TBY talks to Bayo Adio, Managing Director & CEO of Optimum Exposures, on outdoor advertising, digital platforms, and finding new markets outside of the major cities.

Bayo Adio
Bayo Adio is the Managing Director & CEO of Managing Director & CEO.

Since 2014, how has the outdoor advertising market developed?

The market for outdoor advertising is evolving in Nigeria. We have more and more innovative platforms coming out periodically. The market has been expanding, with many new players and practitioners entering the business. Also, advertisers are making the most of arising opportunities to showcase products. Our outdoor spending in 2014 was NGN20.5 billion . Although digital outlets present many opportunities the occupancy level is still lower than expected from the advertising brands.

How did the election influence outdoor advertising?

Preparation for the 2015 election enabled the outdoor medium to showcase its relevance to the public. Numerous campaigns and many players in the political arena showcased their candidates and messages. Predictably, the huge patronage during the election would be expected to impact 2015 ad spend.

You have the largest digital billboard in Nigeria, what is the take-up for that product? Are you planning to invest more into digital advertising?

The Iconic Digital Out of Home platform on the Third Mainland Bridge is known as “The Lion" within our portfolio. This is a unique platform in terms of engaging customers. What you see on that platform is not present anywhere else in Nigeria, it is a high definition platform, and we have full occupancy of brands on it. This includes Telecoms such as Heineken Glo, MTN, Mountain Dew, and also Star, whereby it is a medium engaging, connecting and interacting with consumers, but also, therefore, a delight for advertisers. Other platforms are coming up, both in and out of Lagos, as well as in other cities around Nigeria.

How are you addressing the electricity requirements for these digital platforms?

All of our digital sites are equipped with power generating sets, and we are also looking at a hybrid scheme of generators powered by diesel and gas to minimize consumption. The power sector has been privatized by the government, but we have yet to see the positive effects of the privatization on our installations. Although we have transformers from the national grid installed on our digital sites, they have not been consistent enough for us to expect a good delivery of power to those sites, so on each of them we have at least two gen sets, so there is backup. In the future, we expect the market for power to stabilize. A new government has taken office and I am sure that it will address the issue of power, which is vital to this sector of the economy in order to make progress.

What about expansion beyond Lagos and Abuja? What are your ambitions for the rest of the country?

Our strategy rests on product leadership and operational efficiency. What we are doing currently is to consolidate our presence in key towns in Nigeria, and this involves two things, namely dominance and a presence in key convergent areas of influence. This is our strategy for all of the high traffic areas in the cities of Nigeria. We are expanding into the cities to demonstrate our preeminence with products that will give us both mileage and credibility.

Overall, what are your expectations for the year ahead?

As the economy improves, we will move into other areas and consolidate our position in the industry. A lot of developments are coming up in the country and we are also talking with the government to see how we can be a part of the new road network and other infrastructure under construction. Our business is a part of the environment, and you cannot have an environment without an ambient OOH landscape. We expect that as the infrastructure develops and improves, OOH products will also rise in a number of new areas, and that we can begin to partner with the government.