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Ad Week Europe reveals 2017 line-up

Advertising Week Europe today announces the line-up for its fifth anniversary edition. Picturehouse Central will once again host the daytime thought leadership programme with two AWE signatures returning, the Ronnie Scott’s Leadership Breakfast series and Fortnum & Mason’s Culture + Commerce lunch series.
Mayor Sadiq Khan will appear on stage with ESI Media as part of his ongoing #LondonIsOpen campaign, at a time when London is shaping its place as Europe’s creative capital. Mayor Khan is expected to focus on the importance of London’s diverse creative industries, which employ more than 800,000 and contribute £35bn to the economy. Other programme highlights include:
· CNN’s Nina dos Santos with IPG Chairman & CEO Michael Roth and editors of Fast Company, Time & Wired
· Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn kicks off the Town Hall series at the Lyric Theatre with CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn and King CEO Riccardo Zacconi discussing the short and long-term future of the UK creative industries
· Claire Valoti, GM of Snap. Inc, and Farrah Storr, Cosmopolitan UK Editor on women in tech
· Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Ops, Google, one-on-one with Unilever CMO Keith Weed
· Swizz Beatz, Bacardi’s Global Chief Creative for Culture, on brand/celebrity culture
· Marie Claire editor Trish Halpin in conversation with actor-turned-perfumier Richard E. Grant
· Nigel Morris, CEO Americas & EMEA, Dentsu Aegis Network sits down with Alex Baldock of Shop Direct
· Gurinder Chadha OBE, on writing & directing box office hits and the enduring power of storytelling
· Eddie Jones appears less than a week after the conclusion of the Six Nations championship
· Chris Eubank on what it takes to make an impression and create a unique personal brand
· Michael Gove MP and Stephen Kinnock MP will debate and explore the rhetoric used in the Leave campaign’s victory in 2016’s EU Referendum
· The Week Live Daily Debate series leads a rich menu of Brexit and political content
· Jonathan Pie, comedian & self-loathing reporter (a.k.a. Tom Walker), on the new golden era of satire
· Haiyan Zhang, founding member of OpenIDEO, and Innovation Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge headlines Day 2 of the Town Hall Series at the Lyric Theatre, featuring the extraordinary story of ‘Project Emma’, where the life of a 29-year old Parkinson’s patient was forever altered by Zhang’s work
· Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Group UK, asks whether agencies are geared up to think too small, and questions whether agencies have painted themselves into a comfortable but confining corner
· David Gandy, model, designer and philanthropist will join Time Inc. UK’s editor in chief, Mark Frith, for a panel discussing how marketing to men has evolved, and where the sector is heading
· Broadcaster Edith Bowman and Time Inc.’s Creative Director Jason Bick host The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands and legendary NME photographer Dean Chalkley for an epic panel on the creative collaborations in the world of film and music
· Jamie Oliver, Chef, Campaigner & Media-Owner Content Creator, hosts PwC’s closing night Founder’s Club dinner as Advertising Week Europe returns to Piccadilly and the BAFTA building where it all began in 2013
Speakers and content continue to be announced for Advertising Week Europe, which begins on March 20. The entire agenda is organized with dedicated content blocks and tracks to enhance delegate navigation.
Advertising Week Europe Director, Rebecca Eaves, said “We are delighted to reveal the fifth anniversary edition of Advertising Week Europe and deliver the end-product of a year round curation effort. The breath and scope very much captures where the industry is, where we are going and shows the enduring strength and economic impact of advertising and wider creative industries in the UK and across Europe.”
St. James’s Palace, The Orangery, Kensington Palace, the new Design Museum, KOKO, Ronnie Scott’s, Barbecoa and the Phoenix Arts Club host Advertising Week Europe’s signature evening special events.
Posterscope will also be hosting “Reinventing the Real World” on Monday 20th March at 11am and MKTG will host “Are you experienced?” on Tuesday 21st March at 11am.
The OOH industry will also be well represented with sessions including:

  • “AI- The changing future of marketing”- Monday 20th at 3pm
  • “MEC Knights of the Roundtable”- Monday 20th at 5pm
  • “Renaissance: A new creative value system”- Tuesday 21st at 3.15pm
  • “Fans come first in entertainment marketing”- Tuesday 21st at 3.30pm
  • “A brave new industry”- Tuesday 21st at 10am
  • “Evolving brand sponsorship and how we tap into celebrities”- Tuesday 21st at 4pm
  • “Virtual Reality and branded content”- Wednesday 22nd at 2.45pm
  • “The next era of programmatic”- Thursday 23rd at 11.45am

The full 2017 calendar is now live at europe.advertisingweek.com.

