Captive Media | M&M Global

Captive Media

Captive Media is the only outdoor ad network that guarantees the attention of millennial men.

Captive Media logo

Business name: Captive Media


Twitter: @Captive_Media

Sector: Outdoor Advertising

Based in: London

Regions covered: UK directly. Overseas via resellers.

Founders & What do each of you do?
Gordon MacSween is CEO & responsible for funding and sales.
Mark Melford is CMO and responsible for marketing, PR & creative.
James Borrett is CTO and responsible for product development & network management.

Who are your major backers?
London Business Angels, the London CoInvestment Fund, Cambridge Angels. Our Board
also includes investors from the sector like Mike Segrue (co-founder of Kinetic) and Adam Shoefield (Director of Smithfield agency).

What’s the track record?
We built our first network of interactive screens in early 2014 and won campaigns with
Diageo’s Captain Morgan, Smirnoff, 20th Century Fox and Apple Beats Dr. Dre. That
enabled us to raise more funds and expand the network in 2015, and we have since
worked with new customers in the charities, betting and male grooming sectors. All but
one of the above have made repeat bookings.

The product is also installed in 15 countries worldwide, with resellers in 3.
And we have won the Drum Digital Content Award, the Guardian SME Marketing & PR
Award, Top 10 finishes in the Virgin Extreme Tech Challenge and MSN’s Most Exciting
Startups, plus a recent shortlisting for a Brand Republic award and a Showdown Award
in Canada.

What does this mean?
It means we solve an important problem for advertisers, caused by changes in the way
media is consumed. In the last 10 years we have all started to skip TV ads, read less
newspapers and block online ads. Millennials in particular have become very hard for
advertisers to reach and remain one of the most soughtafter demographics, shaping both fashions and future demand.

What makes your company different from its competitors?
Unlike most advertising media owners, we began life with the sole aim of entertaining
our audience. That turns out to be a great solution for the problem increasingly faced
by other ad medi being ignored!

Who are your clients?
Brands like Diageo, Unilever, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Betsafe, Anthony
Nolan and agencies like Carat & Rocket, Talon & Posterscope.

How will your company change the world?
We are turning the 9 months an average man spends in his lifetime, idly staring at a
wall, into a time of entertainment for him and highly effective advertising for brands.

Who do you compete with?
Surprisingly we don’t often compete with traditional washroom advertisers. That’s
partly because we are attracting a different set of brands (Captain Morgan, for example,
had never previously advertised in washrooms). It’s also because Captive Media
reaches its highly targeted audience with unskippable video ads which
competes more closely with TV advertising.

Who should be worried?
Only potential acquirers. To TV channels the reach of our current network remains
small and TV advertising, because of its scale and ease of purchase, has proven robust
to shocks in the industry (including, so far, the rapid expansion of mobile advertising).
Outdoor advertising companies will start to notice that briefs for millennial men list
Captive Media on their schedule. However, as this will come partly at the expense of TV
budgets, it should also represent a welcome increase in outdoor ad spend. When it gets
big enough to start affecting their sales at around £2m turnover we should also start
to look like a complementary addition to their existing assets.

If you could choose any investor globally who would it be?
Richard Branson, as he has both quirky brands and a GSOH. He has also seen, and loves
Captive Media after we developed this bespoke Virgin, kitesurfing game !

If you could poach any member of staff from any company in the world who would it be?
It would be the brightest ad sales person in London let me know if you know them!

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