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Death of the traditional billboard?

Kinetic Malaysia is set to introduce its new framework which targets consumers on the move called Active Journey in Malaysia, come August this year. The framework which has been implemented by the agency globally is said to bring a new way of approaching out of home (OOH) media via a context-based planning approach that connects consumers’ physical and digital journeys.

Kinetic, which is the OOH unit of one of the world’s largest communications services group WPP, said this new model offers the agency an ability to execute against a new OOH paradigm that is, moving from targeted attention to targeted action. It wants to strengthen its OOH advertising market in Malaysia via the new technology and innovation.

In an exclusive interview with A+M, Kinetic Malaysia CEO Peter Choo said the personalised planning approach engages with audiences on the move, at specific locations that most influence their decisions and behaviors. This process also uses other variables such time of the day, social behaviors, weather and cultural moments to map out journeys, contextually target consumers, and deliver content as well as, experiences they may want to act upon directly.

“We provide the brands the guidance towards asking relevant question from the vast of data collected via big data and we also partner with data providers which geo-locate consumers to understand where they are at a specific time in order to determine their behavioral pattern,” Choo said.

A paradigm shift towards digital

Coming to ad spend, Choo said the absolute dollar invested on OOH has dropped over past three years due to a slower economy, but the market share of OOH media invariably achieve higher share of voice. However, there is a change of paradigm in OOH media campaigns, with “ground-up activity” gaining momentum as well as advertisers getting more savvy in using OOH to support the activities which is “locational” sensitive.

This is in contrast with the traditional way of extending a campaign core idea which is generally deployed in TV or print campaign and later extended to various form of media including OOH media. Moreover, recent trend of budget invested on traditional OOH media moving towards digital OOH media (electronic screens) is increasing at an alarming rate and this trend will continue, Choo added.

“We foresee that before 2020, OOH digital media ad spend will surpass the traditional billboards which has been in existence since 1970s with over 15,000 structures cross Malaysia,” he said. He added that this is reminiscent of the 1990s, where the growth of billboard industry was spurred by the erection of Kodak giant billboard at Federal Highway, which set the record of being “World’s largest billboard”.

He added,

The dependence on traditional billboard format will decrease 10 to 12% year-on-year for the next three years.

To remain competitive, Choo said, static OOH media format has to change in line with market shift. On that Kinetic which claims to the first mover in redefining its strategy which focuses on “people on the move” rather than an OOH media outfit, aims to lead the global market shift in such thinking.

Mobile’s impact on OOH

With the shift of traditional TV viewing habit towards mobile phone, supported by news print advancing towards digital version – Kinetic said the situation provides the agency a good opportunity on its OOH media offering.

“Mobile advertising is typically a form of OOH Media in true sense. Hence we are working hard to help our clients bridging between offline and online OOH solutions,” Choo said.

Kinetic head of global innovation Dennis Kuperus was recently in Kuala Lumpur for a three-day visit to strengthen its Malaysian office and establish and innovation test bed with local clients. Kuperus is also currently working with a local conglomerate to support the newly launched innovation lab to create new ideas to capture consumers on the move by bringing extensive global experience and know-how to Malaysia.

Choo said the project is still underway with details of collaboration will be announced soon, “The project is to bring our global innovation testbed ideas to young Malaysians who have the creative and innovative skills set but lacks the commercial attitude.”

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