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Feb. 25, 2020

OOH Insider - Episode 014 - 2 States, 2 Candidates, 1 Result. How will billboards impact the 2020 election?

OOH Insider - Episode 014 - 2 States, 2 Candidates, 1 Result. How will billboards impact the 2020 election?

Inside of politics, everyone has their favorite candidate but for millions of Americans that consider themselves 'Independent', they are looking for a candidate who aligns with their values.

How will they find that candidate?

Well, it works a whole lot better if the candidate finds THEM first.

Brian Armstrong of AdTrans Inc and I sit down to discuss how 2 different candidates, in 2 different races, BOTH used Out of Home advertising to drive the result they were looking for.

BONUS: I'll let you know who I think dropped out too soon because they didn't know JUST HOW WELL their Out of Home advertising was working.

Early voter activation? Check.

Dominating Google search activity? Check.

Winning races? Check.

There is one commonality between them all and understanding how YOU can use what they know for your campaign, or business, will be the difference between winning and losing.

To connect with Brian for your next campaign, find him here on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-cah...

Or visit AdTrans at: http://www.adtransinc.com/

You and I should connect on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/troweactual/

If you've found this information helpful, consider joining other OOH Insiders in our Members Only Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/oohinsider/

Support the show (http://oohswag.com)

Welcome to the out-of-home insider show. We're bringing you tips, tricks and insider insights on how to make your advertising not only more effective, but more efficient using the most powerful medium available to use today out of home. And I'm really excited about today's guest. We're going to talk all about political advertising.

Obviously it's a hot topic, but we're not just going to talk about how to put up billboards or how to run out of home. We're going to talk about real results for real candidates in. Races. So without further ado, I've got Brian Armstrong from ad trans he's on the west coast. Today's join us bright and early.

Brian. Thanks so much for coming on for sure. So, Brian, the reason that I reached out to you just yesterday, uh, thanks for turning it around so quick, was that you had posted a pretty interesting, uh, sort of, we could call it a use study with your partnership with our friends at ad quick and the mobile billboard company that you wrote.

And one particular candidate. So why don't you walk me through, how, how has your relationship with adequate and mobile billboards? How did that all come to be? So, uh, I reached out to ed quick few months ago, saw what they were doing was really interested in trying to figure out how I could combine mobile billboards with, uh, their platform, because they seem like they were very big on evangelizing, all kinds of, out of home.

Um, and I thought it'd be a good fit. They didn't seem to have anything up that alley. Um, and, uh, when talking with them, we found it was going to be really difficult to actually add the inventory to their system. So, um, they ended up, uh, sorry about that. Um, um, so they decided that they were going to just keep my information for the time and.

Kind of work on a case by case basis. We did a campaign for vote.org, um, back in November in Boston. Um, and, uh, based on that, they'd reached out to me again. Um, and they had a rush client. Um, they were looking to do something with, they were struggling, um, with their inventory and trying to find inventory in a particular area of Las Vegas in north Las Vegas.

And, um, they were just looking to do something extra. It was an area which, uh, Bernie, it turned out. It was the Bernie campaign had struggled in, in 2016. Um, and he had struggled a little bit with the Latino vote. Um, so they were really pushing to get into that area and push earlier. Um, so they came to me and they were like, Hey, we have a client that is looking to do something here in this area.

Can you have a truck there tomorrow at 10:00 AM? And this was about 3:00 PM, uh, of the day. Wow. And I will challenge the world. What, where were you when they said, Hey, we need you in Vegas tomorrow. It. Uh, I was actually getting dressed for a wedding. Um, and I, with my wife, uh, actually she pinched me. Um, cause I kept looking down on my phone during the wedding, uh, checking my emails, um, to see what responses that come through and what was coming through.

'cause I had to get a driver ready and make sure the truck was ready. And, um, you know, with that short of period of time, we had a truck out of Los Angeles. Um, so it wasn't a super long trip, but it is still with all the moving parts. It can still be a little bit of a struggle to turn something around that quick.

Kind of what I really, really love about mobile billboards and especially the led mobile billboards is that you can just turn that if you have a truck nearby, you can turn that thing around as quick as you can get someone into that seat and on the road. Um, and that's what we did. So, uh, they signed everything they contracted at about six or seven o'clock.

