Category Archives: Outdoor

Billboard wars 2: ANC campaign poster removed for “breaking the law”

The 2019 Elections could well be remembered as the battle of the billboards. Last week, we saw the DA get a lot of stick for their “ANC is killing us” campaign which caused major controversy. However, it seems the ruling party have ruffled a few feathers too.

A billboard placed outside of East London’s Selborne College – with campaign messages such as “the power is in your hands” and “grow South Africa” – appear next to a huge image of Cyril Ramaphosa, encouraging citizens to vote for the president when the ballot boxes open up in May. It all seems pretty innocuous, right? Well, it’s not that simple.

Why the ANC’s East London billboard breaks the rules

The billboard has had to be removed from its location because it’s in direct contravention of the South African Schools Act. Section 33 Part 4 explains that no political propaganda should be on display near a school:

“A school may not allow the display of material of a party-political nature on its premises, unless such party-political material is related to the curriculum at the school.”

DA react to “unacceptable” breach of the law

The billboard is not owned by Selborne College, but it is located on the school’s premises and still has to comply with the provisions set out in the Schools Act. We got in touch with Edmund van Vuuren, who is the shadow MEC for education in the Eastern Cape. He was incensed by the move, which he described as “hypocritical”:

“There is a lot of hypocrisy, here. They are putting a board up at a public school – you do not do that. You can’t use schools as political playgrounds. If they do this, any other political party with the funds can erect these boards on any schools they choose.”

“Parents are then subjected to political campaigning and it’s unacceptable. We will never use a school in this fashion, nor do we visit schools during lesson time as we do not want to disrupt the pupils’ learning.”

Edmund van Vuuren

After registering his complaint with the local authorities, the billboard has since been removed – making the ANC the third major political party to encounter difficulties with a campaign poster this week. As well as the DA’s divisive message, the EFF also saw some of their materials damaged and removed from public view. It really is silly season out here.

Tractor Outdoor and Oasis Digital join forces to create the largest DOOH Network in South Africa  

Tractor Outdoor and Oasis Outdoor Media have signed a partnership agreement for the sales and marketing of the Oasis Forecourt digital network, thus making Tractor one of the biggest DOOH network in the country with over 100 digital out of home screens nationally.

This exciting partnership will provide Oasis with the additional market penetration to meet the rapid expansion of this footprint. This will allow Oasis to focus on the development side of the business which includes innovations it wishes to introduce relating to mobile marketing and other bolt-on features whilst Tractor can bring its substantial client base to the partnership.

“Tractor has made a big play in the digital space in the last year, and we have in effect streamlined our content management systems making it possible for advertisers to have a single point of entry for what is arguably the biggest DOOH network in the country. With the inclusion of the Huq data; a real world consumer research database, we are now able to offer clients a clear defined meaningful customer journey of their target market they wish to influence.’’ Says Simon Wall, Managing Director at Tractor Outdoor.

Reinhardt Hanel, CEO of Oasis Outdoor Media says he is delighted and excited about the synergies.  “Not only are we both Cape Town based companies with a national foot print and presence, but our management styles and vision for the future are completely aligned.  We believe that we have truly found the best possible partners in the industry and already the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive”

The screens are located across multiple petrol stations across Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth. All these stations are also in partnership with major banking companies and fast food outlets that can be found on the premises. With the average dwell time spent at petrol stations being 5 minutes and many motorists having to top up fuel, advertisers have the opportunity to remarket their campaigns according to their exact target market.

“Tractor is also able to develop highly accurate cost per thousand (CPM) valuation metrics through the utilization of the Huq data, which enables buyers and planners to do like for like comparisons with other campaigns that they may be running online, and in many instances they have found that advertising on the Tractor DOOH Network is in fact a far more cost effective way of reaching an audience than many other online/digital campaigns.’’ Says Bruce Burgess of IRL Consulting..

Two Aspects Will Dominate Outdoor in 2019

There are two aspects that will dominate outdoor advertising in 2019 in South Africa. The one aspect is a substantial increase in the supply of digital billboards to the South African advertisers. The other aspect is an increase in regulatory confrontations between the industry and municipalities. Once again, the industry’s lack of unity is going to be under the spotlight as a result of these two aspects.