Finding the Human Touch Amidst The Data

Rachel Taylor , Manager Posterscope UK, reports from Ad Week Europe.
One emerging theme at this year’s Advertising Week Europe was the role of marketers to interpret data for a human end. Amidst the myriad of talks about data and its application, certainly a central focus for all agencies taking steps to stay in touch with consumers, there is a new sense that we should not get too caught up in the data and remember the bigger picture. Primarily this debate is playing out around the interaction of data and creativity but I believe there is an undercurrent of social purpose entering the discussion which could reframe planning priorities.
Frazer Gibney (CEO of FCB Inferno) introduced the optimistic idea that social enterprise may be the new digital, a key profit driver which businesses ignore at their peril. While it is too early to say social purpose has really embedded as a business practice, there is a growing attempt to adopt a human centric approach in a more systematic manner. This moves beyond the prevalence of ‘audience first planning’ to consider how business value is driven by truly trying to make life better for a consumer, rather than merely identifying how to target them more efficiently. Steve Hilton’s ‘More Human’ book shows this concept is part of a wider trend in business thought leadership but now it is our turn to apply the theory to the media and communication industry.[1] Consumer expectations are changing and we must ensure we put this human reality at the centre of our approach if we expect to grow our clients and consequentially our own businesses in years to come.
Central to this is the message that ‘doing good’ isn’t just a CSR, that’s nice to have, which is restricted to the 3% of current UK ad spend on charity campaigns and other pro bono initiatives. It is a sound commercial model which expands opportunities to generate income. [2] Alex Edmonds’ (Professor of Finance at London Business School) concept, quoted by Emilie Colker (VP of brand and social impact at Pearsons), is ‘to reach the land of profit, follow the role of purpose’.
She went on to explain ‘Project Literacy’ whereby Pearson’s created an alphabet of the practical effects of illiteracy, partnering each letter with a local literacy initiative to deliver tangible business outcomes.[3] Metrics were high with an ROI of 800+%, the sense of purpose in staff members helped reduce churn, nullifying the cost per acquisition of employees. Pearson’s subsequently became thought leaders in the subject, joining literacy discussions at the UN.
Similarly, in April 2016 psLIVE, now MKTG UK, officially launched their Urban Partnerships division which allows brands to create experiences that also provide community benefits and do ‘social good’.[4] Projects completed to date include the creation of a dual direction walk along the South Bank with information about how to keep your heart healthy for British Heart Foundation and London and Partners, as well as the introduction of smart benches which monitor air quality and charge devices using solar energy in Canary Wharf.
Further afield, Biocoop, a French supermarket chain, have created a campaign where the messaging revolves around the environmentally sustainable process behind the ad’s creation.[5] These are a couple of examples of brands acknowledging that initiatives previously bucketed as ‘CSR’ have a wider value, but how do we embed the desire to make a difference into standard business practice?
One option is to adopt a service model where the marketing messaging is designed based on the service it offers a consumer rather than fixating on the business objective. It is essential to ensure we continue to deliver for clients and that the campaigns drive performance, however rather than focussing on hitting specific numbers let’s not lose sight of the fact that business comes from fulfilling a consumer need, or at least a desire. While marketers will not be able to affect the product itself, a communications message that performs a service is far more likely to resonate with the individual.
The creative agency HeyHuman explained that consumers form roughly 14 different types of relationships with brands and place the most value on fleeting, shallow relationships. They argue that brands should move away from the pursuit of loyalty and instead look to give people what they are seeking – a service.
One way we have been trying to achieve this is through personalisation and the ‘segment of one’ as an ultimate form of relevancy. While this is a step in the right direction, it is the service behind personalisation which is the important and helpful element – not merely a clever creative activation which risks making the consumer ask ‘how do they know my name?’
Indeed, a Capgemini study found that while consumers are overall positive about personalisation, this positivity can quickly reverse if the messaging strays into something they find unpalatable and evokes privacy concerns.[6] As 93% of sentiment on retailers’ privacy initiatives was negative, it is dangerous territory for a brand to tread.
Jerry Buhlmann (CEO Dentsu Aegis Network) explained that to avoid this negativity, and the regulations that would surely follow, brands need to clearly outline the limits applied to personal data so that consumers can evaluate the risk compared to the benefit. To complement this, marketers should also focus on the purpose behind our messaging, making sure the benefits to the consumer are clear and real rather than gimmicky uses of data for data’s sake.
Instead, as Jamie Brighton (Strategic Marketing Manager EMEA at Adobe) suggested, we need to do a little more design thinking. Let us design for the experience rather than on a channel by channel basis, for people not for formats. Econometrics are important, however if we succeed in cracking real world behaviours and desires the results will follow naturally
Indeed Nigel Morris (CEO of the Dentsu Aegis Network for Americas and EMEA) pointed out that process, people and measurement in the industry is not keeping abreast of consumer behaviour. We should be meeting unmet needs and using our data to understand how those needs vary based on context, for example how an individual’s location will influence their current interests, mind-set and attention levels when interacting with a brand. This will allow us to design campaigns with a human truth at their core where the execution is tailored to an individual’s real life requirements, finding the human touch in the user experience.
Posterscope has produced some brilliant examples of this type of work in the last year. In the UK they partnered with Santander and TFL to help people know Santander cycle availability in locations nearby.[7] Meanwhile Posterscope Brazil created a Zika-mosquito killing billboard, which not only raises awareness of the disease and kills mosquitoes locally but due to an open source policy also provides the technology blueprint for free so it can be made and used around the world. [8] The huge amount of press attention garnered from this latter campaign demonstrates that making a tangible difference to society energises those within our industry as well as restoring faith in the population at large.
None of these revelations are ground-breaking. Havas and the Drum teamed up this year to introduce a ‘Meaningful Brand of the Year’ award for ‘brands that are gaining business benefit while successfully improving consumers’ quality of life,’ demonstrating there are a significant number of brands engaging in this territory.[9] After all, an award categorisation is the hallmark of success for any emergent planning or activation framework! airbnb were this year’s inaugural winners, underlining the point that meaningful engagement, when focused on ensuring the interaction point between the consumer and the data is as smooth and ‘human friendly’ as possible, can drive phenomenal business growth.
But let’s not stop there. In 2014 The Guardian started to talk about ‘sadvertising’ but rather than just talking about social good to raise brand awareness can we make the campaigns themselves make a difference.[10] Let’s see if we can push this positive action further and use our data to stimulate human growth on a wider, perhaps eventually societal scale.
 