Um, I think they stayed a little bit late. And, um, we got a truck on the road the next morning, uh, and it was on the road 10:00 AM next morning. And it ran for four days. Um, ran four days of early voting that was still left. And, um, you know, we. It was a little hard to track the response because they don't, um, they don't give you numbers, uh, for early voting specifically.

They don't give you a specific, these people voted this way during the early voting period or this number of people in this specific area. Um, but what I do know is that overall they had doubled the turnout in the state for early voting. So they have. So as many people there, almost as many people vote in early voting as voted in the entire election in 2016.

Right? So it's something like 70,000 and that's really what Bernie's campaign is sort of based on is engaging or activating these first time voters or folks who maybe didn't participate in the last election. So let's just sort of recap. In less than 24 hours, you've turned around and you've got a truck on the road on the way to Las Vegas and the campaign is live for four days.

And how long has that truck running for during the day? Is it 12 hours a day? How does that, how does that sort of work? So usually it's a minimum of an eight hour shift. Sometimes we'll do six hour shifts, but it's typically minimum eight hour shift. Um, and you pick an eight hour consecutive period. You pick your route, which is exactly what they did.

Um, they were hitting a very specific box, uh, which you, you had mentioned in the photo that I posted that was kind of a boss that we were operating within. Um, and it was like, it wasn't a huge areas, pretty limited area. Um, Of of Las Vegas. So it, wasn't the typical area that you think that when you think of mobile billboards in Las Vegas, um, where you think of, you know, just a strip or, um, you know, down in, you know, old Las Vegas, downtown, um, you know, we were really focusing on the more suburban, more residential area, um, you know, to the east of downtown in north Las Vegas.

Um, but yeah, it looks like it's, it's, it's obviously it's not the strip, but it's a pretty specific area. Um, and, and that you were covering, so it sounds like maybe that was feedback from the campaign working with ad quick to understand that here's how we can use mobile billboards to really talk to, I mean, what are we talking about here is it's like a stuff four blocks by 10 block sort of square.

Yeah, approximately, um, you know, a couple of square miles. It wasn't a huge area, but the population there is pretty dense. Um, and it's got a very strong, um, so a lot of the people that live in that area are, um, they're casino workers, they're blue collar. Um, there's a very high Latino population. And again, one of the advantages with an led.

Is that you're rotating, uh, two different ads, one English and one Spanish. Right. Um, you know, and. You know, it, it was, uh, I think it was really about hitting an area that they felt that they struggled in in 2016, um, and trying to really, really boost voter turnout in a particular area. Plus I think, I think it had something to do with the fact that, uh, with the population demographic in that particular area versus, um, Uh, from what I've heard, um, Las Vegas has had a huge bump in the Latino population.

Um, so, and also this is an earlier map. So I went and I re I looked at the map again and, uh, those gray areas are, did go for Bernie. Um, so that entire square, there did go 100% for Bernie or is a hundred percent as a caucus can go. Um, but all of those were. Prime. They, they were won by Bernie, that he got the majority vote in all of those.

And, um, for most of them that I saw, he did a pretty good sweet, you know, not, uh, not going to talk to that numbers in front of me too much. But, um, you know, when I clicked on some of them, he had a pretty healthy lead, um, you know, so it looked like. You know, we got out where people were shopping, where, um, you know, we got, we parked across the street from where they were doing the early voting.

They had one early voting station in this area. Um, so we parked across the street from there. Um, and we just, you know, kind of got. Got out where people were, you know, which is what I think the campaign really wanted was to get, you know, get in front of all different kinds of people, you know, that they wouldn't normally get with just a normal, you know, billboard out on the strip or something, make sense.

So they're targeting and audience. Um, wasn't necessarily as supportive as Bernie Sanders as a candidate, you know, just three and a half years ago. So we're, we're, it's that conquest sale, right? I'm trying to change someone's behavior or influence a thought process. Uh, not only am I trying to influence that behavior, but then I'm also trying to activate them as a, as an early voter, which is challenging in and of itself.

So not only were you able to influence that behavior where you're also able to help activate the early voters at twice, the rate that they traditionally saw by using a really smart mobile billboard campaign, which I think is a. Testimony to out of home and political specifically, obviously there's so many backend analytical tools that these campaigns have access to, but sometimes it's just something as simple as this saying, Hey, look, he wasn't very good here.

We did this. And then all of a sudden he was good. Correlation at least causation. I'm sure that there's more data points that the campaign has behind it that says, heck yeah, this worked. Otherwise we would do something else. But the fact of the matter is we see more campaigns investing in political, but understanding how to use it, to get the result you want is really the purpose of this conversation.

