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Barry Cupples of Talon: Why delivering outcomes gives Out of Home a major USP

“I spent 25 years at Omnicon Media Group trying to create an outcomes-based business and that’s still something we’re all working towards – or should be,” says Talon Outdoor global CEO Barry Cupples. “I see Out of Home, with its potential combination of data, technology, automation and, of course, people as a way of finally achieving that.”

Cupples (left), latterly global investment CEO at giant Omnicom Media Group, joined Talon, the only major independent Out of Home specialist media agency, two years ago.

In that time Talon has expanded from its UK base to open offices in the US and Germany and form the Plexus network of allied specialists across the world. Talon, founded by former Kinetic CEO Eric Newnham and a small group of key shareholders, is backed by London private equity firm Mayfair Capital Partners.

At Omnicom, Cupples oversaw a multi-billion dollar client portfolio including some of the world’s biggest media advertisers. “But when we got around to discussing Out of Home I wasn’t in the room,” Cupples says. We’d dealt with 97 per cent or so of the budget by then.”

Now at Talon he says he’s been surprised by the potential of Out of Home – currently accounting for around seven per cent of the $550bn spent worldwide on advertising – and its ability to bring together the various elements of the media holy grail – outcomes based planning, execution and payment.

“All the elements are there,” he says, “both in terms of the medium and the data available. The world is awash with data, the trouble is we don’t share it. Some clients share it with their agencies but not many – McDonald’s (above) is an honourable exception – and the social media giants have their walled gardens.

“One of our priorities at Talon is to develop our own, proprietary data sources so we can deliver real outcomes for our clients (who include agency groups Omnicom and Havas and a large number of independent agencies.)

“We’re already a long way down this road and we can already see the investment in technology coming together to deliver amazing outcomes for clients. We know we can drive footfall by incorporating mobile data into Out of Home. It works and we know where it works and how it works. I don’t think any other medium can say that.”

Tomorrow: Adtech acceleration

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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