[1] https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Human-Designing-World-People/dp/0753556782
[2] ‘Why Marketers Can and Should Feel Obliged to Do Social Good’, hosted by FCB Inferno on the IPA stage of Advertising Week Europe (Wednesday 4:00-4:50)
[3] http://www.projectliteracy.com/abc
[4] http://pioneeringooh.com/urban-partnerships-a-brand-new-venture-from-posterscope-and-pslive/
[5] http://www.dandad.org/en/d-ad-biocoop-case-study-social-good/
[6] https://www.capgemini-consulting.com/privacy-vs-personalization
[7] http://pioneeringooh.com/digital-ooh-show-youre-never-more-than-few-steps-from-santander-cycles/
[8] http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/zika-killing-billboard-lures-mosquitos-essence-human-sweat-and-breath-170931
[9] http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/03/30/drum-partners-havas-media-find-meaningful-brand-year
[10] http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sadvertising-social-good-marketing-business-brands

JCDecaux’s Roundup of Ad Week

It was a fantastic week of listening, learning and dancing the night away, but Ad Week Europe has finally come to a close for another year.
For those of you who were lucky enough to spend the week in London’s bustling Piccadilly Circus and check out some of the fascinating sessions and stands, you will have seen our brand new, fully connected bus shelter on the first floor.
We wanted to showcase to the industry JCDecaux’s commitment to digitising the UK’s capital with our brand new network of 84-inch fully connected, dynamic HD screens – we hope you enjoyed seeing our future plans for London.
To see some of the highlights, check out our twitter page for the full week’s coverage and make sure you watch our video above. We even got some pictures with a few celebrities during the week!
Have a read of our favourite sessions below:
Storytellers Will Rule the World 
We kicked off day one with Posterscope’s absorbing session ‘Storytellers Will Rule the World’. The panel, chaired by Julian Linley, Editor-in-Chief of Digital Spy, consisted of some real experts in the world of content.
Sam Baker, Co-Founder, CEO & Editor of The Pool; Kate Thornton, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of tbseen.com and British Chef & Award Winning Food Writer Gizzi Erskine all discussed the importance of content for their businesses and were invited to share how they would use DOOH to tell their stories.
The best idea, voted for by the audience, walked away with £100k of DOOH media for their business.
Kate Thornton secured the winning pitch.
It’s Time to Collide: The Intersection Between Data, Creativity, Media & Content
This session’s fantastic panel consisted of Ben Wood, Global President of iProspect; KJ Wier, Global Agency Development, Facebook; Nigel Gilbert, VP Strategic Development, EMEA, AppNexus; Andrew Hirsch, CEO, John Brown Media; Will Gompertz, Arts Editor, BBC, and Rick Hirst, CEO of McGarryBowen.
The panel explored how data has now become a tool for the creation of new ideas, and how creatives and analysts can no longer sit in different areas of the agency floor.
What Makes London so ******* Awesome
We, of course, had to sit in on this discussion about the fantastic UK capital!
The panel included a wide variety of speakers including fashion designer Joshua Kane, Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, actress Olivia Grant and London Evening Standard show business correspondent Alistair Foster.
The panel discussed their ideas on what makes London so great, as well as how brands can embrace everything it has to offer.
Via: JCDecaux