So I think it's an incredible success story and, uh, and just a great way for political to you. Billboards in a nontraditional way in an area that you may not have inventory, right? So adequate came to you and said, Hey, we don't have inventory there, but we S we, we, we see the opportunity. So the fact that you were able to activate that quickly have a driver there, that's a tremendous advantage.

Are you, are you nationwide? If there's a campaign in Tuscaloosa or Tacoma, you know, are you able to support that? Yeah. So, so what we have is, uh, we have, um, a fleet of static trucks that are based all over the country and, um, we will go anywhere. Um, I've done jobs in 48 out of the 50 states. The only states I have not done a campaign in is, uh, Idaho and, um, North Dakota.

So those are the only two states. I have not run a campaign in, in the last 15 years. Um, uh, in Alaska, sorry, uh, Alaska. So 47 states. Um, but, um, you know, we have a fleet of over a hundred led trucks. We have 30 static trucks. Um, they're spread out all over. Uh, the led trucks are local. Um, so, uh, we have them spread out in different DNAs so that they, uh, It's easier to coordinate them.

Cause they're more, they're activated more on like a daily basis. Um, but we can bring a truck pretty much anywhere. And, and the real, like you were saying, you know, in the lap of inventory, it's. It's really good for areas where, um, there's a low inventory rate or there's a high occupancy rate, you know, where it's a real struggle, um, to try and get yourself on a billboard.

Um, and in a lot of, uh, larger markets. The cost of a single highway billboard and have a static mobile billboard, um, are comparable, you know, and especially with the, you know, you get pretty good, uh, pretty good return. Um, you know, impression wise we did, we did something with street metrics. We did a campaign for a client for New York comic con.

Um, which, you know, if anybody who does the New York city Manhattan market to know that it is extremely expensive to get on almost any of the outdoor in Manhattan. I mean, it's, it's limited and it's expensive. So the client, um, cited to get four led trucks that were circling, uh, in each of those trucks over a four day period pulled in a 1.9, 2 million impressions.

So it was. 500,000 impressions per vehicle per day. Um, which, uh, was, I feel it was pretty strong, you know, and it was focused on tourists and focused on the convention center and it was a way for them to get re really, really targeted and a lot of political campaigns do. Um, you know, do the same thing, you know, like Bernie did, you know, found the area that was lacking did not have inventory and, you know, opted for mobile.

Um, you know, and you can do it without, with all kinds of different mobile LEDs, statics, uh, trucks, uh, Um, you know, there's now, um, the fireflies and the different, um, you know, taxi top digitals, um, you know, and it's all very, it's all very effective, you know, and it's about, it's more, it's mostly just about how much control you want over your, uh, advertisement, you know, is what it boils down to, whether it's all great.

Speaking of control, I have the opportunity to work with one of the super packs. And we've talked about it a little bit before. We're going live here. I'm working with one of the superpacs who was promoting a candidate in, um, South Carolina and a presidential candidate. As a matter of fact, who was polling at less than 2% nationally.

So relatively unknown candidate. Now the candidate has unfortunately since dropped out of the race, but I'd like to tell that candidate, I think you dropped out a little too soon because if he'd gotten to see what I saw. Which was the direct impact of an out of home campaign? Um, I think maybe he would have stuck around a little longer, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw my screen up here and, uh, and share that with.

And hopefully I've done this successfully. Let's just, just double check and make sure that I all right. There we go. Um, so it was working with the humanity forward. Super PAC supporting Andrew Yang was right at the end of January, right at the beginning of February. It was about a week actually before Andrew pulled out of the race, but it was working with the, uh, with the team and we wanted to focus on Charleston, South Carolina, because the democratic debate is going to be there.

Um, let's say at 24, I think it's there tomorrow. Oh, tonight, tonight, let's say it's 25th. The democratic debate is in Charleston tonight. Um, so we wanted to be there, have a presence ahead of the debate. And then South Carolina, primary polling is on Saturday, the 29th. So the, the team made a significant investment in Charleston, Florence, South Carolina.

It had been about a week into the, into the campaign, being up on digital billboards, all throughout those markets. And I wanted to be able to provide good, useful feedback for them in terms of what are the results. But when you have a candidate that's pulling it less than 2% nationally, a relative unknown.

