COMMB’s new president had a whirlwind first year

Amanda Dorenberg has spent a year taking the OOH organization from COMMB 1.0 to COMMB 2.0.

To say that Amanda Dorenberg’s first year as president of COMMB, the Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau, has been eventful is an understatement. Dorenberg hit the ground running, and her first order of business was establishing trust and rapport with the board of directors and the COMMB staff.

“It’s not what I expected. I thought it was going to be more political coming in. This is an association governed by many different types of members, so I thought there was going to be a lot of convincing but I’m incredibly pleasantly surprised that the board has been so supportive of the new ideas, new initiatives, and change that’s happened within the first year,” Dorenberg tells MiC.

In February, the IT infrastructure was transitioned to cloud-based computing. By mid-year, COMMB had introduced a new membership category – the programmatic/remarketer membership – and launched a monthly Insights Report that has shown the steady rise of OOH in its progression to 2019 levels. It also began COMMB Talks, a quarterly event that’s currently virtual, with the hope it will transition to in-person in 2022.

More recently, COMMB has introduced audio OOH measurement through Stingray and certified UB Media’s residential network, the first residential network receiving average weekly OOH marketing impressions.

Dorenberg has also doubled the COMMB staff this past year. There was a staff of six when she joined the organization, now there are 12, and there are plans in place to hire a head of data science early in the new year. The hires have mainly been in marketing and support staff.

With the newly staffed team, Dorenberg says they’ve created strategic partnerships with a number of associations such as ACA, POCAM and OAAA. “We’ve also secured partnerships for content curation with Forbes,, Fast Company, and Rolling Stone magazine so we’re able to share the voice of the OOH industry,” she says.

In the new year, COMMB will be relaunching what was previously its COMMB Media Suite. The platform’s new name will be revealed in May 2022, and it will encompass all of the organization’s measurement methodologies and data including impression multipliers on a daily basis for digital. Dorenberg says it has a robust planning component with reach/frequency and audience profile segmentation built in.

From a revenue perspective, Dorenberg anticipates overall OOH ad-spends to approach the 2019 baseline by the end of 2021, with digital out-of-home taking a larger piece of the overall ad spend as compared to that pre-pandemic year. Traditional OOH will still take the lion’s share of ad revenues. GroupM has forecast that OOH and cinema are expected to increase 31.9% and take 3.5% of the market this year and grow 16.0% with 3.9% of the market in 2022. “I have been seeing a lot more interest in OOH. Particularly at the end of Q3 moving into Q4, clients have been more inquisitive about how technology is working with OOH and how they can add to their omnichannel plans,” she says.

Also on the agenda in May 2022, Canada will play host to the World Out-Of-Home Organization’s Global Congress in Toronto.