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July 13, 2020

Episode 037 - Jack Delehey, Co-Fouder of FlyBy Ads

Episode 037 - Jack Delehey,  Co-Fouder of FlyBy Ads

Today's guest is Jack Delehey.

Jack is the co-founder of FlyBy Ads. FlyBy Ads is best known for their OBIE Award Winning campaign for the Amazon hit series, Jack Ryan. Working with Rapport LA, out of LA, they showed off how rooftop ads can be viral catalysts.

Jack is a former collegiate athlete, founding FlyBy Ads with his longtime friend and business partner, Jordan Tannenbaum after a career in consulting and hundreds of thousands of air miles per year.

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Welcome to out-of-home insider today's guest is Jack Delhi. Jack is the co-founder of fly by ads and you may know, fly, buy ads for their incredible work on the campaign for season two of the Amazon hit show Jack Ryan with coverage of the campaign ranging from ad week to Jeff Bezos. They don't just put big ads on rooftops near airports though.

They're a legitimate media company with an ever expanding real estate portfolio of premium locations that fit their pedigree, which team has led by jacket. His partner, Jordan, who got to know airports really well. Traveling in astonishing 200,000 miles a year as consultants before starting five. Sharing an Alma mater love of sports craft beer, but most importantly, romantic comedies, Jack and Jordan are creating conversations daily for the world's largest brands with their unique approach to out of home.

Jack, thanks for being here. My friend really, really appreciate you having me, Tim. It's an honor. Absolutely. Well, it's an honor to have you here and really an honor to ask you the first and maybe the most important question of each episode. How'd you get started in out of home? Uh, the million dollar question, right.

And, uh, I wish I could say it was that easy to just answer with one sentence, but it really is at least a little bit of a story. Um, you kind of just started talking about it there in the intro, but really. Truly four years ago, if you were to say the term out of home, I would have said, what, what are you saying?

Uh, and you know, obviously now I feel like I use that term hundreds of times per day, but really it started Jordan. My co-founder. We graduated from college and we were consultants and, uh, anyone who's been a consultant or knows kind of, um, how that lifestyle works. It's pretty bizarre, but basically you pick a home city where you want to be, but your work isn't there, you hop on an airplane.

6:00 AM, Monday morning, come back 9:00 PM, Thursday nights, usually. And so, and you go to the client's site, wherever that is. So Jordan and I were doing that. We were on very different projects. Um, but we were flying all the time. And so. Probably about a year into that is when, you know, Jordan and I were always even back in college kind of spit and business ideas at each other.

We always kind of had that creative approach. He's a little bit more of kind of like the brainstorm guy and I'm a little bit more of the like, you know, okay, how do we actually execute God? And, um, you know, we kind of, I would say we're starting to hit the burnout phase of consultants. And one day we were both in our hotel rooms across the country.

It just kind of brainstorm business ideas. And, you know, he said, Hey, you know, we fly all the time, look at airplanes. Why don't people use that space? Um, you know, airplanes landing at airports or a very targeted landing zone every single time consistently every, you know, when we looked it up at Hartsfield Jackson, it's like every 48 seconds.

Wow. Um, and so that's kind of how it started. We didn't even know that what we were looking into was in the out-of-home world. We just were like, yeah, I don't know why people don't put signs on rooftops. Um, and obviously now fast forward really three and a half, four ish years. And, um, that's where we are now.

Uh, we, that we are in the out-of-home world, which we didn't even know we were going to enter. So it's been quite a wild ride in between there, but, uh, it's loved ever since. From a co-founder standpoint, because something you've touched on is something that's come up in previous episodes and even conversations.

How important was it that you each had your unique skillset? Right? You commented that Jordan kind of the idea guy yourself, you're the execution guy jobs. And Wazniak that, that duality, how important has that been to viable? I mean, I think it's, it's been everything. Uh, and I think probably equally as important is communicating those strengths and honestly, weaknesses, you know, uh, heck even this past week, right.