 

Increase in Digital Billboards

The advertising industry is notorious for following the trends elsewhere, especially Europe. The sharp increase in the supply of digital billboards in Europe has inevitably to be followed by local operators. The prediction is that it is going to happen this year in South Africa. The mouthwatering rates that are flying around for digital space can no longer be ignored and any operator worth his salt has to have a digital billboard. If that is coupled with the annual decrease in the costs of installing digital billboards the time if more that ripe for a substantial increase in the digital space. However, operators need to be carefully consider the following:

  • In the short term, digital billboard will erode income on static billboards;
  • The ad spend for outdoor need to increase for the digital holding to be profitable;
  • The economics of a digital billboard is dependent on the fact that advertisers will pay more for less time on a billboard, if this rate drops operators may find themselves on the short end of a stick;
  • Creatives are not currently suited for digital displays especially videos as the viewing time of 3 to 4 seconds is substantially shorter that the current 15 or 30 second video advertisement;
  • Digital advertising also creates space for smaller advertisers and should be explored to avoid a bombardment of the agencies with a digital supply which will surely drive down the price.
  • In future digital billboards will be more reliant on data to attract advertisers and the technological upscaling of your billboard is therefore important.

Leadership in the industry will be an important impetus for this expansion as it may easily turn sour and start a price war that will leave, especially smaller players vulnerable. The current fragmentation of the industry will certainly not assist role-players to traverse this new expansion.

 

Regulatory Confrontations

 

At least two important court cases will be decided this year. The case regarding the Joburg by-laws will be heard in April and regardless of the outcome it is going to have repercussions. If the by-laws are set aside, the old and equally problematic by-laws will be enforced with new vigor. If the attack is not successful the new by-laws will be enforced with vigor. Another case will decide the jurisdictional issue between municipalities and provinces. Besides that, it seems that Gauteng is going to promulgate new regulations.

However, the scion that has already raised its head is the notion by municipalities to levy a display fee for billboards. These are sometimes applicable only to private property and some on all billboards. This cannot be regarded as anything else then a tax. In some municipalities these run into the hundreds of thousands of rand per year and in some instances more than a million per year. This needs to be attacked by the industry as a collective because its eroding effect on income on billboards is going to be substantial. Again. the fragmented industry does not assist in tackling this problem. It is going to be difficult for single companies to tackle it alone as the pockets of the municipalities are deeper than individual companies.

OUTDOOR NETWORK UNVEILS SA’s LARGEST DIGITAL BILLBOARD IN KZN

Outdoor Network has taken the latest step in growing its already-sizeable network, by unveiling a large format double-sided digital billboard site on the M3 highway in close proximity to the Durban CBD.

The site is significant in size and commands an imposing presence, measuring 4.5m x 18m (81m2 on each side), and is located adjacent to the M3, facing all east-bound traffic from the N3, N2 and Pietermaritzburg into the CBD, and the south and west-bound traffic exiting the city.

“It is the single largest digital out of home billboard in South Africa and demonstrates Outdoor Network’s commitment to investing in state-of-the-art out-of-home advertising in strategically-positioned locations,” says Warren Dugmore, Outdoor Network’s Head of Sales, Billboards.

Each side of the billboard is expected to reach an audience of well over 500 000 consumers. With an average frequency rate of 6.5, the site is expected to deliver 3.3 million impacts every month (ROAD2015/2016/2017C), offering significant exposure and value for any brand taking up the space.

Whilst there’s no doubting that the size of the digital LED structure will turn a lot of heads and garner most of the attention, it shouldn’t be forgotten that its strategic location alongside the key highway heading into the Durban CBD is another key factor in its desirability.

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa andforms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighbouring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast. It is also one of South Africa’s major tourism centres because of the city’s warm sub-tropical climate and extensive beaches, and Durban has also positioned itself as an important business events destination, largely due to the success of the Durban ICC.

Digital out of home is the second fastest-growing advertising medium globally after social media, and an international study of 3,500 consumers in the UK found that by a clear majority, digital out of home advertising was: considered modern (79%); innovative (69%); appealing (67%); entertaining (63%); and stood out from other forms of outdoor advertising (70%).

