Digital out of home is playing an increasingly important role in branding in the transit space, says Skhumbuzo Nkosi.
The commuter landscape is changing rapidly, it has been doing so for years, and so are the advertising mediums within this space. Consumers are spending more time commuting each day and they are spending more time in transit environments such as taxi ranks, bus stations and train stations.
For advertisers, static advertising is no longer enough to capture this economically active consumer segment’s attention. Digital television channels in transit areas have become as influential, if not more so, than traditional television.
Consider these facts: In South Africa, over 22 million people commute on public transport every day. Of these, 19 million use taxis. The typical time spent travelling to work is 63 minutes. In fact, South Africa has the longest average commuting time out of all the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries.
Furthermore, nearly three quarters of households can reach a taxi service within one kilometre of their home. This is one of the reasons that taxis dominate the transport market with approximately 200 000 public taxis on the road. Sixty-five percent of public transport users travel by taxi weekly, versus buses 21% and trains 15%.
Taxi ranks, bus stations and train stations offer advertisers a captive environment for communicating with this audience. Digital out of home channels such as TRANSIT.TV have grown substantially over the years. TRANSIT.TV provides vital information such as weather as well as entertaining content that is relevant to this market. This is balanced with brand messaging and commercials that are specifically targeted at the middle-income bracket.
In order to rise above the clutter, static advertising is simply not enough. Brands need to take advantage of digital out of home solutions that allow for high frequency and high recall. TRANSIT.TV screens at taxi ranks, at Park Station, Cape Town Main Station and Durban Station and at various bus stations such as Nelspruit Buscor Terminus, ensure that brands experience excellent exposure. As the commuter journey continues, commuters are also exposed to TRANSIT.TV inside a taxi.
In terms of path to purchase, ‘transit track’ research has shown that commuters make a purchase within a five-minute walk of a commuter node and their decision is influenced by what they have seen on TRANSIT.TV. Digital out of home in transit environments have become an integral part of the commuter journey and in this era of massive consumer choice, being an fundamental element in a person’s life has become even more important for brands.
Skhumbuzo Nkosi is director of Provantage Out of Home Media
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