Um, and you're not tied in directly to the campaign. How do you know what's working? So I used Google trends and I'm going to zoom in here a little. I used Google trends to look at search activity for at the time Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, where the, where the, you know, the one, two punch, right Bloomberg hadn't been on a debate stage yet.

We knew he was sort of coming into the race, but it was a Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden contest, even just a few weeks ago. Andrew Yang, as you can see here on the screen, pegged out at 100 on Google trends, search engine. Metric, which is the highest you can get. Bernie Sanders in Charleston was an 88. Joe Biden was a 70.

So again, a candidate polling at less than 2% nationally, more popular than the two front runners in the market where his team was significantly investing and out of home. And they used their digital billboards in a pretty cool way. They started tweeting out the webcam photos. Of, um, their there live Twitter feed and we saw the Bloomberg campaign do something similar with digital billboards and, and, and engagement that way.

But they tweeted out a picture of their first. Digital billboard with the dynamic Twitter feed. And the thing got retweeted over 250 times in the first 24 hours. So in terms of social engagement, right, we talk about social activation without a home, and this is a really clever way to do it. And again, we've seen the Bloomberg campaign do something similar, but then we, we continue to look at the analytics.

We continue to look at the Google trends here on the right-hand side. You can see who the interest is for Bernie Sanders, who ranks for Charleston. Charleston's the third, most popular city for Bernie Sanders in that Metro. And then Florence is number four. You can see Joe Biden does his rank for Charleston or Florence at all.

But then look at this Andrew Yang again, the relative unknown number one most popular out of those three in Charleston, and then also ranking for Florence. Columbia probably could have been a good market for him too, considering. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, weren't especially strong there. He was number two for Columbia, and I'm sure with an out of home campaign, he probably could have spread that out a little bit more.

So I think we've got two really great examples between what, what what's your team did there in Vegas for the Bernie team? And then what my team did in South Carolina for Andrew Yang. So two different candidates, two different states, two different approaches, both using out of home and both getting the result that ultimately they're looking for, right.

Driving. Get people to, to engage with your campaign in some way. So, um, I think it's a pretty exciting time for out of home. What's next for you? You, I think you're, you're in California right now. Yeah. Uh, I am, uh, currently activating a campaign for a, for one of my clients. I had to fill in for a driver that called in last minute.

Um, but, uh, I am headed back home when this is done back to Florida to my home base. Um, and, uh, we are working on activating something for political client acts in, uh, in front of the white house this week. So hopefully I'll get some. There's of that out and that might drive some interest. Um, and, uh, hopefully it's going to be a super busy, uh, year, um, you know, with political advertising.

I think it is, it's already been a pretty, you know, pretty busy year, you know, for political. Um, and we're not even halfway done, so we haven't even gotten to the primary and, uh, or to the convention. Um, and then once the convention goes, It will be insane. I think. So I'm really excited for this. I'm really excited to see, um, you know, all the different kinds of out-of-home campaigns and out on that, um, you know, you're going to see it all the different, um, messages, you know, you're going to see, it's always interesting to say the least.

I'm sure. I'm sure it is. So your, your inventory is limited though. So if, if somebody is listening to you right now and says, Hey, Brian, I want to do a campaign with you. What's the best way for them to get in touch? How do we feel. Uh, so the best way is a, you can either go to add training hands Ady trans Inc com, or you can call me on my cell phone number, which is (941) 266-2290.

Uh, I make it a point to be available anytime day or night, uh, because your, uh, your client might not always follow business hours. And, um, you know, I try to make myself available as much as possible. Um, and if for some reason you don't get ahold of me, you'll hear back from me and 10, 15. Well, that's great.

And I can speak to Brian making himself available. It was probably less than 24 hours ago that I said, Hey, man, I want to do this. And Brian has made himself available on the road. Uh, it looks like we might've lost a little bit of video feed in there, but we were still able to share everything on the screen.

What I'll do as well. Brian is I'm going to link to your website and to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So if. Listen to this and you want to connect with Brian. You want to follow him. He's always posting great stuff on LinkedIn, about how mobile billboards work about campaigns that he's working on.

So get in touch with him, especially if it's in a market that you don't have out of home coverage in, but you see the value of out of home because that's ultimately the goal of the show, right? Is to bring you great ideas, tips, tricks, insider insights, and all that stuff. So this has been helpful. Please share it with someone else who would benefit.