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Misconceptions of DOOH in Africa

Gafiedah Wilson

Media Client Lead

OMG (Omnicom Media Group)

Gafiedah Wilson

Gafiedah Wilson

24 July. 5 min read . Opinion

(Credit: OMG, Mozambique)

In my 20+ years in Advertising and Marketing Industry I have witnessed the evolution of OOH in Africa. OOH has evolved significantly in the last few years and has become a cost-effective solution for reaching consumers on both a national and a Pan African scale.

With arguably just as much flexibility and fluidity as other digital marketing channels, OOH and more specifically, digital out-of-home, is providing brands with the confidence and data to support their media plans.

Like most forms of advertising, OOH has gone digital, providing brands with the ability to better target consumers with relevant messages and accurately measure results. Digital out-of-home can be deployed programmatically to reach audiences at contextually relevant moments, with dynamic ad placement driven by real-time data.

Weather conditions and the time of day can now be set as automatic dynamic triggers for ads, as well as the proximity to desired locations through geo-targeting capabilities. This allows brands to customise for local markets while achieving scale and, when combined with other tactics such as other above the line channels, social media, promotions and any other audience-based channel, OOH effectively becomes a true omnichannel vehicle with a real integrated media approach.

Very importantly DOOH also drives relevancy. The primary reason DOOH is so effective with its audience is that it drives relevancy, speaking to the consumer in the right mindset at the right time. This relevancy in turn drives effectiveness of the advertising message. In a study done, called ‘The Moments of Truth’ by JC Decaux


Contextually relevant usage of DOOH increases the brain’s responses and overall ad recall. Overall, it drives a more than 17% of effectiveness.

More than 8% increase in recall on DOOH vs Static, DOOH is two and half times more impactful and you have 64% chance of your ad being seen according to a study done by Millward Brown.

With the right technology partner, brands can use DOOH to successfully promote products even if they are not equally available everywhere. For example, if a brand is launching a new alcohol ready to drink (RTD) variant – first in select markets, then on a Pan Africa scale – the brand could use DOOH to approach each market/region appropriately.

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is a growing format in Africa, with significant growth attributed to this medium projected in the coming years. Here are some key points from the search results:

The Middle East & Africa DOOH advertising market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 23% in the forecast period 2023-2028.

Inclusive growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is enhanced by the number of individuals using the internet, which suggests that DOOH advertising has significant growth potential across the continent. DOOH advertising is becoming increasingly popular in Africa, with numerous advertisers entering the market to increase awareness of their brands and products as well as drive innovation.

The World Out of Home Organization (WOO) recently held an Africa Forum to explore OOH opportunities on the continent. Out of home advertising has been exploding across Africa, aided by infrastructure development, reduced costs, and technological developments. Overall, it seems that DOOH advertising is a growing industry in Africa, with significant potential for growth in the coming years.

Programmatic DOOH is becoming more prevalent, which allows for automated buying, selling, and delivery of out-of-home advertising.

 What are some of the misconceptions of DOOH in Africa:

When it comes to digital out-of-home advertising, there are many misconceptions and myths floating around. To help you better understand this growing advertising medium, we would need to correct some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding digital out-of-home advertising.

#1: Digital out-of-home is only for big brands

While larger brands do tend to gravitate toward DOOH, smaller brands and local advertisers also have a lot to gain from this advertising medium. The cost of operating a DOOH campaign is actually much lower than you than most realise, as there is also a zero-production cost on DOOH and flighting or go live times are within 24-48 hours depending on your roll out plan and the geographic locations of the sites. DOOH advertisements have a very low maintenance cost and can be run for as long or as short a period of time as you want. In addition, there are many different types of media formats to choose from.

#2: DOOH advertising doesn’t work

DOOH advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising out there. Not only is DOOH advertising visually impressive and eye-catching, but it’s also been shown to be extremely effective.

DOOH advertising works especially well when combined with other media tactics like SEO and social media, which makes it a very effective tool for advertisers and their brands.

#3: Digital out-of-home is still in its infancy stages

DOOH has been around for over 10 years and it’s only getting bigger and better. With the introduction of newer technology becoming available and high-speed Wi-Fi, DOOH is more effective than ever before.

#4: Can DOOH target specific demographics

DOOH advertising is actually very good at reaching specific demographics. Not only can you reach different demographics by choosing the right message and media channel, but DOOH technology itself has been designed to be extremely effective at targeting a specific type of person. Whether it’s a young professional or a mom with kids, DOOH can reach them.

#5: All your systems need to be reprogrammed or changed to support DOOH

DOOH works with all technology, including digital signage networks. You don’t need to reprogram or change your existing systems if you want to start using DOOH advertising. In fact, many companies have found that it can work well with their current digital signage networks. It only makes sense because both are designed for bringing content to a large audience.

#6: DOOH is used only to sell the remaining inventory

DOOH is great for generating leads and driving conversions.

Yes, DOOH can be used to sell the remaining inventory, but it’s also great for generating leads and driving conversions. In fact, many businesses have found that DOOH is one of the most effective ways to get people to take action. Whether you want them to visit your website or buy your product, DOOH can help you achieve your objectives.

As you can see, there are many different misconceptions about digital out-of-home advertising. By dispelling these misconceptions, we hope you realise that DOOH is a great way to reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.

How to navigate these misconceptions:

Many misconceptions about the DOOH industry may arise from a lack of knowledge or misinformation. DOOH companies and agencies can educate potential clients about the benefits of DOOH advertising and provide accurate information about the industry and country landscapes.

Share success stories: DOOH companies can showcase successful campaigns and case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of DOOH advertising. This can help overcome misconceptions about the industry and build trust with potential clients.

Emphasize the potential of the African markets, DOOH market in Africa is growing, and there is a lot of potential for advertisers. DOOH companies can emphasize this potential and highlight the unique opportunities that the African markets have to offer.

Programmatic DOOH is becoming more prevalent, which allows for automated buying, selling, and delivery of out-of-home advertising. DOOH companies and agencies can leverage programmatic DOOH to provide more targeted and effective advertising solutions, which can help overcome misconceptions about the industry.

Collaboration is key, DOOH companies and agencies should collaborate with partners to gain a better understanding of the African markets and landscape and build relationships with potential clients. This can help overcome misconceptions about the industry and build trust with potential clients

In conclusion, as an agency partner, we have seen the value of facilitating collaborative working sessions with our Clients and their Marketing Teams.  It no doubt leads to an understanding of the channel and what the OOH / DOOH medium contributes to the overall media ecosystem.


World Out of Home Organization, Marknteladvisors, Agency Intelligence, JC De Caux, Millward Brown,

I have more than 23 years’ experience in Marketing, Trade Marketing, Sales and through the line Media Planning, Buying and Strategy across multiple markets in Africa on various Multinational Brands from Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Alcohol and FMCG.

Role and responsibilities have been team forecasts, strategy, planning, implementation, buying, trend analysis, Global reports and co-ordination across multiple African countries, which involved co-ordinating and managing agencies and distribution partners. The process involved briefing suppliers and agencies in Africa as well as negotiations of centralised buying deals.

My experience across a variety of disciplines and management. In my roles I have also been responsible for leading and driving the integration of strategy, planning and buying across multi markets and in addition this I have also been responsible for driving innovation relevant to Africa.

I have held various leadership roles and I am accustomed to managing teams across multiple markets and disciplines. In addition to media, sales and marketing background I have also led cross functional project teams to deliver specific NPD as well as innovation.