Interpublic Group’s (IPG) out-of-home advertising agency Rapport Worldwide will automate media planning and buying activities using outdoor advertising technology platform ADstruc, the holding company said Monday.
As part of a strategic agreement between the two companies, IPG will deploy the technology across Rapport’s five offices globally, which will significantly improve agency efficiencies. Additionally, IPG has made a $2 million investment for 10% stake in the technology company, according to John Laramie, founder and CEO of AdStruc.
Out-of-home advertising, which includes billboards, posters in transit stations and digital signs, is expected to grow 4.8% this year reaching $7.3 billion in media spend this year, according to IPG's forecasting unit MAGNA Global.
“We wanted to be able to align ourselves with other media in terms of measurement and planning,” added Mike Cooper, president of Rapport Worldwide. “As opposed to only measuring something as arbitrary as how many cars drove by [an outdoor billboard], ADstruc really allowed us to take it to another level purely planning and buying by audience.”
While Rapport will continue evaluating the role key locations and individual sites play in the media-planning process, the agency wanted to go deeper.
“We wanted to be able to look at a target audience and decide at what point we’d optimize the delivery of audience and be able to delve into the fabric of people’s lives and where they live, work, and play,” Cooper said. “ADstruc allows us to…dissect a media brief looking at the geography of an audience – who are we tagging and what do we want them to do? It allows us to map real-time social, for instance, so if one of our clients were to put a hashtag on their creative work – as a post-campaign tool we can go in and see real time see who’s tweeting about it in proximity to the [out-of-home] site and see what effect it had across the mobile networks.”
Technologically speaking, ADstruc allows the agency to streamline a previously tedious and manual process of planning and buying out-of-home ads. Acting as a “connection point” between the operators (firms that supply out-of-home inventory) and the buyers, ADstruc, which overlays demographic information, heat maps of locations and demographic targets on top of inventory, lets the media planner execute a buy quickly as opposed to shuffling through spreadsheets.
“As we’re building a campaign now, if a client gives us the nod to go ahead and book that campaign, it will automatically route into Mediaocean, so the efficiencies are a key thing for us,” Cooper said of the ADstruc deal. “They’re supplying the data and technology to help us operate faster, think on our feet, and make smarter decisions, which frees up staff time as well.”
Cooper, who leads the 32-in-total-person team at Rapport Worldwide, has been tasked with establishing agency work in the US after achieving successes in out-of-home advertising in Europe and Asia. The introduction to ADstruc stemmed from a relationship between Laramie and IPG Media Lab managing partner Chad Stoller. The Media Lab acts as a test kitchen for new technologies, brands (and clients) that deploy them and the larger IPG Mediabrands agency footprint.