Sao Paulo’s Ingenious Move For Return Of Banned Billboards

Outdoor advertising is creeping back into one of the world’s biggest cities after a decade of being banned.

In 2007, São Paulo’s then-mayor shocked marketers and ad agencies by making illegal everything from billboards to large store signs in the Brazilian city of 21 million people. At the time, São Paulo had been overrun by huge billboards, and previous efforts to work with the ad industry to curb their proliferation largely failed, leading to the drastic “Cidade Limpa” (“Clean City”) law in 2007 that transformed the urban landscape.

Now, a pro-business mayor, João Doria, wants to auction off rights to bring some back in return for ad dollars for public works. The city has just opened bids for 32 LED panels, one for each of 32 bridges on the ring road that is a major traffic artery encircling the city, reports Meio & Mensagem, Ad Age’s editorial partner in Brazil. In return, the winner is responsible for painting, cleaning, lighting, installing cameras and otherwise maintaining the bridges, which the city estimates will cost about $95 million total during the 36-month contract. The city specifies that the LED panels be 13-feet wide and about 17-feet high, and that 50 percent of that space can be used for advertising messages. The rest must be devoted to information such as the time and traffic news.

There have already been a few small steps toward reintroducing out-of-home ads on a limited basis. Several years ago, media company Otima won a contract to maintain 5,000 bus shelters in return for ad space on the shelters. And outdoor giant JCDecaux maintains the big outdoor clocks on São Paulo streets.

Doria has made it clear he’d like to relax the Clean City rules, and has suggested projects like new public bathrooms that outdoor ads at those sites could fund. In fact, the city may be the biggest offender of the current rules: Earlier this year, São Paulo had to remove its own signs promoting companies that had supported a city beautification program after local journalists wrote about the move.

In the absence of outdoor ads in São Paulo, the huge metropolis offers an inviting canvas to a few creative marketers, usually under the guise of graffiti. Converse and The Community invited people to donate their own shadows so some of Brazil’s best graffiti artists could turn the outlines of their bodies into colorful pieces of street art. The murals were plastered across São Paulo two years ago and spread on Twitter and Instagram after the agency reached an agreement with the city to allow the murals for a month. The “Donate Your Shadow” campaign was a big winner at international award shows.

Another marketer, GE, also used art to open a loophole allowing a small logo on graffiti projects that would beautify the city. GE and São Paulo agency Almap BBDO created the GE Gallery five years ago, painting three colorful, graffiti-like panels 120 feet high on São Paulo buildings in high traffic areas. A week later, a small GE logo was added and a social media campaign unleashed. The panels represented, somewhat abstractly, three areas GE operates in: energy, health and transportation.

At the time, Almap BBDO partner and Creative Director Marcello Serpa told Ad Age that the law had gotten rid of the visual pollution caused by too many billboards, but left the city gray. “So we tried to use buildings as billboards on a huge scale, to give the city some color and bring art to the people, and to use it as a tool to subtly talk about GE products,” he said.

It’s unclear how far São Paulo will go in bringing back outdoor advertising, but Doria told Brazilian media earlier this year, “Don’t tell me the law can’t be changed. I’ll make it flexible. It’s the duty of the state … to act with the population in mind.”

Kenya: X-Rated Condom Billboard Pulled Down After Public Uproar

By Lillian Mutavi

An outdoor advertising company in Nairobi have been forced to pull down a billboard with an explicit message advertising one brand of condoms, following public outcry.

The billboard advertising Kiss condoms, which had been mounted near T-Mall along Langata Road, caused a stir for its explicit message.

The billboard mounted by Magnate Ventures Advertisement Company displays the hands of a woman touching the chest of a man with well-toned abs. “Ni Poa Dame Akicome first,” reads the message on the billboard.

The Acting County Secretary, Nairobi County Leboo Ole Morintant confirmed that they ordered the removal of the billboard as it carried an offensive message.

He said that the county government was working on a Bill that will ensure that any person who puts up such messages is held accountable.


The Nairobi County government Urban Planning Chief Officer Justus Kathenge also said that the county had advised the outdoor advertisement company to pull it down due to the offensive message.

