Where are the OOH creative specialists?

Over the years, the OOH landscape in Africa and most especially in Nigeria has witnessed growth in size and scale with different formats, larger-than-life executions and, most especially, the increase of digital platforms scattered all over the place. In high-streets, malls and other convergence nodes, the OOH topography has witnessed creative disruptions.

With this upward trajectory, it is expected that creatives/specialists in the industry would take advantage of the monumental possibilities that come with such growth by ‘making the medium the message’.

OOH is one channel that brings with it unlimited creative opportunities compared to other communication channels like TV, Radio, Print and even Digital (no jabs intended). But, what we have in our clime is the one-size-fits-all approach to development of creative across all touch points. And this is one of the many reasons why OOH platforms are being seen and referred to as just over-sized structures with boring or one-sided messages rather than a platform meant to engage the ever mobile and more dynamic audience.

Recently, a brand launched its beverage using OOH and the creative was appalling. The creative background was white with copy message written in gold italic texts while the image of the bottle was placed by the image of an animal. I had a look at the shoddy job and shook my head in shame.

Another example was that of a brand that had over 20 words written on the creative (inclusive of their web address and phone number). Another example, a Dishwashing brand, had its OOH creative designed on an orange background with the logo of the brand inconspicuously hidden by the left-hand corner of the creative. And asked myself, ‘why’.

I may not be an artist by training, however, from my basic knowledge of colours, some things don’t just mix and it’s rather embarrassing when you realise that these outputs come from reputable creative powerhouses that have worked on brands for decades. But hey, what do I know.

It’s not all gloom and doom though. Some brands still stand out in terms of executing exceptional OOH creatives with mind blowing ideas. For example, a telecom brand brought to life the execution of a ball having a crack effect on a wall which was deployed by the National Stadium in Lagos. Also, a beer brand launched with a positioning, putting it ahead of competition with just 3 simple words’ King of Beers’.

It is interesting to point out that different OOH formats offer us unlimited opportunities to tell compelling stories & engage consumers like never and this can be made possible when location marketing specialist, outdoor media owners, brand execs and creative partners all work together to tell stories that resonate with one voice.

More interesting is with the advent & adoption of Digital OOH technology (programmatic) and formats which gives us the leeway with how we engage with diverse consumers using contextual & relevant messages as seen in other markets.

I would like to make a clarion call and a plea to creative enthusiasts and professionals in the marketing communication space to wake up to our responsibility of telling compelling stories by optimizing the opportunities that Out-Of-Home offers. Let’s push the boundaries. Let’s engage and drive meaning and disruptive conversations using OOH.

Article written by Korede Ladejobi



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