Founder and chairman of Atomic 212°, Barry O’Brien, has kindly shared his thoughts and love of QMS’s city of Sydney.

In mid-August, I was one of 400 or so media professionals who had the privilege of experiencing the official launch of one of the most ambitious undertakings Australian media has seen in many years. I’m not exaggerating when I believe QMS’s new City of Sydney network demands the attention of media buyers and brands.

It is an exceptional platform for the Australian out-of-home industry and a shining example of where the global out-of-home industry is heading.

It might seem odd for an agency owner to write a piece so focused on a single media owner’s work, but this network – was completed in the face of a pandemic and near endless rain and ongoing building issues, mainly while the rest of us were asleep – offers a real competitive advantage for those brands willing to harness its potential.

While the installation of this ambitious network has experienced some delays, it would be a shame if that discouraged marketers and agencies, who must look long-term. It’s like renovating a heritage home: you don’t know you’re dealing with termites and asbestos in the basement until you start ripping things up.

When unexpected problems come up, the temptation to cut budgets or reduce your ambition with the project increases. QMS did not succumb to this temptation – to the serious advantage of advertisers – who can now take hold of a truly dynamic, future-facing and intelligent way to reach consumers as they live, work and play.

While many other businesses may have buckled under the pressure of legacy infrastructure issues while replacing a decades-old network during the worst weather a city has seen in recent memory, QMS did not. Instead, it remained committed to delivering a network with digital capabilities future-proofed for the next 10 years of its contract (plus an option for another five). As such, fortune favours the brave and QMS have been brave during building this infrastructure and will now reap the rewards as brands and agencies invest.

Fifteen years is impressive enough, but it is clear the design work in collaboration with the architecture firm Grimshaw has played a significant role in re-elevating Sydney to the global city it once was and will secure that position for many decades to come.

The new network represents the first time brands have had the opportunity to dynamically target travellers, workers and visitors as they move in and around Australia’s economic and cultural heart. Since the previous assets were installed, that heart has expanded to represent more than a business district, now also comprising a high-density living and acting as a destination for retail and leisure. With the City of Sydney working with the NSW Government’s 24-Hour economy and large-scale events like SXSW to come to the city in 2023, this is only going to grow exponentially.

Never have brands – particularly those in luxury goods, entertainment, retail, automotive, technology, finance, and travel/tourism – been met with an opportunity like this on Australian shores. It’s clear others agree, as the window to capitalise on the city’s first step into the future is shrinking, with very strong demand from advertisers and agencies between now and Christmas, and then into 2023 and beyond.

Article originally published on B&T.