Outsmart has announced that Out-of-Home (OOH) revenue reported for the quarter October to December 2017 saw the total market grow by 4.3% from £318 million in Q4 2016 to £332 million in Q4 2017. A strong Q4 contributed towards annual Out of Home revenue of £1,144 million, up 1.5% from 2016’s total.

Digital had a significant quarter of growth with an increase of 17.4% in Q4. For the first time, Digital Out of Home accounted for 50% of total Out of Home revenue, in comparison to 44% in Q4 2016. This reflects the continued investment in state of the art digital inventory as well as the conversion of Classic sites.

With Digital enhancements in scale and audience growth, the medium as a whole is increasingly effective. A recent study commissioned by Rapport, in partnership with the IPA, measured the business impacts of both Classic and Digital Out of Home. The results revealed that advertisers spending 15%+ of their budgets on the medium receive a boost of over one-third in market share and a 20% increase in profit growth.

People who are green with envy don’t have to be #TravelHaters

It started with a douchebag. Be cool, it really did!
Allow me to explain. I’m talking about the recent Don’t be a #TravelHater campaign for by McCann Johannesburg. It started with a generic travel billboard, advertising the affordable fares of with the caption, “Durban’s calling”, which was later vandalised by graffiti reading, quite simply, “you a douchebag”.’s response was equally as simple but informed by a far greater insight. The response was a tag-back on the same billboard which instructed, “Don’t be a Travel Hater”, and pointed to the affordable holidays, flights, hotels and car rentals provides. The message was clear, you don’t have to be an angry #TravelHater, Chill Winstan, has it sorted… and so a campaign was born.
The clever billboard interaction was followed up by a spree of successful online content videos, further billboards, radio and print advertisements. These showed a variety of relatable travel hating scenarios; a #TravelHater peeing in the plants his travelling buddy has asked him to water, a co-worker cutting out the ‘err’ slice of Derrick’s name cake so that it reads, ‘Welcome back, Dick’, a #TravelHater aiming a champagne cork at the throat of a bragging buddy. In short, it was a bunch of scenarios we may each have fantasised over in our darkest travel-hating moments. And people loved them. They loved the brazen display of travel envy – an emotion, it turns out, to which we average Joes strongly relate. Who knew?! Well, but more on that insight later. These ads touched on different scenarios making light of our travel envy, making the ‘oke’ at the office, the ‘oke’ housesitting for his buddy, the ‘oke’ listening to travel braggers each relate to the shenanigans, and finally provide, quite literally, the ticket out of travel envy.
The roll-out of this campaign is self-evident, but the question is, where did it begin and what is the great insight that led us here? When chatting to creatives on the campaign, creative directors John Withers and Theo Egbers, they explained the core of the idea: the social media phenomenon. We live in a world hugely influenced by what everyone else is doing, brought to us directly through social media. We publish our ideal lives on Instagram, carefully constructing only the happiest, best looking, and most exciting home page. By the same token, we also feel left out and experience proper ‘FOMO’ when we are constantly bombarded with everyone else’s exciting lives. This is not a revolutionary discovery – there has been extensive discussion into the societal impact of social media. Usually published in articles urging one to “Look up!” shared furiously across Facebook and Twitter (yes people we must laugh at ourselves).

What is new is appealing to the insight learnt from this. Because the truth is, we are all #TravelHaters! Admit it! We are all envious of our friends, family and colleagues, who seem to always be on one great adventure after another. And that is the point. Using this insight, the campaign has been cleverly designed to recognise the travel envy within us all and, whilst providing the opportunity for a self-deprecating laugh as we recognise our own travel envy, provide the solution.

It is no surprise then that this campaign has taken off (sorry, had to be done) the way it has. It has further enhanced a quirkiness with which has become synonymous and has produced the best performing content videos has ever created – a number of them reaching over 1,000,000 views. The campaign deliberately did not produce a TVC specifically, but rather briefed a content production house – Hammerhead TV – to produce a number of hilarious content videos to be shared widely on, wait for it, social media. And it went very well. Ultimately, the #TravelHater campaign exceeded delivery expectations achieving over 61 million impressions, 230 thousand website link clicks and over 9.4 million video views so far. As John Withers explains, “What a lot of brands experience when they share content on social media is a fair amount of mixed reviews. Whereas got an overwhelmingly positive response with an almost 95% response that was positive and engaging.”

Well, no wonder. It’s an idea that speaks to (and speaks up for) us average Joes (and Jospehines)!
As for where the campaign is headed from here? Onwards and upwards, of cours


Tractor Outdoor installs first-ever real-time drought analytics on their Cape Town digital network

Released by AUX Studio in January, TapOff is a free mobile app that not only provides Capetonians with real-time updates on the city’s water consumption, but inspires them to make positive changes that will have a lasting impact.