Further to that, according to Media Caddy’s ‘The Metrics of Digital Out of Home Advertising’, “digital place-based out of home advertising has some of the highest recall in the industry, at around 47% after a month’s time. Better recall means more customer recognition and more brand engagement, even a month after the ad was shown!”

No surprise then that digital forms an integral part of Outdoor Network’s growth strategy, an area it is heavily invested in. Outdoor Network is maximising the advantages of this cutting-edge technology and using it to reach key consumer segments, while positively influencing recall and engagement with an effective digital out-of-home solution.

Tractor Outdoor and UrbanSigns announce strategic partnership

Tractor Outdoor and UrbanSigns is pleased to announce the establishment of “urbantrac” a collaboration between the two companies to redefine their DOOH portfolio profoundly within the Cape Town area.

“We are proud to join forces with Urban Signs,” says Ben Harris, Rights and Development Director at Tractor Outdoor. “. With DOOH growing rapidly in the OOH sector there is no doubt that we as media owner need to evolve and keep up with the latest trends within the industry. By collaborating we are merging our large scale portfolios and expertise to allow our clients to target multiple key locations specificallyaimed at their target market and maximizing their unique reach.”

An exclusive digital 3×6 screen which is located along the M5 Highway in Cape Town is one of the first DOOH additions to the “urbantrac” trademark. With the addition of this screen, it now takes Tractor’s digital portfolio growth up to 9 screens this year alone.

“It is my pleasure to announce that UrbanSigns and Tractor are now a fully formed partnership. We have together put in a tremendous amount of hard work and I am confident in Tractor’s expertise and knowledge of the OOH industry and I look forward to future developments.” says Antony Urbaniak, Owner of UrbanSigns.

OUTDOOR NETWORK LAUNCHES ROTATING DIGITAL LED OUTSIDE CRESTA MALL

Outdoor Network has unveiled its latest state-of-the-art rotating digital billboard site, adjacent to one of Johannesburg’s busiest malls – Cresta Shopping Centre– as it continues to grow its national network in key commuter nodes.

The site is on the corner of Beyers NaudéDrive and Republic Road in the suburb of Blackheath, opposite Cresta Shopping Centre, which is the focal point for entertainment and retail in the broader Randburg area. Randburg is a highly desirable location for retail, motoring and services brands among others, as it provides an ideal mix of residential, business and shopping environments.

Cresta Shopping Centre has over 260 stores and is a hub of fashion, food, décor, tech and services, ensuring consistent footfall and traffic of over a million people a month into and out of the mall.

Beyers Naudé Drive is a large arterial route starting at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Parkand transports commutersfrom a number of feeder suburbs, beforetraversing the N1 Western Bypass at Randpark Ridge. It eventually terminates at the N14 freeway near Muldersdrift, meaning it’s a popular route connecting the Johannesburg CBD and its surrounds with the West Rand.

“The launch of another of our innovative rotating billboards will offer brands a world-class advertising opportunity on one of Johannesburg’s busiest thoroughfares,” says Warren Dugmore, Outdoor Network’s Head of Sales, Billboards. “Our continued investment in high impact sites is with a view to providing advertisers with targeted audiences and a greater return on investment for their marketing spend.”

The strategically placed 3x6m rotating LED billboard is expected to reach an audience of over 390 000 consumers. With a frequency rate of 8, the site will deliver more than 2.98 million impacts every month (ROAD2015/2016/2017C), offering significant exposure for any brand taking up the space.

According to Nielsen’s 2017 Digital Billboard Study, one of its top five findings found that: “Of travellers surveyed, 75% noticed a digital billboard in the past month, whilst of these respondents, 60% noticed a digital billboard in the past week. Over half of the travellers (55%) who noticed a digital billboard in the past month noticed specific messages on the billboard either every time or most of the time they passed one.”

