In two separate incidents over the past months officials of SANRAL and officials of eThekwini Municipality took the law into their own hands and started removing advertising structures belonging to two outdoor companies. These illicit removals were recently stopped by the courts.

As long ago as 2002 a full bench of the KZN High Court ruled that city officials may not remove advertising structures without a court order.  In the case of African Billboard Advertising (Pty) Ltd v North and South Central Local Councils, Durban the  High Court ruled that:

“The principle applies equally to the rights of public bodies such as municipalities or provincial councils or any similar bodies, and even to State Departments. Individual members of a State Department normally cannot, in the interest of their Department, take the law into their own hands and enforce State rights without the State having made use of the assistance of its judicial Department in order to help it to acquire possession of property to which the State may be entitled.”

In December 2017 officials of the eThekwini Municipality took the law into their own hands and started removing billboards of Strawberry without a court order. This was despite an interdict awarded to Strawberry prior to the removal. eThekwini went back to court to have the interdict discharged without notifying Strawberry and then continue with the removal before they were interdicted again on 23 December where the court granted a temporary order. On 19 February 2018, the matter was again before the court and the interdict was made permanent. The said billboards were all on Provincial Roads and was installed in terms of approvals granted by the KZN Provincial Government.

In 2018 SANRAL followed the same unlawful behaviour where they start braking down billboards on bridges that belong to the municipality of Ekurhuleni who also approved the said advertising structures. The outdoor company was Jinja Outdoor who obtained an urgent temporary interdict against SANRAL on Saturday 3 February 2018 in the South Gauteng High Court.

There are more complex legal issues at stake like jurisdiction etc but this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the courts. Both parties indicated that they have suffered substantial damages to their structures as well as the loss of advertising revenue and they are obtaining legal advice with the view of suing the state entities for damages. If such damages are to be granted by court it would be borne by the us, the taxpayers.

OOH is a poster boy for data and digital

 Out-of-home advertising is enjoying a renaissance in many markets, as its newfound versatility, driven by data and digital, demands planners reconsider its role on their media plan, an industry figure says.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to plan an effective outdoor campaign, Tony Regan, a partner in Work Research and a founder of Brand Performance, outlines how out-of-home (OOH) is evolving rapidly as digital out-of-home (DOOH) enables new opportunities.

Sometimes described as “the last broadcast medium” targeting people on the move, OOH offers broad and fast national or near-national reach, second only to TV, but advanced measurement techniques now means more specific audiences can also be targeted as well.

Regan highlights the UK’s Route tool – the methodology is being exported to other OOH markets – which enables planners to build campaigns based on the audience characteristics of individual poster sites, creating a shift away from planning and buying standardised packages.

Instead of simply buying ‘ABC1 men’, they can now access audiences such as ‘people who fly long-haul for business’ and via Route’s data source they can access that audience not just at airports but in a wide variety of locations across the city and even in commuter dormitory towns.

And when DOOH is added into the mix, especially smaller format DOOH panels, planners can devise proximity or location-specific activations in conjunction with mobile devices.

“Geo-fenced mobile targeting is now an established technique, but it best extends OOH campaigns where consumers have a high dwell-time and are likely to be active on their smartphones – such as shopping malls, airports and train stations,” Regan advises.

Managing DOOH adds further levels of intricacy to what was already a complex process, but it also allows OOH to evolve from a planned, pre-structured medium to one with greater flexibility, buying media by day-part, for example, or dependent on the weather.

“As digital inventory builds up across formats and locations, planners can give digital OOH a hard-working role on the plan, not just treat it as icing on the cake,” he says.

“Smart planners use digital OOH in shorter bursts to amplify campaigns where volume of impacts is primarily delivered by physical formats.”

The resurgence of OOH is also being helped by new campaign management platforms which are making OOH buying easier, but “the notion of programmatic trading of DOOH across multiple owner inventories remains some way off,” Regan notes.

Debonairs train station campaign generates awareness

To generate brand awareness and ensure that millions of commuters know about Debonairs Pizza specials, Transit Ads™ has implemented a strategic OOH campaign – which is part of a broader commuter strategy developed by the MediaShop – in various Metrorail stations across South Africa.

