Thought Leader

Johannesburg, 17 June 2015


Adelaide2Technology and OOH audience measurement in Africa - presented at the ‘Davos of Outdoor’

Adelaide McKelvey, Managing Director of Rest of Africa at Continental Outdoor Media in her presentation about the how improved technologies have changed the way out of home (OOH) companies do business on the African continent, spoke about the issues with and advances in OOH measurement, at the 56th FEPE (International out of home adverting association) Congress, titled ‘Your Audience is Waiting’. This gathering of OOH aficionados,known as the ‘Davos of Outdoor’ to its delegates, was held between Wednesday June 10th and Friday June 12th in Budapest. The Congress this year brought together OOH professionals from 39 countries to discuss and debate the future direction of the OOH industry worldwide.


Africa’s 1.1 billion consumers are extremely diverse, making media and marketers job a lot harder in justifying where the advertising budget should be allocated, and as to which channels are best suited to target their audiences. It is, however, fair to state that there two very definite markets in each state on the continent, the formal and informal markets.


With more than 50% of most countries in Africa GDPs unaccounted for, marketers have been forced to find ways to talk to consumers amongst the ‘noise’ of a multiplicity of brands. Some informal trading hubs reportedly trade in the region of $1 million a day.

Nonetheless, with the exception of South Africa, measurement of audiences in the ‘Rest of Africa’ is unreliable and outdated. Media planners are very much in the dark when it comes to understanding media consumption of the masses. Yet, the emerging market media landscape is growing rapidly. Media in these countries is often under-researched, forcing brands and broadcasters to make decisions based on outdated information, risking valuable advertising dollars. GeoPoll and other research companies are changing that. Increasing the sophistication of measurement tools in Africa will be key to the sustained growth in out of home (OOH). The biggest inhibitor of OOH advertising adoption has been the lack of tools to measure media consumption and audience measurement. GeoPoll is the world’s largest mobile survey platform with a data base of 200 million users in Africa and in Asia. The service, which delivers daily data across several lifestyle categories, has delivered media measurement in Africa as a unique proposition for media planners. Because the survey is as simple as a sms response, and the payment for participation is airtime, it is effective and reliable. The survey allows media planners and marketers to access real time data. With access to almost real-time data, media planners can follow media consumption, and in event of the most hostile situation, they are able to alter their media plan accordingly if they so choose.

Is it not interesting that it is the most simple technology which has enabled measurement of the consumers behaviour (formal and informal) with the most simplistic methodology, that has afforded Africa media planners a media consumption tool that measures all media – including OOH.

While countries in the ‘Rest of Africa’ are using the most simplistic of technology to get a better understanding of media consumption, back in South Africa, where the OOH market is more sophisticated and where audience measurement is more tangible, media owners are reverting to big data to deliver audience measurement.

The OOH Industry has formed a Joint Industry Committee called the Out of Home Measurement Council (OMC), Continental Outdoor Media and Primedia Outdoor are leading the initiative to deliver an OOH currency with metrics that are comparable to the likes of television, radio, and print.

The innovative methodology includes the combination of traffic flows, satellite images, and travel patterns to create a comprehensive traffic model, which is then combined with the location of all billboard panels, creates an accurate representation of OOH audiences. The new OOH currency will deliver reach, frequency, GRP’s, duplication factors and CPM’s , etc. and will be comparable to other media metrics, for the first time ever in South Africa. The OMC hope to launch the first phase of project in the latter part of 2015. There is no doubt that the OOH industry will enjoy an increased share of adspend as a result of this initiative.

OOH in Africa has become more accountable in term of real time, proof of play, measurement of media consumption patterns, as well as audience measurement. As OOH audience measurement methodologies advance and become established currencies within the media strategy and planning framework, the justification to move adspend from an increasingly fragmented media environment to the ubiquitous OOH medium that has become more solidified rather than fragmented with technological development will be at the savvy marketer’s fingertips.


About Continental Outdoor Media


Continental Outdoor Media is Africa’s leading static and digital Outdoor Advertising company and operates in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The company offers in excess of 25 000 static and digital advertising opportunities in South Africa and a further 10 000 in sub-Saharan Africa.

Continental Outdoor Media (Pty) Ltd is owned by a consortium of investors led by Helios Investment Partners, a leading pan-African private equity firm. The consortium includes The Rohatyn Group, RMB Corvest and management. The company is a Level 4 BBBEE Contributor in South Africa through the ownership of 25.1% of the South African business by MSG Afrika Holdings, a black-owned investment firm.


For more informationcontact:

Lyn Jones

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Issued by Stone Soup PR on behalf of Continental Outdoor Media