Frank Mayr joined the team of Affichage Romania for few months, but his role, as Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, is paying of already. See how he adapted to the local culture and which are the Affichage Romania’s achievements in terms of innovation in the interview Frank offered AdHugger.
He has more than 15 years experience in outdoor industry, all across Europe. He is passionate about technology and the way it can change business life. He practiced martial arts and football for many years.
AdHugger: You had the chance to work all across Europe, dedicating the last 15 years of your professional life to the outdoor industry. How do you see Romania by comparison with other countries?
Frank Mayr: Romania is a territory for growth, if things are done properly. There is plenty of space to develop and to implement innovations at a national scale. Affichage Romania, the company I am working for, has such an extended network, all across the country.
AdH: How do you prepare yourself to be integrated within a certain local culture?
F.M.: I traveled all across Europe and discovering all this diversity I have to admit – it is an amazing experience. But in order to deliver performance in each of those markets, one needs to understand the local culture, the folklore – be it urban or ancestral. Those elements are of great help in understanding what, where and how you should make changes and where this ambition of changing things should be postponed for a while or just reconsidered. There are markets where there is a call for action and a taste for changing things in depth and there are other places where change is a way to affect the local order and is perceived not like an evolutionary movement, but as a disturbance of the local habits. In order to succeed, you simply need to adapt. So there is a lot to be learned about people of a foreign country if you want to build up a successful business and to implement innovation.
AdH: Speaking of innovation – why innovation is so important for the outdoor industry today?
F.M.: We live in times where digital technology has changed the world – the way we choose our presidents, the way economy works, the way people live and interact with each other. It is natural that outdoor industry adapt, but also anticipate the way we can do OOH advertising in the 21th century. There are countries in Western Europe where a contemporary OOH campaign could not be designed without a digital platform, an innovation trick or an on line reflection of the message. This is the new way of the outdoor thinking that includes a variety of formats, an eco-attitude towards the technical part a lot of room for playful approaches of creative ideas and the future will prove I am right.
AdH: What is the biggest priority of Affichage Romania ?
F.M.: The biggest priority of Affichage Romania is to do the job of a premium player and to offer the complete premium outdoor experience for its clients. Our own services (like the poster campaign as well as the complete maintenance work) were brought back into the company, as we operate in all other markets. In our opinion, “who wants to sell premium, must offer the highest quality”.
In order to give relevance to the premium positioning, we realized there is only one single source possible: our own style of doing things, following the exigencies of the Group. We realized that externalization of our maintenance services didn’t always bring the best results, so starting this year, in order to deliver performance, we decided to internalize all our procedures and to utilize Swiss standards for our Romanian clients. Right now we are the only provider that can offer the market the guarantee of the Affichage quality for the entire OOH process, from the print, to the maintenance, exposure and its calendar.
AdH: Eco-attitude and innovation are part of the Affichage culture all across Europe. How you import those corporate culture patterns at Affichage Romania?
F.M.: I am here for few months already and we start to align the group philosophy to the local market. We generate change at all levels, eco-friendly attitude and innovation being only the pick of the iceberg. Let me explain: rigor and aesthetics are two of Affichage values, so we did already several serious changes into the look and atmosphere of the Affichage Romania faces. Instead of using the usual neutral posters, Affichage Romania decided to create its own design to give the customer a better visual direct possibility to understand how a self-promo could look like. We also decided to internalize all the maintenance projects and this is how we created a new job – which is also a part of the Affichage philosophy. We already started a massive restoration work for our main faces. As consequence of this renovation, they will be aligned, more stable, all technical components changed. They got painted in the blue pantone of the Affichage corporate color. We did a serious improvement of the lighting system and we launched the first LED enlightened UNIPOL, on Otopeni and a new one on Dacia Boulevard.
AdH: Share with us the details of this launching and explain which are the benefits of a lightning with LED, instead of Neon or Halogen ?
F.M.: It is the first time that a LED front illumination of a Unipol is applied in the Romanian OOH business. This applied technology is the first step of a new lighting generation system that will be implemented within Affichage Romania.
The special thing on the application of LED light sources is not only that the customer gets a totally new and attractive presentation of its advertising space, but also that Affichage Romania solves the significantly low energy consumption and starts the implementation of “Take care of the environment” program.
AdH: Which are the costs of such LED lighting system that you implemented at the Bucuresti-Ploiesti Unipol?
F.M.: The truth is that implementation costs are round about 50% higher by comparison with the classical systems that are regularly used within the market. But the benefits are obvious – first of all, the light has a different color and consistency – this UNIPOL stands out in the night and can be seen from such a far distance. And also, even if the launching and the implementation costs are higher, the benefits in time are relevant in financial terms as well, since this kind of system is using 70% less energy than regularly ones. So, on a medium and long term, this system is more efficient, economic and also environmental friendly than the previous ones. And this is what I call Affichage innovation at work.