2015 General Elections: Tension Rocks Lagos Outdoor Industry

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Few weeks to the 2015 general elections, Lagos residents have continued to be overwhelmed by the several campaign posters and billboards of various political parties dotting the highways to compete for their attention, support and votes.

In October 2014, an article appeared on our blog highlighting our expectations for outdoor advertising as the 2015 general elections draw near. We also listed the available platforms for running an effective outdoor strategy to reach the electorates.

The effect of outdoor advertising for political campaigns cannot be overemphasized as it serves as a mass media for communicating with the electorates. It is important for candidates to have presence in all the constituencies they represent as electorates feel that the absence of your billboards in their area is tantamount to negligence of their constituency. In a layman’s terms it means you don’t care about their votes.

This article is meant to dissect the recent happenings in the outdoor industry vis-a-vis political campaigns with a focus on Lagos State.

Job Creation

About N20billion has been projected as income for the outdoor advertising industry during the election period.

Shomolu, the printing cluster of Lagos has become a beehive of activity since the beginning of political campaigns. The printers are either engaged in printing of posters, flexes, banners or other promotional items for candidates running for political offices. Some have even hired ad hoc staff to fast track graphic design work and other related activities. For them it’s an opportunity that comes once in four years hence the need to maximize it for higher returns.

Media Planning

Wikipedia defines media planning as the task of a media agency which entails finding media platforms for a client’s brand or product to use. The job of media planning is to determine the best combination of media to achieve the marketing campaign objectives.

Successful media plans only come from a full understanding of the target audience and right utilization of available media platforms.

APC excelled in this regard; every form of outdoor media was engaged to communicate with the electorates. Billboards (Traditional and Electronic), Lamp posts, Transit (BRT and LagBUS), and even the often neglected Bus Shelters.

Some will argue that the APC leveraged on state’s machinery to achieve this feat however this ubiquitous presence could only have been achieved by excellent media planning. Nevertheless, the PDP led Federal Government could also have leveraged on transit advertising if there’s an efficient transport system run by the Federal Ministry of Transport in Lagos.

LASAA’s Guidelines

Prior to the lifting of embargo on political campaigns by INEC; the Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency released a guideline on the use of election campaign materials in Lagos. The guidelines were issued in accordance with the agency’s responsibilities as provided under the Structures for Signage & Advertisement Agency Law 2006 as amended.

It should be noted that majority of the politicians defaulted on these guidelines including the APC. However this can be attributed to lack of proper sensitization of individuals hired to carry out the pasting of posters.

Ambode's Posters on Public Utility
Ambode’s Posters on Public Utility

Download a copy of the guidelines here

Police Reaction

The Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Police issued a warning on the removal of posters which generated several reactions from the public. Full story here.

Jimi Agbaje’s Allegations

The PDP gubernatorial candidate of Lagos State alleged that LASAA threatened advertising agencies with closure if they accept adverts from other parties.

Reactions from Twitter

Here are few reactions on Twitter with #LASAA_why hastag

 

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What do you think of the ongoing scene in the outdoor advertising industry? Feel free to comment below.