very enlightening

Qualitative Query

After several months of exploration I have decided to repurpose this blog to focus on the “art” of qualitative market research.

What does that mean? Well, hopefully, over time, you will help me to create a rich and varied number of answers to this question. I will begin with a series of short posts that hopefully will provide the background that will initiate a meaningful “conversation”.

Let’s begin with a fun quiz. If you see a common theme to the answers in all of these questions, then you are probably familiar with the person who has inspired me.

Squidoo is…?

  • A brand name for an Australian line of clothing
  • The waste product of a sea creature
  • A website that has over 1.5 million pages called “lenses”

(Select the space between the words “Begin” and “End” to see the answer

Begin select here –

ANSWER – A website consisting of many…

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How photographic and painted billboards are made

There are a number of processes that a billboard goes through before it is ready to be hung for the public to view.

The first step is for the creative team to conceptualize the idea that is to be put on the billboard. This involves designing the images, coming up with the catch phrases and choosing the colors which depends on the company. If the company whose product or service is to be advertised on the billboard has its particular colors then the designer has to use those particular colors but if there no particular colors then the creative team carries on a tentative research to come up with colors that will best advertise the product.


Design process
The creative team uses font sizes which are large enough to be clear and readable from a distance. However the creative team ensures the that there is less use of text; that is only the catch phrase, and more of images because not many people have the time to read the texts on the billboards.

The creative team plays around with the image chosen for the billboard, choosing the background of the image, as well as the colors to be used.

High contrast is used in the images so that it can be visible from a distance. To do this, bright colors like white are used in the background, some creatives use white to make sure that the billboard copy is seen even during the night.

When choosing the picture the photographer has to be well-informed about what is being advertised so that he communicates effectively through the image(S). Computer design software’s used by the creative team aid in working on both the text and the image concurrently thereby making the work easier.

Printing process
After working on the images and the text, the work is then taken to the color-separator . Here the colors are separated to make the images better. The color separated are cyan yellow, magenta and black. The design is printed on a positive, which then placed on a plate, the plate is then fed into the color-separator.

The plate is blue, but when it is exposed it turns to grey. So the areas on the plate that are occupied by the image are not exposed so it remains blue while the empty parts turn grey.
After exposing the plate, it is put in a chemical known as fixer which helps to make the image permanent and then washed.

It is then fed back to a machine where the colors are printed separately using CMYK(cyan, magenta, yellow and black). This machines has four tanks which are fed with the above colors used, the designer then proceeds to the darkroom where the different color papers are put together to make the image that will appear on the image.

A piece of canvas of the desires size is then fed into the machines so that the information and image can then be printed on it. The canvas is then laminated to protect the image from rain and dust.
this is what is later mounted on the billboard.


example of how a well designed photographic billboard.


The materials used here include paints of the colors required and the sizes of brushes to be used.

The artist prepares the sketches of the images to be painted on the billboard. Then he transfers the image onto the billboard using a faint material. This is to deal with any mistakes if there are any and to make the required changes especially in size. When the image eventually satisfies the artist he then prepares the colors to be used and goes ahead to paint the image. The wind and sun work as drying agents for the painted image. All these can be done on the site of the billboard


example of a painted billboard by artist, Banksy.

whats your opinion about photographic and painted billboards?

Outdoor Billboard signs, opportunity for your brand

billboardsOutdoor Billboard signs, opportunity for your brand

Outdoor billboard signs offer an array of services to advertiser’s who choose to use outdoor media, as it aids in

keeping the market informed of existing offers. This type of visual branding, offers advertisers, several advantages, including; being one way of branding companies, delivering maximum brand impact, and being available Twenty four hours a day, this medium ensures the advertiser reaches large audiences, and the targeted, specific groups, and ages’.

These are advantages that one can’t assume to ignore, the advertisers and the targeted market have something to smile about. However it is necessary for the licensing body to have most regulatory controls in place, of areas that are environmental sensitive, like swamps, parks, and open greens, because, they should be restricted to tourism and beautification signage.

