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From your experience working on various brands across Africa, where do you see the greatest opportunity and what are the biggest challenges in Africa when it comes to OOH and Digital OOH?

 Eve Langkilde

Managing Director

The Last Yard

Eve Langkilde

Eve Langkilde

24 July . 2 min read . Opinion

(Credit: Alpha&Jam, Nigeria)

OOH in Africa has a disproportionate share of investment compared to the rest of the world and has always been a powerful mainstay of many Brands advertising in Africa. With huge congestion in major cities offering large audiences, International and Pan-African media owners fight alongside local developers to get their piece of the pie.

Out-of-Home has always been a cluttered space, due to very little regulation, which is exacerbated by over development in major cities driven by marketer demand, but those who could put up the biggest billboards were winning! Over the past few years, the complexities of the landscape have increased, and there are many factors threatening the growth of Out-Of-Home. The primarily threat is the exponential growth in digital channels, especially amongst African youth, which is taking a larger share of budgets; there are external economic and political factors, such as devaluation of currency and watershed regulations affecting big spender such as Alcohol and Gambling; and the increasing need from Global or Pan African Brands (which represent in excess of 70% of the spend), to be more measurable, with many of these advertisers also not committing to long term-contracts, thus hampering re-investment into infrastructure.

Despite the pressures, Out-Of-Home still delivers a massive audience in Africa and presents an exciting opportunity for both media owners and Brands to push the boundaries with this medium and deliver greater ROI. The growth of DOOH is an exciting prospect which is gaining traction in Africa, with some countries developing slowly due to cost of infrastructure, while other countries like Nigeria are leading the charge, with “shared value structures” which deliver to the community as well as offer a premium digital advertising space to Brands (JCDecaux Grace Lake launch of the Lagos Traffic Information System (LATIS) in 2018), and now the biggest (600 square meters) true edge 3D digital billboard in Africa courtesy of Alpha and Jam in collaboration with Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2).

But in reality, these are the headline grabbers, and these opportunities are not widely available, as they are in the minority and extremely costly, making them viable for only a hand full of brands. Standing out in Africa in the Out Of Home space for the majority of advertisers, means getting back to the basics. There needs to be more thought on the impact a billboard can make, rather than a blanket approach to execution. There are so many exciting ways to use simple, reliable innovation with die-cuts, LED lighting, Holograms and projections to stand out, and using audience insights to deliver the right creative in the right environment is still very impactful.

However, I do believe the biggest driver of growth in Out Of Home, will come from investment in-research, so it is alarming that so few countries are investing in this agenda. Research and measurement, coupled with the growth of digital OOH, opens up a whole new world in terms of how you can innovate, deliver relevance to your audience, and ultimately get a higher ROI by catapulting Out Of Home into the future and finding new ways to fully integrate it with other channels in real time.

In the 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry I have been inspired, challenged, taught resilience, taught to think before I speak, learnt to speak my mind, and worked with a variety of incredibly talented people. But most of all, I continue to be passionate, and curious about media and marketing and it’s ever-evolving landscape, and firmly believe that deep consumer insight and creativity are key to building successful businesses.

I currently run my own business consulting in Media, Marketing and developing my own entrepreneurial business ventures. I choose my clients and projects carefully and have serviced agencies and clients in both a short-term project management capacity, as well as a long-term media and client service roles.

Before exiting corporate, I was the Strategic Director at Starcom Mediavest Group, and have also had the privilege of working for leading creative agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather and TBWA Hunt Lascaris with multi-disciplinary teams, instilling in me a deep belief that the most effective ways of working are through diversity and collaboration. My experience extends to marketing with having been Marketing Manager of Steers and a stand-in Marketing Manager at JCDecaux across Africa.

I have Media experience across multiple categories from banking to baby care, fast food to fashion, and alcohol to airlines. For the past 2 and a half years I have been extending my knowledge across the African continent managing the Africa Media Hub for the Diageo across 14 countries spanning East, West, Southern and Central Africa for Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff in East west & Central Africa