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Home » OOH News » Accent on creativity, collective efforts, fair pricing will augment Africa’s OOH growth prospects: Greg Benatar

Accent on creativity, collective efforts, fair pricing will augment Africa’s OOH growth prospects: Greg Benatar

By Rajiv Raghunath - March 15, 2024

Greg Benatar, Joint Managing Director & Group Sales Director, Alliance Media also underlines the need for brands and buyers to recognise the sheer diversity of African markets

Greg Banetar

The tide is turning in favour of OOH as the fast growing digital media is now mired in all kinds of challenges that include deep fake. OOH is trusted, brand safe, and is the last true broadcast medium. Stating this in his address to the 1st in-person WOO Africa Forum organised in Cape Town, South Africa, Greg Benatar, Joint Managing Director & Group Sales Director, Alliance Media said Africa is complex, colourful and diverse. As a result, the OOH markets across Africa are also diverse. OOH firms that fail to recognise the diversity of Africa are more prone to failure, and end up winding up their operations in the region.

To succeed in OOH business across Africa, Greg said it is vital to take cognizance of the: 

  • Demographics and cultural diversity of the region
  • Tribal factors
  • Internet penetration level
  • Media nuances governing various markets
  • Media clutter on the urban landscape
  • Varied OOH regulations.

Speaking about the future for the business, Greg pointed out that Africa’s population has doubled in the last 25 years, and is expected to have 4 billion people by the year 2100. 42% of the population is below 14 years of age. “OOH resonates best with young people,” he said.

However, there are certain external factors that could stymie the industry’s growth prospects, such as: 

  • Currency devaluation that some of the countries are faced with
  • Forex shortage in many markets, that limits the scope for companies to externalise their funds.

When it comes to DOOH, Greg whose company operates arguably the largest number of DOOH media assets across Africa, said that while advertisers look out for large DOOH media formats, the endemic electric power problems, high fuel costs that inhibit use of back-up power, among others can act as challenges for the industry. Moreover, DOOH media can tend to get lost on overly cluttered OOH landscapes.

However, while DOOH still serves up very innovative and engaging advertising opportunities for brands, Greg encourages advertisers and buyers to closely consider the myriad demographics and location details while opting for OOH media. In some cases, a cluttered environment itself might throw up a good advertising opportunity, he said, while adding that even locations around low-end market are not to be discounted. Some of those markets tend to be doing US$ 5 million trade every day.

Greg called for a set of actions to make OOH a bigger story in Africa’s media spectrum:

  • Influence brands to make OOH the core medium for advertising, using the medium’s multiplier effects 
  • Leverage the power of creativity to get the best out of the medium, and prevail upon the brands to think more deeply on the creative side of OOH advertising
  • Move away from the archaic media planning mindset
  • Prevent proliferation of media, and rein in the price discounting practice and thereby maintain fair pricing of the media
  • Get the industry to work together as a collective
  • Encourage brands and buyers to engage with reputed OOH suppliers – and eventually the clients’ ESG policies will align with that of OOH
  • Support local industry, support Africa by opting for OOH where the money stays with the local community and bodies, whereas money spent on digital media is more likely to move out of the local economy.
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