Managing Director | 16 Jul 2007
"At the moment, we are seeing a dramatic technological change. We are also now inviting consumers to interact more with the banners and hoardings through infrared and Bluetooth applications; touch screens and LED screens. That is surely a great move towards creating a personal relationship with the consumer. In future, outdoor creatives have to be extremely creative for breaking the clutter. There will be diverse forms of billboards, and advertisers can practically advertise everywhere."
Daniela Krautsack is the Managing Director of Magic Moments, which is the creative unit of MediaCom Vienna. In the last 10 years, she has been dedicating her work to ambient media while working for MediaCom’s international FMCG clients in Europe and Latin America.
Driven to find answers to her clients’ request for evaluation of this media, Krautsack took a sabbatical year to interview top opinion leaders in marketing, communications and media, as well as young professionals and consumers around the world. Her insights are presented at festivals, universities and client workshops. She is the author and co-director of an international TV documentary about the benefits and challenges of ambient media in the global marketplace.
In a conversation with exchange4media’s Jagadeesh Krishnamurthy, Krautsack talks about the changes in ambient media globally, tracking issues of the medium, and more. Excerpts:
Q. How would you define ambient media?
For me, ambient media represents a message on an unexpected environment in an unusual manner. Technically speaking, the word ‘ambient’ comes from the word ‘ambience’, which means ‘surroundings’. So every time someone steps out of his house or work, it means he is in a touch-point of ambient media.
Q. What is the current size of the ambient industry in the OOH advertising space?
It is difficult to say as no one measures it. It is also very difficult to monitor it; meaning that there are so many different forms of ambient media, which a company doesn’t even know or get reported on. In fact, many companies don’t even know that an action is taking place, so it’s really difficult to gauge the medium.
Q. Can you please throw some light on the major changes in outdoor media globally?
At the moment, we are seeing a dramatic technological change. We are also now inviting consumers to interact more with the banners and hoardings through infrared and Bluetooth applications; touch screens and LED screens. That is surely a great move towards creating a personal relationship with the consumer. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and chip technology are also entering the media that will interact with the hoarding or billboard. In future, outdoor creatives have to be extremely creative for breaking the clutter. There will be diverse forms of billboards, and advertisers can practically advertise everywhere.
Q. What are the differences you come across in various markets?
The problem that you come across is local regulation and legislation. The local governments might have totally different rules in each country when it comes to outdoor advertising. A company who is executing an outdoor idea has to look to keep some ethical guidelines in place.
Q. Can you share some insights on the tracking issues or measurability in the international markets?
First of all, most of the brand managers whom I have spoken to are very open-minded. They know that in doing ambient media or innovative media, there is no measurement available, as there is nothing like a people metre that is in place for TV, in this medium yet.
Q. Finally, where do you see the Indian OOH industry compared to the rest of the world?
I see a lot of potential in the Indian OOH industry. The Indian examples I have seen are always colourful and many times, it has always shown a good connect with the brand and the medium. I think what Indian advertisers do more is that they take advantage of gatherings of people, which of course in India you have mass get-togethers for festivals and various occasions. Doing ambient media is not for the sake of coming up with an outstanding idea. It always has to show a very fast and understanding link between the media and the brand. On one hand, I think it’s the creative agencies who model their thinking more towards how can I reach a person outside on that touch point, with what’s relevant to them, in the most fastest, quickest, and easy-to-understand way.