Creative design work for effective OOH advertising 101

Written by Noluthando Ngubo | Graphic Designer & Marketing for Billboard Finder

Okay, so you have located your perfect billboard space and have signed all the paperwork and secured it with the media owner or Billboard Finder sales team. Now its time to be creative and use the left side of the brain to get your advertising message across to your target audience.

Here are a few guidelines to ensuring that your OOH campaign hits home and speaks to your audience:

Get to The Point

Aim for seven words or less. If that seems impossible, aim for one really strong visual and your logo that speaks a thousand words.

Contrast is Key

When working with fonts, backgrounds, images, or colours, maintain a level of contrast that keeps your OOH design legible and engaging from a distance.

One Message Only

Make sure your audience knows the one thing that will get them to react the way you want them to. Too many messages or objectives will confuse and distract your audience from your desired goal.

Make it A Campaign

Avoid using one design. Always enhance your message and campaign with multiple designs. There's nothing worse than being bored to death by the same design that covers an entire city. Keep consumers interested by showing all your brand has to offer.

One Point of Contact

Try to stick to one or less. It's hard to write a phone number down, so we recommend a just using your company website details. Keep in mind that people will just Google the company name.

Short Dwell Time

Keep in mind that the average dwell time for a road time static billboard is approx. 7 to 10 seconds and for digital it is even less at 3 to 5 seconds. Keep your design short sweet and impactful.

Some examples of effective OOH Campaigns:

DSTV OOH Campaign 2018
Uber OOH Campaign 2018
Coca Cola OOH Campaign 2018

Get help with your OOH campaign by getting in touch with support@billboardfinder or contact 012 665 5933 and spea to Nolo to assist you with your design work at a small fee.

The Current OOH Process in South Africa

In short, the current state of outdoor advertising in South Africa is that of many choices especially in urban metros and it can be overwhelming for a new buyer.

The current OOH process to purchase a billboard is also a long one and at times confusing one for potential clients often putting them off buying OOH in the first place. Billboard Finder has acknowledged this problem and is doing what it can to make it easier to find billboards based on location, price, LSM groups, and many other filters. We hope to continue to innovate and better this process based on customer feedback and needs we receive.

Our unique value proposition makes looking for your ideal billboard a much smoother process and our team is here to assist and guide you through aspects such as placement of your billboards based on your target market and assistance with creative design and guidance with ensuring your creative is impactful and generates sales for your business.

The Current OOH Process in South Africa:

Media Planning Process – Traditional Method

Step 1. Planners meet with the client to discuss campaign requirements. (Size/Budget/Areas/Target Market/Creative Execution etc)

Step 2. Planners then send a brief with campaign requirement details to media owners. This is done usually over email BCC to hundreds of media owners.

Step 3. Media Owner receives brief and submits sites within the required deadline by email in their template which all differ in quality and information submitted and often need to be vetted for accuracy.

Step 4. Media planner receives hundreds of mails from media owners and then select sites best suited to the client brief and budget for clients consideration. Planner also has to go back to the media owner for any information that has been left off the proposal for answers.

Step 5. The media planner then puts all sites together in their template and sends to the client for consideration.

Step 6. Client after some time usually gets back to Media Planner with sites they want or doesn’t like any of them and asks for sites in alternative areas and requirements change again. If that happens then please revert back to Steps 1 to 5.

Step 7. Media Planner then emails/calls Media Owner to ask if the site's client has selected is still available for the client over the selected period. The campaign start date is often pushed out further if the client delays a decision here.

Step 8. Media owner confirms availability of sites or if not avail sends alternatives for consideration. Media Planner then lets the client know what sites are available and offers alternatives where possible. Media Owner often options sites for a media planner to secure the space but this is usually limited to 48/72 hours and system is manually inputted on excel spreadsheet generated by the media owner.

Step 9. Client confirms site selection and dates with media planner and asks to book sites with media owner.

Step 10. Sites are booked with media owner and agreements are prepared and nitty-gritty sorted out with paperwork etc.

Media Buying Process – Traditional Method

Step 11. Media planner prepares a schedule of the campaign and sends to Media Buyer to arrange PO/CI etc from client. Once received back from the client the Media Buyer or Planner sends CI/PO to Media Owner in order for the campaign to be invoiced.