Decades ago, the most commonly seen billboard signs, 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 advances, photographic billboard signs, have replaced hand painted outdoor media, 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. Today digital billboard signs are replacing photographic billboard sign gradually.

rotary billboardsThere is the “rotary” billboards, and “permanent” billboard outdoor media. Each is unique in its ability to, deliver the advertisers message’… The. Rotary billboard: ‘Rotary can be moved to different locations, every 30 days. By moving this outdoor media to different high traffic place, on a regular basis, it aids to  advertise, to people who may not have had the opportunity to see them, at their earlier site. Over the course of the year, the rotary billboard sign message is seen throughout a market.

The permanent billboard: ‘Permanent billboard signs, are usually placed at extremely high traffic locations, next to freeways, express ways, or busy intersections. Many advertisers seek to keep a particular site, because of its dominance, in the market place’…

Contract period: ‘Billboard signs are usually, on a monthly unit rate schedule bases, some are on yearly, quarterly, or half-year, contract period. Contracts include, repaint for change in copy.  Frequency is generally greater, with a permanent billboard signs, because it continues to generate exposure to the same consumer’.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on outdoor media-billboard signs ?

Outdoor media are they a possible distraction?

Outdoor media are they a possible distraction?

possible distraction of billboards

possible distraction of billboards

Outdoor media-outdoor billboard signs if poorly maintained can lead to and cause accidents, because some billboards are poorly maintained, this calls upon pedestrians, to be more careful and vigilant, when passing by, or idling under where a billboard has been erected.

Lack of inspection can lead to the mushrooming up of UN authorized billboards by companies that want part of the share in revenue from this industry. This results to poor structures being erected and might be a possible hazard to pedestrians and motorists in the long run.

Charles Ariko (Kampala) -27th April 2009 reported that:

‘…four people survived death narrowly, when a billboard advertising East Africa television, fell on two cars at the junction between, Sixth Street, and the roundabout, leading to Mukwano Industries, in central Kampala. Avish Patel the manager of Pharma health,who was traveling in a land cruiser, was pulled out of his crushed car, by boda boda riders, who rushed to the scene, and disentangled him, the land cruiser had three occupants’. “Another driver, Annette Kagiumu an employee of Kyagalanyi coffee, managed to jump out of her car”.

Michael Musina (2009) officer in charge of traffic in this area stated that:

‘It seems the contractors did a sub-standard work. We are investigating, and they will have to compensate, the people whose vehicles, were damaged.’ The police will soon come up with guidelines on erecting billboards in the city’. “Blaming the incident on poor workmanship by the constructor, of the billboard.” The billboard was blown of its trunk, during a heavy 9:00 am down pour.

Although the police blame poor workmanship, probably it may be due to lack of routine inspection, the billboard may have had experienced, continuous wear, and tear, brought by environmental factors.

Stephen Odongkara (2009) noted that:

‘No one was hurt, when the billboard, advertising East African Television, fell on the two cars’.

It is quite fortunate that the damage did not extend further to the occupants of the car. This would have resulted to a more catastrophic scenario, if this would have been the case.

Some people find digital billboards, dangerous, and unappealing. Opponents of digital billboards claim that, they distract drivers, which presenting a safety risk.

‘…when digital billboards change their displays, drivers may be distracted… Studies of digital billboards, have not conclusively demonstrated a safety risk, but as a federal Highway report notes: safety can be difficult to study; changes in crash frequency are subtle…few drivers identify distraction, as a cause of a crash’.

Safety can be had to study, since their bias factors involved; blaming accidents to the prevailing use of digital billboards is UN logical.

Demand media, Inc /story (1999-2011) notes that;

‘Accidents records show, digital billboard are not a traffic safety risk. Multiple comprehensive studies have been performed by Tantala Associates, a consulting engineering firm based in Philadelphia… Since 2007, researchers have examined years of accident data, for high ways, and local streets, in Cuyahoga County, (develand) OH, Rochester, MN, Albuquerque, NM, and reading, PA, each study reached the same conclusion. There is no correlation, between digital billboards, and traffic accidents’.

This analysis looked at: various views zones, or distances, from the digital billboards, and other factors, such as deer hits, and weather conditions (known as bias factors). The studies accounted for, differences between younger and older drivers, and driving during the day and at night. No matter how the accident data were analyzed, the conclusion was the same. Digital billboards are safe.

