KEVANI, Taking Localized Approach to OOH, Announces New LA Property

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When it comes to out-of-home advertising, one creative strategy does not fit all markets. That has been a guiding principle at KEVANI, an OOH firm that’s taking a community-driven approach to digital billboard advertising. The company specializes in full motion digital and premium static assets in California, with the understanding that national advertisers see the greatest results when they embrace the personalities of the neighborhoods where their displays are located.

In a city like Los Angeles, with hundreds of distinct neighborhoods, KEVANI encourages national brands to embrace the features that make up the communities where their OOH displays are located. That means keeping ad copy contextually relevant and making sure all campaigns are inclusive, curated, and pleasant.

KEVANI Founder and CEO Kevin Bartanian says his company’s ability to attract large national advertisers as a small, but growing, firm in the OOH space can largely be attributed to its localized approach. Brands that want to stand out with unique offerings in the market are increasingly coming to recognize that digital billboards need to add to communities, not detract from them.

“​​Our inventory is simultaneously a promotional medium and a civic gesture,” Bartanian says. “The community is front and center in all decisions we make.”

Kevani recently announced a new property becoming part of its portfolio, rebranding the Sunset Limelight on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The double-sided, open-panel roof sign features almost 2,000 square feet of advertising space. Bartanian says Sunset Limelight was developed in a way that pays homage to the Sunset Strip’s past, having been designed to complement the historic character of the Hollywood neighborhood where it sits. It also provides a huge impact for advertisers and brands, with a clear line of sight for visitors and locals coming into Hollywood from the west, and into West Hollywood from the east.

The past year has been one of exponential growth for the OOH industry. OOH advertising revenue increased 38% in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the previous year. The Digital OOH segment, specifically, jumped nearly 80% compared to the second quarter of 2020.

Kevani is hoping to piggyback on that industry success, with a localized, community-driven approach that some of the company’s larger competitors aren’t yet offering.

“Advertisers simply don’t want to be someone in the crowd; they will invest to make sure they stand out. One-of-a-kind, unique assets will continue to gain momentum in major cities across the country,” Bartanian says. “The growing urbanization and accelerated technological innovations within the OOH industry offer a more effective and flexible medium with more benefits for all stakeholders.” 

The particular groups most likely to be impacted or persuaded by OOH also matter. More than two-thirds of Generation Z and Millennial consumers now say they can recall seeing OOH advertising on social media, and a majority—82% of Millennials and 91% of those in Gen Z—said they would “reshare OOH ads” with their friends online, according to a recent poll by Harris Interactive.

It’s not uncommon for digital OOH firms to promote their targeting capabilities, but Bartanian makes it clear that targeting—while important—isn’t necessarily what sets KEVANI apart. Instead, he says national brands are attracted to KEVANI’s localized approach, along with the significant investments the company is currently making in hardware and software.

Focusing primarily on the Los Angeles market gives KEVANI the opportunity to gain the kind of strong foothold that will be needed for future growth. Bartanian says the Los Angeles area also happens to be ripe for innovation in the digital marketing space. Making strong investments in the community now should put the company at a strategic advantage as large-scale events like the 2022 Super Bowl and the 2028 Summer Olympics draw closer.

“At the end of the day, we are occupying community space, and we impact people’s lives every day,” Bartanian says. “My team and I take that responsibility very seriously.”

​​Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.