Middle-East & Africa advertising, where measured, was flat in 2013 (-0.3%), due to the political and economic situation in Egypt and a soft market in other parts of the Middle-East while African markets (Kenya, South Africa and newcomer Nigeria) kept growing. For 2014, Magna Global expect a recovery in the Middle-East and a +6.3% growth for the region as a whole.  

In Africa the general elections in May in South Africa, supported by local Soccer World Cup campaigns throughout Africa, will contribute to generating incremental OOH advertising spend. Much of this growth is due in part to today's unprecedented media disruption and fragmentation and the ‘always-on’ consumer interacting with brands increasingly out of their home.  Nielsen’s South African Adex data has shown a 30% growth in OOH over the past 5 years, fueled largely by a massive growth in Digital Out of Home of 315% within the OOH sector.  This exponential growth in Digital OOH (DOOH) will be spurred on by increased economic confidence in Africa, and will continue to drive the OOH growth for many years.

It’s no longer necessary to look into a crystal ball to determine the outlook for Out of Home in Africa.  Out of Home has come of age and new technologies and Digital Out of Home (DOOH) development is growing rapidly throughout South Africa and into other African countries.  Up until the last decade the Out of Home industry in Africa was pedantically settled in a comfort zone watching the rest of the world, and innovation developed by the industry was limited to creative messaging, cut-outs and mechanical movement.

Continental Outdoor Media, who operates in 14 African countries, is leading the DOOH development into Africa.  It has successfully built a comprehensive network of digital formats in key commuter and consumer hotspots on the roadside, in pubs and restaurants, malls, airports, medical suites and the Gautrain in South Africa. These networks are being rolled out into Africa in 2014 and will inject the OOH sector and relevant adspend in Africa with a renewed vigour.  “The recovery of global OOH adspend signals that Africa’s OOH industry is about to explode, and that Continental Outdoor is perfectly poised to lead the way”, states Bazil Lauryssen, CEO of Continental Outdoor Media.

Adelaide McKelvey, Managing Director of Continental Outdoors’ Rest of Africa division adds, “Early adoption of all things new and technologically advanced has become the trend in Africa, and with it comes the fulfilment of watching a continent rise above others, and in some markets even supersede and leapfrog the advancements made in other developing countries”.  

The power of Out of Home, using both static and digital formats, both indoor and outdoor, is universal and cannot be questioned.  Media planning is evolving, and building media plans is just one element within the planning process. Designing and engineering integrated consumer conversations, using strategically placed Out of Home platforms with captivating content to launch relevant and seamless conversations, is now key to interactivity and brand building.  Continental Outdoor Media recently worked with TGI (SA) to analyse time of day usage across the different media channels.  Out of Home is one of the dominant media channels throughout the consumer day and has become a ‘must have’ within the media mix, rather than an add-on.