Digital out-of-home provides unlimited opportunities for creativity, yet the industry is still populated by many of the science-minded folk needed to present the new media channel to media buyers. To really grab the attention of brands and advertisers, however, DOOH must embrace artistic exploration – and Stacey Knight, Digital Director at JCDecaux UK, is at the forefront of this cause.
“I have an inclination to be slightly more creative,” said Stacey, upon sharing that she studied the history of art design and film in university. “I don’t conform to typical standards and like to express my artsy-side by pushing limits and thinking outside the box. Instead of presenting my ideas and results with charts and PowerPoints, I’m more likely to use crayons and paper,” she laughed.
Stacey’s unique vision led her from working for magazines and national press to becoming an Account Director at Viacom Outdoor, now CBS Outdoor. She was headhunted to work for News Corp to launch three new websites in the UK, including AskMen.com, and was then asked to return to out-of-home around the time that JCDecaux acquired Titan Outdoor.
“My return to outdoor was an opportunity to lead the digital revolution and bring it to life, so to speak,” said Stacey. “The several Transvision screens in train stations represented JCDecaux’s first venture into DOOH. It didn’t take long for everyone to realize that digital had legs and was embraced by clients, creative agencies and landlords. I worked on everything from rollout implementations to driving creativity and commercializing the screens. It was and still is a big road, but I love it. I love it,” she nodded.
JCDecaux’s strong relationship with creative agencies is greatly due to Stacey’s imagination. When she first started as Digital Director, two-thirds of the creative received for full-motion screens was static because agencies didn’t understand how to create content for the medium. If brands or advertisers were to challenge Stacey by opting to put their budgets into other channels, she would go above and beyond to deliver innovative and effective campaigns optimizing all resources on hand and using the screens to do what they were meant for. “If I can convince someone to consider DOOH, open their eyes to its possibilities and get them excited, then I’ve done my job,” grinned Stacey.
No stranger to rolling up her sleeves, Stacey’s talent is best realized when experimenting with clients who are brave enough to do so. She takes great care in educating creative and media agencies, the former by demonstrating how to marry DOOH with other media plans and move it up the agenda, and the latter through testifying to its nimbleness and ability to deliver across all KPIs. Once enlightened, Stacey claims that only a few clients who believe in the plan are needed to pull off a brilliant ad, leaving the rest of the world to follow suit.
Stacey’s campaigns must be setting a good example. Digital will come to represent 40% of JCDecaux’s UK business in 2014, making the world’s biggest out-of-home company the world’s largest digital out-of-home company as well. The industry giant will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and its 30th in the UK, where it will be launching a 40 meter screen, investing in POS and mall markets, and expanding its reach from 19 to over 25 million people per day. This year, JCDecaux UK launched its first content piece, Commuter Book Club (@RailBookClub) and Stacey looks forward to future campaigns weaving mobile convergence and social media together.
“Business is fundamentally changing. DOOH is a clean, sexy product that consumers have grown to expect and it’s going to get bigger and better. I feel as though we’re on the precipice of something really major and special. DOOH really is the most exciting medium,” she beamed.
Digital innovator, commercial leader and sword fighter! Just a few words used to describe Stacey Knight JCDecaux UK’s Director of Digital.
JCDecaux is the number 1 global leader in out-of-home advertising and the world leader in digital outdoor. In the UK, Stacey has driven the rapid growth in digital outdoor, delivering a 51% year-on-year growth in digital, a 1400% increase in dynamic campaigns and collaborating with leading advertisers including EE, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Kraft, Twitter, Ford and Sky. JCDecaux UK’s pioneering campaigns have won numerous awards including 2 silver Cannes Lions, a Digital Marketing Award and a raft of Love Content statuettes for campaigns such as #whatsonsky, Lynx Angels and NCDV.
Sir John Hegarty, co-founder and Worldwide Creative Director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) describes Stacey as ‘a true digital innovator’.