Global is making its outdoor inventory available on its digital advertising sales platform, Dax, allowing advertisers to buy data-driven campaigns across digital out-of-home and digital audio.
Dax has rebranded as Digital Advertising Exchange, after launching as Digital Audio Exchange in 2014, to reflect the change and it has struck deals with four demand-side platforms: The Trade Desk, Vistar Media, MediaMath and Hivestack.
It means that brands and agencies can use these DSPs to run data-driven, outdoor campaigns on a programmatic basis and combine Dax’s OOH and audio inventory – for example, for location targeting.
Global has also agreed deals with three smaller OOH media owners – Admedia, Elonex and All City Media Solutions – to put some of their inventory in Dax, in a similar way to how many publishers and other media companies make some of their digital audio inventory available on Global’s platform.
In the first phase of the roll-out, 954 digital screens – chiefly 48-sheet and 96-sheet roadside and some InLink kiosks – will be available to buy on Dax.
Even at this initial stage, Dax claims it will potentially reach 51 million Britons on a weekly basis after adding the OOH inventory.
Mike Gordon, chief commercial officer at Global, and Ollie Deane, director of commercial digital, announced their plans in a presentation to OOH specialist agencies at the Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly in central London – the first of a series of events in a roadshow that will include Manchester and Leeds.
Global, owner of the Capital, Classic, Heart and LBC stations, made a triple M&A move into outdoor in 2018, buying Exterion Media, Primesight and Outdoor Plus, but has spent more than a year integrating the businesses and different IT systems.
The company has 235,000 sites across the UK, although the majority carry traditional paper-and-paste posters.
Selling 'audiences' to deliver 'outcomes'
Gordon said: "When we entered the outdoor advertising market, we saw a sector which was full of exciting potential and also one that was in need of further investment and innovation. By uniting our business, Global is able to help brands harness the power of outdoor alongside other digital channels such as digital audio, helping them to create more moments that matter."
He acknowledged that Global has faced some difficulties in integrating IT, although he expects no problems with bringing OOH inventory into Dax.
"New technology will always create challenges, but the knowledge we have acquired of the programmatic landscape through our first six years of Dax has given us a strong foundation for driving forward digital outdoor advertising," Gordon (pictured, below) said.
A key benefit of Dax moving into OOH is that it allows brands to buy "audiences", rather than focus on specific sites, and achieve business "outcomes", according to Gordon.
Deane added that Dax has grown over the past six years by allowing advertisers to use "a variety of data sets and programmatic technology to accurately target audiences and measure the outcome" and he expects to "introduce new and unique targeting and measurement products as the platform grows".
Two marketers gave their support to Global. Gareth Jones, UK chief marketing officer at eBay, said Dax has already helped to deliver more "relevant" and personalised, data-driven campaigns, and combining that with outdoor is an "exciting" prospect.
"Prior to Dax, we built one 30" radio spot for many millions of listeners. Now, we’ll have up to 65,000 different radio spots running concurrently based on our gleaned listener intent," Jones said.
Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at TSB, said: "Dax is pioneering technology. The platform is ahead of the game in that no other product in the market gives us access to such a large variety of audio content.
"The potential to fuse audio with outdoor in a programmatic, highly targeted way is really compelling. I think we’ll now see media come together more as the formats are planned and bought around the customer experience."