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Lebanon 2019 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

Outdoor advertising is growing in sophistication as digitalization offers up new opportunities. Pikasso hopes to tap into these dynamics to create a win-win for advertisers and consumers.

Antonio Vincenti
BIOGRAPHY
Antonio Vincenti has spent the last 33 years in the advertising space. He is also Vice President of the International Federation of Out-Of-Home Advertising and a founding member and president of the Syndicate of Outdoor Advertising Companies in Lebanon. On top of that, he is a member of the Out-Of-Home Advertising Association of America and the International Advertising Association.

What have been the main developments in the outdoor advertising industry?

Worldwide, the outdoor industry, which is commonly called Out Of Home (OOH), is in a large period of transformation. Digitalization of assets led to new, unprecedented planning and booking capabilities with campaigns that can be contextually relevant, which means booking either part of the day depending on the product consumption or service availability, on a special day, or based on the location, thus transforming advertising into a useful message that is welcomed by consumers. The convergence between mobile and OOH is also an important phenomenon, increasing investments in our medium; research shows that campaigns running for the same product are amplified when displayed OOH as they increase mobile search and drive sales. We are heading toward automation in booking and programmatic buying, such as what is done in online ads, which will be a game changer in the next five years. Another major development is the consolidation we see happening in many markets and the constant pace of acquisitions, which will favor setting new international standards for OOH thanks to the weight of the increased number of global, international, and regional leaders. Competition is no longer within the OOH industry but rather with online/social and mobile, which are obtaining almost USD1 out of USD2 being invested in communication in 2019 (USD287 billion will go to digital out of a total of USD 635 billion). In 2019, 61% of this total is concentrated in the hands of Google, Facebook, and Alibaba.

What is your strategy to face these changes?

Our strategy is to pursue the digitization of our assets, currently 270 screens. We also aim to complete the Pikasso Transformation, a new way of making use of Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) with the new planning and booking capabilities by making it familiar to all the agencies and advertisers through organizing conferences on how to best use DOOH based on appropriate, contextual, and customized content. Enhanced data-based decision making is also significant. Data has never been as available and as important in decision making. In 2018 and for the first time in Lebanon, we launched Out-of-Home Audience Measurement with Cuende and the Digital Out-of-Home Audience Measurement in Malls with Quividi camera facial detection. Lastly, we are working on automation and getting ready for programmatic methods.

What are your countries of operation?

We are focused on three regions: the Levant (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq), North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia), and West Africa (Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal). Recently, we launched our activity in the Caucasus (Armenia). This concentration allows us to create scale and bring cross-border standardized OOH solutions to multinational/regional advertisers.

Can you tell us about the company's CSR involvement?

Our contribution is in three directions: internally, toward the community, and related to our industry. Internally, we ensure that our employees are guaranteed fair, equal, and non-discriminatory treatment in addition to health and safety standards and continuous training programs and we are committed to ensuring environmental sustainability. With regards to the community, we are undertaking initiatives such as the Citizen Billposter, supporting NGOs and NPOs in promoting public interest and other good causes by providing free-of-charge advertising space. We manifest our commitment to the industry through observation of international standards set by the likes of the World Out Of Home Organization (WOO), previously known as FEPE International, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).