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Media Owner Spotlight: OUTFRONT



Gina Cubillas

OUTFRONT, one of the largest out-of-home operators in North America, has a unique reach that sets them apart from other channels. Vistar virtually caught up with Stephanie Gutnik, Consultant, Digital Transformation to learn about the programmatic business at OUTFRONT.


Could you describe your business and what your network offers brands?

OUTFRONT unites technology, location and creativity to connect brands with consumers outside of their homes through one of the largest and most diverse sets of billboard, transit and mobile assets in North America. OUTFRONT’s digital canvases include billboards, posters, bus shelters, urban panels and spectaculars, some of which are also video-enabled. Our footprint is concentrated in the top 20 markets, but extends across America and Canada, allowing for national breadth and local depth in terms of audience relevance.


What sets OUTFRONT apart from other digital channels?

Unlike most other media channels, ads played on OUTFRONT displays cannot be blocked, skipped or switched off. This integrated and iconic presence in specific contexts and communities provides brands the opportunity to create meaningful connections with audiences “in real life.” These days especially, being outside is associated with joy, making people more attentive to advertising and engagement. Most assets are purely focused on ads, meaning a brand’s message is the sole focus and is not accompanied by additional content or subject to brand safety concerns. Lastly, OUTFRONT’s massive creative canvases enable personalized reach at scale, with creative that packs a punch.  


How has the digital out-of-home industry evolved over time?

The DOOH industry has been expanding for years, and efforts to do so have been noticed by media buyers. DOOH is becoming included more frequently in the marketing mix, with a greater share of budget to boot. Programmatic availability also makes it easier for marketers to add DOOH to their campaigns. Performance measurement is key in moving from “we’ll try it” to “we need it.”


What has been Vistar’s most valuable contribution to OUTFRONT’s business?

Vistar’s dedication to consistently improving their platform and services develops the trust required for both OOH publishers and “new to OOH” buyers to take programmatic seriously. In the past year alone, Vistar has made publishers transparent in the open exchange and opened up exchange buying to third-party DSPs. We rely on our Vistar account team and sales counterparts to help everyone in the transaction implement best practices and create successful, lasting relationships.


Which Vistar software capabilities do you find most useful?

Doing away with the misperception that programmatic results in zero-effort media transactions, OUTFRONT uses Vistar’s platform and employees to guide us in decision-making and optimizations that best suit the needs of buyers. From the dashboard to proof of performance reports, we are continuing to tweak our offering based on the near real-time data generated through Vistar’s software.


What is the one thing that you wish more digital buyers knew about out-of-home?

I am constantly reiterating that these are not your mother’s billboards! OOH has made serious ground when it comes to accessibility and compatibility with other media. Buyers can more easily plan, target, activate and measure out of home as they do for other channels — and the synergies resulting from including OOH in a campaign are something we should collectively be analyzing and applying to future initiatives.


Why did OUTFRONT choose Vistar as a partner?

When it comes to partnerships, OUTFRONT carefully evaluates a potential partner’s position in the industry and the benefit they offer our clients. Vistar is one of the top programmatic OOH platforms in the United States. It was and remains a no-brainer.

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