By Onome Amawhe
OUT-of-home (OOH) advertising today is a lot more organized than it used to be decades back. The industry has had some kind of regulations coming into effect, which has helped the cause of outdoor advertising.
The government also has not been negligent about the industry as they have woken up to the fact that outdoor is a great revenue earner. At the end of the day, OOH media executives have also had to self-regulate to survive long enough and move towards becoming a more organized and professional industry.
Seyi Tinubu, a promising OOH media executive thinks the out-of-home space is evolving so quickly that challenges and opportunities are constantly in flux. There are no two days in his years of experience that have been remotely alike – and he finds that rather exciting. Upon graduating with a degree in Law from Buckingham University, a start-up partnership with Loatsad Global Services, an international outdoor media company, pulled Seyi directly into the OOH industry.
The development of this meaningful partnership with a multinational outdoor media company has enabled Seyi to experience and understand valuable practices in the OOH industry. In terms of the digital, social and mobile revolution, Seyi separates transit and billboard. He explains that the former is a way for people to interact with immersive and engaging content at face level during dwell time, while the latter he compares to bulletin boards.
Loatsad Promomedia was founded in 2014. The company helps clients create specialized outdoor and digital services through giant sized mechanical billboards to automated stand-alone page boards. In recognition of their work, the company was nominated at the Nigerian Brand Awards, in the ‘Most Innovation Driven Outdoor Agency of the Year’ category. In this exchange, Seyi speaks about Loatsad’s growth, the outdoor media scene in Nigeria today, and the agency’s future plans.
WHEN and what made Loatsad Promomedia enter the Nigerian outdoor scene?
Loatsad Promomedia entered the market in 2014 as joint venture with Loatsad Global Services, a multinational advertising company. Upon commencement of business, we were able to identify locations which we instantly knew needed to be enhanced and the realization that they were not being utilized to their fullest potential is what got us moving. With this strong conviction, we began to bridge these gaps and enforce ways to transform the advertising industry in Nigeria, such as buying into quality LED screens and hiring a strong team of experts in the outdoor industry.
What progress has the business since it started?
In the three years that we have been in business, I believe we have certainly made great strides by providing quality outdoor installations and creating premium locations. We did not relent in our pursuit to make a notable mark in the industry. Just recently, we were nominated for the Nigerian Brand award, in the ‘Most Innovation Driven Outdoor Agency of the Year’ category. This has made us realize that we are on the right track and that our hard work is finally being recognized.
What are the technological advancements that the Nigerian outdoor scene is witnessing?
The Global out-of-home (OOH) market continues to remain most reliable forms of advertising and has continued to grow steadily despite the vast changes brought about by digitization across the advertising market. While OOH has not (yet) suffered the severe disruption faced by the newspaper or TV industries, it is very much undergoing a print-to-digital transition of its own.
There is a wave of digitization sweeping across the sector, which has ensured that customers are always engaged with specific brands. Digital Out-Of-Home solutions are definitely the way forward; its cost effectiveness, targeting, and viral ability is what makes them best. Other advancements are with mobile marketing; according to a special report released in August 2016, there are 74.7 million unique mobile users in Nigeria out of an estimated 184.6 million people. This puts mobile penetration at about 40 percent, and the number of smartphone users in Nigeria between 2011 and 2016 also increased from 4 million to 15.5 million.
As one of the most mobilized countries in the world, we at Loatsad Promomedia ensure that we keep up with the latest trends and technologies. We have a digital arm which services our digital and mobile needs for our clients. Presently we are in partnership with Shazam, Rocketfuel and Airpush.
The Nigerian outdoor media is characterized by some big players. How do you intend to beat the competition?
Our sole intention is to focus on our strengths and not compete with anyone else. Our confidence in the development of technologies has pushed us forward in ways unimaginable and our ability to spot and turn obsolete locations to premium locations has allowed us to flourish.
Who are your major clients in Nigeria?
