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A – Z of out-of-home advertising in Nigeria

(a). What are the types of out-of-home advertising available in Nigeria?

All four-broad categories (billboard, transit, street furniture and place based) of out-of-home advertising are available to varying degrees in Nigeria. The conventional and most popular are billboards. Broadly speaking, billboards can be divided into static and digital billboards. Static billboards were originally named in relation to their sizes, 48 sheet board – 3-meter-high by 6-meter-wide board are so named to reflect the equivalent number of A4 sheet of paper. Nowadays, the naming convention is less clear cut. The most ubiquitous billboard format, the unipole references its single pole or stanchion. Other common static billboard formats are rooftops (billboards literally atop roofs of buildings), wall drapes, wall parapets, eye catcher boards (the opposite side of road directional), bridge panels, backlit boards, lamp poles and cross-road gantries. Digital billboards on the other hand are electronic billboards capable of multiple campaigns exposures. Digital boards are all the rage with most service provider converting their static hoardings to LED billboards

(b). What about the other out-of-home advertising categories is worth noting?

Away from billboards, transit out-of-home (bus, taxi, keke, mobile trucks, waterways, airport, rail) is available and growing. Branded buses and taxis are of course very popular especially across the big cities. Airport branding is a longtime favorite of premium brands. Waterways and rail advertising are emerging opportunities on the back of upgrades in infrastructure.

Availability of street furniture (bus shelters, kiosks) is currently limited to a few cities but continuing improvement in road infrastructure should expand options.

Place based out-of-home (shopping mall, cinema, stadium, resort etc.) is similarly on the rise. Mall based out-of-home  media, on the back of Nigeria’s changing shopping culture landscape, is particularly significant, there are over 200 malls in Nigeria with multiple new initiatives under development.  The assorted spaces and places in and around these malls provide unique advertising opportunities for would be advertisers. A major player in the mall advertising and alternative advertising segment is Stradamedia.

(c). How much do the various static billboards cost?

Rental is determined by a number of factors including city/location of billboard (which affect the quality of the audience who are likely to see), the size of billboard and duration of the rental period among others. The cheapest billboards are undoubtedly the small formal (super) 48 sheet boards (increasingly phased-out in Lagos) while gantries and wall drapes are at the other end of the price spectrum. Unipole boards, which are the standard static billboard format, can cost between 8 -15 million Naira per annum depending on the factors listed above.

(d). Is payment for billboards a one-off thing?

Billboards, unlike signs, are rented by period and so, command repeat payment based on contractual agreements. Billboards, by law, ‘’are signage structure designed and intended to provide a leasing advertising copy area where the copy can be periodically replaced, typically by the use of pre-printed copy pasted or otherwise mounted onto the copy area’’, basically, LASAA – the industry regulator in Lagos state defines billboard as any 3rd party out-of-home advertising structure made available for lease. Signs on the other hand are 1st party signages intended for 1st party use.

(e). Does the rental price of billboards include cost of creative materials?

Creative materials are created by creative agencies, lots of creativity in there! The point to keep in mind is that except a potential customer of (out-of-home) advertising service have in-house creative people, finding and signing up with a creative shop will typically precede channel (out-of-home/radio/TV/digital) selection. So, specifically, cost of creative is not covered in billboard rental pricing. By the way, a creative shop whose work we love and will happily recommend is Noah’s Ark, we think they rock!

(f). Does the price of renting the billboard include cost of flex material?

Typically, no. Although most out-of-home advertising company can help with material production leveraging their network of large format material printers, the quote provided for billboard rental usually does not cover material production cost.

(g). What is the minimum rental period available?

Most static billboards have minimum rental period of one month. Digital billboards on the other hand, are inherently more flexible. In fact, most service providers have flexible period offers for their digital inventory. At Allianz Media, our flexible period offer includes hourly, daily and weekly options.

(h) Are there regulatory requirements for out-of-home advertising?

Yes, there are a few! APCON, the Nigerian advertising industry watchdog is empowered by law – act number 55 of 1998 ‘’to carry out pre-exposure clearance of all advertisements, with focus on ensuring ads have no misleading statements, spurious testimonials, visual and verbal exaggerations, misleading offers, suggestion or pictures offensive to public decency, etc. In addition, certain ads require clearance by the government agency regulating it’’.

(i) Outside of APCON, any other regulator to factor in when planning (out-of-home) advertising campaigns?

The most important industry regulator, outside of APCON, is NAFDAC, advertising (across all media) for food and medicine products require clearance by NAFDAC in relations to claims made. Similarly, major sectoral regulators often have sectoral regulations, for example, PenCom regulates advertising relating to the pension business. If you require help navigating the potential regulatory minefield for your out-of-home advertising campaigns, contact us here to get advisory and consultation at no cost.

(j) Who bears the cost in case of damage to flex material or billboard leading to loss of exposure?

Damage to billboard structure is the exclusive responsibility of the billboard owner. Same as security of the billboard and the flex material(banner). However, damage to flex material due to force majeure aka act of God is not covered contractually.