“We received complains from the public. Since we regulate billboards when the public perception on messages they carry do not go down, well we advise for their removal,”said Mr Kathenge.

This is not the first time the condom industry have faced a public backlash over billboard advertisement.

In 2013 an advertisement on a billboard near the Consolata Shrine Catholic Church in Nairobi by a US-based organisation — Catholics for Choice (CFC) — that deemed as offensive by the Catholic Church was pulled down.

The message in the advert read: “We believe in God, we believe that sex is sacred, we believe in caring for each other, we believe in using condoms and good Catholics use condoms.”

The Swing Towards More Creative Advertising on Golf Courses

Peter Kohlöffel, National Sales Manager: Golf Ads™, says the golfing environment provides some unique opportunities for truly creative advertising.

There’s no doubt that the golfing environment is unique. Marketers can showcase brands to a captive audience that is relaxed, focused and unhurried. The golf environment is perfect for telling a number of brand stories, delivered in various formats, in a number of different ways. The very design of a course lends itself to this leisurely storytelling – in fact, what better canvas for creatively engaging with golfers and non-golfers alike?

But in my experience, brands that want to play in this creative space should be aware that the best approach is to align a campaign with the unique attributes of the golfing environment. Let’s look at these attributes in more detail.


A leisure environment

Golfers have time on their hands and they want to focus on their game, which can work perfectly for a brand that wants to tell a story without having to hit the player over the head to get attention. What other marketing environment can capture someone’s attention so completely while they’re in a relaxed and receptive frame of mind?

The campaign for the launch of the new Garmin golf watch – the Approach S60 –  has made clever use of the traditional clocks on the golf course by making creative use of the watch face. The campaign was custom-designed for the golf course environment and it is the first time that a golf clock has been modified. The creative engages with golfers in a non-intrusive fashion every time they approach a clock.  Taking frequency of play and high dwell-time into account, the campaign targets an affluent market directly interested in golf accessories and wearable technology. Creatively, it illustrates the virtue of tailoring creative to fit seamlessly and relevantly with a consumer touchpoint; driving engagement and recall, and creating desire for the product.  


Multiple formats and integrated messaging

Marketers are not restricted in terms of which format or formats to use – in fact, as Pringle’s ‘chipping from the rough’ campaign shows, engaging with both golfers and non-golfers at a variety of touchpoints can reinforce brand messaging. Advertisements for the snack were placed around the golf course, with clocks, ball-washers and Golf TV™ reinforcing brand messaging. At the same time, brand ambassadors handed out products samples in an environment uniquely free of competition – a strategy that created a firm association between Pringles and the golf course.

Pringles leveraged the golfing environment’s unique platforms in order to drive home the message: there is simply no better snack to enjoy on the golf course – particularly when you are faced with tough times in the rough. The pun on the word ‘chipping’ underscored the tongue-in-cheek nature of the campaign, bringing the brand closer to its target market through humour. Custom-designing creative to work with each micro-environment made for a seamless campaign that proved a hit on the 25 golf courses where it was rolled out.

The current campaign for  jewellery brand Pandora plays on the “guilt” aspect of golf, taking advantage of the golfing sense of humour. Leading up to the Festive Season, the Pandora campaign places Pandora in the minds of golfers as the perfect gift for their wives and girlfriends. This is a fun and catchy way to grab the attention of golfers.

Multiple points of interruption

Because the golf course is an uncluttered environment, it’s possible to engage with both golfers and non-golfers in multiple ways. Brands can capture attention virtually anywhere on the course – and if they tell a good story, the ‘interruption’ will be welcome.

Marketers already know that golf courses provide a ready-made market of the highest LSM consumers who seek out luxury goods, excellent service and convenience. But more importantly, these consumers want to feel comfortable with the level of engagement. Therefore, marketers should ensure that their campaigns are a good ‘fit’ with the golfing environment.

A particular brand may be better served by a billboard on the approach to the golf course, or a TV ad flighted in the clubhouse or golf cart. A six-second ad on Golf TV™ can be just as effective as a billboard at the 18th hole, depending on your brand’s aims and objectives. In addition, it has been proved that out-of-home advertising can drive consumers to mobile interactions and create two-way communication, which is another factor that can be taken into account. The point is, brands don’t have just one or two opportunities to engage with the target market – they have a number of them, in many places and at different times.


