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The Road Trip

Mali Motsumi-Garrido 

Sales Director

Tractor Outdoor

Mali Motsumi-Garrido

Mali Motsumi-Garrido

27 May . 5 min read . Opinion

Tractor Outdoor Sales Director Mali Motsumi-Garrido discusses the evolution of roadside digitals – where we’ve come from, the bumps along the way, and the road that lies ahead.

(Credit: Tractor Outdoor)

Out of home (OOH) media has seen many reincarnations over the past few years, but thanks largely to the advent of technology, is now really stepping into its own as the true attention medium.

And in an age where attention has become a sought-after currency – where advertisers vie for a few seconds of consumers’ time in an increasingly cluttered landscape – digital out of home (DOOH) offers an unrivalled opportunity to engage with audiences.

According to the Kantar Media Reactions 2023 survey, global consumers now count OOH and DOOH among their top five media channels, with both also ranking in the top three mediums for capturing the attention among audiences worldwide.

Says the report, Digital OOH (DOOH) takes care of the ‘dullness’ issue consumers have with traditional out-of-home advertising, while bringing further innovation into the fold, adding that, “For both groups (consumers and marketers), digital OOH is the most innovative channel out there – especially as it takes advantage of high screen resolution and fast- developing creative technologies.”

Neuroscience supports the fact that DOOH ad recall is stronger among audiences. According to Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure (MOVE), incorporating the strategic use of creative (i.e. movement and digital) into a brand campaign delivers greater impact as long-term memory encoding continues in audiences exposed to this evolving creative.

The Fast Lane to Attention

From bustling city streets to highways; the rise of DOOH roadside billboards, in particular, marks a seismic shift in outdoor advertising. Having come a long way from their static iterations, these digital billboards serve as dynamic canvases, seamlessly blending art and technology to engage audiences on the move in real time, commanding attention like never before.

Think vibrant displays, larger-than-life presence, dynamic content and granular reporting capabilities – the likes of which were previously only possible in ‘traditional’ digital advertising – and you will start to realise the potential these digital behemoths wield.

It is this dynamism that sets DOOH apart from many other mediums. With contextually relevant content, brands can deliver targeted messages that resonate with viewers in the moment. And when it comes to what is possible, the sky is the limit.

Tractor Outdoor is well-positioned to take advantage of this potential, offering the latest technologies and capabilities that allow advertisers to tap into the minds – and hearts – of consumers. Consider a digital billboard campaign that utilises dynamic content and creative triggers, flighting predefined creative when certain parameters are met, such as a temperature range.  For example, an FMCG company could flight an ad for ice cream on a hot day when the thermostat reaches 28 degrees and above, or alternate with a coffee advert when the temperature sinks to 18 degrees or lower.

(Credit: Tractor Outdoor)

Dynamic activations allow campaigns to be displayed when certain conditions are met – think of an ad for over-the-counter anti-allergy medicine that displays when the pollen count is high in the air, for example.

Or how about the opportunity to make the consumer the star of the show? Our Brutal Fruit campaign did exactly that: DOOHshare, Tractor’s custom platform, allowed users to submit personalised content through a mobi-site, broadcasting these messages on digital billboards for all to see. Once creating their shout-out, users were able to select the billboard their message would appear on and even received an in-situ image of their message on the chosen billboard, which they could share on social media. Look ma, I’m famous!

(Credit: Tractor Outdoor)

Location-based targeting and retargeting deliver more relevant and impactful messages to consumers on the move. You’re driving along the highway and don’t even realise your stomach is growling until you see that billboard with the lip-smacking Zinger Wings…oh, look! You’re approaching a petrol station that happens to have a KFC on-site…

All of these are possible in DOOH and tap into audiences out and about and receptive to brand messaging, but with one caveat – it’s delivered in a relevant and engaging way.

(Credit: Tractor Outdoor)

Driving Results

Thanks to its advanced measuring capabilities and data-driven insights, brands can optimise their DOOH roadside campaigns for maximum impact.

Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving foot traffic to retail locations, or boosting sales, outdoor has come a long way in being able to show its effectiveness. Before this technology arrived on the scene, OOH had to work hard to prove its effectiveness. We could show potential audience sizes or opportunities to see but demonstrating any subsequent action from these ‘opportunities’ was harder to quantify.

But DOOH has changed the game. Real-time analytics, deep audience insights, and attribution modelling can tangibly demonstrate value, with space-age capabilities like location-tracking, eye-tracking and facial recognition just a few of the innovative measurement strategies that have put DOOH light years ahead of many other mediums.

In one of Tractor’s recent brand campaigns, we set out to determine the real influence of DOOH as a medium that drives feet into stores. The campaign was flighted on our digital billboards in Gauteng within a prescribed radius of the brand’s stores, and  – using location data available via consumers’ mobiles – revealed a 138% lift on  the number of people who walked into a store after coming into contact with an ad for that store, compared to the control group (those who were not exposed to the ad but still entered the store) – a phenomenal outcome, when you consider that the global benchmark is between 15 – 40%.

The Road to Sustainability

We cannot forget about sustainability in this conversation. Admittedly – and as with all electronic mediums – loadshedding initially dealt DOOH a blow. But necessity breeds innovation, and loadshedding has inadvertently moved us closer to a renewable energy transition, with many media owners now having invested in solar and other backup energy sources to keep their screens on when the lights go off.

Today, OOH is even considered to be one of the most sustainable forms of media, producing the lowest amount of carbon emissions per impression delivered, according to a new study from trade body Outsmart and KPMG.

Freeway to the Future

 With ongoing innovation and technological progression, including AI-driven content optimisation and interactive features, the possibilities are limitless. From augmented reality experiences to personalised messaging tailored to individual viewers; the evolution of roadside digital billboards redefines the boundaries of outdoor advertising.

In a world where attention is the ultimate currency, roadside digital billboards emerge as a powerful force driving the evolution of advertising. With it’s ability to captivate audiences, deliver targeted messages, and drive real results, these dynamic displays not only represent the future of outdoor – but potentially even broadcast advertising as well.

As brands continue to embrace innovation and creativity, the journey of roadside digital billboards is only just beginning.

Mali Motsumi-Garrido is a dynamic leader serving as the Sales Director at Tractor Outdoor, where she also holds a seat on the board. With a robust background in the broadcast, print and OOH media industry, Mali brings extensive expertise in sales consultancy to her role.

Throughout her career, Mali has showcased her proficiency in various facets of media sales and management, including customer service, advertising strategies, account management, and driving revenue growth. Her strategic acumen and client-centric approach have consistently propelled her success in the competitive media landscape.

Mali’s educational foundation includes a Bachelor’s Degree in BA Communications from the University of South Africa (Unisa), which has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of communication dynamics and market trends.

Prior to her current position at Tractor Outdoor, Mali held several senior roles within esteemed organisations such as Caxton Magazines, Mediamark, Primedia Broadcasting, and DStv. Her tenure in these diverse environments has honed her skills and provided her with a nuanced perspective on the evolving media landscape.

With a passion for driving results and fostering meaningful client relationships, Mali continues to be a driving force in shaping the future of sales and advertising within the media industry.