The app goes even further to encourage participation, gamifying water-saving with suburb leaderboards where residents can display their consumption figures. With water levels dropping it has become imperative to continue motivating Capetonians to save water on a daily basis. This is why Tractor Outdoor decided to partner with AUX Studio to get the message out there as widely as possible.

“We are committed to raising awareness around the devastating drought which is currently crippling the Western Cape. Trevor and Roy at AUX Studio have built an incredible app which updates itself real-time from the City of Cape Town’s drought data, and we have optimised our digital screens so that as and when this information is updated it is fed instantaneously across our network, ensuring that Cape Town’s residents are kept up to date with all the relevant information pertaining to the current crisis we find ourselves in,” says Simon Wall, managing director at Tractor Outdoor.

TapOff’s public API feature allows the digital screens to make a clear emotional connection with Capetonians about the current overall water consumption, putting the city’s progress quite literally front and centre serving as a constant reminder to keep up with our water-saving efforts.

Download the TapOff app at or contact Tractor Outdoor on 0869990226 for more information.

Increase in mall foot traffic drives consumer-brand engagement

While mall occupancy levels and foot traffic have decreased in some malls, other malls have experienced excellent growth over the six months to December. So what does this mean for brands? Brands need to be where the consumers are and what better place than the mall environment. John Faia: GM of Mall Ads™ unpacks the status quo.

South Africa has a strong mall culture. You only need to look around to notice exciting new malls cropping up all over. In recent months we have seen the extension of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, the opening of Menlyn Maine in Pretoria East and recent redevelopment of EastPoint shopping centre.

While the trading densities of some malls are under increased pressure, particularly those faced with new competition, many centres reported a spike in sales in November on the back of successful Black Friday campaigns and inflation-beating dividend growth for their December reporting periods. Trends in the mall environment are showing that consumers are chasing sales and specials, in my opinion more now than ever before. What this reinforces is that consumers respond extremely well to advertising. And part of what makes them buy one product over another is the advertising that speaks to them inside the mall environment. It is here that they are in a purchasing frame of mind. They’ve taken the time and the effort to get to the mall, now they want to spend the money that’s in their wallet.

Furthermore, everything about a mall is conducive to spending and feeling good while doing it. There is usually a taxi rank in the mall precinct or nearby, there is a safe place to park your car, inside it is secure, clean and the air-conditioning provides a welcome respite from the summer heat. Consumers are receptive to brand messaging, because they want to take advantage of the sale or desire the novelty of something new, hip and on-trend, be it a new flavoured water or sports shoe.

Malls are the perfect environment for brands to start or continue a conversation with the consumer. It is here, close to point of purchase, where brands either lose, keep or win consumers. And in order to keep already loyal consumers and win over new ones, your brand and your messaging needs to be in their face. Out of Home is the last window of opportunity to engage consumers on the path to purchase, that’s the bottom line.

So while some malls are experiencing difficult trading conditions, people in South Africa are still visiting malls, they’re still shopping and they’re still spending. Take, for example, convenience centres that cater to daily shopping needs. Many of these shoppers are dependent on social grants and are usually debt-free. They haven’t experienced the same pressure on disposable income as middle and higher-income consumers, so their spending patterns stay the same. The record numbers over December at Umlazi Mega City owned by SA Corporate Real Estate Fund (and managed by Broll) is testament to this. Furthermore, the recent non-GLA agreement between SA Corporate Real Estate Fund and Mall Ads™ shows that landlords are focusing on alternative income opportunities.

So how does a brand stand out in a mall environment and grab a larger portion of shopper spend? By advertising. Simple. What becomes more complex is creating a campaign that is slick, fits seamlessly with the mindset of the target consumer and is memorable. Mall advertising is not what it used to be and a larger portion of marketing budget needs to sit within mall advertising for a campaign to translate to sales. Consumers are more savvy, more critical and expect a lot more from brands. They also want novelty and innovation. They want to have fun and have an emotional connection with a brand. This is where Mall Ads™ is able to provide bespoke solutions.

The long term reality is that the consumer base is growing, in Africa and by default South Africa, and one of the key driving factors is continued urbanisation levels. According to the PwC Retail in Africa 2017 report, the continent is the most rapidly urbanising region in the world, with urbanisation levels set to increase to 56% in 2030 from 35% in 2010. If we look specifically at the South African context, the report shows that Johannesburg is set to grow by 45% over the same period, to a total of 11,5m people.

This can only be good for retailers and malls in general. More foot traffic, more spend and more opportunity for brands to touch consumers.

