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Electronic LED Outdoor Advertising

I was in the lovely state of Terengganu tomorrow; more specifically that Riverfront Heritage City of Kuala Terengganu, on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The mission wass to help train a team of selling personnel in the sales and marketing of airtime/advertising space on an LED Screen installed in the heart of the city.

The video or electronic billboard, in the form of LED Screens, is slowly and steadily gaining acceptance in Malaysia's advertising industry. High in initial outlay, it however promises handsome potential returns to any media owner if all the forecasts are realized. Having been around since 1999 when Hi-Q Media first installed an Altoona giant LED Screen at KOMTAR, Pulau Pinang strictly for outdoor advertising purposes, and UPD SuperScreen brought in a 9M x 6M trailer-mounted LED Screen ( a Lighthouse Technologies product) for events and roadshows, the LEDScreen has grown into a serious medium of video message boards in outdoor advertising.

Power Screen (successor to Hi-Q Media) operates several electronic billboards around the country in a network format; City Screen has a few units, the now defunct i-Boards from VisionScape (a KUB family member) had 5 units installed in KL and JB from 2000-2003; Putrajaya has 3 units operational; and a smattering of single-unit operations scattered around the country.

As an emerging media system, LED video billboards offer the following:-
  • a greater flexibility of use than conventional (static) billboards could ever provide
  • with high brightness, high resolution, up to 4.33 Trillion brilliant colours and a large format, the conventional billboard has been transformed into the perfect high-tech electronic outdoor display medium
  • ability to play video and graphic animations, in effect, screening specialized TV Commercials outdoors
  • the electronic signs also act as a multiple message provider where one sign can show a loop of continuous messages
  • changing or updating the visual or advertising message is easily done (and almost immediately) on almost any equipped PC, rather than having to send out a crew to pull down and replace a vinyl face --- not to mention the vinyl printing process
  • increased yield per outdoor advertising site by displaying multiple advertisers on any given day
  • one of the best feature of these electronic signs is the possibility of evolving them into a citywide, regional or nationwide display-advertising network controlled from a central hub (as in the case of VisionScape)
  • the best prime and strategic sites in the city where conventional billboards and spectaculars are usually not allowed access by the local authorities. This is because of the high-tech attraction of electronic displays
Therefore, the sales training and media development session in Kuala Terengganu promises to be a challenging one. The mission is not only about converting a team of employees into sales professionals, but to teach them about this emerging and exciting outdoor electronic display medium, its features and benefits, the unique selling points, and the reasons why advertisers should utilize the medium as their specialist Brand Communicator to the buying public. New sales kits need to be developed, creative sales presentations prepared that can help sway customers' thinking into diverting some of their AdSpend away from conventional billboards and other media.

The potential in electronic outdoor display advertising is there, and it is a major one. Once the right formula is attained: visual layout, product format, pricing and price packages, screening times and and frequencies, screening durations per slot, demographic data, etc., I am pretty positive that electronic outdoor display advertising (I like to call it e-Outdoor) will be a major Brand Communications medium of the very near future.

Thank you. Your comments are solicited.

Shaharuman Shahadan
- by wiromal
I'd say you have your work cut out for you. Best of luck with that. ;) - by realtor

You can say that again, mate! I've been with a company that tried this from 2000-2002 and lost RM48 mil (equivalent USD14.2 mil at today's exchange rates). Only consolation was that I joined as COO at the time when the boards were up and running, took one look at the business plan, commented on its "blue-sky" outlook, and got relegated to the limbo floor. Hehehehe.

Many lessons learnt, my friend.

Shah;co - by wiromal
On a recent trip through the south I saw some of the most brilliant and eye catching billboards ever. Giant LCD's.
The colors were outstanding.
There was no way I could NOT look at them.
The future of outdoor is here, and I have seen it. - by BIG Mike
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