Monday, January 29, 2007

Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB) gains some traction

We first heard about the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB) back in July of 2006, when they announced their intent to "serve as a clearinghouse for information about in-store TV advertising." At the time we noted that:

[I]t sounds like the Bureau will focus more on acquiring and disseminating information than actually handling transactions between media buyers and sellers, which raises an immediate question about the group's relevance. If the Bureau is really being founded to market and promote in-store media, that suggests that its founders are unhappy with the way things are being handled by the existing organizations that focus on out-of-home and in-store advertising. Granted, I can't blame them for trying to speed things up (though I know a lot of work is going on in the background at these groups), but I wonder if starting yet another competing group is really the best way to solve the problem. As I alluded to in my opening paragraph, it feels like there are already a lot of organizations focusing on the research projects and marketing efforts that will help the in-store media industry flourish, encompassing enough different ideologies to satisfy most every corporate and political agenda. Starting another group could simply fragment the existing marketing and research efforts, making it even less likely that the industry as a whole would benefit.
This most recent article from would seem to confirm that original intent, though with an improved membership roster, the OVAB may be on course to actually deliver the goods. As they note, "the first members of the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB) are Adspace Network, Captivate Network, Channel M, ClubCom, Office Media Network, Premier Retail Networks (PRN), Reactrix Systems, Simon Brand Ventures, The Hotel Networks, and Transit Television Network." In addition, the organization's goals have shifted slightly to "help[ing] provide standards and best practices…and foster collaboration between agencies and out-of-home video advertising networks."

I'm still on the fence as to whether such an organization really has a chance of fostering collaboration (and presumably we can take that to mean sales and content sharing) between networks, since many of these networks are driven by large retailers, who have traditionally been reluctant to yield creative control when it comes to displaying content in their venues. However, if the effort is successful, it could turn out to be a great source of information about the real "nuts and bolts" of digital signage networks, including screen placement, traffic management, and content creation.

Tags: OVAB, out-of-home advertising, digital signage

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