Politicians struggle over billboard advertising

As expected, political advertising is beginning to gather momentum ahead of the 2019 general elections. Politicians are now seeking to use every communication channel available to propagate their candidacy and woo the electorates to support and vote for them when the elections begin.

Trends have shown that one of the most favoured channels for political advertising is the billboard. In past elections, billboard campaign have accounted for a huge chunk of the total campaign budget. For example during the ill-tempered 2015 election about N5billion was expended on billboard campaigns in Lagos alone.

According to George Noah, Former Managing Director of the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), about N2.5 billion was spent on wall drapes and billboards – these included: 300 static and 40 electronic boards.

George disclosed in his book, “2015 General Election: The Politics of Outdoor Advertising in Nigeria” that an estimated 40,000 street lampoles deployed gulped N1 billion; while 5,000 A-frame boards cost N350 million. About 5,000 stick-in-ground frames were deployed at the cost of N50 million.

He said further that three million posters and 500,000 T-shirts – were printed costing about N300 million and N400 million, respectively. An estimated 400 busses were branded costing N80 million. 200 branded vans and 250 branded cars were deployed gulping N45 million. All of these and many more outdoor deployment brought the total spend to N5billion in 2015.

Now, as the 2019 election draws near, there are strong indications that the Out-of-Home segment could experience another seasonal boom, as vacant billboard are already being taken up by politicians. In the last few weeks, the numbers of billboards with political messages are increasing fast, especially around Lagos, which is the most populous state in Nigeria and one of the major flashpoints for politics in the country.

A visit to some of the major crossroads and highways with huge billboard presence confirmed that indeed political advertising was on the rise. For example the Maryland mail, which has the largest digital LED screen in the state, displays several campaigns of various politicians with their campaign, promises.

The situation was also the same when MARKETING EDGE visited the Lagos airport and witnessed that a lot of the billboard messages were politics related.

The bill-boards at the Lagos Island geographical areas were also patronized by politicians who are jostling for space to canvass for voters’ support. The digital bill-board opposite the Federal Palace hotel conspicuously displayed political campaigns to woo the electorates.

It is believed from various quarters that the 2019 election promises to be favorable to the advertising industry as more spend are expected in the sector during this electioneering period.

The Managing Director, DKK Nigeria, Mrs. Temitope Jemerigbe, confirmed that the political race is going to define a lot of things in the advertising sector, adding that there will be a lot of spend for advertising during the political campaigns.

According to her, “It is our hope that a lot of our businesses would also be able to leverage and be part of the electioneering process. I think the political race is going to define a lot of things for the industry. It is also one of the things that have influenced most clients. Clients are a little bit skeptical about the political terrain and what it will bring, that is what will actually shape the future, up to the first quarter of next year.”

“There will be a lot of spend for advertising during the political campaigns; it is our hope that a lot of our businesses would also be able to leverage and be part of that”


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