Weve in talks with OOH players to augment outdoor ad spend

Weve, the joint venture company comprising of the UK’s three-largest mobile operators, is working with out-of-home (OOH) media companies to help brands better understand how mobile media can be used to enhance their outdoor ad campaigns. 

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One of the ideas mooted involves sending mobile users an SMS encouraging them to interact with an outdoor screen.

The company is understood to be in simultaneous talks with a number of outdoor media agencies, including Aegis’ Posterscope over how mobile and outdoor can be used to augment campaign performance. 

Meanwhile, Weve is simultaneously working with OOH media owners to offer brands the ability to serve SMS and MMS ads to its base of 17 million mobile users based on their location.

This involves using its geolocation technology – WeLocate and WeTarget – to map its customer base’s movement against the footprint of the OOH media networks it is in negotiations with.

Sources have told Marketing Week, Weve is currently exploring a number of use cases to enhance the performance of the respective networks, including methodologies to assess the augmented impact of using the pair in tandem.  

This activity includes potentially serving Weve subscribers with ads if they are in geographic areas containing little or no physical OOH media space available to brands.

In addition, Weve is also exploring using its technology to send mobile users SMS and MMS messages when within a specified proximity of an OOH ad unit, which could then encourage them to interact with said screen (see image).

Weve was unable to confirm which OOH media agency and OOH network owners it was in contact with by time of publication when approached by Marketing Week, although several sources confirmed multiple discussions are taking place.

James Davies, Posterscope UK’s chief strategy officer, says: “There is a natural integration between the two and we’re trying to have three-way conversations [between advertisers, Weve and the OOH networks].

“What we want see is the incremental effect of combining the two media types.”

Figures released by the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) last month show UK spend on outdoor media declined 4.8 per cent year on year to £256.1m, during the three months to 30 September.

Mike Baker, CEO of the OMC, was quick to highlight this drop in overall revenues was in direct comparison to the Olympics hosted in the UK last year when spend was abnormally high.

The figures should be analysed within context, because this dip follows eight periods of consecutive growth, according to Baker.

Meanwhile, a further analysis of OMC’s figures shows digital OOH revenues grew three per cent year on year during the period. Digital now accounts for more than a fifth (21 per cent) of all outdoor spend, equating to £53.6m.  

Last year, Marketing Week revealed how EE and O2-owner Telefonica – two of Weve’s major stakeholders, along with Vodafone – were offering brands insights into consumer behaviour patterns by mining their networks for real-time analytics, such as users’ web browsing habits and location data.

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