Epic Outdoor launches SA’s largest solar DOOH
Epic Outdoor, a niche media company specializing in developing and marketing large-format, high-impact static and digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) platforms, has announced a new digital billboard site on the N1 highway. The international standard LED will be the most prominent roadside LED in South Africa.
According to Epic Outdoor, the property was specifically designed to accept advertising at 400m2 — which is bigger than two tennis courts.
While the concept is similar to screens in London, New York and Dubai, those billboards target pedestrians predominantly. This is a roadside digital LED on a bespoke building that has a run-up of more than 800m. The brand says that it will be impossible to miss.
The LED screen can cater to all modern Out-of-Home (OOH) creative techniques, including deep motion and anamorphic 3D. Additionally, the screen can be segmented into smaller panels allowing for the creative use of multiple simultaneous creative displays.
The brand says this is great for campaigns where brand and product appear together or collaborative campaigns, such as a network provider and a cellular phone company.
All the traditional OOH metrics are amplified by the size and positioning of this screen.
“It all adds up to a site with incredible impact. The site ticks every single box. It’s unique in the South African context,” says Rene Hedley, director of Epic Outdoor.
Hedley adds, “Impact is the measure of how quickly or likely the audience is to receive the campaign message. It can be created by relevance, timing, or in this instance, by the sheer scale of the advertising platform.”
Hedley says, “It is inconceivable that anyone could ignore a screen of this size for the full duration of the 800m+ run-up, particularly as this stretch of highway is notorious for routinely being highly congested. The site’s dominance creates the impact, thereby virtually guaranteeing higher campaign awareness.”
The problems with the growth of OOH — and the solution
OOH advertising in South Africa is growing at a rapid rate. Since early 2020 approximately 200 new screens have been installed in SA, taking the number of roadside LEDs to just under 500, with most being installed in Gauteng.
“In 2023, it is set to explode,” says Hedley. “You only have to look at what’s happening locally and the increased adoption in the West — to see how this medium will continue to grow, and grow at an increasing rate within South Africa.”
While this growth is good for the industry, it raises issues that have, up until recently, not required attention, such as:
- the question: With so much competition, how do you ensure that your advertising campaign is seen?
- the ever-increasing frequency of load-shedding and the consequential impact of screen downtime.
With the unveiling of South Africa’s largest roadside digital billboard, Epic will have neatly solved both problems at their new high-impact site.
To combat the audience dilution that load shedding creates, the site will be powered by a large solar farm, installed on the property behind the screen and providing over 95% of all the screen energy requirements.
This is the first billboard of its type in South Africa to be powered by sustainable energy sources.
“The technology used is of the highest quality, and the board can operate very efficiently,” adds Hedley.
The 830kw of power required per day will be supplied by 270 540-watt panels installed on the large field behind the property. The solar and battery farm is complete and will supply 95% of all energy needs (the billboard can draw power from Eskom when required).
“The engineers’ drawings have been approved, and construction has begun,” says Hedley.
Hedley concludes, “The digital installation has begun, and N1 motorists will see the face of the building being dismantled and replaced with the new subframe. Once the 40 tech panels have been installed, Epic will begin populating them. Switch-on is scheduled for Wednesday, 1 February.”