Martell Cognac breaks new ground with striking OOH advert on Africa’s largest animated LED lightbox display site

The Martell Cognac brand recently unveiled the largest animated LED lightbox display site in Africa. This is the first time that this animation technique has been used on a billboard of this size, on this continent

“In a cluttered and hotly-contested outdoor environment, only brands that are brave enough to stand out from the crowd will be seen, heard and remembered,” says Martell Cognac brand manager Etienne Cassuto.

“Martell’s positioning line is ‘Be Curious’. The brand celebrates and inspires those who have the courage to be curious, take the unconventional path and make new discoveries. With all of our communication, we strive to bring this positioning to life, which is why we pushed our creative agency to create something new, something different, something memorable,” he adds.

Situated along Corlett Drive in Melrose, Johannesburg, the billboard stands at 9.4m tall and measures 9.4m across. In an aim to create the illusion of movement and animation, 5 125 individual LEDs lie behind the billboard.

“What this billboard does is bridge the gap between static print and digital animation. This was essentially our brief,” Cassuto says.

Created by a process called Color Alchemy, by a company of the same name, this technique combines a multi-layered print technology with full-colour spectrum lighting to achieve a range of visual effects.

“Martell is proud to be part of a naturally curious team that brings innovation to life, that pushes boundaries and defies the conventional in order to create the extraordinary,” concludes Cassuto.


Advantages of Outdoor Advertising over Social Media

If you are a digital marketer who hasn’t considered offline ads in recent memory, you need to give outdoor another look. Enough has changed in the past two years to make it a valid alternative to the crowded social media ad landscape.

Matt O’Connor founder and CEO of AdQuick, a platform that enables brands to buy outdoor advertising gives his views.

Here are the ways in which outdoor has advantages over social media:

  • It’s in the real world, so it’s not prone to click fraud—at least until someone invents bots that drive past billboards or take the bus and subway.
  • It’s super-high-frequency, with significant exposure and traffic. No other medium reaches consumers with the frequency of outdoor advertising. We all know that one billboard or subway ad that greeted you on your commute for months.
  • It reaches more than 90 percent of the population. Not everyone is online—and in particular online at the social media sites you’ve selected for your campaign—but within a community, chances are that almost everyone will see a local billboard or other outdoor campaign in the course of their daily activity.
  • It’s easily shareable on social media, because it’s so visual.
  • Geographic targeting is unmatched: You can select media right down to the longitude and latitude of the community you want.
  • It drives an outsized share of online searches. Out-of-home advertising is the most effective offline medium in driving online activity, according to Nielsen.

How do you make outdoor measurable? There are a variety of ways. Options include:

  • Campaign integration with Google Analytics to measure lift in site traffic by area. This technique has been proven to increase site traffic by more than 40 percent versus controls.
  • Integration with Google AdWords to measure cost per click and click-through rates by area, in order to quantify performance efficiencies in online advertising. As outdoor advertising drives up a company’s awareness, its online ads perform more efficiently.
  • Social media image recognition, an algorithm to scrape social media images to quantify the number of additional impressions using campaign images or tags. We at AdQuick did this for a campaign for Drake’s OVO fashion brand and found $6,000 worth of Instagram shares in one week from one New York billboard.
  • Shortcodes, which are beneficial for transit and pedestrian-focused campaigns. They give any campaign a call to action and make it more engaging, and results are easily measured simply by tracking shortcode usage.
  • Geo-fenced mobile ads to measure engagement rate by area. This technique involves creating and serving ads on smartphones that mirror the message on outdoor advertising. This gives advertisers another way to measure engagement and provides consumers with a way to learn more about a brand’s offering and quantify the boost OOH drives in other channels. This technique can lead to engagement rates that are 30 percent to 50 percent higher in areas with outdoor ads versus controls.
  • Geographic surveys (based on ZIP code), tracking brand awareness and channel attribution in the areas surrounding the outdoor advertising locations.
  • Movement tracking, to quantify the increase in foot traffic an outdoor ad drives to a brick-and-mortar location.

Regulating Billboards: Two Cases in the US

U.S. Courts are currently considering challenges to the longstanding laws that have protected communities — potentially to the detriment of communities and the Out of Home (OOH) advertising industry.

It all stems from a case that went before the Supreme Court in 2015, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the Supreme Court tossed out the sign ordinance from the Town of Gilbert, Arizona, that restricted the right of a local pastor to post religious signs. The court said that the Town of Gilbert’s sign code was constitutionally flawed, because it treated the pastor’s church signs differently than other temporary signs based on content.

The Reed case spawned a wide range of free speech challenges, including lawsuits against billboard controls. Some local ordinances have been challenged by sign companies.

