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XCO captivates audiences with integrated out-of-home experiences

This branded article is written by The X Collective in conjunction with the Media of the Year 2019 print series published in October 2019.

How has XCO evolved its offering over the past year?

The X Collective (XCO), a subsidiary of SMRT Experience, manages the largest and most connected network of out-of-home media and digital screens in Singapore. To complement our extensive media assets in the transport network, we have been growing our digital screen assets in high traffic areas such as Orchard and Bugis in recent years.

Earlier this year, we became the exclusive managing agent for advertising assets at PLQ Mall, which launched in August 2019.

Located in Paya Lebar, the social heart of the east, the mall houses over 200 retail units aimed at attracting working executives and neighbouring residents. XCO is managing both the indoor, outdoor advertising screens and event spaces at PLQ Mall, giving our clients an added option for audience engagement and activations in the eastern region of Singapore.

In the past year, XCO has continuously developed its loyalty app, WINK+. Many of our clients have paired WINK+ with their OOH media buys to amplify their campaigns, reach and better engage their target audiences.

Our efforts to grow WINK+ have been recognised. This year, WINK+ secured two wins at the recent Mob-Ex Awards: a silver award for the Most Innovative Use of Mobile Technology and a bronze award for the Best Location-Based Marketing Solution. This industry recognition has encouraged us to keep innovating and creating result-driven solutions for our clients and agency partners.

Last, but not least, XCO launched our full suite of on-ground activation services, offering our clients a one-stop solution to engage their target audiences through creative and impactful online-offline campaigns using all our advertising assets.

Which media assets are resonating well with clients?

Our station assets in premium high-traffic areas continue to be well-loved by our clients. We are seeing high occupancy rates in busy MRT stations such as City Hall, Raffles Place and Orchard throughout the year.

Many clients and agencies are also launching very creative campaigns and are using our spaces in innovative and impactful ways to capture attention and immerse consumers in their brands.

We have worked very closely with our clients to bring these ideas to life and the results have been exciting. Eva Air used 2D lit ads for its 30th anniversary campaign to increase brand awareness and showcase its services. In September, Trip.com took over City Hall MRT station’s concourse with a combination of 2D lit and static wraps advertisements to promote its travel booking app.

Some clients have also utilised both station and train assets in very interesting ways.

In May, Warner Bros launched the new Detective Pikachu movie by putting together a concept train. Our XCO team worked closely with relevant authorities to bring a life-sized Detective Pikachu mascot to the station to complement the concept train and to interact with commuters.

Wallscape advertisements at our premium and hub stations are also gaining popularity. McDonald’s recently ran a month-long campaign at Bugis, Bedok and Jurong MRT stations to reach heartlanders.

To launch McDonald’s new McMuffin Stack, we worked hand in hand with our client to produce a 3D installation of the McMuffin. The 3D installation got lots of eyeballs and was well-received by commuters, who took every opportunity to snap and post pictures with the eye-catching 3D McMuffin.

Our OptiMAX trucks have also proven popular with our advertisers. Whether to ply customised routes as moving billboards or as pop-up activation spaces, our trucks are highly customisable.

McDonald’s also worked with our team on its “EBI Up Your Day” engagement campaign. Our client gave away complimentary EBI burgers, Matcha Dip McFlurries and Sundae ice-cream cones to consumers after they completed challenges that were held with OptiMAX truck. These activations not only drove awareness, but allowed our client to tangibly understand engagement rates better.

Our digital outdoor iBillboards have also gained good traction with advertisers. Our digital screen at The Heeren has been booked for the entire 2019 by Samsung and we continue to see strong interest in this group of media assets.

Last but not least, the in-app survey feature in our WINK+ app has also grown in popularity amongst our clients as it quickly gathers consumers’ opinions and measures campaign ROI.

What are clients now demanding more of?

Brands are continually looking for creative and innovative ways to launch their campaigns. They want to create impact, conversation as well as action. We’ve recognised this and have focused on creating immersive and customised campaigns that we hope will become the talk of the town for our advertisers.

Our campaign with Prudential was a great example. We worked closely to launch the Prudential Do Squats Challenge – commuters had to complete 20 squats within 40 seconds in front of an interactive machine to earn a single trip MRT ticket. The campaign amassed more than 100,000 squats performed collectively surpassing the target set by our client.

Our clients are always looking for ways to integrate their campaigns through an online + offline strategy, which XCO is well placed to offer. By using our offline assets, like digital screens, with an online offering like WINK+ app, brands are able to reach out to their audiences with customisable and interactive gamification.

Where is OOH heading to in the next five years?

The advertising landscape has been disrupted and we believe that technology will drive innovation in OOH.

At the same time, while our assets reach and engage consumers, brands are looking to create better customer experiences and ROI. We need to leverage technology to better understand our consumers to create experiences they want. Through WINK+, we will also be able to provide the measurement and analytics capabilities for advertisers to measure their campaign ROI.

We believe that innovative use of our media assets, bundled with data insights, will be key to enhancing consumer experiences.

This article is written by Jeslyn Tan, vice-president, The X Collective in partnership for the Media of the Year 2019 series.