The FINANCIAL -- In this digital age, the significance of, and demand for, communication has changed the rules of what defines an effective advertising vehicle. The challenge for companies today is to present their brand image through content that people actively want to pay attention to, watch and share. Giorgi Trapaidze, General Director of the leading advertising company in the outdoor market, shared his experience and thoughts about the effectiveness of the outdoor advertising system with The FINANCIAL.
Q. Can you tell us about your range of products? We know that you offer a lot of interesting communication opportunities to your customers besides standard banners, what are these?
A. It’s true that Alma has a long history as a company. It has more than 20 years of experience of the Georgian market.
Our service portfolio is quite wide-ranging and varied, with something to interest any kind of industry: billboards; monitors; ads at bus stations; printed ads in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi international airports; 3D images, etc.
Our company’s many years of experience, its professional team, and the existence of our enterprise base, are what allow us to carry out any volume and complexity of project.
Q. Which direction was the most popular last year, billboards or monitors, and why? What has changed?
A. Monitors are still a relatively new product and the Georgian market needs time to adjust to innovation. Accordingly, the demand for billboards in the first half of last year was comparatively high. However, in the second half of 2017, a growth of advertisements on monitors was highlighted by various industries, and this trend has continued this year.
The reason, of course, was the increased number of sales after advertisements placed on monitors. The dynamism and constantly changing content is quite interesting, efficient and focused, so passersby are in a constant state of experiencing novelty.
The novelty factor is the interactivity of the monitors. You can control ads according to weather and temperature, by day and night. Therefore you can arrange the right tailoring for a specific audience for a specific brand.
Q. What are the main mistakes made by companies while carrying out OOH or DOOH advertising? What should effective video or static external advertising look like?
A. Advertisers often forget that DOOH is not a printed media, television or internet, where they are trying to provide overloaded and overcrowded information. OOH and DOOH should be minimalistic, with as little text as possible, and with less of an overload of colours. Customers register advertisements on a billboard or monitor for 3-4 seconds only, the rest does not remain in their memory, therefore communicating via billboard or monitor can occasionally be ineffective unfortunately. When this happens it is the fault of the content. In contrast, minimal text and simple visuals, sharp colours, and optimal fonts that are easy to understand and distinguishable – prove effective and are gradually encouraging a minimalist visualization trend.
We are more flexible when it comes to bus covers and street light boxes. The reason why we have more of a possibility for text is that these constructions are at eye level, as well as users having more time (on average 10-15 minutes) to read and absorb the message. As for colours, sharp red, black, white, blue and green are most effective.
Q. Is the effectiveness of graphic and video banners in line with the prices offered by Alma?
A. One for one. Each Lari spent generates appropriate returns. I won’t name specific brands, but I can list the industries whose sales have increased after some of our products. For example: sales of a wine company in Tbilisi airport increased fourfold in a month; a developer company which used our monitors campaign had to expand its sales team because of increased calls in just 2 weeks; a car manufacturer company increased more than 3 times the sales of a particular car model advertised on one of our banners. I could go on, but the list would be endless.
Q. What kind of control and monitoring mechanism do you offer clients?
A. After the installation of any banner and nonstandard material, we have a photo-report from our side and the client also evaluates our work. We are also actively taking care of the construction process and correct any shortcomings with our monitoring team in the shortest time possible.
As for the monitors, we cooperate with an American company to deal with the Dactronics and when it comes to error, their system is informed about it before us and all the issues are solved from America. And if any problem cannot be resolved remotely, then an experienced team of theirs arrives in Georgia to rectify the errors operatively.
Q. How are locations selected for advertising? What are your recommendations?
A. Locations must be selected according to the industry and desired communication audiences. Our experienced sales team shares our partner companies’ recommendations, and such planned communication is always effective.
Q. Do you think that companies are spending a good share of their profit on advertising?
A. Each company identifies its advertising budget itself. The fact is that they generally spend as much as they think they can, in most cases, but of course depending on the industry, the company’s development stage, and their short- or long-term goals.
Q. According to the statistics, what kind of companies use outdoor advertising the most?
A. Given today’s trends, the main consumers of outdoor advertising in the Georgian market are the banking and finance industries; real estate developer companies; representatives of the gambling industry; non-alcoholic and low-alcohol content beverages; restaurants; fast food restaurants; hotels; hypermarkets and supermarkets; and shopping centres. Overall there is increased retail trade products communication on the market. Representatives of these industries include both local and international brands.
Q. How affordable are Alma services for small companies that don’t have a large budget?
A. Today we have a lot of small business representatives on our advertising sites with opportunities to do OOH advertising. Outdoor advertising used to be associated with expensive media, but with the diversity of our products, we have given all brands in Georgia the ability to run any outdoor advertising according to their advertising budget.
Written by Eva Bolkvadze, The FINANCIAL