OUTDOOR NETWORK UNVEILS ITS ROTATING DIGITAL LED IN MBOMBELA

All eyes are on Outdoor Network’s latest state-of-the-art rotating digital billboard site, which has just been unveiled along the R40, Madiba Drive in the heart of Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit). The roadside rotating billboard is assured high visibility on the main road in Mpumalanga’s bustling capital city. A vital business and tourism destination, Mbombela is also a gateway to Kruger National Park, Swaziland and Mozambique.

The city is likely to experience tremendous growth in the near future, particularly as the Municipality’s ‘Vision 2030’ strategy envisages shaping Mbombela into “the best city in South Africa”. Already a shopping hub that boasts as part of the area premier lifestyle centres like theRiverside Malland i’langa Mall, the city also attracts consumers from the nearby towns of Hazyview and White River. Adding to the consumer mix are Swazi and Mozambican nationals that cross the border to shop, study or for business purposes. Mbombela is home to all the major motor dealerships among which are luxury brands such as Land Rover, Mercedes Benz and BMW, its malls are tenanted by a number of international brands, and Tsogo Sun’s Emnotweni Casinois a popular attraction.

In addition, tourism is thriving in the city – Kruger Mpumalanga International Airportserves an average of 260 000 passengers a year and breached the 3 million passengers mark during 2016.

According to Warren Dougmore, Outdoor Network’s Head of Sales, Billboards: “The launch of another of our innovative LED billboards will offer brands a world-class advertising opportunity in a city much frequented by South Africans, Africans and international tourists alike. The rollout of this billboard further consolidates Outdoor Network’s national footprint in high-demand metropolitan areas across the country.”

The strategically placed 3x6m billboard is expected to reach an audience of over 83 000 consumers. With a frequency rate of 16, the site will deliver more than 1.3m impacts every month (ROAD2015/2016/2017C), which guarantees huge exposure to brands.

According to marketing intelligence service WARC, digital out of home plays a key role in today’s ‘smart cities, where roads, buildings and billboards are increasingly connected. Brands are now uniquely placed to speak directly to motorists, commuters and pedestrians within the urban environment – and those that plan their campaigns by audience rather than format can increase engagement[1].

“DOOH is even more effective when integrated with mobile, video and social media, so brands with a physical presence in Mbombela should consider DOOH as an integral part of the marketing mix,” says Howard Lonstein, Marketing Manager at Outdoor Network.

[1]https://www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/Opinion/1999

Soweto Gold captures the market with its free Wi-Fi-enabled 3D wall murals

Soweto Gold, the golden lager expertly brewed in Soweto, captures the market with its free Wi-Fi-enabled 3D wall murals. The Soweto Gold brand dominates the vibrant Soweto townships from its skyline down to its bustling streets. Dudu Cindi, an out-of-home strategist planner at Posterscope, says that Soweto Gold wanted to contribute to making social gatherings eKasi just a little more special by commissioning Soweto Gold wall murals with built-in free Wi-Fi.

Posterscope partnered with Owakhe Media, an outdoor production and management company, to produce the vibrant, one-of-a-kind Wi-Fi-enabled 3D wall murals.

The location-based strategy positioned the Soweto Gold brand near car washes, barbershops, taverns, parks and other popular hotspots where amaJita as’eKasi hang out in large groups to watch local diski while sharing a beer. Township wall murals remain a powerful and popular outdoor marketing medium that allows brands to remain top of mind for the valuable and influential township consumers. Soweto Gold’s 3D wall murals, which are strategically placed around high-volume areas in Soweto are Wi-Fi-enabled.

The bold wall murals also run Soweto Gold advertisements directly on their target audience’s mobile phone whenever they connect to the free Wi-Fi. With the introduction of Soweto Gold’s Wi-Fi-enabled 3D wall murals, the brand is constantly connected with its consumers through its outdoor brand placement and online. The Wi-Fi-enabled 3D wall murals allows the Soweto Gold consumer to connect with friends and family while enjoying a cold quart of Soweto Gold lager – emphasising the brand’s focus on brotherhood in the community.

Given the statics regarding the data usage of the Soweto Gold Wi-Fi-enabled 3D wall murals, consumers are no doubt in close proximity to the wall murals for long periods of time and are also at the same time interacting with the brand directly on their mobile devices. A win-win for both the target audience and Soweto Gold who wanted to win the hearts of locals by being a brand that remains true to its roots in the Soweto community that first supported the brand.

