In the depths of the 3rd wave of Covid-19 in South Africa, we are reminded of the resilience and the tenacity of big, brand-building media and what it can do for advertisers across the media landscape in South Africa. The initial lockdown in March 2020 saw many advertisers pivot their campaigns in the face of the unknown future – and some chose to go completely dark. For those that kept the light on, Out-of-Home (OOH) media owners across South Africa are grateful for your business and your trust in an advertising medium that for centuries has proven to be effective even in the face of adversity.
Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) was seen as the saving grace for advertisers during this time as campaigns could be switched off or delayed; communication could be changed at the touch of a button and the birth of programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) later in the year meant that advertisers could optimise their buying based on impressions. The industry has been buzzing about DOOH and pDOOH and these formats have taken the limelight over the past 18 months and will continue to grow and adapt due to technological advancements and increased inventory across media owners. The benefits of DOOH are great – we have all been talking about it and we have read so much on the subject – DOOH has proven to be a resounding success for both advertiser and media owner.
That being said, in 2019 PWC reported that by 2023, 32% of all OOH revenue would come from DOOH, that leaves 68% for traditional OOH (tOOH). 68%, that’s a huge chunk of OOH income from tOOH, and of high importance to the overall OOH landscape. Outdoor Auditors have reported in their latest audit that there has been an increase of 24 LED screens across South Africa since October 2020 – a tally of 399 screens out of a total of 13 700+ billboard faces across South Africa, and this only includes billboards that are >18sqm.
Demographically and geographically South Africa is incredibly diverse; advertisers need to engage with audiences where it is most effective and suited to a consumer’s environment. Shopping in Bizana is very different to shopping in Sandton – and media touchpoints along the shopper’s journey are different too. Whereas the former includes conversion hubs like taxi ranks which are in close proximity to retail spaces and in some cases a lone mall in the area, the latter experience includes a host of malls which provide perfect purchase prompts via advertising screens, while consumers are already predisposed to buy goods.
Notwithstanding the fanfare around DOOH in the metro areas, let’s not forget the power of tOOH in the South African landscape – especially since over 30% (TGISA 2019C) of the South African population live outside of metro’s where the majority of roadside DOOH is situated. When looking at different market segments, the reality of where people live, becomes more paramount with regards to targeting. Ten years ago, Primedia Outdoor launched Bhamuza, a product that was built from market insights based on where people live and how they shop. These 60 structures are located in the biggest towns across South Africa outside of metros. Here you will also find other tOOH structures; Mass Impact and Mass Reach billboards which have a total of over 34 000 sqm of creative canvas available from Primedia Outdoor, that are perfectly positioned for big brand building.
Marketer and author of Kasinomic Revolution GG Alcock, amplifies the importance of brand building in large towns, “frontier towns are critical commercial points and you need to be present and visible with your brand” – further to this he adds “high street shopping activity is growing rapidly, branding needs to be local, visible and present when targeting the kasi shopper”.
tOOH has been known as a stalwart for building trust amongst consumers – advertisers have utilised tOOH to bring their brand to the consumer, allowing their brands to be entrenched in a consumer’s familiar environment. tOOH has an emotional and memorable impact on its audiences through contextually relevant placement and creative expertise.
South Africa’s major highways and main arterials are bustling with canvases that offer an opportunity for effective communication to the drive-by audiences on their daily journeys. Creative excellence is the name of the game for these media types, the simpler the message the harder the impact. The tOOH creative canvas offers a myriad of opportunities to stand out from the clutter and create channels for seeding online, by driving consumers to a website or application.
tOOH delivers scale. With the one-to-many capability and far-reaching localisation of the medium, no audience is left untargeted. Covid has brought the element of hyper localisation to the forefront and OOH has been able to break the ice of screen fatigue for consumers looking to escape.
tOOH delivers 100% share of voice. Your brand is in full view of the audiences, all the time – in all the right places. Thus, creating high brand building capabilities.
tOOH has been positioned as credible and measurable to other media types with ROAD, the OOH currency in South Africa from the Out-of-Home Measurement Council (OMC) – and with the AM4DOOH capability, DOOH also holds its own in the measurement category. pDOOH has allowed for mobile location integration, where advertisers are able to access campaign performance upon layers and layers of certified data.
tOOH is not as traditional as you may think – with the advancements in technology, tOOH has found its place in the digital era. Globally, we are starting to see signs of static OOH being traded through automation thanks to the use of gps enabled location data that allows for live data readings across static inventory. Supply-side platforms are making tOOH inventory available to advertisers based on impression performance of a location. The buying process is fully automated, just as you would see with pDOOH.
We hear the question often, “What’s better? Traditional or Digital?”, the fact is, they both have their place in the OOH landscape. They are both effective when aligned to clear performance measures and objectives that the advertisers’ campaigns need to achieve. DOOH offers dynamic capabilities that enhance a campaign by offering contextual relevance and impression optimisation through pDOOH – and the undeniable agility of the medium is a win for many brands. tOOH, makes your brand stand out and stand proud to consumers – it’s a daily/weekly/monthly reminder to the consumer that your brand is here to stay.
Over the past year Primedia Outdoor has partnered with a number of advertisers who have carefully chosen OOH strategies that have utilised the benefits of tOOH to ensure their brands remain top-of-mind to the consumers of South Africa no matter the demographic fit or the environment. When considering OOH for your next campaign, look to the benefits of not only DOOH but also tOOH and see how far Out-of-Home can take your brand.