For 12 months, consumers will be exposed to large format, sharp, colourful imagery of freshly made Debonairs pizza and the special offer messaging of ‘Real Deal from R21.90 each’. The creative is featured on strategically placed billboards in Berea Station, Durban Station, Cape Town Station, Park Station, Orlando Station, Germiston Station and Pretoria Station. Each station enjoys high traffic footfall, high frequency and long dwell times.

Shamy Naidu, Executive: Transit Ads™ explains, “The Debonairs campaign is effective because it targets consumers as they leave for work, but also as they arrive home when it is close to dinner time. Most Debonairs outlets are less than 5km from the stations and the mouth-watering creative keeps the product top of mind.”

Train Station branding has become a highly sought after advertising medium as it reaches a large consumer audience with excellent frequency, and delivers exceptional results. The national year-long campaign for Debonairs Pizza is set to raise the brand’s profile above its competitors, enhance brand loyalty and keep it top of mind when making a purchasing decision.

Every day, train stations experience a high footfall of commuters and offer high dwell times and brand visibility that translate to positive brand and messaging recall. Over a million commuters choose trains as their preferred mode of transport and this is increasing consistently along with the expansion and upgrading of infrastructure.

Train Stations have also evolved into major intermodal transit hubs where train, bus and taxi meet. Many of the country’s stations also boast excellent retail, which attracts not only commuters but other consumers looking to shop, do banking or grab a bite to eat.

The rail environment is captive, there are high dwell times with an average of 21 minutes, and there is excellent frequency with 79% of train commuters travelling twice daily.


Alliance Media Mozambique is honoured to have been awarded the PMR (Professional Management Review) Golden Arrow Award. This year’s award was recently given at the award ceremony at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Maputo Mozambique.

The Alliance Media Mozambique team has been truly committed to Outdoor and Airport advertising in Mozambique, and the award further solidifies Alliance Media’s position as the leader in OOH in Mozambique.

The PMR awards are awarded through an independent survey. The ratings are sourced from top decision makers to identify leaders in all major industries who contribute to economic growth and development.

Alliance Media is Africa’s largest outdoor advertising company, operating over 25,000 advertising sites in 23 African countries. The company is also the largest airport advertising concession holder in Africa, having more airports under management than any other company.

For more information about how Alliance Media grows brands in Mozambique


JCDecaux has announced the launch of VIOOH – a global independent automated planning and trading platform designed to accelerate growth of Out-of-Home (OOH) and connect the industry to the programmatic digital ecosystem. The capital of VIOOH – pronounced View – is currently owned 93.5% by JCDecaux and 6.5% by Veltys, a data specialist and modelling company.

VIOOH’s purpose is to grow OOH advertising spend globally by offering an integrated platform to provide automation and offer programmatic trading for media sellers and buyers. While Digital OOH is expected to be the second fastest growing medium between 2017 and 2020, the platform will strengthen JCDecaux’s capacity to meet the new expectations of its clients, brands and agencies, and enlarge the Group ecosystem.

JCDecaux is convinced that OOH can compete with digital advertising (mobile, search, display …) by transforming its whole offering through optimised campaigns using data and technology. This is why the Group decided to create VIOOH organically on a worldwide footprint and to open it to OOH media owners.

VIOOH has developed a best-in-class planning and trading platform for the OOH industry. The platform has been in development for over 2 years, and provides a full stack for automated trading, data management, content serving and ad exchange functionality. The new business is based in London and VIOOH already employs a team of over 65 developers, coders, commercial and support staff. VIOOH is able to incorporate many data sources and relies on machine learning algorithms to improve the targeting and the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. OOH being by nature a “one to many” media, VIOOH is almost natively GDPR compliant and therefore will always comply strictly with personal data protection rules to safeguard citizens and users.

Starting in the UK and the USA, the platform will soon be deployed in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Singapore, Dubai, Norway and the Netherlands among other markets.

Primedia Outdoor continues to expand its digital footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa

As part of growing its digital footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa, Primedia Outdoor has recently gone a step further to install new 4m x 8m and 3m x 6m LED screens in eSwatini and Lesotho respectively, marking its position as digital leaders.