Views from Ad Week: Data and Privacy- Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Brad Gilbert, senior Manager in the *multiply team at Posterscope reports from Ad Week.
Before AdWeek started I wanted to write about data. I knew it was a big theme this year and personally I find it a constant source of inspiration, sparking creativity in planning. Post AdWeek I still do and so do plenty of others, with some common agreement from what I could see across the data focused talks this week. Some overwhelming themes emerging in these sessions were:

  • Data is a focus for organisations; e.g. FT and Telefonica now have board level Chief Data Officers
  • Data has changed and is changing the industry from planning through to testing
  • Data is an enabler for content and creativity; without it we are blind to insights and performance
  • Data can drive higher relevancy of ads and in turn performance
  • We need to use the right data in the right way not just data for its own sake
  • We should treat the data we have as if it were our own

 
That last point for me is the most important. As an industry we have made a lot of money the last few years off the fact that people don’t read the T&Cs that sign away their data. We’ve given consumers guidelines (read or not) on how we treat their data and who’s responsible for what but in turn we haven’t given guidelines to ourselves. My concern is that our use of data is at risk of becoming next year’s adblocking when (not if) consumers get wise to what information we are taking and how some are abusing data and their trust.
It was telling that in a room of advertising, media and marketing professionals at the data congress session when the audience was asked if anyone considered themselves data protection experts absolutely no-one raised a hand. What’s more concerning is that at the data stage, where you would assume the audience were interested in data, a good amount of the audience started to leave the data protection side of the talk. Yes it was a bit dry but it is damn important we consider ourselves data protection experts if as agencies we bang on about being data experts on the whole. Data usage and protection partner together as a package and denying this is lazy, myopic and reckless.
Of course the internet and the various services run from it are not all free, so value exchanges where we get something from the audience and they get to use a service will perpetuate as far as I can see. However, we need to ensure that we look beyond building clicks and views to focus on consumers as well as compliance. It’s not about what we can do but what we should do with the data and what we should do is use the data to help audiences not harm them. I consider spamming, excessive frequency of ads or any situation where ads cause distress or frustration to any degree harmful in this sense.
We have a great opportunity with data to do all the great and creative stuff that we know it can enable but we need to be ethical in our treatment of the data. We need to ensure the value exchange of data for services doesn’t go sour immediately after you click “I agree”. In practice this comes down to some very simple principles the following of which I think must be adhered to:

  • The Golden Rule – Treat others (and their data) as you would like (yours) to be treated
  • Provenance & Providence – Where does your data come from and how are you ensuring your customer’s data is being cared for post-campaign (feel free to ask suppliers)
  • Good planning – Map the customer journey and needs then work with data to add value and fulfil them (not just get more clicks)

 
To paraphrase Jerry Buhlman during the Winning in the Digital Economy session this week: data represents one of the greatest opportunities and threats to our industry. So, against a backdrop of evolving consumer behaviour and regulation (The General Data Protection Regulation, potential Brexit and with it unknown regulatory framework, different international laws etc.) let’s all get clear on how we should use data legally, ethically and in our campaigns.

Views from Ad Week: Diversity Builds creativity- What I Learnt Last Week at Ad Week