Why focus on great creative?

Marketing consultant Sequent Partners recently found that as much as 70% of ROI can be attributed to creative quality in out-of-home, which is why marketers should pay more attention to creative excellence – it can score a hole-in-one, amplifying and adding value to a brand’s message as well as increasing brand recall.

The golfing environment is very special, lending itself to all sorts of creative storytelling – but brands should ensure that the creative is custom-designed and works for each unique platform. Custom-designing for each format is important, since each format is a creative medium in its own right. The key is to creatively use the golfing environment in such a way that your brand gains maximum benefit from it.

For more information on how your brand can benefit from exposure on the golf course, contact Peter KohlÖffel on 0861 776 826 or [email protected] or go to


Face First Media dominating KZN’s highway presence

As generally expected, South Africa’s “Big 4” media owners (JCDecaux, Primedia, Outdoor Network and Ad Outpost) largely dominate the metropolitan highway network by owning close to 45% of the highway sites. In a largely dispersed and sprawling urban landscape, with increasing distances between origins and destinations, it is not surprising that highway movement represents such a central part of the daily commuter patterns of our cities. Moreover, as people repeatedly travel the same routes, the Big 4’s presence have remained in place as an anchoring component of their respective holdings.

However, in the age of innovation and specialization we are increasingly seeing disrupter’s like Uber entering the economic scene and changing the value networks by displacing market leading firms, offerings and alliances. This phenomenon first described in Clayton Christensen’s 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, has also found its way to the Out-of-Home Industry with the digitalization of signs and the introduction of mega sign typologies beginning to disrupt long standing patterns and ascendancies.

Yet, this disruption is not limited to these trends only. A largely unnoticed adjustment has been observed in the latest State of Out of Home Report (August 2017), with the “Big 4” media owners’ domination being disrupted by Face [First] Media now confirmed as the media owner with the largest highway billboard holding in KZN. “Since starting the business 5 years ago, I have set my vision on becoming a leading media owner in the province”, says Stevan Wilken, Face First Media’s CEO. These metrics reiterates that a focused strategy and consistent application has the ability to rearrange established hierarchies in favor of a more flexible and responsive approach sometimes more apparent in mid-size companies.

“While we continue along this dynamic growth path, this new ascendancy offers us a momentary tactical leverage point to augment our value offering and solidify our position in the third largest market for Out-of-Home spent in South Africa”, Stevan further elaborates. These changes clearly indicate that the Out-of-Home market is set to see more innovation, disruption and hegemonies as media owners begin to enter the age of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

RTMC books with Oasis Digital Networks for Transport Month

We are delighted to have RTMC as a client for the first time on our forecourt digital network. This footprint is clearly suited to reach their target motoring audience!

RTMC provided us with very attractive creative content which certainly works well on the digital screens. Three animated creative executions were supplied focussing on Don’t Drink & Drive, Don’t Text Whilst Driving and Speed Kills. As the motorists have ample dwell time, the animated content can really get to work. We look forward to growing our relationship with this client going forward as we are sure they will enjoy an excellent return on their investment in the future. This campaign awas associated with Transport Month and thus our focus will be to see what we can do for the upcoming festive season.

Provantage Media Group’s Airport Ads launches Visionet at Lanseria

Digital Out of Home (DOOH) is becoming increasingly popular within airport environments – according to Airport World magazine, it now accounts for between 20% and 40% of sales at large international airportsi. The global trend towards making use of this highly effective advertising medium points to its relevance and immediacy – and luxury brands are particularly excited by the possibility of reaching travellers poised to shop in the ‘third space’ that airports have become.

With this global trend in mind, Airport Ads®, a division of Provantage Media Group, unveiled three high-definition Visionet™ digital billboards at Lanseria International Airport on 1 September. As a growing airport that is strategically important to Gauteng – it is in the process of constructing a multi-storey parkade and has introduced a SLOW lounge for more discerning upper LSM passengers (73% of Lanseria commuters are in LSM 10, and 60% earn more than R25,000 per month, according to research conducted by Millward Brown). Lanseria is therefore the perfect place to showcase premium-quality brands to an ever-increasing number of passengers (and a large number of VIPs). The average age of passengers in this airport is 39 and travellers are as likely to be flying for business as for leisure. Most are male (51%) and are frequent flyers (61%); 89% are household decision-makers, with the most commonly found passenger a 40-year-old male who travels for business and whose personal income exceeds R60k a month.