Driven by demand and considerable content opportunities, these dynamic structures offer unique advertising for memorable executions with high creative flexibility and ease of updating campaigns at no production costs. Moreover, the screens create immersive consumer experience which can also be integrated with social media content to serve as a new avenue of customer engagement and feedback strategies.

With an estimated population of 2.26 million (World Population Review, 2018), Lesotho has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa with the country’s economy mainly dependant on mining, construction, transport, industrial manufacturing and remittances from migrant labourers in South African mines. On the other hand, formerly known as Swaziland, eSwatini has a population of 1.39 million inhabitants with tourism being one of their biggest industries on account of historic museums, festivals and national parks.

Adding to its comprehensive range of out-of-home advertising solutions, Primedia Outdoor has strategically positioned these high-impact dynamic screens within the commercial hubs of both countries to reinforce brand presence and provide an exclusive platform with complete control of advertising message.

East Point woos shoppers with Katy Perry campaign


In order to attract shoppers to the newly refurbished and extended East Point Shopping Centre in Ekurhuleni, the mall has implemented a marketing campaign which features a strategic mix of communication touchpoints including OOH media, experiential marketing and social media.  Mall Ads™ is supporting the campaign by amplifying it through strategically positioned hanging banners.

With the key objective of increasing feet into the mall, the campaign offers excitement, value and reward for shoppers in the form of visual communications and shoppertainment. Shoppers stand a chance of winning tickets to the Katy Perry concert as well as other prizes.

Promoting the campaign, hanging banners with eye-catching, highly visual creative, are visible throughout the mall. And extending the messaging is an experiential campaign that includes a specially built stage with professional promoters engaging with shoppers and encouraging them to ‘shop and win’. The campaign has been extended to social media, creating yet another touchpoint for East Point to communicate with shoppers.

“Advertising within a mall environment feeds into and satisfies the need states of consumers. They want their experience to be personal, they want value, trust, recognition and they want convenience. The Katy Perry campaign takes all these factors into account with the result that it is proving to be extremely successful,” comments John Faia, GM: Mall Ads™.

Heineken at the forefront of innovation with two media firsts in sub-Saharan Africa

Heineken®, an international premium brand globally known for their innovative and disruptive approach to marketing and media, introduced two media innovation firsts in sub-Saharan Africa.

The UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The finale of the 2012/13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, drawing 360 million television viewers. This emotional frenzy is the heart of the Champions League experience and Heineken® saw the opportunity in this.

In launching the campaign, Heineken’s® message was very clear – bringing the thrill of the Champions League to life through a memorable call to Share the Drama with friends, and a Heineken® of course. Gaining consumer attention is an ongoing challenge, and globally we have seen how the use of dynamic creativity can increase advertising effectiveness. Heineken®, together with their media agency Red Star (Powered by the Dentsu Aegis Network), via Digital OOH (DOOH) and mobile video channels, created real-time excitement and anticipation in the lead up to the Heineken® Champions League matches from the quarter finals onwards. The campaign which went live on 3 April running until 26 May, is a first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Ilsa Gräbe, Communication & Engagement Manager for Heineken South Africa: “Finding new ways to disrupt in an attention scarce economy means we can cut through the clutter and engage our audiences in a relevant, entertaining and more valuable way.”

The first part of the campaign was driven by Liveposter on DOOH. This campaign featured a dynamic countdown as well as half-time and final score updates that were displayed on multiple DOOH screens (image below). Insights from Liveposter that drove this solution was that globally, there’s a 20% increase in awareness and 50% increase in message recall when viewing dynamic digital OOH campaigns.

The challenge, for any football fan is that there’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic whilst your team is playing, unable to partake in the magic and excitement of the game. Heineken®, together with Red Star gave the football fans the medium to keep them in the loop during their frustrating commute, by keeping them engaged whilst commuting.

The Liveposter platform delivered a countdown clock until kick-off on match days, after which it showcased the half-time and final score updates within minutes of the results, to ensure that fans never miss out on the action. Liveposter is the only platform of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa with the capability to show changing components across several DOOH networks and media owners, which made it the perfect vehicle to deliver this campaign.

This was the first Liveposter campaign in sub-Saharan Africa. The below images, courtesy of Wideopen Platform, shows the execution of the campaign.