Often this is a waiting game and Media Owner has to send a numberof emails to the media agency to ask for their PO/CI in order to ensure the campaign is invoiced etc.

Some media owners do not go ahead with production without a PO for print and or flighting. But generally, these days agencies are using their own printers to print in bulk for their entire campaign and save costs for the client or they add their own markup and make a profit on this process.

Implementation Process – Traditional Method


Step 12. Agency arranges creative from client or client’s creative agency. This is also often late and creates a rush to ensure that the campaign is printed and flighted on time. As we all know often when things are rushed mistakes happen then the process has to start again.

Step 13. Once creative is received the media salesperson sends it onto an operations manager to arrange a jpeg for final approval with the printers for client.

Step 14. Printers send jpeg to operations with comments if there is any problems they see with the creative and advise for any changes to be made.

Step 15. Operations sends jpeg to sales and sales sends to agency/client for final approval before print.

Step 16. Operations then follow up with printers to see where we stand with campaign print and once print date is confirmed moves to scheduling flighting with the flighting team.

Step 17. A print is often couriered to outlying regions and then flighting team is notified of this. Operations then schedule a flighting date with flighting crew across South Africa.

Step 18. Flighting crew receive banners and arrange for flighting as per Media Owner requirements in terms of priority.

Step 19. Banners are flighted and flighting crew takes a dated close up and distance visual of the new campaign up and flighted to be sent first to media owner who then sends it onto media agency or client direct.

Step 20. Sales send campaign visuals to client/agency to prove that it went up on time and looks good.

Step 21. Media owners are also required where possible to send monthly reports with dated visuals even night visuals for clients to see that everything is in working order. 

Step 22. A month before campaign expiry media owners send a reminder to client/agency that their campaign is expiring and if they would like to extend. Salesperson and operations also handle any new creative changes for new campaigns and so then steps 12 to 21 apply again.

As you can see this is a very long process and Billboard Finder's long-term goal is to develop technologies to smoothen and simplify the above traditional process currently implemented in South Africa.

Find Billboards Fast...Simple!

We have reached 300 listings... and growing!

The billboard finder website has grown from strength to strength from February 2018 with its initial launch and we are very excited to announce we have over three hundred listings on the platform now. With over 15 000 billboards in South Africa, we still have a long way to go to get most inventory on the platform but we are growing weekly and estimate to have over 500 listings by the busy festive season.

Thank you to all our media partners and for companies sending inquiries to our team, we are very grateful for your loyal support!

Please also try to follow us on our social media accounts for more updates and news.  Get in touch with us today if you need help signing up or looking for a prime billboard space for your business to advertise on.

Billboard Finder Welcomes New Media Owners

Hi Everyone

We are extremely proud to welcome the following new Media Owners to joining our brand new Billboard Finder platform for August 2018.

Connect media advertising is a specialist Out of Home (OOH) company based in Gauteng starting from humble beginnings in 2005 with a few billboards in the Eastern Cape and now has opportunities in most provinces across our beautiful country.

Please visit for more information.

Face First Media was founded by Stevan Wilken in the humble midlands, the heart of Kwazulu Natal, in 2011. Starting with a small base of clients, only a hand full of billboards, Face First Media looks to improve, learn and grow in the years to come, by gaining market share with innovative concepts, ideas and superior service. We have a wide variety of current and future billboards that will suit your company’s advertising needs. Our friendly, professional and enthusiastic team will structure a campaign that works within your budget.

Please visit for more information.

CLOUTMEDIA……In Your Face Advertising

CloutMedia is national billboard and the best out-of-home (OOH) advertising company with landmark locations. Our Billboards are immensely visible in the top market areas throughout the country.
CloutMedia is the main business subsidiary of Staten Investments (PTY) Ltd which was established in 2002 as a 50% equal share split between Mr Frank Dawber and Mr Themba Majozi. In 2008 Mr Majozi became a 100% shareholder of the company thus making CloutMedia a totally Black owned successful media company.

Please visit for more information.

