THEWEEKINTEN 07 - Advantage Magazine


Sarel’s boards

The outdoor advertising industry body will get a shake-up from its new chief

It hasn’t been easy to keep up with Sarel du Plessis since he left Media24. But now he’s popped up again as the new executive director of Out-Of-Home South Africa, with ambitious plans for the organization, including raising its share of national advertising expenditure from 2,6% to 6% in 24 months.

“For too long OHMSA was regarded by the media industry as the step child of the media owner associations, often scorned as irrelevant and not representative of the OOH sector,” he says. “All of this is to change as OHMSA embarks on a programme of re-engineering and development, and focusing on our primary goals.”

OHMSA is the officially recognized trade association for the industry.

The second goal is to grow membership numbers to ensure a strong collective voice for the sector when required.

“Essentially this means that OHMSA will become a marketing organization for the OOH sector,” says du Plessis. “But this also requires the sector players to work together to develop the necessary tools to persuade marketers to allocate more of their budgets towards OOH.”

Out of home advertising used to be known as outdoor advertising, but the new terminology reflects its expansion into much more than billboards alongside highways. It now includes electronic and traditional small billboards and posters in shopping malls, airport terminals and other indoor areas of public use.

The targeted growth in advertising may seem over-ambitious for an industry which has not improved its market share for two decades, but there is immense scope to haul in outdoor contractors which are not members of OHMSA and consequently don’t report their revenues.

A set of OHMSA sub-brands will be rolled out during 2013, providing improved benefits for members and designed to create new revenue and income opportunities for the association. They will cover specialist services to members, including awards, recruitment, networking days,  conferencing, online and a daily news service.

“Our aim now,” he says, “is to move the association from being irrelevant to being e-relevant.”

Du Plessis was a senior executive in the newspaper division of NasPers before a spell as executive director of the Marketing Association of SA. (Finweek)


Cinderella medium needs more awards

Out-of-home advertising is the ‘Cinderella medium’ of advertising, unattractive to the industry’s best talent because of  the lack of peer recognition and creative awards, according to a doctoral thesis submitted by Thérèse du Plooy to the University of Pretoria.

“The reluctance of creative specialists in ad agencies to design messages specifically for out-of-home (OOH) advertising needs to be addressed,” writes Du Plooy. The primary objective of out-of-home advertising is often to support the theme of the leading media in an integrated marketing campaign to design messages specifically for OOH advertising. This is despite the creative potential of the medium because of its extraordinary size, three-dimensional designs and increasing variety.”

Although creative awards are highly prized by advertising agencies, the real success of any campaign should be measured against achieving the objectives of the advertisers.

“It seems that the unbundling of the media function can result in losing a unified vision of a clients’ advertising strategy, by having too many separate teams from the ad agency, the media agency, the OOH specialists and even the external professional market research companies, all working on different sections of an account.

“This results in a silo approach, with little synergy between the message and media components of a plan. When separate agencies work on the media and message plans,  this puts a burden on people to communicate properly. Communication between agencies is not always as good as when they are in one organisation. Vertical integration and communication between these role-players are crucial factors in making media unbundling work.” (Finweek)


New mag launches

Nandi Mgwadlamba, owner of Sleeves-Up Communications, has launched a new online business and environment magazine, Rooted Wealth, which has been emailed to 6 000 readers. It plans to increase its figures to a million readers by 2017.

Outta space!

Primedia Unlimited Subsidiary, TLC Unlimited, has launched a new mobile geo-targeting advertising platform that targets specific audiences based on cross-demographics such as location, age, gender and income.

Joburg has R10m to enhance image

The City of Joburg plans to spend R10m on an image enhancement campaign. Perhaps it should first fix what’s wrong, then boast about it.

Apple goes sour

Recent consumer reviews in the US and Europe found that the number of people who claim they will buy the next device from Apple has dropped to levels lower than that in 2009.  A lack in recent innovation in new products is cited as the main reason for this.

Trends for 2012

Some of the top trends for 2012 identified by Angus Robinson in AdVantage (for the full list, see the magazine):

+ Tablets and the BYOD (bring your own device) trend

+ MXit’s rollercoaster year.

+ Plummeting Data Costs

+ Facebook reaching 1bn and its refocus on mobile.

+ Africa’s mobile explosion.

+ Samsung vs Apple in the market and in court.

Newsmaker of the Year

The Johannesburg Press Club has named the right to Know Coalition Campaign as its 2012 Newsmaker of the Year.



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