OVAB Unveils Guidelines

The Out of Home Video Advertising Bureau Wednesday (Oct. 29) unveiled the industry’s first Audience Metrics Guidelines, bringing some much-needed measurement standards to the fast-growing digital out of home medium. The Guidelines, a 79-page document posted on OVAB’s Web site (www.ovag.org) were presented during a keynote address by Suzanne Alecia, president of OVAB, at the organization’s first Digital Media Summit in New York.

So that digital OOH networks and research providers capture comparable audience data, the Guidelines recommend an Average Unit Audience metric that will allow for digital OOH networks to be compared to TV, Internet, radio and other traditional media. When the Guidelines are followed, all digital OOH networks will provide a currency metric of the number and type of people exposed to the digital OOH network with the opportunity to see a unit of time equal to the length of the network’s typical ad unit.

A $1.3 billion business, digital OOH has lacked a common language to be considered in media plans along with traditional media. The Guidelines are designed to change the medium’s status in the planning process.

“The progress [OVAB] has made is dramatic, and should be a catalyst in securing this diverse group of networks a seat at the table when advertisers are making decision about how to achieve their marketing objectives,” said Kris Magel, executive vp and director of national broadcast for Initiative.

For networks, the Guidelines provide a blueprint to follow when commissioning audience research from any number of research firms.

“Each individual network will have to determine a viable methodology in capturing its own audience data. The success of this initiative will up to OVAB, the networks, and the media research community as we guide our members in fully disclosing data and research methodology,” said Alecia.

“This is an important coming of age event for this medium,” said Jim Spaeth, founding partner for Sequent Partners, who helped develop the Guidelines in consultation with OVAB members and several research providers and agencies. Spaeth’s column in this week’s Mediaweek (Oct. 27) titled Keeping Up with Harry, explains the thinking behind the three key research dimensions used to define the digital OOH audiences, presence, notice and dwell time.