Our latest ‘day in the life’ takes us to the heady world of outdoor advertising, where arresting copy and imagery are quickly being augmented by digital tech.
Let’s find out what Rosh Singh of Kinetic can tell us about this exciting part of the industry.
(As ever, visit Econsultancy Jobs if you’re looking for a new role)
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: what do you do?
Rosh Singh: My job title is a bit of a mouthful – Director of Digital Innovation / Head of Kinetic Active and KineticX – but, jargon aside, encompasses all things creative and creative technology for out-of-home media specialist, Kinetic.
The most important requirement of my job is to be a passionate and curious advocate for the creative potential of out-of-home (OOH), inspiring advertisers and brands to challenge their preconceptions of what the medium can do. While most in advertising think of posters, billboards and screens when talking about OOH, we see the physical world as a creative playground in which to weave amazing brand experiences through the cities of the world.
Drilling down into the specifics, Kinetic Active is our full service creative division tasked with devising and executing incredible experiences in the OOH environment. Heading up this department has me overseeing everything from the commissioning of beautiful handcrafted murals, right through to activating pop-up bars elevated with innovative digital out-of-home creative.
The other half of my role is growing and leading KineticX, our start-up incubator nurturing early stage businesses and emerging technologies we believe will change the world of OOH by influencing future consumer behaviour. This involves on-boarding incredible small businesses working in this space and assisting them in bringing their innovation solutions to market. KineticX’s current areas of interest include holographic technology, virtual reality, voice, and green tech – just last month we announced a new partnership with Strawberry Energy, a smart city start-up bringing advertising to solar-powered urban furniture.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
RS: Creativity, enthusiasm, patience and enough curiosity to identify opportunities along the intersection of creativity and technology as they emerge.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
RS: I’m not sure there is a typical day, but on any given week you can expect to see my diary booked up with meeting interesting start-ups and tech providers, as well as presenting to clients and anyone else who will listen to me wax lyrical about the potential of OOH.
We’re incredibly lucky that, as a media specialist, our Kinetic Active offering sees us working on an exciting breadth of campaigns. In my time I’ve been involved in everything from working out how to attach tentacles to a 28 foot mural for Kraken, to developing an algorithm predicting when competitors are likely to be “surging” in order to drive sales for MyTaxi.
I ensure that I also put aside enough time to read blogs, non-fiction and fiction in order to stay up-to-date with the wider world – you never know where the next jolt of inspiration might come from!
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
RS: We’re a small team of under ten people, but the scale of the work we do, and the impact it has for the world-leading brands we work with is astounding. Seeing the work we do out on the street is still something that gives me butterflies, even to this day – the sheer size and scale of some OOH activations is awe-inspiring.
The hardest thing about my job is coming to terms with the ‘idea graveyard’ – the final resting place of many brilliant ideas that never saw the light of day, for one reason or another.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
RS: We won’t stop until we have the advertising industry agreeing that OOH is the most creative and innovative media channel out there! However, we know that the advertising lot don’t always believe what you tell them – so that’s why we’re continuously striving to deliver incredible creative work that does more than just deliver for the bottom line. Commercial targets are a good indicator of effectiveness, awards can be a lovely boost to the ego, but it’s really individual passion and pride in the work we do which we feel is the best measurement of creative success.
E: What are your favourite tools to get the job done?
RS: Feedly. Easily my favourite tool, it collates all of my blogs into one feed that syncs across every device I own and transforms a moment of downtime into an opportunity to learn.
Slack is also vital in enabling our team to communicate and collaborate seamlessly on a day-to-day basis. That said, I also couldn’t live without Spotify and wireless headphones to drown out the distractions of open-plan – today’s battle is against a fairly raucous charity bingo event.
E: How did you get into OOH, and where might you go from here?
RS: Accidently. In a previous life, I was MD at a digital innovation studio called Gamaroff Digital, before it was acquired by WPP. We were laser-focused on finding ways to digitise physical experiences, and when we started talking to Kinetic it became apparent there were synergies – thus Kinetic Active was born.
As for what might come next, only time will tell. One thing’s for sure – it will definitely involve creating incredible customer experiences.
E: Which recent campaigns do you admire?
RS: JCDecaux Brazil’s ‘Emergency Route’ is an incredible use of OOH, using advertising screens to clear lanes of traffic for approaching ambulances – a simple creative idea, executed with elegance.
Project 84 by CALM was highly effective and chilling campaign, visualising men about to jump from the edge of ITV’s Southbank studio to highlight the issue of male suicide – a poignant reminder of the impact OOH experiences can have.
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to get into advertising?
RS: Learn about the industry, nothing we do is a secret – in fact, quite the opposite. There are so many books, blogs and videos on every little nuance of advertising that you should be able to turn up to any interview armed with a plethora of favourite campaigns and anecdotes. Passion is also so important and contagious – a little will go a long way.