that understanding.”

But he acknowledged that such a view was not “universal”.

“Sometimes it can be disappointing to still hear the buying community talk about it like it’s a six-slot scroller.

“This digital network is a different method of communication. It is capable of different things and you have to treat it that way. There are some who still need to understand how it fits with a conventional out of home buy.

“Where we are trying to take this message is to say it can enhance an out of home piece of communication or it can be integrated with a screen strategy, an online strategy or a mobile strategy.”

He praised the brands who came on board as launch customers for putting their “trust in Adshel”.

“It was a leap of faith because they hadn’t seen it, they were, in effect, buying off plan,” he said.

Roddick told agencies and brands at last night’s launch they had witnessed “the next generation of street communication”.

“We have seen the future tonight,” he said. “We are moving away from selling you a bunch of bus shelters towards selling you an audience at a time and place.”

While stressing “paper and static” outdoor ads will always have a place in the market, he said the digitisation of street furniture would clearly increase, with programmatic buying on the radar.

“Once you have digital panels you can start to trade in an automated way,” he said, adding that as increasing amounts of data is collected through beacons and Helix Persona, even more relevant and personalised ads can be served.

“One of the things we are going to explore in the coming months is how we use trend data. So if we have 50 people in the vicinity of the ad how do we capture data and draw common trends,” Roddick said.

But he warned personalisation can go too far.

“We have permission to go a certain way in personalisation before it becomes invasive. I don’t believe we’ll ever get to a point where it’s so one-on-one that we are targeting an individual. That crosses the line and becomes invasive.”

Steve Jones


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.