VOC Billboards is an outdoor media company based in Cape Town, South Africa, specialising in billboard advertising space at airports nationwide in South Africa.

Please visit their Facebook Page on the following link

Please visit their Facebook Page on the following link

Please get in touch with us today if you would like to list your holding on our platform.

How to choose the right billboard space

So, you have spent time on your marketing plan and have your marketing strategy down to a tee and ready start getting your information together for it.

You may have selected to choose outdoor advertising as part of your marketing strategy and have selected a budget and areas you require to target in line with your business locations. Easy enough you think as you pat yourself on the back and start your search for billboards…

You start your search on Google as that is the go to place to look for anything these days but soon realize that it only shows top ranking companies and companies that have paid for AdWords and you have to search through quite a few websites just to get information and have to resort to asking outdoor advertising companies that don’t have space in the areas you are looking for recommendations which they are at times reluctant to give.
You see in the past finding billboard space was like looking for a needle in a haystack and even if you found that perfect space often the price isn’t right or the billboard space is booked. The best way to look is to use our platform and start your search by the size of the billboard you are looking for and then inquire with our media partners and negotiate the best rates based on campaign term and possible package deals you can throw together. Don’t be scared to ask for discount and you can usually take 20 to 30 percentage of the media rate card rate lower when thinking discount with our industry.

So, get searching on our platform for billboards on our platform and if you don’t find what you are looking for try speaking to our team and we will find it for you and do all the work.

Outdoor advertising is even more effective if you get the creative right.

Outdoor advertising can be highly effective and engaging but it is important to spend time on your creative to get the highest return on investment for your marketing campaign.

As obvious as this may seem being creative and doing so in often a short period of time with crunching deadlines to meet so we can get the campaign up and running can be very daunting for a creative. However if executed well the return on investment on your rand spent we believe can be as much as 300% more a poorly executed rushed job creative. It is therefore vital that media owners and clients ensure that sufficient time is allocated in planning for creatives to be sent and that deadlines aren’t given that unachievable.

This been said there are numerous examples of outstanding creative work been done and outdoor advertising has been the rock star of the mediums accounting for consumers evening talking to peers and spreading the brand message even further. This is the ultimate example of the best use of creative design but not always achievable. Worst case scenario we recommend that creatives should follow these simple rules or tips for designing effective artwork for outdoor advertising:

Tip 1: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Tip 2: Less is more!

A simple, single-minded message has great street presence. With only a few seconds to create an impression, it is essential to clear away the extraneous. Focus is the key.

Tip 3: Consider the distance from the road.

Distance is a variable that must be considered. Because the audience is often in motion, the viewing time of the creative is sometimes limited to just a few seconds.

Tip 4: The Use of Colour.

Effective use of colour is one of the most important considerations when designing for outdoor advertising. See below for example:

Tip 5: Correct font choice is very important!

Factors such as space, style and most importantly legibility are very important in ensuring that your message is seen by passing consumers. See below for a few examples of great font choices:

Most importantly our team at Billboard Finder are here to guide and assist you with your creative design and will ensure that your creative is most effectively used at the right time and in the right location.

Give us a call on 072 473 4382 or pop us an email on info@billboardfinder and we cant wait to get creative with you.

What is Billboard Finder exactly?

What is Billboard Finder exactly?

Firstly, thank you for visiting our site!

You may be wondering to yourself what does this website do for my business? (Media Owner and prospective advertiser)

Within the South African market, there are numerous billboard or Out of Home (industry term) players and this creates a problem of choice for the potential advertiser. So, this platform assists you the advertiser in finding a billboard near your desired location on a map or by searching an area and then getting the Media Owners contact details and getting the best price for your advertising space. (No advertising brokers or middlemen required.

Billboard Finder is currently free for Media Owners to use and market their available holding with us until the site gets enough listings and traction in the course of 2018. At that point, Billboard Finder will be charging a nominal monthly listing fee to media owners wanting to list their sites with us.

The benefit of this platform is it allows Media Owners to have a digital presence in the extremely online world we find ourselves today. It also gives advertisers the benefit of searching for available sites on a one-stop platform and get in touch with the owners themselves to conclude a deal.

No mess, No fuss just available billboard space on!