The second part of the campaign, another media first in sub-Saharan Africa, made use of mobile interactive video with partner Ad Colony to drive high View Through Rates (VTR). The campaign was amplified through market technology called Aurora Video and supported by key media owner partners, Adcolony, who were instrumental in launching this interactive video. The campaign locally had two main TVC 30’ assets which were promoted by the Aurora technology and brought to life within an in-app highly engaged environment, targeting key consumers of the Heineken® market.

How did it work?

Football is a social occasion, it’s a place where fans find a sense of community with their fellow football fanatics. A place where they share their disappointments, excitement and fair share of banter all over social media. What better way to connect football fans than through their mobile phones. Using Facebook, Heineken® together with Red Star turned fans to their phones via Mobile Video. Consumers were encouraged to experience two parallel video story lines of football legends “The Wall” with Ronaldinho and “The Chase” with van Nistelrooy, simultaneously tapping their screens to interchange between the videos, allowing them to create their own stories by deciding which parts they wanted to follow. The mobile phone would vibrate and “switch” between videos on every tap. The premise behind the campaign was that these interactive elements brought about increased engagement which generated higher video completion rates.

This innovation brought about a seamless interaction for the consumer and is continuing to drive high VTR% (which currently sits at 77%).

Aurora Interactive video is a first of its kind technology, which allows for increased engagement for the consumer on video assets. Currently the campaign is achieving a 168% engagement rate which is well above the average engagement of non-interactive video ranging between 2-5%. Mobile video completion rates are usually closer to 10% (with Heineken® currently performing at 70%.)

Through using two brand new media firsts in sub-Saharan Africa, Heineken® was able to Share the Drama and bring the thrill of the Champions League to life for their fans. Heineken continues to prove that they are at the forefront of innovation and disrupting traditional marketing and media implementation.

Anti-billboard groups blocked legislation in California

Prototype LED changeable message sign in right of way.

Opposition from billboard companies, local governments, and anti-billboard groups blocked legislation in California to allow digital billboard advertising on the public highway right of way.

The controversial proposal could be attached to other state legislation later this year, but that seems to  be an uphill fight in the face of broad opposition.

For the second week in a row, proponents of the legislation (AB-1405) pulled it from committee consideration in Sacramento, a signal that the sponsor did not have sufficient votes to clear the committee (California Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing).  The committee met on June 19 and 26, taking no action to advance the bill.

The official bill analysis provided this clearly worded, frank description of the legislation, which would have allowed 25 digital billboards on California highways:

“The state can earn revenue by hosting advertising.  A single digital billboard can bring in $500,000 annually.  Were California to develop a network of digital signs along the major state highways, the state would control a new and powerful advertising media, outshining other billboards and outdoor advertising displays which are less optimally located.

For the outdoor advertising industry, a large state advertising network could only be developed and managed by a large firm, disadvantaging the smaller outdoor advertising companies.  More generally, the additional outdoor advertising signs allowed by this bill will increase the supply of outdoor advertising space, thereby driving down the price for advertising in the outdoor advertising market, which is bad news for the outdoor advertising companies owning that space and the local governments who share in those revenues.”

Opponents included local governments, anti-billboard groups in Los Angeles and San Diego, and billboard companies (Bulletin Displays, General Outdoor Advertising, Lamar Advertising Company, Meadow Outdoor Advertising, Stott Outdoor Advertising, and Veale Outdoor Advertising).

OUTFRONT Media and Intelligent Sign Network (affiliated with Foster Interstate Media) supported the proposal, along with groups representing contractors, labor, and crime victims.  California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which would have shared at least half of the ad revenue, said the proposal was “feasible.”

If enacted, the plan would require federal approval to overcome rules against advertising on public right of way signs.