We've been creating some new marketing materials and I put my hand up and say, Hey, I suck at that. Jordan, can you take the lead here? Right. And so it's kind of a communication back and forth. I think it works out really well because we are such good friends and we did know each other for. Six years before even considering going into business with each other, we'd studied abroad together.

We were in college together. So, um, I think the communication is equally as important as understanding your strengths and weaknesses and, um, yeah, they definitely play off each other. Well, and then we do also have some common areas which kind of allows us to, you know, guide the company together under the same principles.

It makes sense. And you know, in the intro we talked about the Amazon campaign, Jack Ryan, which is one of my favorite shows. I love it. So I, I love that, that you guys were the brains behind that. How did, how does something like that come to. Yeah. Um, it's, it's a process. It certainly was a process. And I think again, equally as, um, unusual of a process as it is to try to, you know, get in, it's not just, you don't just pick up the phone and call Amazon.

Right. Um, that's, that's really not something that it was that easy that we can do. Maybe you can, I don't know Tim with all your connections, but we couldn't do that. Uh, and so we basically were kind of figuring it out along the way and. Flashbacks four years ago, we didn't even know out of home ad agencies were a thing.

You know, I, if you had asked me how Amazon does their, you know, puts a billboard up, it would have said, I don't know someone in marketing and Amazon just calls a billboard company. And what you realize is just these huge brands are too big to basically have everything be internal. So now you have, you know, kind of the intermediate step, which is the ad agency to kind of handle that.

So we ended up after, you know, probably years of kind of getting our foot in the door and saying, Hey, we're, you know, we may be the new guys that we think we have a cool product working with rapport out in LA, and they were fantastic. And they kind of, um, when Amazon came to them eventually and said, Hey, we kind of want something new and cool and unique.

They really kind of, you know, put our name forward. So we own a lot to them. It obviously was about building relationships and figuring that out over a years. But when push came to shove, you know, they kind of put our name forward and from then it was like, oh wow. We, you know, here we go, we need to perform because we've got Amazon on the line here.

So, um, and you know, it ended up working out, which was kind of fantastic for us to have under our. So, and because there's a, there's a lot of folks that listen to the show that are in business development or some sort of sales role. Right. What was most important there? It sounds like maybe you were working with rapport.

Hey, we've got this idea. We don't know who it's a great fit for what things worked in the sales process that, that ultimately got you to consideration with Amazon, because I'm sure a lot of things. Sort of place before they just said, Hey, let's do this. Yeah, they did. And I think probably, um, the, you know, a lot of salespeople hear this, but it is the truth building real relationships.

And not, and not just, you know, superficial relationships. Um, we, we certainly got to know the people over there and we did do in-person visits, which I know these days is a little bit more difficult. Um, but I think it was just kind of getting to know them, uh, on a more personal level. And then from there, obviously, you know, keeping them informed.

It's one thing to go and grab beers or coffee with them at some point. But then if you go kind of quiet, I guess what they've got a ton of different clients and a ton of opportunities. And so it is important to stay top of mind. So, you know, number one, I'd say just kind of actually getting to know them and number two, being slightly persistent, not overwhelmingly persistent, but letting them know that you have new opportunities available.

And, you know, we added a bunch of rooftops near lax and it was important to let them know that, and then it ended up, they actually want. Rooftops at lax. And if we hadn't informed them, who knows where that conversation would have gone. So it's, it's always a balance, right? And, and, and being open-minded have got this great platform.

I've got this great vehicle that you can use. I'm not going to come to you necessarily, really with the idea fully baked, because maybe I want you to be open-minded and be creative around that. Who could use this? And not just shoehorning them into, Hey, this is decline. I had it in mind for yes or no. W w was that part of the process to kind of open application?

Yeah. And I'm actually glad you bring that up to him. So with that exact campaign that we're talking about, the Amazon one, it went exactly like that. Where we actually had rooftops that we had agreements with near lax, they then came back to us and said, Hey, Amazon is thinking about doing this sign. They want six rooftops, but they all need to be touching each other.