The billboards are situated in the main concourse on the bulkhead between escalators leading to and from the upper food court; above the entrance/exit doors near the car rental section; and above the entrance/exit doors at the drop-off/pick-up area and are all in sync. They target all arriving and departing passengers as well as all visitors to the airport terminal building (166,667 people a month).

The first large-format Visionet™ digital billboard was launched at King Shaka International Airport in 2014 and more billboards will be rolled out in key high-density nodes in order to speak to upper LSM leisure and business travellers. The enormous LED billboards are among the largest indoor screens in an airport environment in South Africa.

Mzukisi Deliwe, Deputy CEO of Provantage Media Group, comments: “The innovative, state-of-the-art billboards will enhance the airport environment, providing an opportunity for brands to reach the right target market. Visionet™ consolidates our position as a leader in DOOH in southern Africa – we are already market leaders with our digital place-based networks™ and TRANSIT.TV™. We are excited to have rolled out more large-format screens in a prime location, namely a second international airport.”

ProActive™ Campaign drives positive engagement for Halls

Being in the right place at the right time forms the cornerstone for the kind of experiential marketing strategy that ensures campaign success. This was an integral part of a campaign recently implemented by ProActive™ for Halls. Strategized by Saatchi and Saatchi, the creative concept pushed the brand message “Own the Moment”, with a focus on the Red Cherry and Fruit Burst flavours.

ProActive™ implemented the strategy, which included Shoppa Shows and Queue Stunts, in selected high consumer traffic areas, outside Home Affairs offices, at taxi ranks and at shopping malls.

The campaign’s strategic objectives were to generate brand awareness, provide the opportunity for consumers to try the products and also maximise sales, all of which were successfully met.  Over 700 units were sold during the campaign. Furthermore, the overall feeling amongst consumers was that they ‘love’ the new and improved look of Halls.

DA considers legal action after Prasa takes down SAA billboard

Picture: ANA Reporter

Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance (DA) has cried foul against the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa), accusing it on Tuesday of fighting battles on behalf of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) after the rail agency took down the party’s billboard at Park Station in Johannesburg.

On Monday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, unveiled a billboard at Park Station which highlights accumulative financial losses made by embattled South African Airways (SAA) over the years.

Maimane said government must stop bailing out the airline, blaming the ANC for the airline’s losses as it had squandered at least R35 billion in bailouts and government guarantees since 1999.

A scuffle ensued between DA followers, Prasa management and police on Monday, at Park Station during the unveiling of the billboard, with the rail agency saying the DA had not obtained permission to erect it and gather during its unveiling.

DA national spokesperson, Refiloe Nt’sekhe, said that they were considering legal action against Prasa for removing the billboard.

Nt’sekhe said Prasa had deployed extra security personnel to move the DA activists from the public area under the billboard, and became forceful and disrespectful when they tried to explain the process the party had followed with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD).

“The DA learnt late yesterday that our billboard, which highlights the ANC-led government’s misuse and abuse of the people’s money, has been removed due to pressure from Prasa,” Nt’sekhe said.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

: Leader @MmusiMaimane has unveiled a billboard to highlight the extent to which the ANC has undermined the poor and the jobless.

“We are therefore considering legal action against Prasa who we believe acted outside of their jurisdiction and authority by ordering that the billboard be removed.”

Prasa, who owns the land outside Park Station where the billboard was erected, rents advertising space to third parties.

“To now claim that we needed to seek permission from them for the billboard to be erected, despite the billboard not being owned by them, is opportunistic,”  Nt’sekhe said.

“Also, we were granted permission from the JMPD for our event and signed a contract with the billboard owner to rent the space.”

Prasa was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

Nt’sekhe said that the ANC had been “deeply shaken by truth” told by the DA billboard and had used Prasa as a soldier in their war of hiding the truth from millions of South Africans who pass through Park Station on a daily basis.

