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The Fishbowl: Nick Shaw, Ocean Outdoor

The Fishbowl: Nick Shaw, Ocean Outdoor

The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople 10 revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.

This week is Nick Shaw, chief revenue officer at Ocean Outdoor.

Nick Shaw started his career as an account manager at Pearl & Dean before crossing over from cinema to outdoor sales with a job at CBS Outdoor (now Outfront Media). He has since spent more than 12 years at Ocean Outdoor, working from agency sales director to chief revenue officer.

What’s been your biggest challenge this year and what are you doing about it?

The biggest challenge this year has been rebuilding my team after losing some good people last year. It’s so important to get recruitment right and fortunately for us we’ve attracted some brilliant candidates and made some quality new hires. We have a much younger team now and while I was a little nervous about their lack of experience, the new recruits have certainly made up for it with their energy, passion, and enthusiasm.

There seems to be a real desire to be in the office again, so the sense of team and camaraderie is back to pre-covid levels which is great to see. My hope moving forward is that more media agencies relook at the blend between WFH and being in the office because IMHO nothing quite beats a face-to-face meeting.

Which advertiser would you love to work with (but don’t already) and how would you sell Ocean Outdoor specifically to them?

TikTok. It’s an awesome platform that delivers such engaging/diverse content and I think our Full Motion screens are the perfect channel to help them extend their reach to the masses. As a medium we need to continue to explore the symbiotic relationship between mobile and DOOH as there is so much opportunity there. How to persuade TikTok, well that’s a work in progress but here’s hoping that 2023 will be the year!

What’s the bravest thing you have ever done?

Not sure whether it was brave or stupid but having just turned 18, a couple of mates and I drove around the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe in a battered old Jeep with only a provisional driving licence between us. We talked our way through military check points, drove through townships and picked up many a hitchhiker on the way. A truly brilliant experience but one I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to do again.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A detective.

** Peer question ** Who was your first media lunch with and where did you go?

It was with a lady called Kate from a PR agency who looked after 7 For All Mankind Jeans. They were my first booking after joining Pearl & Dean and I decided to go to Bam Bou on Percy Street to celebrate. I got there early, ordered a beer and sat there patiently waiting for Kate to arrive….30 minutes passed, and I was getting nervous thinking I was going to be stood up. She finally arrived but five minutes into our starters, she got a call from her boss ordering her back to the office; Kate made her apologies and off she went leaving me to awkwardly finish my first media lunch on my own! Everyone was surprised to see me back in the office so early, so I confessed to what had happened and have never lived it down since.

Question from Emma Callaghan, Reach sales and invention director.

** Peer question ** What if anything is your business planning on doing differently in 2023?

Ocean is always looking to try things differently and the management team is incredibly supportive of this which is so important. We truly believe that no idea is a bad idea until proven otherwise. I think one of the things we might try next year is working smarter as a Group. In 2019 we acquired several businesses in Northern Europe and formed Ocean Netherlands and Ocean Nordics but when Covid hit, each business internalised to protect their own P&L. With Covid now behind us we are looking for brave clients to do some multi market campaigns and win some awards.

Question from Richard Bon, UK managing director and Europe commercial lead at Clear Channel (who will surely be looking at that answer closely!)

What key thing has changed in conversations with clients this year compared to last year?

The launch of DeepScreen (Forced Perspective) took the market by storm and really made clients stand up and take notice. It was the Balenciaga/Fortnite collaboration on Piccadilly Lights that was the tipping point and since then, the number of clients wanting to engage with Ocean has increased tenfold.

** Peer question ** You’re in charge of the line-up for Glastonbury in 2023. Choosing any artist dead or alive, who are your headlines for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night?

Friday — Rolling Stones

Saturday — Groove Armada

Sunday — Oasis

** Question from James Cornish, VP of international sales at Vevo.

** Peer question** Would you recommend your son, daughter, or another young person in your life to get a job in media and why?

Definitely. I’ve been given so many wonderful opportunities throughout my career and have met and worked with some brilliant people. It’s an industry where you need to work hard in order to progress, but you can have a lot of fun along the way. Every day is so different too and it’s the variety that I enjoy most.

** Question from Clare Turner, Pearl & Dean sales director.

What podcast do you regularly listen to and why?

Desert Island Discs — the back catalogue is immense, as is the variety of guests. Not only do I enjoy being introduced to new music, but I love hearing how certain songs are so integral to the guests’ lives. Who would have known that Sir Clive Woodward was such a massive Eminem fan!

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Tim Bleakley, CEO, Ocean, on 27 Oct 2022
“A good read from one of the industry’s most understated but talented commercial leaders & in particular his pioneering approach to flexible working to benefit all stakeholders. Top guy.”

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