History of billboard signs in Kampala, Uganda
‘The advantage of outdoor advertising is that, it has the possibility, of greater exposure…’
Outdoor billboards-media in Uganda had been in existence for many years, and the ability of these billboard signs to communicate visually, is reputable. Fifteen years ago, if you mentioned anything to do with outdoor advertising in Ugandan circles, you were likely to be met with blank stares.
Consody Buzobo (1999) remarked that:
‘In Uganda prior to 1994 , the most commonly seen billboards, were those mainly done by, informally trained artists, using brushes, and oil paints, whereby, a message was painted, onto a wooden, or metallic stand, that was with a layer of paint.’
Slowly as technology advanced, photographic billboard signs, replaced hand painted ones, which were done by hand, and by self taught artists, and coated with layers of paints, that aided in protecting it, from the changing weather conditions. Today digital billboard signs are replacing photographic ones gradually. With improvement in technology, digital billboard signs offer custom features like adjusting the pitch of adverts according to the time of the week or day.
Although their other different types of advertising and communication mediums in use, like radio, television, and newspapers, outdoor billboards, display information effectively because, it aids in advertising products, services, ideas, the economic(commercial), the religious(denomination) interests, political(ideological) interests of people, or otherwise well-organized, and powerful groups, who manipulate them, in their respected, situation.
Kampala, is now a home to at least more than ten local, regional, and international, agencies including: Atom outdoor, Alliance media, Clear channel, Capital outdoor, Brand active, Infinity media, Digitek, Oxford digital media, Contact graphics, Adman source, Image crusade advertising, City clock, and Ad concepts, this industry seems to be developing fast.
The Kampala city council, outdoor policy (2008) states that:
‘Kampala city is zoned into an inner and outer zone.’
These two zones are a host to advertising outdoor billboards, both photographic and digital billboard signs. Common as they are, this outdoor media, give us something to think about while traveling and walking, they fill the surrounding view, yet are still obtrusive.
Information about the site, message portrayed, and the company name, of the first photographic billboard sign, to be erected in Kampala, is buried deep in history. As for digital billboard signs, Digitek advertising limited, is the pioneer of this concept in Uganda, they claim that their first electronic billboard site. Was chosen as it was, in the heart of the city, and is viewed by all sorts of people throughout the day, to give the advertisements maximum coverage.
The developments have coalesced to forge, a brave new industry that makes offers, you can’t seem to refuse, even in difficult times. Today outdoor billboard signs are used by almost every type of business, entertainment and amusement, media, retail, travel and consumer goods are among the top categories. And with no one group dominating.
Kampala city outdoor policy (2008), states that the inner zone starts at:
‘Golf course round about, – Mulago round about, – hajji musa Kagwa road, – Wandegeya round about, – Makerere hill road, – Sir Apollo road, – Old Kampala ring road, – Namirembe road, – Mukasa kafumbe road, – Mutesa 1 road, – Kibuye round about, – Queensway, – Nsambya road, – Mukwano road, – 7th street, – 5th street spring road, – 3rd street Jinja road, – archer road, – Babiiha road, back to, golf course round about. All these roads, give access to the main city center, and are predominantly, occupied with outdoor billboard signs.
Some roads are not included in this policy like YUSUF LULE Road, KAMPALA Road and yet this roads lead to connections into and out of the inner zone. But whether, there is any effectiveness of digital, and photographic billboards, as an outdoor advertising medium in Kampala, remains one of debate.
Hence STAR Marketing Company saw a need to conducted a research entitled.
EFFECTIVENESS ASSESSMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHIC AND
DIGITAL BILLBOARDS, AS AN ADVERTISING AND, COMMUNICATION MEDIUM.
A CASE OF: KAMPALA ROAD, AND YUSUF KALULE ROAD, FOUND IN
THE INNER ZONE, OF CENTRAL DIVISION, KAMPALA
CITY, UGANDA. (2011)
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