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Kick-starting out-of-home advertising in 2023

The growth and development of programmatic digital out-of-home (Dooh) advertising in SA has been nothing short of remarkable. This was the view of UK-based William Brownsdon, MD of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) for Hivestack, the first purpose-built, full stack programmatic digital out-of-home (Ooh) platform.
Brownsdon was contributing to a FM Redzone panel discussion, moderated by Livia Brown of what3things, which put the spotlight on the Ooh industry. The discussion was hosted in partnership with JC Decaux, Hivestack and Insight Outdoor.
“SA is one of the fastest-growing markets in the Emea region for Dooh advertising. It has gone from being starter market in early 2022 to a fully fledged one just a year later. The market’s ability to take risks and innovate has been particularly impressive,” Brownsdon said, adding that SA does not give itself sufficient credit for its achievements in this space.
One of the biggest learnings from 2022 was just how resilient the Ooh category is, said Dele Odugbemi, chief revenue officer for Africa at JC Decaux Africa. Though the category’s recovery from the pandemic has been slow, there has been encouraging growth.
Ivor Chalmers, head of Ooh at agency OMD, pointed out just how versatile the Ooh category is. To get the most out of the platform, he said it needed to be integrated with other media platforms. This is where the expertise of Ooh media partners comes in to help agency media planners to massage Ooh campaigns onto other platforms.
Jonas Glad, CEO of Doohclick, mentioned how important reporting has become in the Ooh landscape. Doohclick is a complete Ooh solution, providing everything from video player software to sales support, inventory control, scheduling, reporting and invoicing in an interconnected system. It provides users with access to an intuitive and customisable dashboard where all relevant information is available.
One of the biggest challenges facing the Dooh sector is load-shedding, explained Sean Busschau, sales manager at media owner Insight Outdoor. While back-up power solutions are possible, they all come with their own challenges. Busschau recommended that clients consider registering impressions for monitoring and reporting purposes.
Asked how Ooh and online campaigns can best be integrated, Lwandile Qokweni, chief strategic officer and managing partner at digital agency Rook Digital, said every medium has a role to play and should be involved in media plans from the outset. While Ooh was initially all about presence, there is a growing focus on more integrated campaigns. The challenge, however, is to try to avoid a silo mentality between media platforms.
UK-based Ocean Labs, the Ooh division of Ocean Outdoor, is an expert in merging the scale, impact and iconic nature of spaces with multiple integrated technologies, progressing the medium to make it more relevant for today’s audiences by using digital. Director of Ocean Labs, Catherine Morgan, said among the company’s biggest learnings have been to create a sense of depth by, among other things, using shadows, and not rushing the key moment. “Ultimately, it’s all about the shareability of the content on social media,” she said.
When it comes to Ooh in the year ahead, content and context matter, stressed Odugbemi.
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