And we said, that is such a cool idea. Hold on a sec, we got to make sure we have six rooftops touching each other. Right. So it was kind of a give and take. We didn't immediately come to them and say, Hey, we have this cluster is six. And we think it only works with this brand. We said, we've got some rooftops.

They came back with an idea and then we made it work. You know, we found six rooftops that all were touching each other. So it had the nice jacket is back Amazon prime and it kind of worked seamlessly together. We wouldn't have even come up with that idea, um, without kind of their insights. So it really is a give and take, not boxing yourself in.

I will say, I think that's something that we're able to do because, you know, it's just the two of us. So we're kind of able to think creatively on our feet and personalized projects like that, where, you know, other big companies, um, you know, that's not a knock on them. They're obviously, you know, much more substantial, but because we're small and lean and we actually purposely focus on being just that young, lean and hungry, we're able to kind of, you know, take those next level creative executions to the.

From the business owner standpoint, I saw a great testimonial video from you on, on the YouTubes, talking about how the evolution took place of beyond ad space, really becoming a proper media company and investing in these real estate and real estate holdings. How has the, how has the business evolved over the four to five years to become what it is to.

Yeah. So, you know, it's kind of funny though, this world, this whole out of home advertising world really sees only like half of what we do, um, which is kind of interesting. The billboard owners out there are going to understand this part, but there's an entire other half, which is like the real estate part, you know, everyone and kind of the advertising side sees, you know, the OB award or the, you know, Amazon campaign or bud light or what we do, but a huge portion of it.

Um, we really devote a lot of time to nurturing relationships with real estate part. We don't own the buildings. Um, you know, just like kind of a billboard company, you know, they might not own the land that the billboard sits on and it's really important, you know, we play this middle ground, but it's really important to have good relationships on both sides.

And so I think that's something we've really prided ourselves from the start is saying. Super cool idea. But if we don't have rooftops and rooftop owners who like us and agree with our idea and are willing to give us their rooftops, you know, the idea goes nowhere. So I think that's something over these last few years, we've really tried to continue to develop as our real estate partnerships and not just.

Signing agreements to let us utilize the rooftops whenever we have have ads, but really kind of getting to know them. Um, the perfect example is I will give, uh, well, two shout outs here. Our first ever real estate partner was Prologis. Um, they're a huge usher real estate company. They've been fantastic.

They really were with us from the early days. Um, loving the idea and then secondly, much smaller. But if you ever go to whole foods, Kiko SU. Amazing sushi. And two of those six rooftops for Amazon prime where Kiko sushi warehouses. So I'm, I'm a loyalist through and through to this day, whenever I'm in whole foods, I make sure to pick up some of their sushi and touch the photo to the president because they were just absolutely tremendous.

And they actually supplied the electricity for the lights on that side. So anyway, two real estate shout outs there had to get him in. No that's strong, man. And so talk to me more about that, right? We, you brought up. Ton a ton of traffic as the world starts getting back to traveling more, where else can people potentially see a flyby?

Yes. So, you know, ideas started with us looking out of airplane windows. So that's where we went first. Um, and you know, I think for a lot of companies, the Corona virus pandemic has been tough to say the least, um, certainly has for us are, you know, airplane traffic is down tremendously. Um, but for us also, it's been a little bit of a blessing because we kind of were able to take a step back and say, W are there any other avenues we can really utilize our medium.

Um, and you know, when you're, as you probably know, is a lot of people listening to this podcast, it's really easy to just kind of get into your routine and, you know, eight to 12 hours a day, you're kind of just doing what you're doing. And we were doing airports. Um, and during this pandemic, it's been nice to be able to take a step back.

And we said, Hey, could we put our signs on rooftops to build. In downtown locations and you know, what would that look like? And so we kind of really have been heads down for the last 60, 90 days, um, doing a lot of research, making a lot of real estate, uh, relationships and agreements and figuring out exactly how that would work.

