Adding OOH to the media mix increases market share growth substantially. And there’s more developing all the time.
Out of home may be the oldest advertising medium, but its strengths remain undiminished in the changing media ecosystem.
Chris Nortje, associate account director for media and digital at Kantar South Africa, notes that their CrossMedia Database places it third after TV and in store in its ability to deliver both reach and frequency. (Marketing effectiveness guru Les Binet argues that 90% of a medium’s effectiveness lies in its reach.) Nortje says their 2017 AdReaction study showed South African consumers were the most receptive to outdoor advertising, while they were least accepting of online video.
The Global CrossMedia Database reveals that OOH’s contribution to brand impact increased from 2015 to 2018, and its cost effectiveness has also improved. Further Binet, using the British Institute of Practitioners in Advertising effectiveness case studies, has demonstrated that adding OOH to the media mix increases market share growth by 36% and boosts profit growth by 20%.
The Economist has called OOH “an old but booming ad medium”. JCDecaux Africa’s head of sales, Darren McKinon, confirms this, citing PWC’s 2013 to 2022 media and entertainment outlook statement that digital out of home (DOOH) is the global driver of growth in the out of home space.
Indeed, the oldest medium has been positively spritely in adapting to the digital present. McKinon refers to Professor Mark Ritson’s assertion that DOOH offers the best of the digital and traditional worlds: the data, targeting, context, relevance, immediacy and creative flexibility of the former are balanced by the trust, transparency, impact and ability to drive fame of the latter. Binet has been able to pinpoint the contribution of DOOH, demonstrating that it doubles OOH effectiveness.
Another advantage OOH enjoys is its ability to amplify other media, particularly online: according to Nielsen it is four times more effective than other media at driving consumers to online, and Binet has shown it boosted the effect of website search by 54% and social media by 20%.
The Silver Loerie winning Toyota Corolla Beaded Love Letter billboard was a singularly local celebration of South Africa’s most loved car. Its CSI element, the partnership with the NGO, Woza Moya, ensured that more than love was spread around, and the ultimate re-use of the beads made it environmentally friendly. But even a prime site on the M1 highway has limited reach, explains Thulani Nombewu, media planner at FCB. Thus, the agency created ‘making of’ content and shared it across Toyota’s website as well as the social media pages of Woza Moya. The story spread like wildfire.
By contrast the Gold Loerie winner, Educatin is in Grate Shape, for Right2Read took a lower key approach. The Havas JHB team of Luigi Morrico (creative director), Carl Wilsenach (copywriter) and John Davenport (CCO) recognised that lower-income people spend as much time on their mobile phones as their access to data allows them.
Setting out to help Limpopo citizens campaign for the removal of the MEC for education, Havas used low-cost guerrilla posters at transport nodes, featuring misspelled notes written by local school children. A QR code on the posters allowed pedestrians to upload a pic of the poster to the MEC’s official Facebook page. These pics flooded the site, and the campaign was certainly a factor in the removal of the MEC.
That South Africa is keeping abreast of DOOH developments was shown by the nomination of Primedia Outdoor for the FEPE international technology and innovation award earlier this year. (The Federation European Publicite Exterieur is now known as the World Out of Home Organisation.) One of three finalists, Primedia demonstrated the immediate integration of other media platforms with DOOH through their innovative product offerings, ‘Social Wall’ and ‘Radio-to-Road’.
The Social Wall links live social feeds from Twitter and Facebook, which are automatically displayed on selected Primedia DOOH screens. Jorja Wilkins, executive for marketing and marketing services at Primedia Outdoor, explains how the #PrimediaBigLove showcased this product.
Twenty-four hours before Valentine’s Day, Primedia sent out a social media post to let everyone know they could send their loved one the biggest Valentine’s Day card ever by tweeting a message using the hashtag. They received over 220 tweets throughout the day and replied to every one with an image of the Twitter post on their DOOH network. In total, the campaign yielded 8 927 organic impressions and according to TrendWiki SA, the hashtag was one of the trendiest on Valentine’s Day, peaking at fourth position. A trade initiative ensured media agencies were aware of the campaign.
