Elections 2022: Kenya’s Outdoor Advertisers Rake in Big Money

Billboards are the most efficient form of advertising because of their relatively low cost where you get to reach millions of people and pay a few thousand shillings, which is way cheaper than most electronic media advertising firms

By The Weekly Vision

Outdoor billboard advertising companies in Kenya are raking in huge amounts of money from politicians as the country gears up for the poll in August. The income runs into hundreds of millions of shillings, with the biggest spenders being the two main contenders, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance of Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza of William Ruto. Outdoor advertising entails the use of billboards, street signs, event branding, wall painting and wrapping, sky signs, bridge branding and even hoarding.

If you work in any major town in Kenya, then you can’t avoid the sight of towering billboards across town and along roads as you head home or to work. These billboards play a major role in reaching out to the required audiences and are the easiest because one doesn’t need to have electricity or a television set, only eyes are required and magic happens.

The major companies in this field are Magnate Ventures headquartered in Nairobi but with sites spread all over the country with strategically placed sites along major national highways carrying huge traffic. The others are Alliance Media, Consumer Link Ltd, Outdoor Ltd, Ad site Ltd, Base One Media, Ikon Prints Media Ltd, Backlite Media, Pelican Signs, Adpot-A-Light, Tangerine Investments Ltd, Firmbridge Ltd, Consumer Link

Billboards are also the most efficient form of advertising because of their relatively low cost where you get to reach millions of people and pay a few thousand shillings, which is way cheaper than most electronic media advertising firms.

The major companies in this field are Magnate Ventures headquartered in Nairobi but with sites spread all over the country with strategically placed sites along major national highways carrying huge traffic. The others are Alliance Media, Consumer Link Ltd, Outdoor Ltd, Ad site Ltd, Base One Media, Ikon Prints Media Ltd, Backlite Media, Pelican Signs, Adpot-A-Light, Tangerine Investments Ltd, Firmbridge Ltd, Consumer Link and many others.

Sources within the two political alliances told The Weekly Vision that ‘’nothing has been left to chance; we are doing all we can to sell our presidential candidates in all parts of Kenya”. 

After being cleared to contest for various political posts by their respective political parties and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), their next move was at the doorsteps of advertising agencies, where rates vary from size to size, and advertisers are on high demand. Virtually all candidates, from Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senate and National Assembly are clamouring for advertising space. They want their images erected on huge billboards and posters to help woo voters in favour. 

The demand is that their posters be placed in strategic areas for maximum attention and impact. A source from one advertising agency said that for each poster the company charges a minimum of Ksh. 2.5 million shillings a week. The rates vary from company to company, others charge upwards of Ksh. Ksh. 10 million a week.

It is estimated that by the end of the campaign period, advertising companies will have raked in billions of shillings as income. “What we witnessed before political parties concluded their nominations were just a drop in the ocean. The real spending begins now, after the IEBC hands out the nomination certificates, already there is a huge demand for strategically placed billboard sites to hoist campaign posters but it is not sufficient,” he said. One operative said that with the spiralling demand for sites, the rate per day is also likely to go upwards.

The expenditure on advertisements is just but a fraction of the overall campaign kitty they have set aside. Kenya’s camping process is prohibitively expensive to the vast majority. According to the Outdoor Advertisers Association of Kenya, it is during election time that their members make huge profits because of the hyper-demand for their sites. An official Anne Wanjiku said: “Nairobi is expected to get the highest profits because it has the highest number of advertising sites compared to other cities in the country. Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu will follow at a distance. This is the busiest time in this business because of the high stakes involved.

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