Onestop one-ups DOOH competitors in frozen north – gets networks running right inside media planning agencies

April 8, 2010 by Dave Haynes

When I first fell into this sector about 11 years ago, my new masters at the Elevator News Network had already been installing their screens in several Toronto buildings that were not primo office towers and not obvious choices. But what they had inside were ad agencies, and THIS was a way to get the product in the faces of planners and media directors every day.

Cheeky, and smart. They even did ads targeting media directors, by name, in those buildings.

Now we have word that the increasingly cheeky Mike Girgis, who runs Onestop Media Group, has started putting screens in the lobbies and boardrooms of ad agencies.

Onestop launched its Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Agency Network at the Canadian Media Directors’ Council (CMDC) conference.

The Onestop Agency NetworkTM is Canada’s first DOOH media industry channel supported by leading content providers: Brunico Communications (Media in Canada and Stimulant), IAB, Cream, C Squared, and CMDC. First to join the league of DOOH crusaders with a Onestop Agency NetworkTM in their offices are: Media Experts, Mediacom and Cossette Communications.

League of crusaders???

Mark Sherman, Chief Executive Officer – Media Experts, says “We were the first to integrate the agency network channel in Media Experts locations across Canada. It is now an integral part of how we communicate allowing us to share content in a timely and relevant manner. We love it!”

Amanda Ploughman, President – MediaCom adds, “The agency network is one way we connect our MediaCom teams across the country and ensure that people first achieve better results.”

The Onestop Agency NetworkTM is a digitally broadcasted channel featuring real-time agency and industry specific information displayed on large format digital screens in agency lobbies, boardrooms and common areas. Each network is branded to its host agency and acts as a new internal communication tool for management to message staff and visitors. Agency staff use the Onestop system and proprietary smartADTM to schedule and highlight their greatest assets and accomplishments on their network – their people and their work for clients.

Mark Smyka, Director of Communications -Cossette, Toronto says, “The Onestop Agency NetworkTM has added an exciting new dimension to our office environment. Having a steady feed of news streamed into the office makes you feel more closely connected to the rest of the industry and the platform also provides a fresh new way of communicating internally. It’s still very new and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of its potential.”

Michael Girgis, CEO and President, Onestop Media Group adds, “By integrating Digital communications into the agency’s as a new communication tool, we are effectively educating and promoting the power of the medium in a meaningful way. The Onestop Agency NetworkTM allows us to keep DOOH top of mind with buyers and planners while demonstrating the medium’s unique real-time messaging capabilities. We are delighted to be working with the CMDC to bring this to all Canadian agencies.”

“Digital technology has been revolutionizing the media landscape. Our partnership with Onestop stands as testimony to our commitment to drive digital innovation and adoption among Canadian agencies. One of the ways we are currently demonstrating DOOH innovation is being featured today with a LIVE demonstration of a Digital Network with conference specific messaging, interactivity and as it happens highlights. A simultaneous feed of conference highlights will also be fed to all participating Onestop Agency Networks in real-time connecting those that could not make it to the conference.” says Janet Callaghan, CMDC Executive Director.

The Agency Network launch falls on the heels of Onestop’s Canada-wide DO IT DIGITALTM marketing campaign, aimed at educating advertisers about the benefits and value of digital media, and is another monumental step toward making Digital Out-of-Home mainstream among long-established media channels.

Very interesting move and one I am sure some other senior DOOH folks up here are doing a forehead-slap about as they read the news. As noted, the idea is not new. But then, these guys actually did it and improved on it. It sounds like a big challenge, but really, a few screens and PCs in return for that level of mindshare?

It does indeed provide a reminder every day for agency people that DOOH is out there, is reliable and can be compelling. The Onestoppers also appear to have done a good job of chasing down some media feed partners to provide RSS and other material, rolling up into a news and chatter feed that is relevant to the ad media community.

The Onestop guys are good friends, even though we disagree entirely about the whole clean versus busy screen thing. They load their screens up, and I think that’s goofy. But I respect what they’re doing and Girgis has built up a pretty healthy operation out of his King Street HQ.

Onestop is the company that has screens on Toronto subway platforms, and more recently has added an apartment/condo lobby screen network. The company earned big cheekiness points for doing a digital Trojan Horse thing with the Toronto school board – putting screens in for free, taking the abuse, and patiently waiting for the fuss to move on and then push (undoubtedly) for much loosened ad rules.

Nicely played, Mr. Girgis.

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