The New Zealand outdoor marketplace now has a big new name in its midst, with the biggest player in the Australian outdoor market rebranding nearly one thousand poster and billboard sites across New Zealand’s shopping centres, universities and Auckland airport from Eye to Ooh! Media.
A release says the rebranding demonstrates Ooh!'s commitment to building its brand and business in the New Zealand market, following its acquisition of Eye Corp’s Australian, New Zealand and Indonesian operations from the debt-saddled Network Ten late last year for a reported AU$113 million ($27 million less than the deal that fell over in October).
Since the acquisition, Ooh!, which is owned by private equity firm Champ, has promoted Cameron Taylor, who was with Eye Corp, to general manager New Zealand and given him responsibility to run oOh! New Zealand as a standalone business.
Taylor say it's still the same set-up under Ooh! and there have been no job losses as a result of the merger but it has made significant investments in systems, people and consumer research to bolster its local 'away from home' offering.
In Australia, he says the rebrand happened immediately after the deal was announced simply because Ooh! was active there, but as it wasn't operating in this market it had a bit more time up its sleeve (a new website is currently being developed).
Taylor says the new brand, which features the tag line 'A World Away from Home', also reflects the changing face of the sector, which a release says "has expanded from its traditional out-of-home offering to being a medium that connects advertisers with consumers while they are away from home".
Asked what the difference is between out-of-home and away from home, Taylor said it's recognition that we're spending more time outside of our houses, so "away from home seems more encompassing."
Through its offering, Ooh! claims to help advertisers reach more than 14 million travellers per annum through Fly, 6.4 million shopping trips each fortnight via Retail and over 170,000 students each week via Study.
"The company has unparalleled experience in away from home and this will prove invaluable as we work to deliver New Zealand marketers with more innovative solutions to connect marketers with their consumers," says Taylor. "My first priority is to update the current portfolio to maximise audiences, roll out new digital formats and continue to strengthen existing relationships."
While he says the local players will no doubt be taking notice of the new arrival, he says the goal is not to take share from its competitors, but to take it from the 96 percent of ad spend that goes into other media channels.
He admits 2012 was tough, something he puts down to a combination of the RWC-sized hangover and continuing global financial malaise. But things are looking up, with much better results at the end of last year and start of 2013. And as all outdoor media owners continue to develop new technology, which Ooh! is doing through its Amplify platform, he's confident that trend can continue.
Ooh!'s chief executive Brendon Cook said in the release: "We acquired a great business in New Zealand, and we’re dedicated to further improving it by repositioning our existing retail, fly and study infrastructure in premium locations and integrating new technologies to enable advertisers to capture and engage with growing audiences away from home. We see New Zealand as a key growth market for oOh!, and we’re excited by the business potential."
Ooh!’s New Zealand portfolio currently includes:
- Fly at Auckland Airport.
- Retail at 23 Shopping Centres, including Sylvia Park, Botany Downs, St Lukes, 277 Broadway, Riccarton Centre Place and Queensgate.
- Study at Auckland University, Massey, Victoria and AUT.