OAAM celebrates 25 years of outdoor advertising

(From left) — Jian Tsin (IPG), Richard Steven (People and Rich), Chan Keong (Group M), Angie (TAC Media), Datuk Johnny Mun (4A’S), and Andrew (4A’S) during the panel talk.
(From left) — Jian Tsin (IPG), Richard Steven (People and Rich), Chan Keong (Group M), Angie (TAC Media), Datuk Johnny Mun (4A’S), and Andrew (4A’S) during the panel talk.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — As digital media extends into our daily lives, advertising agencies are competing to catch up with trends and consumer behaviour to ensure they reach their target markets. As advertisers find ways to penetrate new markets, agencies need to rely less on statistics and more on interactivity to keep consumers engaged.

These issues were among those covered at the Outdoor Advertising Association of Malaysia (OAAM) workshop, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand recently and led by OAAM president Henry Low together with the marketing sub-committee headed by Juanna Fong.

Participants of the OAAM workshop in Thailand.
Participants of the OAAM workshop in Thailand.

Titled “The New Age of Outdoor Advertising”, the workshop demonstrated the growing potential of Out-of-Home (OOH) and Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) advertising and their appeal in the modern world.

DOOH, which is practically a public television, brings dynamism in advertising as the platform that plays videos and animation around-the-clock to thousands of consumers who ply the highways and patronise malls as well as airports.

However, the picture is not altogether rosy for the medium, according to the panellists who deliberated over its effectiveness during the workshop.

“I believe OOH runs on the values of ‘less is more’. We all know that the programmes are as good as the data inputted,” said one panellist.

“I think it is a combination of mediums that make for a successful ad campaign and not just facts and figures,” said another, adding that a marketer who relies on statistics and figures to quantify the success of an ad is not keeping with the times and lazy.

Another challenge in the local market is the integrity of digital and mobile platforms.

According to another panellist, both platforms are distinguished and seen separately in the Malaysian market.

“Digital agencies are still protective over mobile advertising; they don’t see it as part of outdoor advertising. On the contrary, it is indeed a form of outdoor advertising as viewers are on-the-move as they view the ads,” she explained.

As more and more consumers spend time outside of their homes, it is inevitable that mobile advertising goes hand-in-hand with digital platforms such as DOOH.

A soul is needed to spice up an ad, according to another panellist. “We as agencies ought to be more engaging with our brands. We have lost the ability to find romance in what we do. This business involves romance,” he added.

The panellists also urged OAAM to enforce regulations in the overtly sloppy industry of billboard advertising in Malaysia.

“Due to our lax rules, we see over 20 billboards scattered down the straight highway causing clutter and over-zealous advertising. This could be due to the lack of regulation and/or enforcement in planning and upholding a clear plan in advertising.

The session also discussed methodologies associated with DOOH, everything from automated advertising and creative out-of-the-box advertising mediums to the behavioural pattern of the public in the vicinity of the medium.

Acting as the registered body for creative standards in outdoor advertising, OAAM strives to protect the interest of its members by working towards achieving higher standards in marketing ethics.

From promoting effective mediums for outdoor advertising to regulating existing billboards, OAAM hopes for better standards in advertising and ethics within the industry while ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in outdoor advertising.

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