Inside Scoop on Advertising Week 2016: The Disrupted Become The Disruptors


Scott Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas

If you’re in media, September in New York can only mean one thing – Advertising Week and the start of the exciting fall and holiday shopping seasons. Advertising Week never fails to amplify buzz around what’s trending in the media industry, and this year I’ve got the inside scoop on where some of these great ideas are going to come from – and it may surprise you.

In fact, Advertising Week 2016 may well be remembered as the year the disrupted became the disruptors.

Here’s why. Many of the old media -- print, radio, out-of-home, even television – that were once rocked by the digital, social and mobile revolution – have new offers that take a page from these media disruptors to shake up their own industries.

On September 29, I’ll have the privilege of joining some of my colleagues from the media industry who are either working in, or working with, legacy media businesses that are turning heads by delivering some of today’s most compelling campaigns and results. I’m talking about Jeanie Caggiano from Leo Burnett; Melissa Goidel at Refinery 29; Jen Wong at Time Inc.; Tim Castelli at iHeartMedia, Inc and Declan Moore at National Geographic Partners.

American Standard used digital and printed billboards to dominate Times Square this summer.

I can’t wait to hear what my peers are going to say about how their businesses are reinventing their sectors. But first let me share why I think the oldest medium, Out-of-Home (OOH), is poised to emerge as the new kid on the block.

Don’t try to beat them, join them: Too many of us in legacy media businesses spent too much time thinking about how to push back on digital and mobile. In OOH, we’ve realized that some of our best opportunities lie in embracing new ways to work with new technologies so we can augment the power of a multi-platform campaign. In fact, when included from the beginning of media planning as part of an integrated marketing mix, we know OOH helps make ad campaigns more effective – and we now have the data that proves it. We can work with mobile providers to drive a customer to a point of sale more effectively; welcome them to a new city when they step off of a plane and suggest hotel stays; or use the power of digital OOH to change ad copy in a contextually relevant and immediate way, such as when the weather or a sports score changes.

We can innovate, too: Speaking of data, this past spring Clear Channel Outdoor Americas launched RADAR, the industry’s first digital audience analytics solution for campaign planning and measurement. RADAR enables marketers to use the same kinds of sophisticated audience segmentation, targeting and insights they already use in their digital campaigns and apply them to OOH advertising. So whether it’s soccer moms, likely auto buyers, QSR customers or one of over a thousand other audience segments – we can now reach your target audience and accurately measure the success of your campaign.

Consumers gather to escape the virtual rain at one of Clear Channel's full motion digital billboards and join an immersive and social brand experience.

Bigger sometimes is better (especially when it’s beautiful!): Whether it’s the largest rooftop billboard in New York City or the ads you see while driving to work – you can’t miss us. OOH is high impact, always above the fold and we surround consumers, who spend 70 percent of their time away from of their homes. And because OOH ads are generally seen during dwell times, like when you’re commuting to work in the car or waiting at baggage claim, they are more likely to catch people’s attention than ads that compete for your attention while you’re trying to do something else.

It’s working: Spending on OOH has risen for 24 consecutive quarters, according to Kantar Media and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. Spending grew to $7.3 billion in 2015 from $5.9 billion in 2009.

Get in on the secret shared by the world’s biggest brands: Don’t just take my word for it.  Google, McDonald’s, Ford, Coke, Apple – the list goes on -- big and impactful brands know the audience engagement power and grand scale of Out of Home. Even rock stars like Axl Rose turn to OOH when they want to reach fans.

So I think it’s safe to say that legacy media businesses can stop talking about meeting the challenges of digital – we’re beating these challenges and claiming our place among the vanguards of the media future. See you at Advertising Week in NYC.

About the Author

Scott Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas

Scott Wells is Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, which includes out of home advertising businesses in the U.S., Canada, and LatAm, including Clear Channel Airports.  Wells is responsible for vision and strategy across all functions, ensuring Clear Channel Outdoor Americas’ premium locations and increasingly digital technologies help solve marketing challenges for national and local advertising clients.  Wells joined Clear Channel Outdoor Americas from Bain Capital, where he served as an operating partner.  Prior to his appointment as CEO, Wells served in interim executive leadership roles at Clear Channel Outdoor in the U.S. and internationally as part of his responsibilities at Bain Capital, a stakeholder in Clear Channel Outdoor.  Wells also served on the Board of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings from 2008 to 2015.  Prior to joining Bain Capital, Wells held executive roles at Dell, Bain & Co., and AT&T.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Achievement Network, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Ad Council.

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