Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Advertising Council uses SeeSaw to get PSAs

Hey folks. I'm back from a bit of a hiatus. Rather than try and back fill the blog with old news (and it doesn't look like there was that much of it anyway), I thought we'd just start off fresh. And given that the debate over whether or not digital signage is "green" (or can be made greener, at least) continues, this little tidbit from The Advertising Council made me smile:
The Advertising Council, in
partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and Ogilvy New York,
announced the launch of a new series of broadcast and online viral
public service announcements (PSAs) designed to urge Americans to take
advantage of mass transit, carpooling and biking to combat global

The online viral PSAs will also be posted on popular social
networking and video sharing websites, and environmental and consumer
blogs. The Ad Council will be distributing the broadcast PSA to TV
stations nationwide, with a particular emphasis on major cities with
public transit. Additionally, as a result of a partnership with SeeSaw,
the world's most extensive digital out-of-home media network, the PSAs
will air on screens in convenient stores, health clubs and on college
campuses throughout the country. Per the Ad Council's model, the PSAs
will air in time slots donated by the media.

The use of mass transit systems has already jumped nearly 6% nationwide since the start of the summer thanks to high gas prices, and with green and economic forces finally coinciding on the issue, the Advertising Council and the Environmental Defense Fund finally have a chance to do some good and appeal to the masses all at once.

And what better place to do so than on out-of-home networks? While we probably won't see too many bus shelter networks devoting time to messages that basically say "ride the bus" (what would people be doing there already, after all?), office buildings, retail stores, and even roadside billboard networks could be great places to get the message out. I think it's still a bit of a stretch to consider all of SeeSaw as a single network ("most extensive" or not), but this is a great opportunity for them to show off just how homogeneous their system makes dOOH look, gain some publicity for themselves and the industry as a whole, and, of course, promote a worthy cause.

Now all that's left is to see which networks, if any, are willing to devote some time to these unpaid messages. I'll be keeping my eye out for them.


Justin Clupper said...

Neoti actually already broadcasts the keeping with our community-oriented model we made the connection with the Ad Council nearly a year ago. We've simply tried to keep things quiet as we move and grow.

I don't think a lot of networks will go forward with it - since it's not regulated by the Fed...and the Ad Council tends to get a lot of their ads due to FCC regulations etc.

We'll see a few utilize these - obviously SeeSaw...but until there is greater pressure from the industry I don't know that we'll see it happening a ton.

Bill Gerba said...

Hi Justin,

Thanks for the perspective. Interesting to hear that there are already (presumably non-governmental) networks out there delivering public service announcements.