What we now call out of home has arguably been the best performing media sector after digital in recent years – not least because it has embraced digital in many respects. But one of the frustrations for advertisers and media planners has been the difficulty of running the same campaign everywhere, as you can on TV or, say, YouTube.
Three big specialist OOH agencies have teamed up to try to make this possible: WPP’s Kinetic Worldwide, Latcom which operates in Latin America and Paris-based Mediakeys which is particularly strong in central and Eastern Europe. the new entity, Smart Alliance, says it is “the world’s first global-scale platform facilitating neutral access to out-of-home inventory and audiences across 250 markets…allowing clients to buy media around the world in one simple location.”
Smart Alliance will use Kinetic for North America, China, India, and Northern Europe; Latcom for Latin America, Spain, and the Caribbean and Mediakeys for Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, and Australia. 60 outposts and 1000 employees are involved.
Kinetic CEO Mauricio Sabogal says: “Smart Alliance creates the perfect platform for us to deliver increased efficiencies to all our accounts and to continue expanding our international footprint” and the other two partners likewise. Cynics, and rivals like Dentsu Aegis’ Posterscope, might say this is an admission that companies like Kinetic Worlwide aren’t as worldwide as they say they are.
There are still issues remaining for would-be global OOH advertisers, not least the various technologies used in digital, some of which are not compatible.
But this may be a useful step forward for OOH advertisers. OOH media owners may be wary of such a large planning and buying entity.