Monday, 30 May 2011

The Great Outdoors of Advertising

Special Build 48 Sheet
I spent the last official week of the MEC grad rotation learning everything there is to know about the world of out of home advertising (OOH). The other grads and I visited a number of key outdoor advertising players including JCDecaux, Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor and Ubiquitous Taxis. The week saw us playing drums on a special outdoor build for GU Puddings (see left), interacting with digital bus shelter posters, wrapping taxis and answering an OOH advertising brief for Bacardi Breezer. The week was extremely beneficial especially as my new official role as a Communications Planner will see me incorporating outdoor advertising into my media plans.
OOH enables brands to connect with people's lifestyles, offering media while people are on the move and the learning I will take away from the week is that OOH is so much more than a billboard or poster. The list of outdoor possibilities are endless from touch screens and interactive surfaces to 3D chalk art and water projections. The integration of mobile and social media (whether this be tweeting to screen or bluetooth technology) adds another dimension to OOH making it more accountable so my advice is watch this outdoor space!

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Below are a few images of the things we saw during our week of outdoor advertising:

Bus Shelter Takeover

Digital Interactive Bus Shelter 6 Sheet

Digital Interactive 6 Sheet

Liveries - Whole body taxi wrap

Wrapping our own super side taxi wrap

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Grads of the Round Table

It's been nearly 9 months since I first started at MEC on the Graduate Rotation scheme. At the end of last week the 'Grad Dads' as we like to call them, took us out on a graduation type lunch to celebrate the success of the rotation scheme and mark the end of our time on it. We definitely celebrated in style, eating dim sum at Ping Pong and drinking cocktails like they were going out of fashion...well why not, we deserved it after all and it's not like we had to pay for anything; apart from the deathly hangover each of us suffered the next day!

We were also celebrating the fact that we had found out our permanent roles for after the grad scheme. Thankfully this meant that we had all passed the rotation and were officially being let loose around MEC. Most of us are either moving into MEC's digital department MEC Interaction or the Communications Planning department. I myself will be working in Communications Planning in the Paramount Theatrical (films) team which is a dream come true, especially since if you read my Red Carpet Glory post you will know I am a natural when it comes to film premiere's and red carpets! All jokes aside I am thrilled to be working on such a great entertainment client as the nature of it's business means there are always new campaigns and challenges for each film release.
Although we know our permanent roles we are not quite ready to start singing Boys II Men's End of the Road just yet! This week is our final week on rotation and we'll be spending it at Kinetic - our Out of Home (OOH) advertising agency which specialises in how brands connect with people's lifestyles while out of home and on the move. Check my blog later this week to find out how good we were with getting our hands dirty during a Taxi wrapping session!

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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Watch n Tweet - How Twitter Encourages Viewer Engagement

I have increasingly found myself obsessed with the new trend of tweeting about a TV programme while watching it. There is a definite sense of enjoyment when you interact with fellow tweeters, some of whom you may only share a #tag in common with and the show in which you are tweeting about e.g. #essex.

TV and Twitter have a great connection which provokes greater social interaction. The micro blogging application has had a positive effect on broadcasters as it encourages viewer engagement.
For example I decided not to watch a particular programme and then suddenly it started trending on Twitter. There was a surge of tweets about that particular show which made me eager to watch it. Firstly I was intrigued as to what all the fuss was about and secondly I wanted to be part of the real-time conversation. I find the combination of tweeting whilst watching TV an extremely entertaining activity. The humour of some people's tweets alone keep me fixated upon engaging in both tasks simultaneously. Because of Twitter's rapid and real-time nature it is able to captures people's instant reactions and raw emotions without the filters that you would normally consider when using other types of communication. This therefore provides extremely honest and useful content and feedback for the broadcaster/advertiser.

Twitter turns watchers into instant commentators and participants. Research from Twitter found that when TV shows bring Twitter elements into the broadcast, there’s a direct and immediate increase in engagement on Twitter: Anywhere from two to ten times more Tweets are created while the shows are on air. Broadcast elements could include live tweeting and on-screen hashtags (#) to real-time visualizations of audience attention and the new 360-degree live events.

If I was to predict the future I would say that we will start to see live events/tv shows broadcast in real-time on social network sites so that the viewer can tweet and watch the programme from one platform and device. #predictingthefuture

Follow me on Twitter for more interesting insights and links @LaurRobbo88

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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Broadcast Banter - TV Is Alive & Kicking!

Having recently moved into the MEC Broadcast department I am familiarising myself with the art of TV planning and buying, turning on my charm and becoming pally with the channel saleshouse reps and getting to grips with all the TV jargon.
It's no secret that I have been eagerly anticipating my time in Broadcast as the other grads have given it rave reviews (the broadcast team players being a key element behind the positive feedback). The broadcast team at MEC have a reputation for being the loudest, most welcoming, most entertaining and most sociable department with the best banter going. So far I haven't been disappointed. Everyday starts with a hand tingling high five from one of my managers follwed by an early round of tea. In my first week I competed in a strength challenge. Each member of the broadcast team (men and women) had to lift at arms length a case of boules (metal balls) and see how long they could hold them up for. No real reason other than a bit of fun and healthy competition between the team! I am proud to say that I lasted 59 seconds beating all the girls and even some of the men! This surely calls for some kind of award?
All fun and games aside the TV department work extremely hard to make sure all our campaigns are due to deliver what air time has been bought on each channel.  Buying and managing TV ad spots is not as simple as maybe an online campaign because TV ratings or viewing figures fluctuate daily which means you have to keep track of how the campaign is progressing.
Because television is a high impact medium it delivers immediacy, mass coverage, flexibility, movement, colour and crucially, spot-by-spot accountability. The fragmentation of audiences is met by a multitude of digital channels from E4 to Eden ensuring that an advertiser's message reaches a chosen target audience in an effective but cost-efficient way. I'm not denying the fact that the advertising industry has seen dramatic change (increases in social media and online spend), but global cross-media studies (by Milward Brown) have confirmed the following key facts:
  • Multimedia campaigns deliver more than any single media channel can on their own, but TV often delivers the bulk of impressions and brand response.
  • TV advertising is still an extraordinarily important channel for changing awareness, attitudes and sales.
  • It still delivers vital mass audience reach and can prime other media to make them more effective.
  • TV also surpasses other media in terms of communication power.
The fact is no matter what area of advertising I end up working in, my knowledge in Broadcast will always be useful as so much of  a client's budget is spent on TV. It is a medium suited to every target audience and I personally can't imagine an advertising industry without the presence of TV.
Long live TV!

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com