And we're super excited about it. So last month we officially launched our fifth wall, uh, which is basically our downtown rooftop. Wallscape right. You see wall scapes in downtown area. There are four walls to them. We're just a, wallscape on the fifth wall. And so it's allowed us, you know, we're certainly not finished with our airport ads and we hope to continue growing that whenever people do get to flying again, but it was a nice opportunity for us to be able to say, Hey, can we add something else to our repertoire?

And, and that's what we've done. And so far, the, uh, the response has been pretty seamless. I love it. Just looking for opportunity where it presents itself. Who, who is the, who's the target audience for that rooftop ad? Is it, is it truly just someone flying over downtown? Dallas. So there'd be the occasional I'm in a helicopter doing a city tour.

I'm a tourist. That's cool. But I mean, that's just not enough impression. So no, the, our rooftops are really calculated, honestly, probably more than we calculate our rooftops for airports. Um, because we're basically targeting if you've ever been in New York. Or LA or Chicago, or, you know, I'm only listing those cities.

There's probably dozens in the United States where you have high rise, residential apartments, and they look down onto much lower buildings that honestly, you're looking down onto like rusty HVAC. It's not the best look. And so our goal is really to target those high rise, probably during these times, residential, um, high rises and say, Hey, instead of looking at some rusty HVAC equipment or moldy rooftop, you could look at a creative, perhaps artistic sign that would serve as advertising.

But also honestly, if you asked them might be less of an eyesore than, you know, something on the rooftop. So that's kind of our goal. We also. You know, if people do end up going back into offices. Sure. There are tons of, you know, buildings where people looking down from their office window could see, but at least right now, given the state of the world, we're really targeting rooftop tops below residential.

High-rises smart. It's it's a specific audience. You know, Rick Robinson, classically known for being the people's space, right. It's something that he talks about a lot and it could be just that it could just be like, I don't want to be a bad neighbor because I know my roof is ugly. I'll give these people something to look at.

It can be that simple monetizing space and in a way to entertain. As well, I know that if I was living in a city high rise and I looked down, there was a cool ad that I'm going to take pictures and share it on social and things like that. How, how much of like, how much of the flyby ads model or the allure is just that creating conversation around this unique execution?

Is that something that brands say, Hey, this is really important to us when they consider you or not. Yeah. So it's, it's interesting. I love the question because when we first, you know, I guess came up with a flyby ads model. We didn't even think about taking photos or social media. You know, our eyes really were, I'm a business travel traveler.

I'm on, I've got my corporate Amex. I'm hungry. I'm about to land in this airport. And if I see an ad for, I dunno, Chick-fil-A right before I land, I'm probably going to go to the Chick-fil-A versus the sub-arc. Right. And that was kind of our mindset. Just business traveler, looking out the airplane window.

Um, it was, we basically kind of. Have fallen into this. Oh wow. Social media. Can't just be a, an additional aspect that it actually could be a significantly bigger aspect. And we've, you know, we learned that over the last few years, um, it started out with kind of our bud light campaign, a couple of Superbowls back, and we watched what social media did when, you know, individuals were taking photos of that, um, posting it on their social media.

You know, it went viral on LinkedIn for a while. And then I would say, you know, the biggest example was we with our Amazon campaign with Jack is back. We did the math, it had about 600,000 impressions from fuse out of the airplane window, over the course of the 30 days that it ran at lax. And that was, you know, direct physical impression.

Jeff Bezos tweeted out a photo. And just over the course of about a week, we did the math and it was about 13 million impressions. So you just, you know, you start doing the math and you say, oh, this isn't just an additional component. This actually could be the much bigger component. Um, and that's something you, you know, we only realized after we started.

That's kind of the beauty of it, of an evolution, right? Is we get into it just as simply, as you said, Hey, I could be compelled to make a decision when I land based on an ad that I see, or I could potentially go viral with this thing that's worth sharing and worth talking about. I think that's pretty neat.

