The World Out of Home Africa Forum --- the third event in WOO’s Grand Tour, after the European Forum last May and the Asia Forum in October --- demonstrated the resilience of the medium in Africa but highlighted the key improvements that OOH needs to make in all the regions in order to fulfil its potential in what is probably the continent where, more than any other, people spend their lives out of doors.
A range of speakers focused on the lack of audience measurement, the immense fragmentation of media owners , lack of standardised formats and the need for governments to provide more control over the appearance and location of OOH sites.
First of all Ben Milne, head of Out of Home at Amplifi Global, the supply side platform of dentsu international, gave a global perspective on OOH, which he said, is recovering but at different speeds round the world. Worldwide he expects OOH to grow by 12.8 per cent this year and that Digital OOH will have a 50 per cent share of the medium within five years. But he noted that digital’s share in Africa is only 28 per cent, which will hold the continent back.
Earlier OMG’s General Manager Celia Collins said that OOH in Africa had stayed strong during the pandemic and she expects revenues to be back to 2019 levels this year. The larger more populated countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, which had lockdowns, were hit harder than many others which only imposed curfews, she said.
Greg Benatar provided a brief history of OOH’s ups and downs in Africa over the past 20 years and made four main recommendations: Limit the supply of sites, through media owners working with councils, bring down council/landlord fees , advertisers to buy sustainably, at fair prices and only from tax compliant vendors, and set up proper audience measurement systems.
Jacques du Preez of Provantage Media gave a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of OOH in Africa. The growth in megacities, infrastructure and global media owners would all benefit the medium he said, but only the south of the continent currently had any audience measurement. “It’s an exciting time to be in OOH in Africa,” he said, “ but we have got to get measurement and proof of execution right.”
A panel on Audience Measurement (GROOH’s Gideon Adey, Trish Guildford from the Out of Home Measurement Council and Jorja Wilkins of Primedia Outdoor) outlined how the Council now has 30 members, with more expected to join this year, and has established Road, an audience measurement media metrics currency, which can be used to plan campaigns. Wilkins provided several examples of how Road had made a big difference to campaign planning and also had been used to persuade “reluctant” advertisers to use OOH.
Antonio Vicenti, founder of Pikasso, called for greater standardisation of formats, along the lines of the US and Europe. “We have an unbelievable number of formats, which leads to complex planning, lengthy adaptation of visuals, production errors and mishaps on the ground,” he said.
Vicenti suggested that each country identifies what it regards as the most suitable formats but keeps to a maximum of three formats for each size and introduces a metric system for the size of the boards.
Angelo Tandy of the OOH Media Association of South Africa and Emmanuel Ajufo of the Out door Association of Nigeria, where OOH has forged a 15 per cent share of the country’s media spend, added their voices to the call for more help from governments and councils.
They said that outdated government regulation is stifling growth and called for greater collaboration and for clients, regulators and agencies to “sit round the table” and help to build a more professional medium.
JCDecaux Country Managers Jennifer Kachebe and Thato Pekeche described how the company has put in place a range of measures to meet sustainability and environmental goals, from using local renewable energy sources to saving water and recycling materials. JCDecaux also supports many NGOs and charities by giving hem exposure on its sites. Its next sustainability strategy to take it through to 2030 will be launched this year.
In the panel on Programmatic and Automation Martin Dollevaert, Chief Revenue Officer at Broadsign, itemised the benefits of programmatic, notability its flexibility, hyper-local targeting and pay-per impression facility, while Remi du Preez, Commercial Director at Tractor Media explained how programmatic had helped produce a very successful campaign for its client Emerge Gaming.
Then Francesca Vicenti from Pikasso detailed a combined classic and programmatic campaign for Air France which gave the company far greater control over the campaign. “We need to educate media planners and agencies and with them reach out to global advertisers with the benefits of programmatic. We expect programmatic will be used first of all in airports and roadside where there are digital assets.”
This will be followed by the first WOO person-to-person Global Congress since pre-pandemic Dubai 2019, which has been confirmed for Wednesday-Friday, May 25-27, 2022 in Toronto. The Congress will be held at the Sheraton Toronto Centre Hotel, 123 Queen Street West Toronto.