Vehicle branding and transit media specialist Graffiti has recently expanded its extensive media offering to include a new digital out-of-home division. Formed in partnership with UK-based AM Screen, Europe’s largest digital out-of-home advertising company, Graffiti has secured the sole rights to the digital AM Screen product in South Africa and will form part of a global network of over 5000 digital screens reaching 50 million adults each week.

Graffiti Digital is headed up by one of the original Graffiti founding members, Craig Wight, who returns to Graffiti following a six-year stint in Dubai as Managing Director of Primedia Unlimited Middle East. The new division’s primary focus is currently garage forecourt advertising where digital plug-and-play screens are situated above the main till points in garage forecourt shops.

Wight explains the rationale behind the garage forecourt location, “The garage forecourt retail solution in South Africa has expanded significantly in recent years with multiple offerings of fresh produce, speciality coffee, hot food and all the other essential convenience store requirements. As a result, footfall in these environments has increased over fifty percent over the last four years with even more development still in the pipeline. This makes this an extremely exciting environment in which to launch a dynamic digital media network.”

The scale of the digital network and its effectiveness depends largely on the unique qualities of the AM Screen product. It works entirely independently, requiring no Wi-Fi or phone lines, showing content and advertising in a matter of minutes across the entire national network or just at one local garage forecourt store. With this speed and flexibility, Graffiti Digital can offer clients an array of creative digital possibilities and deliver bespoke advertising solutions including time- and location-specific content; social media feeds; self-managed content; live score updates and even real-time, location-specific traffic sponsorship.

First to launch with the garage forecourt screens is Caltex Freshstop where over 120 screens have been installed nationally to date. Comments Caltex Freshstop, Director, Joe Boyle, “Graffiti’s digital advertising concept gives us an excellent opportunity to inform customers of items of interest and to advertise to them as they wait in line to be served at the tills. Graffiti is well-known as the best in their field and we wanted to partner with a company that provided the best possible solution.”

The feedback from Freshstop customers thus far has been heartening, “Our customers have certainly taken advantage of the onscreen specials advertised and many have commented that they really appreciate the news and weather feeds while they wait,” enthuses Boyle.

Graffiti Managing Director, John Rice is upbeat about the prospects for the new division, “Graffiti prides itself on offering unique, impactful out-of-home advertising solutions and digital advertising is one area in which there has been huge growth on a global level. We launched Graffiti Digital with the aim of becoming the biggest digital out-of-home media player in South Africa.”

The new digital advertising medium not only affords forecourt retailers a unique in-store advertising medium, but media houses and ad agencies now have the added benefit of an all-new creative medium to offer their clients. Says Wight, “The advertising runs in two-and-a-half minute cycles: each screen has eight advertising spots to be sold to advertisers, whilst a further two are reserved for the garage forecourt shop themselves. A ticker-tape running at the top of the screen is also reserved for messaging on behalf of the garage forecourt shops.”

Following hot on the heels of Caltex Freshstop are Total Bonjour and Shell Select who are all soon to begin implementation of the digital screens in stores around the country.

Ends Rice, “Whilst we knew the digital advertising option would be well-received in the South African market, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response of both the forecourt retailers and advertisers. Our eventual aim is for every garage forecourt store to have a Graffiti Digital screen in it.”