Account lead at PHD, Marlize ten Krooden, outlines how the product contributed to Sensodyne’s integrated Gentle Whitening Tooth campaign: Sensodyne placed a massive life-like tooth in key Gauteng locations and consumers were encouraged with a prize incentive to take photos of themselves with the giant tooth. These were then uploaded onto Twitter and automatically flighted onto digital billboards.
From radio to road
Radio-to-Road is a collaboration with Primedia Broadcasting, which enables an advertiser to reach motorists in their cars on radio and billboards, simultaneously. As the radio spot begins to play, it triggers the same campaign creative to roll out on digital billboards in the station broadcast area. While Vizeum was the first adopter for their client, Mini, the uptake has been enthusiastic.
Andile Qokweni, business unit manager at The MediaShop, explains how DStv attempted to help The Proteas make it to the final of the Cricket World Cup. Recalling how Francois Pienaar thanked fans for being the extra player on the field and carrying the South African rugby team to victory in 1995, DStv saw the opportunity to unite South Africans to become the extra man that South Africa needed to help them succeed.
Of course, the campaign would drive tune-in at the same time. Striking visual executions of the cricket ball and stumps liberated from the confines of the billboard, together with the slogan ‘Protea Fire’ lit up the streets of South Africa. The Radio-to-Road offering came into play with the tune-in radio spots being used to trigger a blazing message to encourage viewers to watch the next game. (Unfortunately, the Proteas clearly needed more than fan support to get to the finals!)
Penquin account manager, Hannes Joubert, recounts that the Radio-to-Road offering played a useful role in the successful Xbox Christmas campaign last year. Not only was it necessary to excite gamers and their families about the product and bundled games, but it was also important to convey the appealing price point. The agency ensured that the creative executions on the radio and billboards could stand alone as well as work synergistically, and that they were intelligently sequenced.
The opportunities to engage
Creative is an area that concerns Christo van den Bergh, head of out of home at Mediology, who believes many brands are still getting the creative fundamentals of DOOH wrong. He enthuses that the greatest strength of DOOH is “the impact that striking animated ads offer, which not only increases noting… but has the ability to entertain and lift the mood of the commuter stuck in traffic”.
And, he adds, “The ability to change creative frequently… allows more opportunity to engage with commuters with a narrative over time”. Nevertheless, he says, “We still see brands use static creative on DOOH or, on the other hand, some advertisers try to fit an essay of text and messaging into a 15-second slot.” He believes that greater collaboration between creative and agencies will solve this problem.
While Livia Brown, Posterscope’s general manager, was not in a position to share campaign specifics as they were in the process of being formally case studied, she is excited that “some media owners are stretching their digital OOH muscles and we are seeing some great innovation through tech and smart media usage coming through”.
Also, she points out that mobile contributes significantly through connecting the on and offline consumer experiences and serves as such a rich source of audience profiling. “When mobile data is fused with other location data reference points, we are able to isolate and prioritise the best set of OOH panels to deliver to a client’s objectives successfully,” she says. In order to stay ahead of the game, Posterscope has “successfully launched Live Poster, a dynamic creative content tool allowing us to deliver on relevance for our clients”.
McKinon says that JCDecaux Africa is also pressing forward with “creating an online, live bidding platform (VIOOH) so that all OOH media owners can upload inventory… that allows you to buy OOH in real time”. The first stage involves integrating a sophisticated set of tools on top of the current inventory management and billing systems, while the second will move to the next level, ingesting live audience data in real time and offering programmatic options to interested buyers via SSP and DSP integration.
The final stage introduces a content management platform for scheduling and content moderation. They are aiming to roll out the first and third phases in mid-2020. The second phase is dependent on the supplementation of Roadside Outdoor Audience Data (Road) with mobile or other geo-data to create the live element.
OOH is proving to be a nifty adaptor.
Having spent some decades working in the media agencies, Britta Reid now relishes the opportunity to take an independent perspective on the South African media world, especially during this time of radical research transformation.
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