The new face of OoH in Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole is driven by Government intervention. No thanks to Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) bringing in sanity into the industry.This paved way for new thinking, more investment and commitment from Outdoor media owners which has resulted in creative use of the medium.
The level of investment has brought in new structures, better technology and quality which all compliment the planning efforts of LASAA. Obviously, it all came with some level of pain during the initial period of sanitization which is expected to usher in the change that we now have today. As someone said that, “it is better to have the pains of discipline than have the pains of regret”. The creativity that we now see in outdoor advertising in Nigeria is not only limited to imported structures or technologically driven billboards but rather the improvement in the use of space and the environment.
We are beginning to see the effect of better planning and a creative use of space in the environment. The true meaning of billboards is gradually showing as “canvass on the streets”. Ideally, outdoor advertising should stand out in the environment by adding beauty through nature and colour. Typical of what a piece of painting or canvass adds to a living room. A billboard must stand distinct in its immediate environment at the least and must never be lost within the environment. The situation where a billboard becomes part of the environment simply defeats the essence of the medium.
In addition, being a vehicle of communication the billboard must be capable of drawing attention and delivering the message. The public need not lookout to see it but rather it must be in their face and appeal to the emotion. Only through this approach would outdoor advertising be considered effective.
Interestingly, no single Outdoor media owner wants to be left out and we can see more deployment of creative structures. Outdoor media owners are now thinking outside the box and investing heavily in aesthetic media advertising platforms. Many consider that the birth of a new level of competition has just commenced and we can only wait to see more of it. Today we have seen several landmark structures developed in Lagos and locations are gradually being transformed into tourist delight. The Lagos mega city project is being complemented by creative outdoor advertising structures.
However, the users of the medium are equally being challenged to do more in terms of creative execution being the messages that goes on the medium. As the saying goes; “the medium is the message and the message is the medium”, the statement means that they are one of a kind. Special emphasis must now be provided when designing for outdoor advertising. The outdoor creative executive is perhaps the most tasking for obvious reasons and as such must receive special attention. Ideally, the creative department should approach any brief by first designing for outdoor advertising especially when outdoor is part of the media to be used.
By BABS Fagade
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