The federal highway administration, has noted there is “no scientific evidence” causing the government, to believe, digital billboards are unsafe.

David Bauerlein (2011) remarked that:

‘Digital, which electronically change messages, have emerged as, the leading edge, of the outdoor advertising industries growth’.

Their dynamic nature makes them favorable, attractive and communicative.

What’s your opinion about photographic and digital billboards as an outdoor media do you view them as being hazardous?

History of billboard signs in kampala, Uganda

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.


CITY, UGANDA. (2011)

leave a comment, do you have more information, regarding the History of billboard signs in Kampala, Uganda?

Pros and Cons, photographic and Digital billboard signs

Pros and Cons, photographic and Digital billboard signs

Photographic and digital billboard signs, captures a viewers’ attention, and have a broad coverage. The public takes a lot of notice on outdoor advertising. It is therefore very important that, the potential and current advertisers should take full advantage of outdoor billboard signs, as it attracts public attention.

Most billboard signs are located on places, which are likely to be infested with traffic jams, and pedestrians, this ensures that they are easily seen. Although, there should be routine bush clearance of billboard signs, to stop the wild growth of vegetation; hence the message being spelled across will be viewed clearly.

Because, the ability, for a business entity, to sell its products, and services, very much depends on, the advertising medium in use, to attract customers. Customers today, want concise, simple, and complete information. As they do not have time for, lengthily information, whether on radio, television, or print. Among the advertising, and communication medium, in use, outdoor billboard signs, scores in brevity, and completeness, and re-enforcement, of information.

Photographic billboard signs

  • Their static nature makes communication effective.
  • They have a broad coverage, whereby, they are able to reach well into the market.
  • Straight to the point, as the amount of products, and services, being advertised is limited.
  • They are, visually noticeable and timely placed.
  • Well utilized.

Although despite their advantages photographic billboard signs

  • Photographic billboards are more expensive, to advertise on, and yet SOME outdoor advertising firms, still erect more of them rather than digital billboards. More outdoor advertising firms, should erect digital billboards, as this would protect its clients form levy increments, posed by local licensing authorities on the outdoor firms, as with digital billboards an increased rate would, be divided equally between, the different advertisers, this would result to a more economical pricing, of their billboards, if charges are ever revised or implemented.
  • Static nature makes them boring, if there is poor placement of information.
  • Good for advertising, but the technology is out dated.
  • They only capture attention if properly done.
  • Some advertisements stay on a billboard structure, for more that the required time period, this makes the viewer disinterested.

‘Majority of the photographic billboard signs, don’t give direction of what is being advertised example; a financial institution i.e ‘bank’, most of their advertisements don’t give direction to where the nearest ATM or bank is located’.

Digital billboard signs

•Several messages can be displayed at once, which makes it interesting for the viewer.
•More visually appealing.
•They are educative, and informative, as a result to their dynamic nature.
•Good addition to the traditional billboards.
•More attractive, effective, and modernizes the city.
•Are visually clear, and communicate well, both during the day, and night.
•They are able to host many advertisers; this makes them to decongest the city.
•They are entertaining.
•Easily communicate to a large audience.

‘Digital billboard replace television sets this makes the public well-informed’.
in an ongoing promotion they are best to use, thus is:
‘When one see’s someone winning, you end up enjoying, and these results to one being motivated, and ends up sending more text messages, as it brings a sense of determination’.

Although their many advantages Digital billboard signs

  • Digital billboard constantly use energy, the advertising outdoor agencies can make them more energy efficient, by using more of solar energy, thus making them to be less wasteful, and harmful, to the environment.
  • Digital billboards don’t pass information well, were there is no traffic due to their dynamic nature.
  • Are good, but in some areas outdoor agencies have poorly invested on them.
  • They don’t apply to all sectors like; village settings.
  • Time spot is little, one can bypass the message being advertised, and the slow readers are left out.
  • In some countries/regions they are few which makes them selective on the audience.

This data was from a case study, STAR Marketing Company conducted entitled:


CITY, UGANDA. (2011)

Leave a comment, whats your opinion on these outdoor signs