– African News Agency (ANA)



Transit Ads outlines new Taxi Branding Regulations

Shamy Naidu, Executive of out of home transit environment specialist Transit Ads™ outlines the new taxi advertising regulations as recently gazetted by the South African Department of Transport.

On the 18th of August 2017, the Department of Transport gazetted the new taxi branding and advertising regulations. The new regulations affect how brands and media owners advertise on minibus taxis.

Unfortunately, the broader advertising and media industry was not consulted during the lead up to the proclamation of the new regulations. The decision to implement these changes followed a process of exclusive interaction between government, taxi bosses and taxi associations.

It came as a surprise to the entire industry when on the 18th August this year the new regulations were gazetted. At the same time, the Distinguishing Marks for Mini-Bus and Midi-Bus Regulations published in 2007 were repealed.

The new regulation, The Regulations on Colour Coding and Branding on Minibuses and Midibuses used for Minibus Taxi -type Services, 2017 came into effect on the 18th August 2017, with all affected parties given a period of six-months from date of publication to comply.

Unfortunate as it may be that the consultative process was flawed, we believe that there are some positives in the current proclamation of the regulations. It further highlights Government’s intent to regulate the taxi industry; while at the same time it protects brands through regulating the advertising methodologies employed within this space.

Transit Ads™ made immediate representations to the Department of Transport on the regulations. We did this with a view to negotiating the ideal methods to be employed to ensure maximum exposure for brands on the vehicles whilst remaining within the constraints of the new laws.

The regulations affect how brands advertise on the exterior of taxis, so it is of utmost importance for brands, marketers and media owners to understand what these new regulations entail.  The consultation held between Transit Ads™ and the Department of Transport, post this gazette, has ensured that Transit Ads™ is ideally positioned to seamlessly implement the new branding regulations on behalf of its clients. Through our consultations and interpretations of the new bylaws, we have agreed on the new format of how a taxi can be branded and received the necessary acknowledgement from the Department of Transport.

The new Act reads as follows:

Advertising is permitted on any minibus or midibus used for minibus taxi –type services, subject to sub regulations (2) and (3).

Advertisements must only appear on the side panels or sliding door to the rear of the driver and to the rear of the front seat passenger doors.

No advertising, logo, sticker, distinguishing mark, identification or livery may be painted or displayed on a vehicle other than those authorised by these Regulations or permitted in terms of any other law,

An operator who contravenes or fails to comply with these Regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.

Only minibus and midibus taxis will be affected

In terms of taxis affected by the act, these regulations only apply to minibuses and midibuses used for minibus taxi-type services, and not to any other type of vehicles used for any other type of public transport service.

New Format of advertising incorporating the New Regulation

Basically, what has changed is the regulation of which particular surface areas on the exterior of the taxi can be branded. The below images demonstrate the new advertising formats:





Why the Regulations can be a good thing

It can be argued that the new Regulations ensure that all exterior branding is uniform and consistent. It also protects the integrity of the South African taxi associations, in terms of them adhering to regulations passed by Government.

Download the Regulation Gazette, No. 41046 of 18 August, 2017 here.

Chris Masters joins Guerrilla IMC

Out of Home media specialist Guerrilla-IMC has announced that Chris Masters has joined the war against average in the Out of Home space. After recently celebrating their 10th birthday, Guerrilla have a stated renewed focus on growth, with the addition of Masters central to this cause.

Chris was one of the famed ‘Conti Boys’, who put Continental Outdoor on the map over the last decade. After the acquisition and subsequent rebranding to JC Decaux, Chris remained at the forefront of business development at the new entity.

Known for his solution and strategic focused selling as well as his highly entrepreneurial approach, Masters eventually left JC after achieving record breaking sales, to find something that was in his own words, “Less corporate, where the major growth curve was in the future, and was something I could personally help realise.”

The Guerrilla IMC team and Chris had looked at working together in a number of guises over the years but the timing always seemed to be off. Now the stars have aligned and Masters joins a team focused on the development of an 8000 ATM screen holding and reinventing the construction and digital media industry.