Harriet is Marketing Content Manager at Posterscope, psi and psLIVE.
Frenzied and energised. This was the mood at AdWeek, during the first morning of the four day event.
As advertisers, marketers, ‘media people’ and brands paced the corridors whilst security guards tried to retain order, one thing was clear: this engaged group of people were ready for the eventful week to come.
As my first Advertising Week Europe, my expectations were high and the sessions didn’t disappoint.
I attended two events on Monday, our Posterscope midday session, Storytellers will rule the world and IPA’s 2:00pm session, Who run the world, Girls.
Pleasingly, women were well represented at both of these sessions. Each session consisted entirely of female panellists and the sessions were chaired by Julian Linley of Digital Spy and the IPA’s President Tom Knox respectively.
Diversity is an issue close to my heart, and is often talked about in terms of gender and race. There are the other aspects of diversity we often don’t speak about for example age, culture and other elements that benefit diversity such as cross industry collaboration. Although the advertising industry has a way to go in achieving diversity, both of these sessions got me thinking about how the advertising industry is going about striving to achieve this.
The Posterscope session’s panel was made up of three expert content creators, all of whom have challenged business and marketing norms to build successful, content-based businesses: Sam Baker co-founder, CEO and Editor of The Pool, Kate Thornton founder and editor-in-chief of TBSeen and Gizzi Erskine British chef and award winning food writer.
These entrepreneurial women presented three very different ideas explaining how they would use their content on digital out-of-home (DOOH). They each brought audience insight, awareness and content acumen to their strategies.
The Pool focuses on quality content over quantity, respecting a woman’s busy schedule. Each piece of content is released on a timeline throughout the day and informs the reader the amount of time it will take to consume that content. Therefore, Sam Baker’s strategy focused on timing: owning the commuting journey, bookending a woman’s day with content and information relevant to their frame of mind in the morning versus evening.
Adweek - MU - DEP - The Pool - (002)
Much-loved chef, author, pop-up-restaurant-extraordinaire Gizzi Erskine is a walking, talking, tweeting content creator. Her concept challenged the traditional way the publishing industry works, and took a fresh look at photographic content in DOOH. She focused on providing inspirational images, timed around festive events, from her upcoming book Season’s Eatings, to whet the appetite and give audiences inspiration on what to cook.
gizzi
At its heart TBSeen is a cash back website. ‘Another?’ I hear you cry. The founders know their audience, and made the essential decision to differentiate TBSeen from competitors by focusing on content first and retail secondary. This ingenious idea has created a community, far beyond a purchase opportunity. Kate Thornton’s strategy mixed useful style hacks with pure entertainment, to provide helpfulness and also bit of light relief, which often gets forgotten.
These women enlightened, inspired an entertained, showing us three new approaches to DOOH with clear strategies that linked to their businesses.
Stepping out of the Posterscope session, I sat down for the IPA’s Who run the world, Girls.
I was looking forward to hearing from another three successful women from a range of creative industries: Harriet Vine Creative Director and Founder of jewellery label Tatty Devine, Lauren Lavern Broadcaster and co-founder of The Pool, and Cat Lewis, CEO and Executive Producer of Nine Lives Media.
This session discussed how workplaces, and specifically advertising workplaces, can encourage gender diversity. Go girls!
Three main themes were discussed.
Changing existing work structures. ‘In our industry, we have this belief that it is essential the client always comes first,’ said Cat Lewis, explaining that this is believed to only be possible in the existing 9 to 5 structure. Her solution was to take the plunge and embrace flexible working options instead of discounting because they haven’t worked before. As each workplace is different it might take several attempts to find the right working structure that works and still focuses on client service.
Female representation in untraditional roles. ‘I remember feeling angry, and I’ve fed off the energy that anger gave me,’ said Harriet Vine. All three women spoke of their experiences building creative businesses and then experiencing an eye opening moment, finding the ‘gatekeepers,’ the financial controllers, were all men, from similar backgrounds who they would have to justify their creative ideas to.
Working with children, not around them. ‘You don’t realise there’s a glass ceiling until you hit it,’ said Lauren Laverne. All three women have allowed their employees to bring children to work in different ways, some have even done this themselves. Another important point was to continue to involve women whilst on maternity leave (if they choose), so they didn’t feel disconnected or left out of what was happening at work.
These sessions left me with two clear thoughts. After the first session I was impressed that three women from outside industries were able to provide a different perspective and such an accurate insight into DOOH.
My second thought was that diversity, whether gender, cultural, racial or cross industry (or even age diversity) facilitates greater creativity.
I’d like to hope we’re able to go one step further. Instead of providing quick-fix solutions to diversity questions, in this instance I’d like to challenge us to do the reverse. Let’s enquire more deeply, call out the problems and issues we see. If we start to notice the tiny, small things that we assume are negligible we will not only draw awareness to these topics, but also be able to sort through the answers together.
By doing this we will not only achieve greater creativity but also greater diversity of thought. And that can only be a good thing for our day jobs.
 

