More Than Rectangles On Sticks: The Evolution Of goa

More Than Rectangles On Sticks: The Evolution Of goa
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B&T was invited to the offices of goa in Bowen Hills Brisbane last week to check out the Queensland out of home operators head quarters and to view firsthand its current campaign for Ladbrokes.

Goa joint managing director Chris Tyquin is brimming with enthusiasm and excitement about his family’s company’s prospects and you need to bear in mind this is a company founded in 1983.

As B&T is shown around the offices complete with a futuristic control room full of custom-built screens showing every billboard in the company’s network in real time, you quickly realise this company has come a long way from its “rectangles on sticks” heritage.

“We’re in the business of getting out clients noticed; as simple as that. Get noticed is the two words that sit under our logo. So it’s a mantra we live by.

“The vision that hangs off the back of that, which is really the aspirational part, is to be the best in the world at it. In our field we want to be the best billboard operator at getting our clients noticed,” Tyquin told B&T.

He also added goa “really couldn’t be and didn’t want to be the world’s biggest, but there’s nothing stopping us from being the world’s best”.

Tyquin said there were three areas goa had identified it could target for getting its clients noticed. He said the first one was creativity, which was the obvious one and then hinted at a major announcement to come early in the New Year.

Given the year that has been, hold on to your hats for it be an acquisition of an independent creative shop.

The second point Tyquin highlighted was its LOWD development, which goa has been running on its network since April. LOWD is actually the world’s first audience generating content channel on a billboard.

Tyquin argued if goa could shift our users from passive passersby to engaged followers, it would really help its customers to get noticed. “But we didn’t know if we could do it. We thought we won’t know if we don’t give it a go.”

He said recent results from a consumer insights study the company commissioned showed that since LOWD began in April, 7.2 per cent of Brisbane actively look out for what’s on LOWD every day. If you equate that to people, it’s about 170,000.

“Across our two networks, which is the Iconics and the Grid, we’ve got a total audience of a bit over half a million people. So it’s a reasonable representation of what that half a million people a day is,” said Tyquin. B&T calculates it to being 34% of the total potential audience.

“The whole concept of bringing in something like LOWD is quite simple. It’s following the existing model of traditional media of just inserting engaging content in between ads. And if we can the public to go to work every day or go home from work every day looking at for what’s new then it’s enhancing the chances of them seeing your clients ads. So it’s quite simple in that sense,” said Tyquin.

He then flagged goa was set to make another announcement in about four weeks as goa was working with a major radio station in Brisbane which had approached them and asked if they can partner with goa using the technology. To illustrate just how successful LOWD had been for goa, Tyquin highlighted a campaign in progress for the Queensland Writers Centre.

“The approached us about a year ago to be one of our not-for-profit community partnerships. There campaign started two weeks ago. Their campaign is around the eight-word story. It’s around writing a story with eight words.

Something you’d think would be easy, but isn’t. It’s nothing new and apparently Earnest Hemmingway was a master of it.

“Two weeks in, apparently the client was expecting about two or three hundred submissions, they’ve got three-and-a-half-thousand. Interestingly what were among those submission was two by authors on the New York Times best sellers list – Margo Lanagan and Delilah Dawson.

“Not only has it attracted the attention of Brisbane Writers and Writers around Australia, we’ve got people coming in from overseas. And it’s only running in Brisbane.”

By this stage, Tyquin has really hit his straps and is clearly delighted with the story he is telling. And as he illustrates the

“We recognised some time ago that the world has moved on (and needed to move on) from building single pole billboards, which first came about 55 plus years ago. We thought there was an opportunity to go beyond rectangles and sticks.

“So we thought about it in terms of how do we get our clients noticed. What you saw tonight was the pinnacle of it. The Iconic series is the pinnacle of what we do. Each one of them is a multimillion-dollar build. Each one incorporates the discipline of industrial design, landscape design and lighting design. All of it designed to get our clients noticed. It takes things way beyond straight rectangles on sticks.

“All of the design was done internally, all of the fabrication was done by local tradespeople. So a great job we’ve pulled together locally,” he enthuses.

However over the course of the evening, Tyquin is quick to heap praise on his business development manager Angela Boon, whom he credits completely for the Ladbrokes execution we were there to see.

“We got her as a grad,” Tyquin tells B&T. “We trained her up and now she’s doing amazing work for us like this,” he added.

It’s the uniquely Queensland laconic style that’s just so hard to resist. Goa has indeed come a long way from rectangles on poles.

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