Our clients cut across the various industrial sectors; from banking FMCG’s to religious organizations, retail markets and every household industry. We are in business to make other businesses stand out, so everyone who does business with us is major.
How big is the outdoor advertising industry?
The Nigerian advertising landscape has evolved considerably, and is one of the biggest markets in Africa. According to a public report developed by Price Water Coopers (Entertainment and media outlook: 2016–2020) Nigeria is set to become Africa’s fastest-growing Out of Home (OOH) market over the next five years, with a CAGR of 7.8 per cent. Total OOH revenue in Nigeria stood at US$181 million in 2015, making it the continent’s second-largest OOH market.
Out Of Home (OOH) has been the primary media vehicle in Nigeria. It has created employment and exposure for some of the leading brands we see today. Additionally, we also have an unbelievably large population of about 180 million individuals. Our observation is that the OOH sector is largely untapped itself and we are looking to productively exploit the potential.
What are the major innovations you have witnessed in the outdoor medium in recent times?
People are switching from static to digital boards. There was a time when mobile trucks were big but it was not cost effective. Digital boards were then placed around strategic areas by government scoreboards and top organizations but now they are seen nationwide. It doesn’t mean that the other mediums are obsolete but digital advertising is more effective, and definitely convenient. These innovations are constantly evolving – from their shapes and sizes and they offer new and exciting ways to engage audiences.
How do you compare the Nigerian outdoor advertising with the global market?
The Nigerian market has grown rapidly but there are still some considerable improvements and innovations that we must embrace to compete favorably. Business owners are somehow still not very receptive to new ideas or enlightened to new technologies. There are certain things we would have liked to introduce, however, people are still traditional in their thinking and we still have to be mindful of the culture. There is also limited infrastructure available; which hinders brands from having streamlined campaigns.
What is the main driver or drivers, in your opinion, for outdoor advertising?
The need for brand exposure and leads and as people are spending more time out of their homes – work, shops, in traffic or socializing. Brands have seen and used outdoor advertising to reach individuals instantly. It provides the perfect solution to reach busy audiences in a non-intrusive way.
Cost effectiveness is 80 per cent less than television or newspaper and 50 per cent less than radio ads. What has also been noticeable is that over 82 per cent of billboard viewers actually look at the advertising messages; a good fraction habitually looks at the message each time, and what’s most important to know is that outdoor advertising is not restricted to motorists alone. Consumer action is driven at a significant rate; more than 69 per cent of travellers make purchase decision outside their homes on a frequent basis.
What is your ideal vision for both Loatsad and the industry as a whole, five years down the road?
My ideal goal for the advertising industry is to reinvent the fortunes of this country, through research, knowledge sharing, sourcing and implementing the latest advanced technologies across the globe and most importantly, with Loatsad Promomedia steering the chariot of this change.
When we first came into the industry we never thought that we would be here today and that we would have been able to build this much. Our purpose is to service all aspects of the advertising industry in Nigeria and take it to the next level. Our five year goal is to penetrate the rest of Africa and create platforms there once we know that we have maximized our mark in Nigeria. We aim to be an internationally recognized brand, to be iconic and to deliver landmark locations to our clients.
What is differentiating Loatsad from other digital signage companies?
Our fun and youthful approach to the industry has set us apart; we bring fresh and innovative ideas to the table at all times. We are certainly not conventional because from the outset our intention wasn’t to prove anything to anyone, but to ourselves. As a result we found ourselves searching outside the norm for platforms that go beyond lampposts and digital boards. We have identified premium locations for our contemporaries and clients, whilst using the best quality display mediums for their campaign exposure.
Give us your career story in a nutshell. We’d love to hear what brought you to where you are now?
I received my LLB from the University of Buckingham in 2011, in the United Kingdom, and I became a member of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2013. Thereafter, I pursued my LLM. I have an array of companies and investments which span across energy, construction, agriculture, advertising, technology, human resources, entertainment and branding.