Views from Ad Week: What OOH can learn from the Content Experts….and Tinder

Dan Carey, a Business Director at Posterscope UK, reports from Ad Week Europe.
It seems somewhat ironic that each year Advertising Week Europe comes along, and each year I don’t get to attend quite as many sessions as I would have liked because I’m too wrapped up with the day to day tasks of working in advertising.  It’s like the music fan who misses the headliner at Glastonbury because he’s sitting in his tent listening to Spotify.
The good news of course is that you can stream the content live, but like watching Glastonbury on the BBC it’s not quite like being there.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I want to be in attendance in case Tracey De Groose or Sir Martin Sorrell decide to stage dive into the crowd, as it’s not that kind of gig, but being there to see and hear them speak is always better than watching it behind your computer screen.
So this year I’ve only managed to attend a couple of events, namely Storytellers will rule the world and How smart cities will transform advertising.  Both sessions offered a great insight into the sector I work in (OOH) but I’m going to focus on the storytellers session in this post. What this session in particular made me realise is how OOH, and especially the content displayed within it, needs to start behaving more in the way the businesses of the entrepreneurial women who were on the stage do.
Take Sam Baker for example, her lifestyle website The Pool was created with people’s time pressures, moods and mind-sets at its core, producing content that’s focused, relevant and timely.
Sam and her team understand the pace of the world we now live in and the volume of communications we are bombarded with each day.  Where other sites are throwing click bait at our computer screens to try and tempt us in like a rich man to Panama, The Pool has gone for a less is more strategy. They instead deliver original content that their female audience want, broken down into time stamped chunks to let you know how much of your day it’s going to take up.
It’s a bold move, but a logical one and is something the OOH industry, in particular planners and advertisers can learn a lot from. A consumer’s time is limited, they have messages being thrown at them almost on a second by second basis and they know what they like and what they don’t. Therefore we need to make sure what we plan and what advertisers display, fully understands and embraces this.
Combining all the insights we now have about OOH audience behavior – whether that be physical, social or neurological – we are now in a place where we, like The Pool, should start delivering content that is more focused on individual consumers.
I’m not saying do away with broadcast, as this impact is one of the biggest benefits of OOH, but by combining these audience insights with the growing digital infrastructure in particular, we are now in a better place than ever to truly start delivering personalisation at scale. This will give increasingly selective and sophisticated consumers something that it truly worthy of their time.
It’s kind of like Tinder for advertising, with all the messages consumers receive they can choose to swipe left or swipe right depending on what catches their eye, so brands need to make sure what’s displayed is appealing enough. Appealing enough that consumers want to swipe right, want to communicate, and engaging enough so that in the longer term this initial dalliance is turned into love rather than just a one night stand.  It’s time for OOH to get its flirt on.

Blog: Smart Cities – Creating Cities that Give Back

Smart cities and urban partnerships are big business. In the UK alone, the smart cities industry is predicted to be worth £40 billion, says Michael Brown, managing director of PsLive.
Artichoke founder Helen Marriage, London and Partners’ Zanine Adams and CEO of Global Cites, David Adam help me dissect smart cities and what it means for us…
Picture this: You’ve had a bad morning at the office, you nip out for a reflective moment and a park bench senses the dark cloud over your head, returning the skip to your step by playing you your favourite song. On the journey home, a bus shelter dissuades you from getting on the number 38 to Clapton Pond, in favour of diving into a nearby bar because it knows a table for two has recently become available.
Sounds far fetched? Not really, the future is here and these types of initiatives are happening right now, with smart cities already a fully emerged movement.
The government has supported smart city growth in the UK including awarding more than £178 million, from 2013 until 2018, into research and demonstrator projects. This is just a modest indicator of the appetite for investment. Innovate UK’s Future Cities report, launched in November 2015, documented how a grant of £1.5 million, that was divided equally between 30 local authorities in the UK, went on to trigger a further £107 million in investment from other sources, including the private sector.
The bucks then are potentially big, and they are not all spent on what some may consider to be the frippery of lightening a mood, or encouraging people to stay out for a drink. There are worthy causes too, and it’s in those spaces that brands are beginning to see the opportunity for both giving something back to a community and diversifying their product offering for commercial benefit.
Take Xerox, in any office game of word association (you do play this right?) if someone shouts out that particular brand name, almost everyone in the world will respond with the word photocopier. Yet in San Francisco Xerox are reducing pollution caused by congestion and vehicle emissions through their smart transportation business, an idea that is both socially responsible and useful.
Sensors inform motorists which street parking bays have just become available to reduce the time spent driving around the block looking for on street parking. A similar sensor parking project is on the brink here in London, with Camden Council looking to spearhead this concept on our doorstep, and on a similar tip (pun intended), the city of Leeds are piloting smart bins. They let the council know when they are full, reducing overflowing bins to zero, and concomitant public health concerns while impacting positively on council coffers – bin collections are cut by a ratio of 4 to 1. Rubbish it ain’t!
If this sounds far too utilitarian for you glamorous types, let’s toss some spice in the dish by showing how the same approach can actually improve a large scale event experience. Most of you will recall Lumiere London; the capital’s largest-ever light festival that took place in January. An estimated one million people visited the thirty installations which transformed the capital into a magical and immersive playground in such places as King’s Cross, Leicester Square and Carnaby Street.