One such recent case is taking place in Tennessee. Citing the Reed decision, a federal judge in Memphis invalidated Tennessee’s billboard-control law, which mirrors the federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965 — regulating size, lighting, and spacing. And now this case, Thomas v. Schroer, is headed to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a four-state jurisdiction based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Because of the importance of this case, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) filed an amicus brief in the Tennessee case to support the state, in conjunction with state-level outdoor advertising associations in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee (states comprising the U.S. Sixth Circuit).

For years, the OOH industry has supported communities using its media to communicate public service messages that help improve lives. Sometimes this has meant donating inventory like billboards on highways and busy city intersections and posters at bus stations to provide valuable information to municipalities; promoting an important local cause; or using our latest technological innovations like digital technology to quickly deliver emergency messages via smart billboards.

Adreach served notice on pole ads

THE city of Johannesburg served a legal notice to street pole advertising company Adreach. The company has been given 30 days to align itself with municipal by-laws after Adreach failed to comply with the Joburg Property Company’s notice of termination of its memorandum of agreement signed in February last year.

“This notice has been ignored by Adreach, which has resulted in the city issuing a final letter of demand, giving the company 30 days to comply. “Failure to comply will result in the city removing all street pole advertising and claiming the costs from Adreach,” MMC for department of economic development, Leah Knott, said. The first notice also required Adreach to remove its advertising and repair any damage to city property caused by advertising boards, within 90 days.

The city’s new by-laws regarding outdoor advertising will pass through council this month. The aim is to reduce the advertising clutter in Jozi and reintroduce control and regulation in outdoor advertising: “By reducing outdoor advertising, we will enhance its revenue value to both the city and the advertising companies. This will also give us the opportunity to open up the game to smaller players and ultimately create a more open and transparent advertising arena.”

Brad Fisher, ADreach CEO, says he disputes the content of the statement issued by the city and that the company believes the city administration is trying to violate its rights by refusing to honour commitments made to the company under the previous (ANC-run) administration. ADreach will defend its rights and show substantive evidence that the city had made a commitment to the company, which employs close to 150 people, that it could continue operating its sites and that a new contract would be forthcoming after the previous contract came to an end. That a signed renewal is not in place doesn’t dilute its rights, nor may the city move against its sites without having concluded a legal process in a court of law, which the company will defend.

Provantage Settles with Competition Commission

On the 14th of March 2018, the Competition Commission and Provantage Proprietary Limited appeared before the Competition Tribunal to have a settlement agreement confirmed as an order of the Competition Tribunal.  The settlement pertains to the Commission’s investigation into conduct that involves various firms in the media industry and specifically those firms that were members of the Media Credit Coordinator and/or used the credit vetting services of CoreXalance.  The Commission’s case is that these firms fixed the prices in the form of discounts granted to accredited and unaccredited advertising agencies based if payments were made within specified periods.  Provantage has voluntarily and actively engaged with the Commission in this investigation from the moment it became aware of being implicated in the conduct and has taken a commercial decision to settle the matter in the interest of finality.


In terms of the settlement agreement, Provantage has agreed to:

  • pay an administrative penalty of R1,094,222.56 to the Commission;
  • grant bonus advertising space or discounts to qualifying small agencies (as defined in the settlement agreement with the Commission) for a period of three years; and
  • contribute an amount of R393,920.12 to the Economic Development Fund to enable the development of qualifying beneficiaries.


During the course of the hearing before the Tribunal this morning, an error that could cause later interpretation issues in respect of the settlement agreement was identified.  This error has been rectified and Provantage expects to receive the Tribunal’s consent order confirming the settlement agreement in due course.


Provantage is committed to conducting its business in compliance with the highest legal and ethical standards and is committed to ensuring that it does not transgress the laws of South Africa, including competition laws.

BlowUP media’s Katrin Robertson joins FEPE international board

 BlowUP media CEO Katrin Robertson is joining the board of FEPE International, becoming the ninth Board Member. BlowUP media’s giant posters have made the company one of the leading large format Out of Home companies in Europe and Katrin has played a leading role in building its business, operating out of Germany and the UK.  BlowUP media is owned by Ströer Group, headquartered in Cologne.



Robertson says: “I’m delighted to be joining the board of FEPE International. FEPE is now a truly global organisation, leading many of the most positive initiatives in Out of Home. I look forward to playing a part in helping FEPE and the industry move forward into what I’m sure will be an even more exciting future.”


FEPE International President Tom Goddard says:  “Katrin is highly respected in the Out of Home industry and brings a wealth of experience to FEPE. I’m sure she will play an important role as FEPE and the industry adapt to and thrive in a rapidly changing media world.”