Barry Cupples of Talon: accelerating Adtech at Talon and in Out of Home

“One of the biggest mistakes people make with technology – and adtech is included here,” says Talon Outdoor global CEO Barry Cupples, “is thinking it’s a way of doing things better with fewer people. Of course it can be a way of doing things better but you need more people not less.”

Independent specialist Out of Home agency Talon has invested heavily in both people and technology. It now employs more than 150 people around the world and has developed three proprietary technologies: Ada, Plato and Atlas.

Ada is an OOH data management platform, manages and activates billions of device-level audience data points to create new insights about how people behave and how to reach and engage them whilst they’re on-the-go.

Advertisers can use Ada to activate their own customer data or create custom audience segments relevant to their campaigns. The platform enables more data driven audience targeting and campaign measurement than has hitherto been possible.

Plato is an automated trading platform, which aggregates all OOH inventory into a single, intuitive campaign planning and delivery system. It allows users to explore, plan, check availability, reserve and trade paper and digital inventory across multiple markets. Made possible through direct integrations with media owner and industry systems, allowing for fully optimised campaign planning and buying.

Talon has also developed and built an automated programmatic OOH buying platform, Atlas, that redefines programmatic OOH and integrates plans on any data-driven audience that can be fully measured and accountable.

But aren’t these just more additions to the veritable smörgåsbord of adtech would-be wonders that bombard the business world’s inboxes these days?

“I take the point,” says Cupples (left), “It can be highly confusing. There are clearly more competing systems than anyone could possibly need or deploy. But we know that Ada tracks people accurately while they’re out of home and that’s incredibly valuable for advertisers who want to reach different audiences at, say, different times of the day or launch a specific promotion.

“By programmatic in Out of home we really mean automation and that’s crucial if we’re to persuade advertisers that OOH is an effective truly global medium. Via digital OOH you can literally reach billions of consumers at the flick of a switch. We demonstrated this with our #SendingLove campaign, created by Grand Visual at the height of the pandemic, which was the world’s biggest user-generated campaign.

“People all over the world sent their own #SendingLove messages all co-ordinated and managed from London. It took just three weeks from the idea to execution. Technology works.”

Tomorrow: going international

About Talon: Talon Outdoor is an independent Out of Home media specialist and a significant player in the Out of Home agency sector with a focus on delivering smarter, creative, technology-led and integrated OOH communications. Combining independence with a collaborative approach, Talon promotes open working between agencies, clients and media partners.

Talon has achieved the Campaign Best Places Number 1 Medium sized UK Company to Work For and has also featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100, as No. 1 in Best Companies and in LSE’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain.

Talon handles the Out of Home media for several of the UK’s leading advertising brands through Omnicom Media Group UK agencies, along with other agencies including AMS Media Group, JAA, Havas Media Group, Goodstuff, Ptarmigan Media and Republic of Media.

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