February 6, 2020
By: Richard Lau
What does your company do?
Adapt Media is an out of home media company specializing in unique outdoor advertising placements including airport lounges, large format billboards, street-level & convenience store advertising, driver testing locations and high profile magazines in Canada. We have a sister company Chameleon Digital Media which does mobile location targeting.
How did you come up with (or why did you want to do) this idea/concept/product/service?
After returning back to Canada from living in Australia in 1998; I had spoken to a friend in Switzerland through a microphone on my computer, I couldn't believe it, and I thought if we simply made the computer a much smaller box, and added a phone, we could make millions taking the long distance telcos down. So I called an old colleague of mine from the paging world, Richard Lau, with my amazing new idea...he began to inform me that it was already an invention called VoIP, who knew. He then said he had an idea to put up ads on the sides of convenience stores, and if I wanted to partner with him he would be happy to have me on board. Richard came up with the idea when travelling in Europe where many were taking advantage of utilizing empty wall space for revenue.
How did you decide on your company name?
My partner at the time Richard came up with the name WINK Media and created a cool logo design with an eye as you see ads as you quickly pass by. That name was gobbled up by Time Warner very soon after, and we lost the name. While riding the Skytrain in Vancouver and trying to think of a name I came up with Adapt Media for a few reasons. 'Ad' for advertising, 'Apt' for able and being the correct choice, "Adapt" for being a chameleon and adapting to our ever changing environment, as well it would place us at the beginning of many directories starting with 'A'.
Who were your first customers? (Or: Tell us about your first sale. Or: Tell us about your opening day.)
Our first client was Clearly Canadian, for a Fuzzy Peach drink with the provocative slogan "So I have a little peach fuzz. I'm new, cut me some slack"
We received a little bit of blow back about this campaign as it was a tad racy, however in the end the client was very excited to see the execution happen. It was a great day seeing not only this creative go up, but the actual signs that would hold many customers campaigns into the future.
What's been a good way of growing your customer base and sales?
One of the biggest and hardest things to do in order to grow this company was to move from my then home in Vancouver to Toronto. Toronto is more known for large media buying companies, and this is a relationship business, so moving was the biggest thing I could have done to win more clients. Another important part of growing your business is being involved at as many events as possible within your industry. Of course giving back, by being part of a charitable organization that you and your team can get behind...for us we have chosen Meagan's Walk - https://youtu.be/TZAkqI7o9JM
What did you wish you knew before you started your company?
I wish I knew anything about media buying and planning, or advertising for that matter. I used be a part owner in a Cantel mobile communications company in Vancouver, and had very little knowledge about the ad world. I did know sales, and if you know sales you can really apply it to anything.
What are you looking forward to in the next week/month/quarter or year? Or what are your aspirations for your company?
In the beginning of 2020 we are looking to close some major deals within Q1, both in digital mobile location and in out of home advertising. We are excited to see our Plaza Premium lounges in Airports get some new 2020 deals, and to grow our already booming DriveTest centers. But the biggest thing for me is the team member that will be joining us...my daughter who will be born in April!
What three words describe you as a person?
Happy, Loyal, Fair
What is the last book you've read that you would recommend others read?
"A field Guide to Lucid Dreaming" - If you really want to expand your mind, and make use of all the time in your life, I highly recommend this book.
What is an unusual thing can you not travel without?
Earplugs - Not sure if that is strange or not!
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Lake Louise - The way the water reflects the mountains in the turquoise water is simply amazing.
If you had an extra ten minutes per day, what would you do with them?
Meditate - This is something I could for more than 10 minutes a day!