With news that South Africa will move to the less restrictive level three lockdown on Friday, the media breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Of course, the trying time is far from over, but for the out of home sector, there will be more cars on the road and more action outside the confines of our homes.
Delivering messages of hope during the time of the coronavirus pandemic has been a feature of the sector’s commitment to citizens and brands.
JCDecaux Africa is currently playing out a #UNITY campaign in South Africa, one that was “inspired by work done by a host of international brands who adapted their logos to promote social distancing, and these progressive campaigns featured internationally via the JCDecaux network”, a company spokesperson says.
Even during an international pandemic, brands and companies want to be part of an initiative to unify, showing that we are all in this together. “It also showcases the agility of out of home and how this can be used tactically to convey up to date messaging to consumers,” the company says.
During these uncertain times, consumers are experiencing information overload, most of which is negative and discouraging.
“Based on this, we wanted to find a way to get brands to share positive messaging and give consumers optimism,” JCDecaux Africa believes. “Considering that the entire world is sharing the same messaging during this crisis, we believed that we should get companies and brands to come together in Unity with positive messaging, as we saw with our 2019 Rugby World Cup win, we are #strongertogether.”
To this end, JCDecaux provided a platform for a host of businesses, brands and suppliers alike to work together to deliver these positive messages during these troubled times
“These messages and adapted logos would be flighted across our extensive network of roadside digital screens, as well as highlighted on social media. JCDecaux international has done extensive research on the power of social media and out of home campaigns working in unison, further increasing the campaign’s reach,” says the spokesperson.
The company personally engaged with its network of valued suppliers, partners as well as agency and direct customers. It has had an “outstanding response”, the representative reveals. “Many clients have also seen the messaging on our Roadside Digital Networks and social media and contacted us to get involved, which shows how the campaign is working.”
The campaign is gaining momentum daily. JCDecaux Africa has over 30 companies and brands sharing their positive messaging, applying unique and creative ideas to adapting their logo. What has been compelling is the brand and company mix, which ranges from SMMEs to larger international brands. Consumers have also enjoyed the messaging, which stand out to the generic COVID-19 messaging South Africans are seeing and hearing across various other media types.
The campaign covers Gauteng and Western Cape in South Africa, where JCDecaux Africa has Roadside Digital Screens, as well as across the other nine markets into Africa where it has a digital footprint, such as Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia among others. Across the diverse African continent, JCDecaux Africa has over 70 digital roadside screens, and in South Africa the #UNITY campaign will be flighted on 24 screens.
Level four lock down has already led to a significant increase in mobility as key essential works and business return to work. With level three just days away, the company will continue to track responses regularly to “understand the impact of mobility and traffic for a host of our advertisers and partners”.
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