EMC Outdoor announces and welcomes new hire, Frederick Strebeck, to join the agency’s team as Vice President of Out of Home Media Strategy. Based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Strebeck will focus on cultivating strong relationships with clients on the East Coast and surrounding regions.
Strebeck joins the agency with 4+ years of experience working in the Out of Home industry out of Philadelphia and New York City. His experience in the Out of Home industry has given him the necessary skills to deliver client solutions and build campaigns successfully, pricing strategies, creative concepts, and marketing and promotional packages. With experience on the media supplier side of the industry, Strebeck has planned and purchased programs that include both traditional and non-traditional formats.
Join us as we sit down with VP of OOH media strategy Freddie Strebeck to discuss his background in Out of Home and what he looks forward to accomplishing with EMC.
So, Freddie, how did you get into the Out of Home industry?
It came out of nowhere, honestly. I studied marketing, public relations, and advertising in college but started my career in Ticket Sales for a local minor league baseball team after interning with them my last semester. I was contacted by a recruiter for a local sales job with OUTFRONT Media in Philadelphia. The specificity of the industry & the passion my previous bosses had for the medium intrigued me, so I dove in headfirst. A year in the Philadelphia market was followed by a move to the New York City market, and after 4+ years with OUTFRONT on the media supplier side, I decided to move into the agency side of the industry with EMC Outdoor.
With your background on the media supplier side, how is the change to the agency side?
I’d say that there’s been a definite change in how I go about the conversation. From the media supplier side, although the media landscape is nationwide & there are a variety of products, you only have what you have essentially. The most significant difference I’ve seen in the change to the agency side is the difference in conversations that I’m having with different brands looking to reach their audience utilizing Out of Home. The opportunities are endless, so with the unlimited assets that can be utilized through being partnered with these media suppliers, the importance I see is finding out what the vision is from the client-side and considering that. Then think about all the options that fit that vision and execute. Some may see it as hindering having unlimited assets as it may overwhelm the client and us. However, I see it as an opportunity to take that exact vision from the client and execute it in real life.
What’s your favorite campaign that you’ve worked on in the past?
This definitely has a personal bias towards it, but I’m going to use this campaign anyway. In December of 2021, I partnered with the NFT platform ‘Autograph’ as they unveiled their new launch of their “Derek Jeter: The Captain Collection.” Although we kept it plain and simple, we knew that being in Times Square on one of the massive digital billboards during the last week of the year would provide in-person and social amplification to endorse this launch heavily. The Autograph team gathered letters from the community to show what Derek Jeter truly meant to them and had a rotation of multiple letters displayed in the bright lights in Times Square. This campaign helped the company in its efforts to raise over $170 Million in funding and has unveiled many other collections since. As a die-hard Yankee fan who grew up playing shortstop because of Derek and who eventually named his dog ‘Jeter,’ this was like my two worlds colliding, and it was an honor to be the one to activate it.
What type(s) of media are you looking forward to activating?
I’m so excited to dive into the experiential side of the Out of Home industry. My experience has been specifically with traditional Out of Home, which will remain a big part of campaigns that we build, but to branch out is where my genuine excitement arises. It’s the ability to adapt that has me incredibly intrigued. I said this earlier, but the best part is having the capability of taking whatever vision the client has, pairing that with our expertise, and bringing that vision to life. Each conversation is different with the opportunity to create something beautiful, and that’s exciting.
Where do you see the Out of Home industry moving towards in the future?
I see similar trends as we’ve seen in the past couple of years as a more significant percentage of the media landscape becomes digital but static & having a 100% share of voice still matters. I see an opportunity to buy ad space on digital assets in real-time programmatically, approved, and posted in a matter of hours. Also, my mind instantly goes to how Out of Home can be implemented into the Metaverse. You see people investing in real estate in VR, and it’d be interesting to see how OOH can be implemented.
What’s the biggest challenge in conveying to a client that Out of Home works?
The biggest challenge in selling out of home is assuring the client that the campaign will execute with the expected results. Selling media Out of Home is a lot different than selling media on TV, podcasts, digital ads, etc. With those specific mediums, there is analytics such as views, listens, click thrus, etc. Out of Home is reaching the exact audience you’re trying to reach with the tactics listed previously. Where Out of Home differs is reaching your audience while they’re out and about and going through their everyday lives without their heads stuck on a screen. That’s why a thorough initial discovery call, genuinely listening to the client on their main goals and who they want to reach, utilizing our expertise, and gaining their trust through the first successful campaign is most important. It’s not about the first campaign you partner on; it’s the second, third & fourth that show it’s a success.
Attribution techniques have changed a lot in the past few years; How do you see clients using it/how do you think it will change in the future?
Will this work? That is the question I hear whenever speaking with a prospective brand or business owner looking to utilize Out of Home advertising. My answer always used to be that if we have a defined audience demographic, we will put you where your ads need to be. But how will I know it works? That is always the follow-up question. And to that, it’s a matter of measurability. With out of home, you used to see website URLs or coupon codes on billboards so that companies can track that by website traffic or use of the coupon code, and they’ll know it’s from the outdoor. I think that utilizing a QR code, which causes the audience to go through the steps of pulling their phone out, activating the QR code, and going to the website, is much more effective. You’re truly grabbing the attention of the audience you’re aiming to attract, which is shown by them taking that secondary action. You can even take it a step further and provide that initial landing page but say that the landing page is a survey with a quick couple of questions that will then take you to your website. You’re grabbing more data by taking that extra step and seeing who is taking that secondary action. It will be extremely interesting to see where attribution goes from here. With digital street-level and subway platform-level assets, I see an interactive portion where these assets may go to a touchscreen where people can interact in real-time, providing more data to companies at the end of their campaigns.