And you guys definitely have a unique model if. Here's the segment that, uh, that we've been starting to integrate. And, and I was going to ask the question without giving credit to my man, Carlos, who, who came up with the idea to start building this in, if you weren't in out of home, right. Right. And you didn't get into, out of home to be an out of home, but if you weren't doing fly, buy ads right now, what do you think you'd be doing?

You know, it's, that is a really interesting question. I always, so my parents always asked me this when I was growing up and from ages like five to 10, it was always, I wanted to be a professional hockey player. I hit about 10 years old and realized that just wasn't going to happen. So then I transitioned to, uh, I wanted to be an announcer or a newscast.

Specifically on sports. So that was kind of always my answer until about 18 when. Mo like the old days of sports center are now gone. It was so much Scott. You would know you could wake up 10 minutes before the end of the hour. So let's say like 6:50 AM and you'd get the top 10. And then if you watch till six, 10:00 AM, right before school, you'd get like the, you know, the rundown there a little bit.

Right. And it was sports center is great. Anyway, I haven't probably watched sports center in 10 years, so. That's a long way to say. I don't know. I'd love to think that there's no way I would be in my, um, you know, consulting world still. I think I just, I was going to hit kind of my wall one way or another there.

Um, but I think if there's anything I've realized from doing this while I don't have a specific answer, would I be doing, um, there, there's no way I'd be working for somebody else. At this point, I am all in on the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Um, and I, I just really love it, but it's also, I don't know if I would, you know, be doing whatever I'd be doing without a partner.

I think it's, it's really, it has been a true blessing to be able to work with Jordan. Um, you know, when we have some bad days, it's really nice to be able to talk to him and we have great days. It's much more fun to celebrate and give him a high five versus. Pumping myself up. So, um, it's been, you know, whatever the course, uh, has been, has been fantastic and whatever lies in the future has been great.

But I think it in some way, shape or form, it'll just involve solving problems. Dig it. I dig it. Let's say second question. Oh, this is a good one. I think it specifically for you guys, we've talked about the fifth wall. We talked about travel, picking back up, but crystallize it. What are you most excited about?

What I'm most excited about? Well, I will say in some way, shape or form, if the NHL playoffs come back and that can just be on in the background of my working life, pretty much 24 7, because word on the street is it'll be in two hub cities. So that means we'll probably have games going almost all day. I mean, that would just be tremendous.

So I'm pretty excited for that, but I'd say on like a more real note, I am excited for, I think, a little bit more normalcy in life. It's been, like I said, it's been kind of a blessing and a curse the last few months, um, you know, has been tremendously sad, um, to see what's happened in the world. Uh, but I think with the summer coming up a little bit more normalcy, Um, and hopefully, hopefully fingers crossed.

We can balance that with kind of the new norm and understanding that there are, you know, safety precautions that have to be in place, um, while we can also kind of keep our economy lives. So I think that's, that's my real answer, but an Excel class would be nice to know I'm with you in the format, I think would be killer March madness for professional hockey.

I'm in how about a book recommendation? If you're not a reader, it's a podcast. What, what, where do you go for inspiration ideas perspective. What's something I recommend. Okay. Uh, I'm a big time book reader. So I've got a few here. Um, the first I would say, all right, this is, I think a lot of the listeners here will understand it and probably have heard it.

Tim Ferriss's four hour work week changed my life. Um, I think it was written in 2007. So there's a lot that while reading in 2020, you need to just take with a grain of salt and realize it's not applicable. Um, I'd say probably the first, third of the. Is ways to convince your boss, that working from home can still be efficient, which is so funny now, because basically none of that applies anymore because everyone is working from home.

So you can kind of skip the first, third or gloss over. But I think more importantly, what it, it really hammered home in my mind is, you know, time is the one of the few resources we simply don't get back. And so how to kind of make the most of your time. And I think the title slightly glorified four-hour workweek, that's kind of ridiculous, but the point is.

You know, after I read that, I really started thinking about where my hours were going and how to, you know, perhaps work a, you know, a seven or an eight hour day, but do it really, really well so that I can go and hang with my family or my friends, or go get nine holes of golf in and not so bad about it, that type of thing.

