April 29, 2023

You down with P-O-P? Beyond the install photos - Part IV

You down with P-O-P? Beyond the install photos - Part IV

If you can't manage to get pictures of billboards or the OOH ad campaign in a reasonable and painless way it's very unlikely that anyone is going to put a ton of faith into your super-slick attribution report. 

Instead, let's start with the block and tackle. Get me pictures, without me asking, in a timely way. Bonus points for proactive communication of a timeline during the buying process (and shame on me if I didn't ask).

That's why we're talking about it in this multi-part series on M&A (Measurement and Attribution).

The real opportunity here is that the phase right after someone buys something, no matter how many times they buy it, is the ripest opportunity to lock a whole bunch of good faith into the relationship by communicating expectations, timelines, etc. in a proactive way.

Just because I've bought from you a bunch of times doesn't mean that I know how your business works. Assume I know nothing, every time. I assure you, I'll let you know if it's too much handholding. Otherwise, just know you're making my life easier. You're enabling me to provide the level of customer success I expect to be able to deliver, the best available.

So, what is the POP process and why does it matter so much?

Proof of Performance (POP) is a process used in Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising to provide proof that the ad has been installed or displayed as contracted. This is typically done through an "install photo" of the static ad taken by the billboard installer or through web cameras that monitor the digital signage. The purpose of POP is to prove that the advertising purchased has in fact been delivered.

While POP photos are not intended to be "glamour shots," there is a growing trend towards providing brands with what is known as "enhanced POP." Enhanced POP refers to professional photography that captures the spirit and impact of the advertising campaign, rather than simply serving as proof of installation. It can be a collection of great still shots, a sizzle reel of exciting videos, or anything in between. 

The campaignisthe content after all and capturing the spirit of that for social amplification is a superpower unique to OOH. For two weeks there was one billboard lighting up the newsfeed of the OOH industry as we prepared to descend on Nashville for our annual conference. 

By all measures, this billboard was targeting at most 1,000 conference attendees who would have one opportunity to see it on their way into Nashville. In its undoctored form, it's a 672-square-foot canvas with the structural integrity for a...few pieces of flare.

The creative leaked a few days early so the audience was primed, and we knew what to be on the lookout for. Then, there it was.


And that was it. One pass, at one billboard, targeting 1,000 OOH junkies. But it's a billboard I won't forget anytime soon. Okay, ever. It was cool af.

The use of enhanced POP is driven by the desire of agencies to provide their clients with a more complete picture of how their advertising is being received by the public and equally by brands to capture their campaign in a visually compelling way that allows them to extend the campaign into their entire ecosystem and across other tactics, like social.

Here are my favorite companies for solving POP at scale and capturing enhanced POP:

POP Tracker - Literally, every agency should be usingPOP Tracker. If you buy OOH and it’s at any sort of scale, you should be using POP Tracker. If Tim Hughes was previously one of the best-kept secrets, then POP Tracker is one of the currently best-kept secrets because they’ve automated everything from contract to posting. Oh, and they give you a bunch of slick custom reports so you can go from not having any idea where your install photos are to BAM! Done-for-you. 

They do it by being plugged into the APIs with the Big 3 (Lamar, Clear Channel, OUTFRONT) which accounts for about 75% of the headache. For everyone else, they have a really simple way to download posting instructions, confirm receipt, upload the install shots, and be on your way. Happy agency, happy life ← a general rule of thumb.

If you want to cut right to the quick, I suggest connecting withTom Cherrywho is absolutely top-shelf and will get you sorted.

OBEO - They’ve done more than 30,000,000 photoshoots in the last 20 years. Yeah, seriously. That’s 30M! They built their platform in residential real estate and have expanded into OOH which is particularly exciting because they’ve figured out the two most important parts - 1) Consistent Quality 2) Affordable Pricing

Check them out atwww.obeo.com

And connect with their Founder,Grant Bigler, here. Grant and I talked for about 30 minutes in Nashville and had one of the most exciting conversations of the week. He’s definitely a great guy to be connected with and is already impacting OOH in really significant ways.

Tim Hughes Productions - He’s the Spike Lee of OOH. That’s the simplest way to put it. Tim and I have worked together a ton and if your goal is to capture a campaign in a visual story, then Tim Hughes is the guy to talk to.

We worked together on a dozen or so campaigns when I was at OneScreen and some of the biggest brands and media owners are already working with Tim Hughes Productions.

The campaign is the content, so whether you're a media owner looking to enhance your own marketing (capture the campaigns your clients are paying for) or you're a brand (or agency) that wants an awesome keepsake of their campaign, working with Tim Hughes is a no-brainer.

Tim captured the OBIE finalistHunt A Killercampaign that I got to work on with an incredibly open-minded brand team and the amazingMelody RobertsofOut of Home Creative.

He’s worked with everyone in the business and isn’t really the best-kept secret anymore which puts him in very high demand. You can see his work on hiswebsite hereand hisInstagram is also pretty 🔥

Andthis one for PuppySpotwill always be a personal favorite campaign. 

So whether it is POP for thousands of billboards in a centralized platform (POP Tracker) or Enhanced POP that is super scalable (OBEO) or that movie-quality production sizzle reel to tell the story of the campaign (Tim Hughes), the visual story of OOH is the "seat of the pants measurement" because if you can see it, it's real.

Make it real.


-Tim Rowe


Read the other parts of the multi-part measurement series here and be sure to subscribe to my curated daily newsletter (M-F) of what I'm reading and listening to, to stay ahead of the curve.