Outdoor advertising is likely the earliest form of advertising not only in Ghana but all over the world. Before the billboard became a freestanding structure, advertisers plastered their snake-oil logos and slogans on rural barns and on the sides of downtown buildings. And long before that, in an age when most of the population was illiterate, stores and businesses displayed signs that were pictorial (often carved) representations of what they were selling — a mortar and pestle for a drugstore, a tankard of beer for a tavern, a big bloody tooth for a dentist, a hammer and anvil for a blacksmith, the scales of justice for an attorney, and so on.
Outdoor advertising (also known as out-of-home advertising), which includes billboards, bus shelters, subway posters, street furniture (bus benches), stadium displays, mall and airport signs, bus cards, taxi tops, shopping carts, and a multitude of other forms, has high visibility. Of the hundreds of messages advertisers expose daily to consumers in Ghana, I’d guess the majority of them are outdoors.
Advantages of Outdoor Advertising
Outdoor advertising is on display 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It isn’t surrounded by editorial content and competing advertisements the way newspaper ads are; it doesn’t compete with programming and other commercials the way radio and TV ads do; it doesn’t interfere with what someone is doing when browsing the Web, the way online ads pop up; and you can target it to reach very specific audiences by board location and neighbourhood. Outdoor is exceptionally effective at reaching various market segments and ethnic groups, because you can choose which neighbourhoods you want to advertise in — if you want to reach GA audience, you can place your ads on boards in predominantly GA neighbourhoods, and so forth.
Outdoor advertising is ideally suited for building recognition of your name, logo, package, or other icons associated with your brand, targeting an audience geographically, assisting prospects and customers with directional information.
You can’t throw outdoor advertising out with the trash, reach over and turn it off, close it out as an electronic intrusion on a computer, or use it to line the bottom of a bird cage. It sits up there — big, bold, and impressive — to be read over and over again by passing motorists and everyone who lives in the neighbourhood. It gives you continual exposure, like a 30-day-long commercial — and that’s just what you want.
Outdoor advertising includes billboards, posters, airport ads, bus signs, mall posters, bus shelter ads, stadium signs, bench advertising, shopping cart and gas pump advertising, blimps, banners towed by airplanes — the list is endless.
Digital billboards are an increasingly common outdoor advertising method that is becoming more popular. You may be wondering why so many businesses in Ghana are choosing to go digital. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the advantages to help you understand exactly why.
Benefits of choosing an outdoor digital billboard:
Digital billboards are automatically illuminated
A major concern some people have is that the lights will be too bright during the day and will negatively impact the visual appeal of the advertisement. Digital billboards are made with built in light sensors, causing the lights to dim during the day, and brighten at night ensuring your advertisement will be seen 24/7 by all who come across it.
Digital ad space is cheaper than traditional billboards
With digital displays, there are no printing costs for any vinyl or other poster materials. The advertisement is simply an image that is displayed on a large screen, so there is no concern about printing quality or weather damage. Not only are you saving on printing costs, you are also saving on time. If an advertisement is displayed only at certain times, you are allowing your ad to skip that times of day where there isn’t nearly as much traffic and is likely just costing you money.
Multiple advertisements for one company
Let’s say you have two events coming up and you would like to advertise both of them, but you only want them to appear in one location. With digital billboards, you can have two different ads appear back-to-back so you can promote both of the events and still hit the same market. If you only want to purchase one segment, but still want to display both ads, no problem! Digital advertising allows you to split up your time and display both advertisements in one segment.
Difficult to ignore
When driving down the road, people are usually aware of their surroundings and, let’s face it, it’s pretty difficult to ignore bright lights that are constantly switching between ads. Digital advertising is a great way to make sure your ad is not only being seen, but also keeping the attention of your audience. The digital ads are usually located along the busiest streets and highways, so the amount of people seeing your ad will be much larger than if you were to go with a traditional billboard.
Movement and special effects
One of the many capabilities of digital media and not traditional billboards, is the use of special effects and movement in an advertisement. If you have a message that is particularly important, add some flashing letters or maybe some scrolling text. This is a great way to get your audience’s attention and make sure they see the full message.
Easy to change
One of the disadvantages of traditional billboards is that any necessary advertisement changes have to be reprinted and reinstalled onto the billboard. Though it’s not generally difficult, it does take some time to uninstall one ad and put up another. With digital, a change can be made in a matter of seconds. Since it is just a program displaying the advertisement, the file would just need to be updated and the new ad would be in place.
Digital advertising is a new and innovative way to show the world what your company can do. Society is moving forward and it is taking the advertisements with them.