Right. And so that was kind of life-changing I highly recommend it again. There's some things in there that are very 2007, but just the mindset. Um, I regret it once a year. Um, and then. Secondly, I'd say, uh, it's actually one of my, one of my idols, Tom Brady, who has gone from my team, the Patriots to Jordan, my co-founders team, the Tampa bay bucks.

But his favorite book is the four agreements, um, really, really thin book, but it's kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum. Right? You've got your businessy books, which I read a lot, but I'm also kind of in the life of preceding appreciation. You can read it and, you know, half a day. Um, but it really is just kind of a, an entire mindset shift to really appreciate the moment which I think, you know, in these times, um, is something that's really important.

So those, those are my two. If we ever do this again, I mean, I've got an entire shelf of books under me right now, but we'll stick with us. No, listen, I, I, I think those are both great recommendations. It's actually the second time that the four agreements has been a book recommendation on the show. So.

Listen, I, I had a great mentor and said, if anytime you get told something twice, you should probably pay attention to it. So there it is folks. There it is twice. You need to go by the four agreements. If you haven't. So, no, this has been great. And w we should w we'll have to do it again soon, and maybe we can even rendezvous and do it at an airport.

Cause that would be a lot of fun, but I'm looking to getting back to traveling, uh, what, what are the next three months gonna look like for you guys? What do you think is going to be the next 90 days? Yeah, so I think fingers crossed, I think a lot's gonna happen. Um, we've, you know, like I said, we really spent the last 90 days.

Getting ready for our, you know, kind of fifth wall downtown wallscape campaign. I think the next 90 days we'll be really seeing if the demand is there for it based on the initial response, it seems like it really is. Um, I'd say probably one of the biggest hurdles for our airport ads, which is simply the cost of the material.

Our production costs were huge because the sign. The size of these signs near airports are huge as well. Um, and so, you know, when you have a, you know, the Amazon signs, I think we're 75,000 square feet of mesh band. Um, shout out circle graphics and Vincent printing for helping us with those rod raccoons coming on later this week.

Oh, there we go. Okay. Um, and so, you know, you just put in the cost of mesh banner alone, and all of a sudden you get to this, I would say kind of tier of company. That, anything below that, you know, they just kind of say really cool idea, no way we can afford that. Um, and so I think in the next 90 days, we'll see if now that we're going downtown, shrinking the size of our son's tremendously sometimes, you know, in really like a quarter of the size, maybe a fifth, the size of six, seven, Would that allow us to just our production cost will be lower.

Our total cost would be lower. Can we get into kind of those mid-market brains now who are looking to buy a wallscape and you know, we're really the same price. Um, but we're just on a different wall. So, um, that's kind of the goal. We obviously hope that with kind of the new normal increased spending in, in ads, come back along with kind of an understanding of how we can all still function as a society while being safe.

If that all kind of happens and we're able to put some more, uh, rooftop wallscape sup in downtown, that'd be great. And then I think probably after that 90 day, mark is when, hopefully we'll really start to see air travel, pick up again, and we might get increased there. But in the meantime, we've, we've got a lot to do, so I'm looking forward to it.

Cool. Where can people find. You can find us all over a website, fly by ads.co. It can take a look there. You can also follow us on Instagram at flyby advertisements. You can find us on LinkedIn flyby ads, LLC. Easy enough, man. We'll make sure to link out to everything in the description and the show notes and wherever you're listening or watching to this.

There's going to be links to all of that. I encourage you to go check it out. It's really, really cool stuff. And if you haven't seen. The Jack Ryan campaign, you're going to want to see that just because it's awesome. And the show's great. So, Jack, thanks for doing this really, really appreciate it. And, uh, and look forward to doing it again next time.

Thank you all. Thanks to our listeners. And thank you, Tim, for having me. It's an honor. Absolutely. As always make sure to click the button right below where I'm pointing. That's the subscribe button. That'll make sure you get notified of any future episodes and additional content as always. If you want to get.