Elite Para athlete, adventurer, DJ and OOH all-rounder. Johan Holst brings the courage, bravery and psychology of sport to the DoohClick team.
Tell us about you
I’m a below the knee amputee, so I don’t have my right foot. I compete in the Para Slalom and Para Giant Slalom with the Swedish national team in alpine skiing. But I didn’t compete in the Paralympics 2022 because I accidentally lost my balance on a practice run on the first day of the European championships in Austria and damaged my hand. I’m now waiting for surgery.
I also play golf, go mountain biking and run. I’ve done half marathons and climbed to the summit of Kilimanjaro. I like to show myself and other people that anything is possible even if you’re 42 and have one foot.
How did your OOH career begin?
I was a sales guy selling bearings in my home town Nynäshamn. It was boring so I started a nightclub. I did that for two years and didn’t like that either. I wanted something new, so I moved to Borås and found a job selling ads on LED screens.
How did that go?
I was the rookie, but in my first month I beat the sales record. That company helped rehabilitate me in the workplace after my amputation. But because of the surgery, my psychologist didn’t want me working in a high pressure sales role. I had an interest in full motion DOOH, so the CEO let me make the transition to Art Director.
When AdCityMedia bought that company, Jonas (Glad) told me they were creating a version of DoohClick and did I want to become a super professional user so I joined the journey.
What does a Solution Manager do?
It’s a special title with a wide brief. I oversee support and help with client education and onboarding. I work in development as well to figure out new ideas. If we don’t provide a certain function and a client wants to do something, I find the solution to help them reach their goal. It can be tricky but we manage to achieve almost everything.
So, to use a sporting analogy, you’re the chef de mission?
I do everything – and nothing. I mean anything. Our team is a good mix of individuals who come from all parts of the industry. I bring to it knowledge of sales and ad ops and I talk with the landlords to understand what they want too. Together, we have a very special recipe – and we’re cooking a very good meal.
How do your sporting achievements transfer to the workplace?
I learnt a word from one of my prosthetics manufacturers. Determination. That’s a good expression of how I am as a person. If I set a goal, I’m going to do it. I never cancel it on the way. I want to achieve what’s planned and in my role that’s a good trait to have.
What should be improved in the OOH sector?
More knowledge about the ad tech sitting behind OOH. The current discussion about programmatic as the future of DOOH is a case in point. While we support SSPs, programmatic isn’t a catch all solution especially if billboards aren’t connected 24/7. It’s amazing sometimes how little some sales people understand what it takes for an ad to reach the screen. We clearly have a job to do there.
Yes. Where are all the women working in tech development and support? Female talent, female eyes always bring a unique perspective. Women think differently. We need more women in this sector, and I’m not talking about sales.
Outside of your career, what will be your final adventure?
I’d like to go to the Antarctic. I don’t know why. It’s cold. But it’s a challenge. Or a warmer place, maybe cave exploration. It’s fun to challenge yourself.