CES 2017 Preview: Breaking Down Silos Around OOH Advertising With Kinetic Worldwide

Kinetic's recent integrated campaign for development organization Diakonia raised donations by 65 percent and brand awareness by 78 percent, says Kinetic Germany CEO Thorsten Ebbing.

As the customer journey has grown increasingly complex, marketers have struggled to break down silos and integrate mobile and connected devices with everything from out-of-home advertising to in-store shopping.

Right now, the focus for brand marketers is all about making the most of these omnichannel strategies as they pertain to the holiday shopping season. But with 2017 only a month away, it’s time to turn one eye toward to future — and the technologies set to be showcased at CES in January.

For the first installment of our new CES 2017 preview series from GeoMarketing and Kinetic, Kinetic Germany CEO Thorsten Ebbing talked to GeoMarketing about the company’s integrated out-of-home efforts over the past year — and why AR/VR technologies are about to become part of everyone’s marketing mix.

GeoMarketing: As we get ready for 2017, let’s look back at CES 2016 and the major trends predicted for the year. What technologies and projections were you most excited about? And which actually came to fruition in a way that impacted Kinetic?

Thorsten Ebbing: Drones were incredibly hyped last year, but they never had any sense or impact for us in terms of OOH [advertising] — unless it is for an award-case-only video or a specific event like a festival.

Digital development, on the other hand, definitely has a huge impact and was greatly shown from both the vendors’ and the clients’ perspectives. Kinetic Germany reacted to this by establishing its own digital OOH unit that connects to tech companies and data specialists as well as platform suppliers to be able to deliver digital content for OOH ourselves.

More and more, we observe a holistic communication approach which does not see OOH as a separate part of the marketing mix, but as an important [integrated] tool to reach out to the new generation and urban target group. The connection between OOH and the active customer journey [has increased], which brings innovations like voice-activated services like Amazon’s Alexa and mobile connectivity together with almost everything presented at CES 2016. Essentially, [the goal] has been to bring together a range of technology concepts that offer a holistic approach, slowly but surely making Kinetic more of a full-service partner.

Looking ahead, technological developments are you excited about seeing in 2017? How will Kinetic’s approach to holistic communication — and breaking down marketing silos — continue to evolve?

We are very excited about how VR/AR/mixed reality will become mainstream and how it can be integrated into these holistic communication strategies. Kinetic Innovation is our unit [dedicated] to exploring this; for raising OOH to cutting-edge creative levels, Kinetics’ innovation division encompasses digital out-of-home production, creative development, special builds, experiential, proximity media strategy and buying, mobile activation, and social engagement.

Furthermore, we are curious about further automation within DOOH and how clients and business partners will adapt to it. Here we will have the chance to set the direction with tech agencies, data traders, and other digital/online suppliers.

In Germany, and especially in Innovation, we work on creating a network of suppliers that enable us to offer a whole strategy that reaches out to the urban and mobile target group. The new context is not only innovative OOH concepts; it means connecting several media basics in line to create a “perfect” customer journey. This is going to be the new DNA of Kinetic.

More broadly, how do you view the state of location marketing in Europe today as it relates to out-of-home — and how does Kinetic Germany fit into the mix?

Technical solutions right on the spot are of great importance for Kinetic. People on the go are always on and OOH specialists have to reach out on top of classic & digital advertising solutions to intensify advertising messages when they are the most active and receptive. We are able to connect OOH and mobile within the customer journey by knowing how to use digital marketing in combination. Here we talk to agencies, vendors and tech partner about options, trends and solutions. With our evolving DOOH expertise we are definitely state of the art when it comes to technology and data in OOH.

You ran a DOOH campaign for the SEAT Ateca SUV earlier this year. What made that successful, and what lessons from 2016 campaigns will you carry into next year?

The SEAT Ateca campaign in June 2016 was in cooperation with MediaCom Agentur für Media-Beratung GmbH for idea/strategy, concept;  GGH MullenLowe GmbH for creation; GEPA GmbH for technical service (Wotspot® WIFI), and WallDecaux Premium Outdoor Sales.

It was a first mover OOH special with a mobile connection and test drive offer: Customers could book a ride in the new SEAT Ateca and enjoy a relaxing ride home rather than taking an overcrowded and long bus trip. Our OOH specials were based on interaction (get familiar with selected features through [digital] interaction) and experience (provide first-hand experience via test drive) and reached a lot of people.

The main challenge was to highlight the new features of the brand new SEAT SUV and having them experienced in public space. Our target was to maximize awareness and interaction with SEAT Ateca through out-of-home and to reach a broad target group to announce the SEAT Ateca launch. We did this by both generating awareness through a national effort with [digital displays] targeting flyers in top 10 cities as well as using OOH specials to push engagement and to demonstrate features in relevant situations. [That’s] something that drove success and engagement.

Another example is the campaign we did for Diakonia, a development organization.

Refugees have been pouring into Europe, especially Germany because the German people welcomed them with open arms. From day one, the German people were very generous, sending large amounts of donations to Diakonia. The problem was that 90 percent of all donations were either unusable or not needed when they arrived. We knew that people wanted to donate smarter, but they had no idea how to find out what items would really help. So, we created the first real-time donation drive that told donors exactly what was needed by the refugees and when.

By collecting data from our on the ground social workers that was then shared via 160 live billboards, we reached hundreds of thousands of German donors. And our billboards went one step further by directing people to our custom website where they could find out more about the campaign, find drop off locations, or simply donate money or their time.

In the end, through our “Real-Time Donations” campaign, we engaged thousands of people per day and helped thousands of refugees receive the food, clothing and other necessities they actually needed. The campaign was a massive success and donations increased by 65 percent, while Diakonia brand awareness also increased by 78 percent. In addition, local and international press spread our message and Diakonia saw the best results over Easter they had in years.


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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.