More interactive, more pertinent: Monster Media’s recipe for success

Monster Media has a track record of delivering interactive projects, including for the Heathrow Express

Monster Media has a track record of delivering interactive projects, including for the Heathrow Express

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) today demands fast, dynamic, up-to-the-minute content. With customers able to check anything online at any time through their mobile devices, nothing less than the latest is expected in DOOH. Still images and looping content are definitely dying in the advertising mainstream.

Correspondingly, hardware manufacturers are increasingly including dynamic options to their devices, as evidenced by the rise in HTML5-based players. This stems from the demands of advertisers and agencies, whose initiatives include more user-generated content and live interaction. There is no looking back: dynamic content is here to stay.

A company that knows this very well is Monster Media. Through enticing, original content, Monster Media has created award-winning campaigns that create for brands both customer dialogue and excellent exposure. Its recent acquisition of US company LocaModa gives the interactive DOOH technology specialist the ideal springboard to integrate more sophisticated social and mobile creative in its projects. 

The LocaModa platform enables brands and networks to leverage social media appropriately across their web, mobile or DOOH campaigns. It filters social sources, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, embedding content into multi-channel campaigns to create engaging and – importantly – measurable interactions between brands, venues and audiences. The technology has been used extensively to display selected tweets and photos against branded content on sites from Times Square to concerts, bars to airports and all around the retail sphere.

“Having LocaModa as part of Monster Media means that media owners will now be able to add social media to all existing networks, platforms or content management systems,” explains Liam Boyle, managing director of Monster Media. “It’s completely agnostic. The platform can be used on a campaign-by-campaign basis – it can essentially be turned on with the flick of a switch.

“Media agencies working with us will be able to take advantage of the strength of social amplification by adding this service to new campaigns to encourage more consumer participation. The network operators will take the first step and agencies will be able to exploit the benefits for their clients. Finally, from the clients’ side, they will be able to greatly expand their campaigns reach and scale and still experience the same accurate measurement and reporting data they get from taking advantage of interactive advertising. This adds another layer of social metrics depending on what’s being moderated, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.”

With all that said, Monster Media is no novice when it comes to dynamic advertising. Together with Gyro, the company developed a campaign to promote the Heathrow Express rail service between central London and the city’s largest airport. Its centerpiece was an interactive, three-by-three wide-format LCD videowall with interactive touch at one of the transport hub’s busy corridors. Once activated through touch, users were given the opportunity to explore the service’s new carriages with a controllable 360-degree camera.

To reward their participation, travellers left the display with a promotional code offering a free upgrade to business first class. It appeared to work: more than 117,000 direct consumer interactions took place on the LCD wall, resulting in over 14,000 ticket giveaways. In total, 733,946 opportunities to see were provided over the duration of the campaign.

Airports and interactivity have proved a successful combination for another Monster Media campaign, O2 Roaming, on which it collaborated with media owner Eye, ZenithOptimedia and Meridian. The eight-week, pan-regional and cross-media project was fully mobile-enabled and signified the first time that Eye ran interactive content simultaneously across its media estate at Gatwick and Manchester air termini.

Two interactive media walls invited flyers to upload and edit holiday photos for real-time viewing via Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #O2Travel. Boyle explains: “The display shows a hashtag and a Instagram photo within a Polaroid-style frame. Users will be directed by branded instructions to take a photo with Instagram, and use the hashtag shown to see their photo on the wall.”

Both projects demonstrate the full capability of what’s possible today in out-of-home media. It’s pretty obvious that we will soon see an increase in dynamic syndicated content; this type of solution delivers the most relevant content to the DOOH viewer. With the increasing popularity of demographic data delivery, incorporating gender and facial recognition, companies like Monster Media are soon to make interactive out-of-home even more powerful.

First published 4 September 2013

JCDecaux shares findings on airport media


The study found that British airports and their passengers are more accustomed and receptive to digital media propositions

The study found that British airports and their passengers are more accustomed and receptive to digital media propositions

JCDecaux is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies. It dominates key OOH advertising areas such as railway stations and shopping centres and it has a very strong hold on airports, with 184 sites in 18 countries. This represents 30 percent of the world-wide total and reaches more than 1.5bn passengers annually. Taking advantage of this, the company commissioned an in-depth study on six key airports, and has published its findings in a new report called ‘Airport Stories’.

‘Airport Stories’ focuses on six major airport hubs: Hong Kong, Singapore’s Changi, Heathrow, Frankfurt, Dubai and New York. It had 1,600 respondents and combined quantitative and qualitative analysis, including vox pops, focus groups and online surveys. The research looked into digital signage, experiential advertising (including interactivity) and sponsored services, such as ‘power poles’ to recharge devices, or WiFi services.

Steve Cox, marketing director for JCDecaux Airport UK, opened his presentation on ‘Airport Stories’ by saying: “We are a global player, but with great power comes great responsibility. This research was design to provide a deeper understanding of international airport advertising. We want to explore the connected dynamics of people, brands, displays and airports, and test the concept of the universal brand experience. Through this knowledge our aim is to deliver tangible benefits to advertisers.”

Adding to this, Julie France, JCDecaux’s UK managing director points out: “The good news is that airport advertising is set to grow, with more terminals and more travellers. Airport traffic is predicted to double in the next two decades, growing 4.8 percent year-on-year. In 2012 this will be particularly important in the UK because of the Olympics, with 80 percent of the people attending flying in.”

So, do travellers act differently depending on where they are? The answer is no. However, the study found that travellers have two main states of mind at the airport. Before security control they are alert and efficient, sometimes anxious but mainly focused with the task at hand. Once they have passed security, they are relaxed and excited. The airport is their oyster and they are ready to be entertained, amused and persuaded to buy.

Of the studied airports, a large proportion of the travellers are frequent business flyers. Of these 32 percent are women and 68 percent are men, and are between 25 and 65 years old. They are affluent and influential people; they also tend to be early technology adopters, and 40 percent of them travel more than nine times a year. The vast majority spend at least two hours at the airport, which provides a great opportunity for OOH advertisers.

One of the areas respondents were very keen on seeing more of at airports was digital interactivity. “Airports are ideal for the ‘touch dialogue’,” says Cox. “People said they would like to see more interactivity and opportunities to download to their mobiles. This is a great chance to establish a dialogue with the screen and generate ‘talk media’, for example: word-of-mouth recommendations.”

Cox compared the results of the global survey with those in the UK. The UK is very advanced in the application of digital screens at airports, with the results showing that this crowd is more receptive to the digital proposition. “UK respondents are 45 percent more likely than the average traveller to believe that digital screens help a brand stand out from its competitors,” remarks Cox.

Video advertising and the changes on the screen capture people’s attention. “Knowing this,” he continues, “it’s disappointing to see how many advertisers still run static images on digital screens.”

The research showed that advertising at airports works and travellers welcome it. Most respondents agreed that other media, such as TV and radio, would be better with fewer adverts. However, when it comes to airports, advertising forms part of the beauty of the space. “Although airports have a specific function, which needs to be efficient, they would be very dull if they were deprived of the colour and dynamism of advertising,” Cox concludes. “People see adverts as part of the airport experience. A key part of flying is the exposure to new cultures and new experiences. Airports are the gateways to this, and provide a perfect opportunity to communicate with this receptive audience.”

‘Airport Stories’ shows that airports provide an ideal platform to deliver a message using the latest creative technology to a dynamic and receptive audience: 91 percent of respondents believed that brands benefit from advertising at airports.

First published 12 March 2012 – Output