New Advocate for Video in Elevators, Taxis and More Takes Aim at TV

Q&A With Barry Frey, New CEO of Digital Place-Based Advertising Association

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The Digital Place-Based Advertising Association, which represents the companies behind video screens in locations such as elevators to taxi cabs, has named media-industry veteran Barry Frey president and CEO. He succeeds Susan Danaher, now the chief revenue officer at Adspace Digital Mall Network.

Barry Frey
Barry Frey

Mr. Frey, who began the job on Monday, was most recently a senior advisor at Sonenshine Partners and previously worked at TV companies such as Cablevision, where he helped develop and sell video-on-demand advertising, and USA Networks, where he created some early multimedia ad agreements.

He talked about where he wants to help take digital place-based advertising, advertisers' doubts about TV and why video screens seemingly everywhere is actually a good thing for consumers and marketers. Our conversation has been lightly edited.

Advertising Age: There are now video screens seemingly everywhere we go: taxi cabs, office building lobbies, elevators, and so on. Is there such a thing as saturation, ever a point when it makes sense for your industry to say, let's slow down a little?

Barry Frey: We're living in a world where the consumer is sophisticated. They want relevant advertising, offered to them at the right time in the right place. What consumers dislike is generic advertising, the kind with big reach and big splash. That's the beauty of digital-place based advertising: Because the screens are digital and place-based they offer more addressable and therefore relevant advertising to consumers.

This is not mass advertising sent out to clutter venues and markets. It's quite the opposite; it's targeted to the right consumers at the right time in the right mindset. It's about offering relevant, quality advertisements, instead of just quantity.

Ad Age: Why did you join this association now?

Mr. Frey: Historically, video planning and buying has been tethered to TV, but with mobile, tablets and the web creating an array of video choices, the ad world is now stepping back and rethinking their video strategies. So it's a more video-agnostic world, and the DPAA networks fit right into that process with our video, advertising and programming offerings.

It's a seminal time for digital-placed based media. The world of video is really changing... People are consuming it everywhere. The beauty of digital place-based video advertising is the relevancy and immediacy of it -- reaching people at the right time and the right mindset, reaching them at the moment of truth. We're a mobile world; people are on the go. This is a way to reach them as they're on the move.

Ad Age: The industry refers to the time in which consumers are on the move as "dwell time." How are you able to reach during this time -- during this moment of truth?

Mr. Frey: The beauty of digital place-based advertising is that you can address relevant audiences, so these networks reach them in a specific place and offer up triggers. One example of these triggers is weather -- if it's a rainy day or a heavy pollen day certain messages can be on the screens that appear in elevators.

There are also demographic triggers. You can trigger by promotions and time, which might happen in a screen in the back of a taxi if an event is taking place in the city that week. Also you can target by geography and audience profile and segments -- the networks use data from Nielsen, Scarborough, and MRI that goes beyond just a normal 18-to-49 impression.

Ad Age: What plans do you have for DPAA to improve the experience?

Mr. Frey: I'm looking to use my experience working closely with advertisers, agencies and media owners to help advertisers understand the value of digital-place based advertising, to develop the data and continue to communicate all the good work that's been done.

Advertisers know they're getting less impact from their TV buy; I want to show them how to get more relevant and more desirable advertising, and that digital place-based advertising can expand effective reach above and beyond their current campaigns. I plan to help the network side to better understand the need of the advertiser, and to communicate to advertisers the power and impact of digital-place based advertising to help make their media buys more effective.

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