(k) How long can a flex material be used for?

When produced with the right grammage, flex materials can be used for up to a year, acts of God, allowing. The downside to using the same flex for that long though is that the material concept may become stale, meaning that audiences know what to expect and are thus no longer captivated to view.
(l) What viewership data is available?
Viewership data is currently limited to traffic count of commuters on the busiest road across major cities. However, demographic data will soon be available.

(m) How can a defined target audience be reached?

Tools and techniques and location expertise help ensure billboards are built around city landmarks (markets, hospitals, higher institutions, entry and exits points etc.) enabling out-of-home advertising to reach well defined audiences. Allianz Media’s location tools and techniques are best in class and make us well placed to help reach defined audiences.

(n) How can we tell that it is the billboard ad (and not the radio ad for example) that led to conversion or action by target audience?

Attribution is possible through campaign channel integration. That means coordinating the use of the different channels in a multi-channel campaign. For example, slightly tweaking the contact address on the billboard – specific landing page, different phone numbers for phone contact etc. help provide clear linkage between the out-of-home advertising investment and the outcome.

(o) You mean offline media (billboards) campaigns can be measured online?

Yes. Media convergence is an emerging trend locally especially in the major cities where there is a combination of billboard availability and high internet penetration levels. Not only can measurement of out-of-home advertising be done online, significant amplification, using a variety of tactics is possible.

(p) How can brands with tight budgets use billboards?

Digital billboards! This is a bit counter-intuitive, maybe even controversial, noting how expensive digital boards are, but digital billboards are well suited to brands and organizations with tight media budget. This is because digital boards offer greater flexibility in terms of cost and exposure period and is thus well suited to meeting the requirements of nimble businesses with tight media budget.

(q) How much is the monthly rental for digital billboard?

Again, rental is determined by a number of factors including location of digital board (which affect the quality of the audience who are likely to see), the size of the digital screen and duration of the rental period among others. Digital screens in Lagos are of course more expensive than in any other part of the country. Similarly, digital screens on the (Lagos) Island cost more than those on the mainland. Monthly rental prices fall on a spectrum with monthly rate starting from as low as one million Naira to as high as ten million Naira.

(r) Will my ad run on both faces of the digital board?

Digital billboard faces are usually sold independently to reach defined target audience, so paying for one face will not give access to the other face(s). Having said that, Allianz Media’s day part plan include the option of interchanging faces at no additional cost.

(s) How many creative change is provided for with digital billboards?

Unlimited, digital out-of-home allows advertisers load many different ads – or even multiple images for a single ad – onto a system at once. As previously stated, flexibility is the unique selling point of digital boards. That’s what we certainly do at Allianz media!

(t) What is the turnaround time for posting and associated issues?

Digital billboards have the added advantage of little or no turn-around time with certain service providers able to upload campaign remotely. For the conventional static billboard, the out-of-home industry have a 48-hour window for Lagos and 5-day window for up country locations. At Allianz Media, we have a 24-hour window for Lagos and a 3-day window for all up country posting outside of the North-east.

(u) How many flex material (banner) change is provided for?

The out-of-home industry convention is one change a month. However, customer-focused out-of-home advertising companies are happy to do additional changes to meet client requirement.

(v) Is flex the only material type for all billboards?

Flex materials are indeed the most common material type on billboards in Nigeria. They are preferred for their durability and flexibility. However, mesh is another material type used on wall drape sites to allow for passage of air when drapes cover windows.

(w) How do I track my out-of-home advertising campaigns?

Depending on the number and geographic coverage of the out-of-home advertising campaign being planned, you can normally track and monitor your campaign yourself as the billboards are located along major roads and intersections, businesses with a few billboards can request that staff look out for the billboards. Companies with bigger investments in out-of-home can employ the services of specialist media tracking companies. Two of the biggest in the market are MMS and TKMG.

(x) What budget will work for a campaign?

Budgets relates directly to outlined objectives. Factors to consider will include geographic coverage, level of dominance or impact required, whether channel is being used as primary or support channel among others. To gain insight (at no cost) into budget requirements, contact us here.

(y) How can a company plan for a pan Nigeria campaign?

Billboards, of various formats and sizes, are available in all 36 states and Abuja. The biggest players have pan Nigeria presence, so subject to availability, one or two service providers can typically meet all of a prospect’s needs. With billboards in 29 states and across all 6 geo-political regions, Allianz Media is well placed to help meet your out-of-home advertising needs across Nigeria. If a billboard that we own doesn’t fit campaign requirements, we have the industry knowhow and network to secure any other site from other service providers.

(z) Billboards in Nigeria are expensive and deliver little ROI, right?

Out-of-home advertising offers the best way to reach mass audiences in a rapidly urbanizing country like Nigeria. In the rural areas where literacy levels are lower, power is epileptic and internet penetrations levels are low, billboards offer the best way for savvy brands to use great visuals to tell stories and connect with consumers in a way that no other mass media can.

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