Other decisions regarding use of highway right of way:

  • California

The California Senate voted 19-17 to reject legislation (SB-1397) to allow advertising on official traffic signs (June 2, 2016)

  • Congress

The US House voted 255-173 against a bill to allow corporate logos in floral designs on the right of way (November 4, 2015)

  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):
    • Blocked Texas from selling corporate sponsorships of traffic signs (June 7, 2017)
    • Rejected a proposal to sell ads on the blank backsides of highway traffic signs (April 26, 2017)
    • Sent a penalty notice to New York State ($14 million) for installing promotional signs that did not conform to the federal Manual on uniform signs (February 1, 2018)
    • Denied Arizona’s request for a waiver to convert highway rest areas to service plazas with food and fuel (January 3, 2018)

Insider’s Take:  A spokesperson for sponsor Asssemblyman Kevin Mullin of South San Francisco said the bill is no longer active for thei legislative year, and Mullin does not plan to push the proposal in 2018.  Kudos to Jim Moravec, Tom Jackson, Mark Kudler, the Zukins and Lamar for helping to defeat AB-1405.  Expect to see more signs in the right of way fights as cash strapped local and state governments look for non-tax funding.

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JCDecaux acquires Australian out-of-home media company APN Outdoor

JCDecaux will acquire Australian out-of-home media company APN Outdoor for $1.119bn following a wave of consolidation in the Australian market.

The international outdoor giant has agreed the deal after its initial $1.1bn bid last week was rejected.

The deal will provide JCDecaux with APN’s large format billboards as well as outdoor assets in the transit, rail and airport markets. It will also enable the French-based brand to enter New Zealand, via the company’s trans-tasman assets.

Jean-François Decaux, co-chief executive officer of JCDecaux, said: “This acquisition is a significant milestone in JCDecaux’s history in Australia, which is the 7th largest advertising market worldwide, where we have been growing organically since 2000.

“APN Outdoor is very complementary to our existing street furniture assets and through this acquisition, JCDecaux will be attractively positioned to provide a compelling proposition to compete more effectively in the Australian media market where Out of Home accounts for 6% of advertising spend, of which almost 50% is digital. Finally, we are delighted to enter New Zealand, a fast-growing market.”

The acquisition comes hot on the heels of a major acquisition by APN Outdoor’s rival company Ooh Media, which outbid APN to acquire street furniture company AdShel.

Both deals are now subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Activations – Beyond the hashtag

In a world saturated with technology, staying close to your consumers is of paramount importance – especially if you want to cut through the clutter, be noticed and be exciting enough for consumers to want to engage and act.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. But if used incorrectly it can damage a brand’s reputation. Campaigns that make use of technology still need the human element, especially campaigns that are tech-heavy. As shiny and exciting as a new tech driven experience is, consumers need to be driven to act and to immerse themselves in the brand world in order to become advocates of a brand. This is where face to face human interaction plays a key role.

As much as consumers enjoy engaging via social media and OOH digital platforms, the human element is vital to successful brand influence. From brand awareness, affiliation and action it all relies on the human factor. This is where activations come into the fray and provide the core impetus to a campaign.

Going forward into the foreseeable future, the hashtag isn’t going to be enough. We need to push for better, further reaching strategies that extend the life of campaigns beyond the hashtag and beyond tech and we need to do this by getting close and getting personal.

The Future

Great experiential marketing strategies will use digital OOH and social media to close distances between brands and consumers. Activations that are human centric need to be highly customizable so that engagement is personalized in order to create authentic relationships between brand and customer. Marketers and brand managers particularly need to constantly ask themselves: does it make sense to put X % of budget into digital or TV or should this rather be allocated to creating experiences?

It’s a new customer journey where the customer is always king – he wants to be treated as such from a brand or risk losing him to a competitor. Consumers expect brands to know them and provide the experiences they want. It goes without saying that consumers who have a great experience with a brand will spend more than a consumer who has had a bad experience.

In a transaction-based business, customer experience drives sales. And, it’s cheaper to have happy customers and brand followers than unhappy ones. In fact, after controlling for other factors that drive repeat purchases (for example, how often the customer needs the type of goods and services), customers who had the best past experiences spent 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.[i]

Activations augment hashtag marketing

Activations augment hashtag marketing and vice versa. Social media as part of an activations campaign can extend the reach of experiences, events and marketing stunts. It serves to broaden the audience and keep them up to date with what a brand is doing. It also creates a FOMO effect, which for brands is a coveted consumer state of mind as it drives sales and affiliation.

The bottom line is this: as more consumers interact with each other and with brands via social media, the more consumers hanker for new tech-driven brand experiences, the more we need to stay human centric.