While the world has seen a surge in digital media advertising, out of home advertising has stayed static in terms of total spend in South Africa, but, says Out of Home Media South Africa (OHMSA), a push for research to be conducted from 2013, may change all of that.
OHMSA has recently agreed a way forward with the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF): OHMSA’s members will contribute an agreed amount to SAARF each year so the out of home portion of SAARF’s AMPS study is funded. The last audience measurement study was completed between 2006 and 2008 and as it is now outdated, out of home advertising spend is under-measured at 3-4% and is far behind global norms. In countries like Australia and India, research shows the industry has skyrocketed.
“We welcome the agreement reached with SAARF because now we can go full steam ahead in measuring the efficacy of outdoor media. At a later point our industry research survey channel, termed OHMS, will piggyback off AMPS, which will only add value to advertisers who will benefit from the link to an already well-established industry survey – AMPS. We look forward to seeing out of home advertising reaching its full potential as in the past it has not been able to measure return on investment,” said Billy Basson, OHMSA acting chairman.
He added: “People spend a high percentage of their time exposed to OOH advertising, but such forms of advertising attracted only 3-4 % of South African media spending. The problem is that for measuring advertising effectiveness, media planners currently rely on gross traffic numbers provided by road councils via media owners, which represent historical data which has never been audited.”
In other words, media planners may be more encouraged to embrace OOH advertising if credible audience measurements are introduced – hence OHMSA’s endorsement and payment towards the OHMS research.
“OHMSA members are adamant to ensure a greater interest in our advertising medium. We know tacitly that OOH delivers mass audience appeal and that the medium reaches consumers frequently in a cost-effective manner. This is important to advertisers who operate in a tight economic climate,” said Basson.
Basson said members and potential members are excited about the subsequent simplification of the planning and buying of OOH media. “Finally, we are able to prove to our clients that OOH will create a return for their businesses. We know that adspend share increases when measurement takes place. OHMSA is thus able to assist the market in recognising that OOH is a solid medium and is powerful to use even when the economy is depressed.”
Basson noted that another clear implication of quality audience measurement is that OOH media must no longer play the role of separate island state. “The opportunity to integrate into media planning from an audience measurement perspective and indeed to actively play a part in creating measureable media strategies should be embraced.”