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Media Owner Spotlight: Vertical Impression



Caroline Cole

Vistar Media sat down with Nicolette Leonardis, VP of National Sales at Vertical Impression, one of Canada’s largest operators of residential elevator advertising screens, to learn more about their network. Here is what she had to say:

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

Vertical Impression is one of Canada’s largest networks of residential elevator advertising screens. We connect brands with hundreds of thousands of Canadians living in condos and luxury rental buildings as they commute in and out of their building. Our screens are located in every major Canadian city along with a growing number of smaller markets (especially in the GTA and GVA). We’re the only network to offer anonymous audience detection analytics which helps marketers understand who’s engaging with their ads. We’ve augmented this technology to allow real-time targeting so advertisers can change their message to fit who’s in the elevator at any given moment. 


What sets Vertical Impression apart from other digital channels?

Our Audience

The vast majority of our audience is Canadians between 18-40, living in high-rise condominium buildings in Canada’s urban centres. Our audience is young, upwardly mobile, urban and connected to their cities. During the pandemic, we’re one of the few out-of-home (OOH) networks that retained our audience. Elevators are used 24/7 as residents still leave their apartments to go to work, use the gym, check their mail, go shopping, walk their dogs or similar activities. This makes our platform particularly good for companies who are struggling to come up with new marketing strategies that fit into a COVID-19 world.

Our Technology

Our screens are equipped with Privacy By Design certified anonymous audience analytics technology. This allows advertisers to target ads in real-time, learn more about who connected with their ads and allows us to provide deeper insights into how a campaign is performing. We help companies optimize their campaigns to improve performance and give them feedback on which demographic groups are resonating with the ad creative.


Where do you see the digital out-of-home industry moving in the next 12 months?

We think that we will see more brands shift their budgets toward DOOH now that there is real-time data that they can receive from campaigns. Using mobile tracking, programmatic buying, anonymous audience analytics and other technologies allow marketers to run campaigns in similar ways to online campaigns, which will only increase the use of the medium. We also see that many brands are really looking to connect with consumers with geo-specific messages and OOH is one of the strongest mediums for that type of targeting.

We also believe that dollars will shift from other types of OOH advertising towards residential outdoor advertising options. Traffic patterns for transit have been slow to recover, but residential and key place-based spots have shown some flexibility and resilience.


COVID-19 has undeniably impacted many businesses. How has Vertical Impression adapted its facilities to ensure customers feel comfortable and protected during these times?

Our network is unique in that it proved to be quite resilient to the changes brought on by COVID. Our screens are mostly located in residential buildings, which are still seeing plenty of traffic. As people are spending more time closer to than usual, we’ve seen that elevator traffic and activity is more spread out throughout the day and night. That’s good news for advertisers who are looking to connect with Canadians close to home. It’s shifting the conversation towards the unique value of connecting people near their homes, which is new for the industry.

As a company, we’re mostly all working from home. Before COVID, about 50% of the company worked remotely at any one time, so transitioning to a fully remote company wasn’t a massive change. We now have staff all across Canada. 


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

Working with Vistar has helped us work with a wide variety of great brands who value technology, are willing to try new mediums and are thinking about their campaigns from a holistic perspective. We’re also excited about the fact that digital advertising planners will get the chance to experience the value that out-of-home advertising has to offer.


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

That it’s the perfect complement to digital campaigns because brand exposure and geographic placement are great ways to improve click-through rates and conversions. Recent studies by COOMB found that Out of Home (OOH) amplifies other media with the highest attribution given to digital channels, boosting the business effects of any online advertising (by 31%), paid-social (by 56%), and search (by 80%).

In a world that’s increasingly digital, being able to influence consumer behaviour and perception when people are out and about is a valuable tool to have. OOH advertising gives access to a real tangible audience, no bots, no ad-blockers. 


Why did you choose Vistar as a partner?

Vistar has always been at the forefront of technological innovation in the DOOH world. As a like-minded organization, we’re excited to partner with Vistar to continue pushing the limits of what’s possible with DOOH advertising.

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