Can you believe it’s the festive season already…given the traffic build up on Van Reenen’s Pass, our coastal holidays are loading and the out-of-Joburgers are heading home for two weeks.
I got to thinking about the impact of media platforms for brands, given the dynamics of holiday down-time, and the too-often believed notion that advertising in December is a waste.
The question is, how true is that notion actually? Given that commuting is a huge activity and long-distance commuting a sure thing, there must be a medium that shines a little brighter during this time. I want to focus on the out of home medium and see how much of it envelopes our lives – especially during this time of the year.
I was talking to our OOH specialist, Sandra Cross, about OOH activity during this period and her views on its impact. Sandra’s office-living-mantra is “OOH is an always on, and everywhere medium where you don’t need to press anything!”
Sandra’s way of demonstrating her ‘always on and everywhere’ mantra begins with getting to our beach holiday.
Let’s start with flying.
As you drive in to ORT International, you are exposed to thousands of billboards between Sandton and the airport. At ORT alone there is an average of 300 sites (external – 260 and internal – 40)
Once you approach the airport and enter, there are beautiful (Sandra’s words) gantries over the entrance to ORT that are so big, one cannot miss them.
While queuing to board your plane or collect luggage you are most probably watching Airport TV, and as you stroll through domestic departures or sit in the slow lounges there are leaflets, boards, posters always on and everywhere you look!
The above, while simulated for Johannesburg, is a reality for South Africa’s three major airports. Did you know that passenger stats actually increase by as much as 10% at King Shaka at this time of the year? Airport Ads gives the following stats for the increase in commuter traffic over the holiday period:
ORTIA (Ave +4%)
CTIA (Ave +8.5%)
KSIA (Ave +10.9%)
Now that the plane is in the air let’s look at driving to the airport and to the lali’s…
You stop at the toll gate and are handed a flyer, which someone in the car definitely reads because there are some specials on it.
You stop at the garage to fill up and grab a few snacks inspired by the specials from the flier, or the forecourt digital screens offering specials on a pie and a coke combo. Or a quick loo break where you are confronted with more advertising as you close the loo door, reminding you not to drink and drive.
The taxi you are travelling in is branded, and you get to watch Taxi TV, passing the time on that long stretch home. On this commute leaving Johannesburg, the stats are even more staggering! Outdoor Auditors tell us:
- In Gauteng there’s an average of 6 700 sites overall
- While in Johannesburg the average is 5 000, making the city the largest holder of sites
- Sandton CBD holds an average of 300 sites, 75 of which are in the Sandton Gautrain station
The number of opportunities for brands is abundant.
Moving along our journey, you have now arrived at your destination.
It is beach time, it is chill time. You lie under branded umbrellas, sit on a branded cushions and oftentimes drink out of branded cups.
Aunties and moms are in the stores every day, doing last minute shopping literally accompanied by OOH as they jovially hum favourite hymns and carols.
In the malls hanging banners advertise the latest iPhone and video walls show the latest brand of perfume with store fronts shouting back-to-school and sale messages…consumers are engaged, they are relaxed and they are spending.
According to Primedia, R59 billion was spent in December 2018 – a 15% increase on spend in 2017. This for me is a strong indicator that suggests that the earlier in December brands start to advertise, the earlier they can close sales gaps because the data tells us that 60% of consumers purchase Christmas gifts between 1–24 December.
I don’t know about you but I agree with Sandra that OOH is definitely an always on, everywhere medium. One that would remind us that OOH is beyond the billboard and includes a whole array of elements, static and digital that live in this medium.
Usually seen as a strong supporting act to TV, OOH now offers genuine reach to help make up TV shortfalls and acts as a priming medium for digital channels supporting social platforms better than other channels. What this really means is that OOH brings out the benefits of reach, proximity, location and audience – to the right campaign when used correctly.
Kagiso Musi is the group managing director of Meta Media South Africa, a new data-led media player in the country. She leads the Johannesburg and Cape Town offices with a list of blue-chip clients. The agency focuses on analysing and uncovering insights from the most granular forms of data and utilising that data to help clients win. #staycurious
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