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What are 3 of the major media trends for 2023 and what are the low hanging fruit for the OOH industry?

Celia Collins

Vice President Media 

Publicis Groupe Africa
Celia Collins

Celia Collins

March 30 . 5 min read . Opinion

Credit: Mall digital screen, Gauteng, South Africa, The Media Factory

Consumers are changing their outlooks, perceptions, and emotions on what they follow at an astounding pace, consciously or unconsciously. In previous decades we could rely on a trend for at least two to three years, however these can now change every five to six months. Overlay that with the COVID-19 Pandemic behaviour and loadshedding, your trends can become overwhelming especially when brands need to target correctly and ensure productivity.

OOH is one of the oldest forms of advertising and has stood the test of time. We are seeing massive advancements in this space to evolve with how consumers are engaging and advancing. No longer is OOH a stand-alone platform, it allows brands to have an integrated ecosystem across platforms, which OOH can drive from awareness all the way through to conversion. Digital has allowed OOH to expand all consumer touch points in a meaningful way.

Trend One: Advancement of Technology with Storytelling

Like most industries, digital migration and how brands are increasing spend behind this platform, has allowed brands to become more dynamic and strategically relevant for our consumers. Chat GPT, for example, could have written this article in about two minutes……., but it would have only given facts around OOH & DOOH and the large investment in this space. Chat GPT would not have considered the small nuggets around human feelings and emotion, which is where the human alongside technology makes a powerful force especially when storytelling is now more crucial than ever before.

With the advancement of tech in DOOH, advertisers are given more flexibility to change messaging in this regard rather than having one visual for months on end and losing the impact. For example, through Storytelling on OOH you can tell part of a story which entices consumers to want/wait for the “second instalment” and are continuously looking out for it, whilst on the road.

Being able to target consumers programmatically on DOOH, allows OOH media owners into the digital journey of the consumer along with platform integration. Through TV & Radio syncing we are then able to show who has seen or heard our client’s advertisement, gone past our messaging on a DOOH site to when they head to a specific store or possibly bought online. This allows us to understand “A Day in the Life” at an addressable level to ensure we become more relevant in that specific consumers life.

The use of technology helps potential customers interact with ads and share valuable data in real-time with the brand. In addition, the feedback from the customer helps provide a more customized user experience.

Trend Two: Planning & Data for OOH & DOOH

There are massive amounts of data points which we can now be used for site selection and strategic relevance. OHMSA data, Outdoor Audit data, Consumer Data, social listening data, 1st Party data and segmentation, are but a few. This ensures that OOH is no longer a gut feel, or “I see it on my way home therefore it must good” purchase. OOH now plays in a considered and credible space where brands are able to measure productivity alongside relevance.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most brands investment on OOH were reduced or withdrawn, as consumers were not allowed to travel, and consumer behaviour changed. Move along twelve months, we are all back on the road, going to shopping malls and learning to live an unrestricted life again, so we thought. ……… Loadshedding……… 360-degree turn, yet again. Once again planners are having to following a new trend on how to plan as consumers are adjusting and changing habits.

One new habit, dwell time on the roads has increased, due to traffic jams. Opportune time to reach consumers, 50% of generic OOH boards have generators, or are powered by solar to ensure lighting for evenings. 80% of DOOH boards have an alternative power source, they are always on. A planners dream really…… measurable, affordable and consumers have more dwell time…. And can be classified as Digital spend.

Trend Three: Fragmentation in OOH

Outside of Western Cape, we have seen an explosion of DOOH, and generic boards being built. Not all these sites are legal, however the ones that are legal gives our brands enough impact to shape the way we story tell within this platform.

Fragmentation is our reality on most platforms, but in OOH space we are able to use it to our advantage. We all know that to extend our budget we used to “walk sites” to ensure we were able to appear in all places across a month period.

DOOH allows us to do this within a day through all the new sites. An average journey to work can be between 20 minutes to over an hour where brands are able to capture consumers multiple times, alongside integrating the campaign onto digital relevant platforms.
Most might say these trends could cross multiple platforms, I believe that if you dig a little deeper into DOOH & OOH you are able to truly enhance, touch and inspire consumers within an evolving ecosystem. Technology / Data & Fragmentation in DOOH & OOH allow brands to be within the consumers space, or world.

Operating out of Johannesburg, South Africa, Publicis Groupe Africa consists of many of South Africa’s leading communications, marketing, media, advertising and technology companies. 

The Groupe is also a stakeholder in upwards of 60 agencies across the African continent We are the African representative of listed French holding company, Publicis Groupe – the world’s third largest communication and advertising group; employing over 80 000 people across more than 100 countries. 

We are as proud of, as we are selective about, the companies which we bring into our fold. The same can be said about the individuals whose talent and drive push us towards our ever more ambitious vision of the future. 

Ours is a culture of high performance, open co-operation, and diversity of skillsets, perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. We are the ultimate destination for those professionals who seek new ways to achieve greater things, in order to bring about a better future, faster.