In today’s era of technology, consumers are being bombarded with advertising messaging double what it was 5 years ago. Back then, consumers were exposed to at least 5,000 advert messaging per day, today, it’s almost double that. Because of this, media agencies have to work harder to engage and impact their audiences across all channels.
Out of Home advertising (OOH), has been on the decline over the past few years. This is especially true in our Kenyan market as it is the one medium that is not monitored or tracked, thus making it difficult for advertisers to prove its value to clients. We do know that it works and has impact and builds saliency just like any other medium, we currently use surrogate data to support our rationale – will park the data conversation for now (story for another day).
We must balance the art and science of media to deliver impactful campaigns for our brands and consumers, especially in Africa where we don’t have sufficient data in most markets. As we do this, media agencies are tasked to constantly probe where OOH is headed and what that looks like for our market / region.
The biggest challenge is: how do we grab consumers attention and how do we ensure we land the message through the various outdoor advertising placements we have?
Rule of thumb for OOH advertising according to the media industry benchmarks, was to get people’s attention in the first 7 seconds of glimpsing at an ad; today this has reduced to 3 seconds. Reason behind this decline is mobile phones are taking over our lives, even while in traffic, no one looks outside anymore. The target audience for outdoor messaging is also changing from people driving personal cars to pedestrian and public transport Nairobians, who are at approx. 80% versus 15% motorists ~ Kantar Q1 2019 study.
OOH is now significantly reaching a larger mass audience of pedestrians across our key cities in Kenya. This has then shifted consumption & the actual crafting of messaging in some areas where pedestrian traffic is relatively high to be directed to them and not motorists as was seen to be the norm for some OOH formats. If one were to drive along Mbagathi road in Nairobi between 6am and 7am, they would see the number of people headed for work on foot to as far as Industrial area, Jogoo road and Mombasa road.
This in itself is a ready audience for OOH as well. Don’t get me wrong, there is still an audience of people in vehicles; we just need to be more aware of the different audiences we have when it comes to OOH advertising. For us in the advertising space, this means we must get people to look up more and look out in their respective preferred means of transport.
For this to happen we must therefore shake up the current status quo and try at least one, if not all, of the following implementations:
Identify sites with low competition and proper visibility – Put up messaging in areas where we are not fighting for eyeballs among a row of 6 billboards / ads back to back amidst a row of billboards.
Targeted messaging– Align messaging with the area/ route messaging will be seen.
Clean creative– Remember it’s not a print ad for us to insert phone numbers and office location for people to read and save the number while on the move.
Rotate messaging– Refresh creative to ensure we demonstrate location and consumer in said location
Think OUT OF HOME– Innovate placement, content to consumer – orientation, night vision sites
Digital integration– Geo ring / tag ads to certain sites having branding that is disruptive and integrating online & offline messaging especially on digital screens.
All that aside, the biggest challenge when it comes to OOH buying is still monitoring and evaluation of sites / placements. “And that’s exactly what we are addressing at Adspace Africa. We have created a portal that is able to provide a one stop for buying sites, monitoring, evaluating based on GRP, reach metrics and also enable full circle OOH programmatic buys in East Africa, Bertha Babu, Adspace Africa”
This will help drive direct data to finally justify ROI of each shilling spent on OOH buys to brands in the market and how it contributes to the cumulative reach of each integrated campaign. Looking forward to it and to brands pushing harder to think broader.