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Born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, VAST Billboards is a new company with big plans to grow their innovative digital advertising business in Christchurch and beyond.
You might not realise it but some serious science goes into placing a prominent and successful billboard. Size, environment, traffic, and audience all play into the strategy behind such placements.
“We don’t just put a client’s advertisement on a screen anywhere; we make sure we understand what they want to get out of their campaign in order to get the best results,” says VAST Billboards Account Manager, Ivana Moreton. “We genuinely take the time and energy to listen.”
With a memorable name that represents “vast horizons, vast opportunities, and making a vast difference to businesses,” VAST Billboards is a new division within a family-run business that collectively shares around 75 years’ experience in the advertising industry.
VAST Billboards was established last year as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit home for Ivana.
After being made redundant from her previous role in the tourism and events industry, Ivana teamed up with parents Grant and Louise Moreton to form the company, which specialises in digital out-of-home advertising. Grant and Louise also own Media Metro, a digital billboard advertising company in Fiji that was also affected by COVID-19. So, they took the opportunity to bring what they know home to Christchurch.
Advertisers on the VAST network include national retailers such as New World, Countdown and Smiths City, along with Christchurch City Council and the University of Canterbury. But the impressive outdoor technology isn’t just for the big guys.
Locally, Ivana says VAST is seeing SMEs embrace the new opportunities they are presenting. And that’s been the plan all along.
“Digital out-of-home has probably always been a little bit out of reach for a small to medium-sized company. They’re seeing Amazon Prime or ANZ advertise and think, ‘well there’s no way in the world I would be included in this medium’,” Ivana explains. “However, it’s actually becoming a lot more accessible to different sized businesses.”
While VAST now has many prominent sites around Christchurch, the company is focused on bringing the digital medium to the regions beyond Christchurch, with the recent installation of their first billboard in Ashburton part of a provincial growth strategy.
VAST Billboards Account Manager
VAST juggles a lot: commercial relationships with landowners, assisting marketing and agency teams, maintenance of each screen, and importing the screens for their advertising arm. They also sell screens outright to businesses such as Hyundai, McKenzie & Willis, and Caltex for their own use.
Crombie Lockwood plays an integral role in the marine transit cover of all VAST’s LED screens imported into New Zealand.
“The placement involved multiple discussions to ensure every facet of the transit was covered appropriately, from sea, road transit, storage and delivery to the final destination,” says insurance broker Peta Henderson of Crombie Lockwood's Canterbury branch. “It was clear from the outset that Louise, Ivana and the VAST team are fully invested in understanding the risks they face and to implement the relevant insurances they needed to ensure they are protected.”
“In these uncertain times, with delays and complications, Crombie Lockwood has helped us cover each eventuality and been both proactive and understanding with extensions and changes,” says Ivana.
“Crombie Lockwood provide excellent service, they are excellent communicators and give us peace of mind that they have not only got us the best cover but also at the right price for us.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with a group of people who see that crisis presents a choice,” says Peta of the team’s impressive pivot during the pandemic. “Their drive, passion and innovative perspective have allowed them to create a successful company.”
Published November 2021