Helen Marriage is the founder of Artichoke, the producers behind Lumiere and many other art-based happenings that use global cities as the canvas. Helen explains how a smart city initiative worked unobtrusively behind the scenes to improve the visitor experience.
“Real time footfall data from and around TFL public transport hubs controlled which station entrances were to open or close, and which bus lanes to close or divert as huge influxes of crowds descended on the events. Ultimately this shaped the direction of travel for visitors, improved footflow and created a safer, better experience.”
It is in the above that the future lies – the triple whammy of big data, city infrastructure and technology coming together to benefit citizens at a time and place when they most need it, is the very essence of what a smart city stands for. Now what a smart city looks like in a practical sense can be many things, as long as the outcome is to enrich the lives of those living within it. And… it can be commercial too.
We here at PsLive have been working in tandem with our Liveposter technology for Santander, the sponsors of the bikes formerly known as Boris. Data on how many bikes were currently available in the vicinity, and how far to walk to pick up the nearest one was fed in real time from bike docking stations to digital panels at bus shelters and to those with the app. We were able to record significant uplift of usage using the same data centric approach that drives the smart city concept.
Referring back to the approach Helen mentions earlier, there are examples of similar utilitarian principles to enhance experiences. Pavegen surfaces, which harvest kinetic energy from people walking over it to power nearby infrastructure, were recently used in an experience pioneered by Adidas at Victoria Park in east London. A secure running track was created for female runners to enjoy at all hours of the day removing concerns for personal safety when running in the dark. Pavegen surfaces tracked visitor movement and used it to illuminate the running track. The implications for the urban space are numerous…the least of which is in converting walking energy to power street lighting.

And there is no reason it can’t be used for out and out fun either. Playable cities is in many ways a part of the smart city dream and the city of Bristol has long been a pioneer in this space. The city has been clever about using public-owned space allied to technology to make their citizens engage with their environment in a fun and therefore enriching way e.g. their much championed Hello Lampost campaign from a couple of years back.
The inspiration here being that the notion of ‘places we’ve visited before’ can trigger memories of what we were doing there last time, who we were with and how we felt. By referencing the thousands of pre-existing identifier codes that label items of street furniture across the whole city, players were able to send text messages to e.g. lamp posts, post boxes, bollards, manholes, bins, or telegraph poles and so begin to refer to their city in a way that is more personal, fun and playful.
Projects like the High Line in New York have proved that by providing communal spaces of value for surrounding communities, strengthens the overall fabric of that community, and this works to potentially counter that isolation that some advocates of playable cities use to criticise the smart city concept. At PsLive we realise the power of smart cities and the potential to enrich the lives of citizen’s, whist giving brands the chance to be a part of the action. In response we’ve launched Urban Partnerships, a division to facilitate brand partnership campaigns that give back to society.
I have a tendency to see this as a new frontier for experiential to bring together commercial brands, local authorities and local communities to create something meaningful in publicly-owned spaces to mutually benefit all the stakeholders involved. As we see a rise in government cuts for infrastructure and essential quality of living services such as the arts or health and wellbeing, it could be that brands step in to give something back to their communities around them… and about time too.
My colleague, and head of Urban Partnerships Christopher Nicola summed this up perfectly when he said, “In the last couple of years, the smart city movement has really started pick up momentum, with demonstration (pilot) cities already reaping the rewards of more efficient, connected and data rich public infrastructure.
“The possibilities for smart cities is endless, with each piece of connected street furniture being a node that collects data and reveals insights into how people use the city. Through this, a smart city spurs on innovation and supports digital start-ups that further help people to get the most out of their environment; creating utilities and services that we haven’t even thought of yet. As for what this means for advertising – it is easy to join the dots to understand how important the role of smart cities will be in driving forward customer insights and dynamically different campaigns.”
David Adam, who is chair of the smart cities panel at Adweek Europe 2016  and founder of Global Cities, a consultancy on the interaction between cities, technology and culture, build’s on Nicola’s comments, and in many ways has the last word on this: “Demand for urban services is going to increase at such a pace that the size of the prize is potentially limitless, and it this that is exercising the minds of the imaginative and entrepreneurial – which is where people like Helen Marriage come in. It may be that smart cities only come of age when their technology is seen as useful by the citizen, just as the iPhone generated immediate benefits for the user, our attitude to technology and its uses stimulate active demand when they become tangible and easy to use.”

Is London a smart city?

I asked Zanine Adams head of events and business development at London & Partners:
“As home to some of the world’s best tech talent, allied to the fact that London is putting technology and data at the heart of the city’s infrastructure, then I would say categorically that we are a smart city already, and to communicate this is certainly one of the ambitions of our upcoming London Tech Week.
“The smart city movement is just as important for city planning as it is for commercial enterprise. London has become a leading destination for brands looking to pioneer new digital marketing campaigns and a smart infrastructure offers further opportunities for advertisers to create innovative ways to engage with customers, while improving the experience of living in the city.”
Via: Event Magazine 