What’s up in the world of Digital OOH in SA?

Craig Wallis, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop offers a snapshot

The South African OOH (out of home) industry never ceases to amaze me with the incredible growth of media types, and its concomitant innovation. There are so many young, and passionate entrepreneurs out there that it bodes well for our country.

Possibly the most noticeable “new” media type is that of digital out of home (DOOH). If truth be told, dealing with all the various media owners that offer DOOH media can be rather daunting for a buyer like me. The reason for this is that the media owners have “skinned the cat” a hundred different ways when it comes to their media offering to prospective advertisers.

In order to get some semblance of understanding of all of these DOOH offerings, I decided to consolidate as many of the media owner’s offerings in order for me to have more of a global view of what’s digital in SA’s OOH industry.

What did I find?

Well, digital screens can be found in many different environments, so I took the liberty of classifying them all into four broad categories:

  1. Place Based Screens – Transit (airports, commuter nodes, taxis, buses, cars, Gautrain and forecourts)
  2. Place Based Screens – Non-Transit (salons, pharmacies, retail stores, clinics, medical rooms, pubs, restaurants and golf clubs)
  3. Roadside Digital Billboards (freeway and main arterial roads)
  4. Malls (screens, video walls and way finders / directory units)

N.B. I have not included sports stadia digital screens in the above.

There are around 50 media owners with Digital OOH platforms and almost 7 000 screens in their inventory. These screens vary in size from massive large format digital billboards to much smaller ones like iPads in Uber cabs. (I wonder what the total capital investment would be for all of these 7 000 screens?!?!)

I also calculated the total media value of all DOOH inventory at Rate Card rate and it came to just under R1.2 billion.

Factoring in varied discount rates, as well as likely annual occupancy levels for each of the above four categories, I calculated that the annual billings of the DOOH industry could be around R500 million. I must add that I feel that this figure is the very top end of possible DOOH spend.

What else did my “magic” Excel spread sheet reveal?

  • Roadside digital screens total around 160 screens which accounted for under 3% of all screens in SA, yet Roadside generates almost 40% of all DOOH media revenue. The reason for this massive variation is due to the fact that these small number of very large screens reach a massively large audience. This means that the media rental that a roadside digital screen can generate is astronomical when compared to that of a screen in a doctor’s waiting room or in a hair salon.
  • Place Based Transit screens comprised roughly 50% of the screens in SA, and they generate around 36% of total media rentals.
  • Place Based Non-Transit screens total about 38% of all screens in SA, and surprisingly generate less than 10% of all media rentals. This is possibly due to the relatively small audience reached per screen (think one screen in a doctor’s waiting room versus one massive screen in a taxi rank).
  • Mall screens on the other hand, comprise 10% of screens in SA, and generate around 16% of the media rentals. This is possibly due to paying a premium to reach top end shoppers at point of purchase.

A further thought came to mind whilst looking at my data and it was that it is fairly easy to compare a digital billboard with a similar static billboard. I wondered what the total media rental would be if I treated the current Roadside digital boards that I have on record as static billboards.

The current Roadside digital sites generate annual media rentals of R200 million (using my calculations, and assumptions as detailed above), however costing them as static billboards, they would only yield about R50 million in media rentals. Interestingly, it looks like converting a billboard from static to digital could increase revenues by at least 400%. Obviously, a large chunk of this revenue needs to fund the massive capital outlay for large format digital screens.

Given that advertisers pay a massive premium to be on digital screens, and the fact that they share it with other advertisers (around six other advertisers per screen) means that DOOH is way more expensive than static billboards. If an advertiser’s creative is not maximising the benefits that DOOH offers, then they could be wasting quite a lot of media spend.

Sadly, I still see many examples of creative that fail to utilise these benefits. Having said that, there are hundreds of examples of poor creative being gleefully posted on static billboards as well, but that in itself is a story for another day…

DOOH is going to keep on growing in SA as it has the world over, so brace yourself as you will find more and more environments becoming “digitised” allowing advertisers to target niche/sought after audiences.

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.