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The Evolution of Data-Driven Digital Place-Based Networks – The New “Everyday Television”

Jacques du Preez




Jacques du Preez

Jacques du Preez

25 March . 4 min read . Opinion

(Credit: Provantage)

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) never stands still—much like the consumers it targets, from South Africa’s bustling airport terminals to the vibrant taxi ranks and everywhere in between. Digital Place-Based Networks (DPBN), in particular, have rapidly evolved, setting the tone for consumer experiences in familiar, contextually relevant environments near the point of purchase in real-time.

Consider spirit brands in bars, recruitment adverts on university campuses or luxury goods at airports. DPBN does its best work in environments that consumers visit with a purpose and are often on a path to purchase. These are safe, controlled media environments where DPBN owners control the content and the advertising experience. The environments are familiar and consumers are more receptive to brand messaging when it is delivered in contextually relevant circumstances.

At the same time, the media’s contextual relevance ensures that it is non-invasive, even though it cannot be blocked or ignored. This translates to high viewability compared to online platforms. With long dwell times in these everyday environments, there is a more profound content exchange with the consumer. Some venues – for example, airports and malls – have captive audiences spending several hours at a time in DPBN sites. These opportunities provide more in-depth interactions between brands and consumers with creative and relevant content.

Why Context Matters

(Credit: Provantage)

One of South Africa’s most telling case studies in the evolution of DPBN is the transit environment. South Africa’s booming taxi industry is used by 80% of South African households every day (Source: StatsSA, National Household Travel Survey). In a recent four-week survey, approximately three out of four taxi commuters recalled advertising they saw in transit, and 49% purchased the product they saw.

Along each commuter’s journey in the transit space, there is a common thread of interconnected omnichannel static and digital platforms with larger-than-life story-telling capacity. Marketers can use these in context to create an “episodic” brand narrative.

The journey begins with static taxi branding, complemented by TRANSIT.TV™ (the largest digital placed-based network in South Africa at train stations, taxi ranks, bus depots nationally.  

Static Powa Towas (the largest branding structures in critical commuter environments in South Africa) maintain the connection. TRANSIT.TV™ reinforces it, and large-format digital out-of-home Transit XL screens complete the loop.

This is a powerful combination. When commuters are open and attentive to advertising messaging at busy times of day, each platform is contextually relevant and effectively, strategically and geographically dominates the everyday transit environment.

This highly relevant content loop, which can additionally integrate online social media platforms, organically weaves meaningful advertising messaging into the natural environments commuters inhabit on their daily journeys. It offers brand experiences to economically active people where they feel most at home and close to the point of purchase.

An Ever-Evolving Medium

(Credit: Provantage)

The rapid evolution of DPBN is evident in its readiness to adopt more impactful platforms to connect with consumers. Large-format digital Displays—for example, the unmissable large format DOOH Visionet™ screens strategically located in South Africa’s major airports— and Transit XL have risen to prominence against the backdrop of TV fragmentation, with marketers and media buyers increasingly turning to DPBN as an alternative to traditional television advertising. These can offer additional value to consumers by screening engaging content like sports events, weather updates or up-to-the-minute news.

DPBN adds value for landlords while enhancing commuter experiences with content that is informative and engaging. Consequently, investment in DPBN at new malls, airports and transit environments is on the rise, as is expansion and upgrading of existing environments.

Data-Driven Connections

Media partners initially did not support DPBN because of a perceived data vacuum. As data delivery mechanisms evolve, data has become currency that is rising in prominence. Recognised, attention-based audience metrics substantiate advertising investments in environments with zero tune-out zones, delivering unified messages to large audiences with immediacy and relevance that traditional broadcast media cannot achieve.

Audience measurement tools are growing at pace. This month (March) sees the much-anticipated launch of Provantage Tracking – or Protrack. Protrack leverages the internationally proven AllUnite platform, which provides verifiable audience measurement in the digital OOH context.

The Platform sets a new benchmark by providing accurate, verified data on audience reach, frequency and impact – and it does this in real time. Verifiable audience measurement is changing the game in DOOH advertising, and specifically within the realm of DPBNs, providing brands with peace of mind that their campaigns are effectively on target.

Based on Protrack’s proprietary data, every campaign’s overall effectiveness is quantified by applying the Reach x Frequency x Impact equation. This enables brands to plan and buy space on digital place-based networks with absolute certainty that they reach the right audience at the right time and within the right environment with great efficacy.

Data allows accurate media buying by daypart. This fundamentally changes how content is placed, making it more scientifically sound. Transparency takes the lead, with media owners being open about measurement models, giving their clients direct access to the data platform.

Still, more exciting developments are in the works, which is a testament to the widespread uptake in DPBN. With channel updates to the Transit TV, Mall TV, Airport TV and Golf TV platforms within the Provantage stable set to come this year, there will be refreshed and even more relevant content opportunities for brands to connect with specific demographics in context.

As OOH continues to evolve and innovate, the importance of data-driven insights and creative excellence will only grow, further solidifying the position of DPBNs’ as a cornerstone of modern advertising strategies, facilitating true programmatic buying.

DPBN – Connecting the Dots Between Brands and the Consumers They Need Now

American Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and Author Jim Rohn said it perfectly:

“Often, the most extraordinary opportunities are hidden among the seemingly insignificant events of life. If we do not pay attention to these events, we can easily miss the opportunities.”

For millions of South African consumers, life continues every day. Advertising should not interrupt the process. Instead, it should fit in comfortably, enhancing daily lives by talking to consumers in a language they identify with in places they need or want to be.

DPBNs do precisely that and have become the new “Everyday TV”, hyper-targeting the right audience and allowing brands to create messaging that resonates to build stronger connections with consumers.

The results are overwhelmingly positive. Innovative, data-driven, contextual, creative advertising enhances the road to purchase for consumers and brands’ bottom lines.

About Provantage

Provantage is one of Africa’s largest and most innovative end-to-end integrated marketing solutions and media businesses, extended over multiple key consumer touchpoints and covering a range of environments and audience segments. Operating across the MEA region, Provantage offers a comprehensive range of products, services, and integrated solutions, including brand activation, in-store and trade media services, field sales and compliance auditing, transit media, mall media, billboards, street furniture, golf course media and airport advertising. The company is a Black-owned, B-BBEE level 1 contributor and proud ACI, DPAA, OAAA, WOOHO, OMC and POPAI member.

To find out more about Provantage, call 0861 776 826 or visit for more details.

Follow @ProvantageSA on Twitter and Provantage Media Group on LinkedIn.


Issued by: Twiga Communications

On behalf of Transit Ads

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Franco D’Onofrio