Posterscope and psLIVE Ad Week News

This week saw the 4th edition of Advertising Week Europe, a hybrid of inspiring thought leadership, entertainment and events that celebrate the industry and its people. Across 5 days Adweek 2016 involved, 220+ events, 28,450 attendees, 200+ seminars & workshops, 10,100+ delegates, 735+ speakers and 465 press. Posterscope and psLIVE held ‘sell-out sessions.
Posterscope: Monday 18th April- Storytellers Will Rule the World
With a single network spot on digital out-of-home reaching as many people as watch Gogglebox, it is not surprising that advertisers are increasingly turning to this channel to deliver their brand communications. This is reflected in the growth of DOOH which, this year, is expected to account for 45% of total OOH revenues.
We gave three of the best content creators the opportunity to to talk about what engaging content could like on this exciting channel and how they would use digital out-of-home (DOOH) to tell their story. The audience then voted to decide who won £100k of DOOH media to bring their ideas to life. The panel was chaired by Julian Linley Editor-in-chief, Digital Spy, Hearst and featured:

  • Sam Baker Co-founder, CEO & editor,, The Pool
  • Gizzi Erskine British Chef & Award Winning Food Writer
  • Kate Thornton Founder & Editor-in-Chief, tbseen.com.

These three entrepreneurial women with businesses founded on providing relevant content to their audiences presented three very different ideas. Sam Baker’s strategy focused on owning the commuting journey, bookending a woman’s day with content and information relevant to their mind frame in the morning versus evening. Gizzi Erskine’s concept focused on providing inspirational images, timed around festive events, from her upcoming book Season’s Eatings, giving audiences inspiration on what to cook. Kate Thornton’s strategy mixed useful style hacks with pure entertainment, to provide usefulness and also bit of light relief, which often gets forgotten, for audiences
To watch a replay of the session click here
psLIVE: Tuesday 19th April How Smart Cities Will Transform Advertising
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The City that gives back session presented by psLIVE unpicked the Smart Cities movement. The session welcomed a panel of experts undertaking different roles in the Smart City space to discuss the potential and benefits this movement will offer to citizens. The panel discussed the role technology plays in bringing experiences and Smart City functionality to life and how these technological developments will continue to improve experiences. Discussing a range of experiences from arts, utility, immersive to public private partnerships, all the experts shared their views on the role Smart Cities will continue to play
The panel was chaired by David Adam Founder & Principal, Global Cities and featured:

  • Zanine Adams Head of Events & Business Development UK, London & Partners
  • Michael Brown Managing Director , psLIVE UK
  • Paul Davies UK CMO, Microsoft
  • Richard Harris Communications and Marketing Director and Solution Director, Xerox
  • Helen Marriage Lumiere Festival Creator & Founder, Artichoke

 
To watch a replay of the session click here

Posterscope and psLIVE host Ad Week Europe Session

Now in it’s fourth year in Europe, Advertising Week is a hybrid of inspiring thought leadership, entertainment and events that celebrate the industry and its people. Across 5 days Adweek 2016 involves, 220+ events, 28,450 attendees, 200+ seminars & workshops, 10,100+ delegates, 735+ speakers and 465 press. Posterscope and psLIVE are both holding sessions.
Posterscope: Monday 18th April 12pm IPA Stage
Storytellers Will Rule the World
In this session…

Come and see some of the best content creators talk about how they would use digital out-of-home (DOOH) to tell their stories. The audience then vote to decide who wins £100k of DOOH media to bring their ideas to life.
With a single network spot on digital out-of-home reaching as many people as watch Gogglebox, it is not surprising that advertisers are increasingly turning to this channel to deliver their brand communications. This is reflected in the growth of DOOH which, this year, is expected to account for 45% of total OOH revenues.But what about content? What does compelling and engaging content look like on this exciting and evolving new channel? Well quite frankly we don’t know so we thought we would ask some people that might.
Come and watch the digital content creators talk about what they would do with digital OOH and we will provide £100k’s worth of digital OOH media space to bring that content to life.
Panel:
  • Julian Linley Editor-in-chief, Digital Spy, Hearst
  • Sam Baker Co-founder, CEO & editor,, The Pool
  • Gizzi Erskine British Chef & Award Winning Food Writer
  • Kate Thornton Founder & Editor-in-Chief, tbseen.com

 
psLIVE: Tuesday 19th April 10am IPA Stage

How Smart Cities Will Transform Advertising

In this session…

How people experience and interact with their cities is changing:
We’re on the cusp of a movement where cities will begin to respond to our needs in real time. Cities will become responsive spaces: identifying the immediate needs of its citizens and giving them something they need at a time and place they most need it to enrich the quality of being human in the urban landscape.
Join experiential innovators to hear how Smart Cities will change the face of advertising as we know it.
Panel:
  • David Adam Founder & Principal, Global Cities
  • Zanine Adams Head of Events & Business Development UK, London & Partners
  • Michael Brown Managing Director , psLIVE UK
  • Paul Davies UK CMO, Microsoft
  • Richard Harris Communications and Marketing Director and Solution Director, Xerox
  • Helen Marriage Lumiere Festival Creator & Founder, Artichoke

To find out more click here.