The billboards have been experiencing a sudden change and dominance from the automotive industry lately; this specific industry is thriving every day in ways we have never seen before. Since the beginning of 2019, twenty-five huge brands have appeared in the outdoor market to advertise their car models; the rate has gone up since 2018 where only seventeen brands were spotted out there on the billboards of Cairo. This change began with the presence of a hashtag that started a few years ago but did not get much recognition; another one appeared at the beginning of this year and became effective rapidly; as people started to take it seriously. The hashtag “#خليها_تصدي_زيرو_جمارك” which translates to “Let it rust – Zero customs” has taken over social media platforms to stand against the sudden and shocking rising prices of automobiles. Ever since this campaign began, the sales started to drop and ports were packed with cars with no buyers.

Since the outdoor market is one of the best channels because it has a high impact, the viewers have no control on whether they see it or not, it has a higher reach since it makes itself visible no matter how small or big it is and it also helps in delivering a high ROI in all industries. Therefore, car dealers and automotive brands started to dominate the outdoor market lately; to promote their cars and hopefully raise their sales again. Their work has grabbed our attention, especially in August when seven different huge brands took over the roads of Cairo with their campaigns.

According to our monthly market insights, the automotive industry’s occupation was not stable, going up and down for the reason we mentioned before. It started with 3% occupation in January, then it went up to 5% in February when the social media campaign arose, dropping to 4% in March, staying steady at 3% during April, May, and June, rising to 4% in July and finally to 5% in August; reaching its peak this year until now.

Leading market automotive dealers such as Al Mansour Automotive, GB Ghabbour Automotive, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and EIM Group have appeared fiercely with their famous car brands.

Al Mansour Automotive was seen with an ongoing OOH strategy, appearing at least once every month since the beginning of the year. The car dealer promoted its leading brands such as Chevrolet, MG, Opel and Peugeot. Using a different market strategy for the car brands such as anniversary marketing in Chevrolet’s campaign to celebrate 45 years of Chevrolet in Egypt; celebrity endorsement marketing strategy in MG’s latest campaign to announce the partnership between MG and Liverpool FC, featuring four football stars from the club. The advertiser has launched a teaser campaign for the Peugeot 508 earlier this year then revealed it a weeks later using undercover marketing strategy to tease the audience; as for Opel, the advertiser focused on viral marketing strategy by promoting and announcing the special features of the cars that viewers would not find in another brand, we have seen this case in two different campaign, one was launched in March and the other in May.

GB Ghabbour Automotive dazzled the OOH market with their signed brands such as Hyundai and CHERY; using different marketing tactics in each campaign. For the Japanese leading automotive brand Hyundai, the advertiser has used transactional marketing strategy in their Ramadan campaign to announce their special offers during this month; then shifting to a brand lover marketing strategy with another campaign, referring to the brand as “The most beloved brand” to invoke the car owners and give them a sense of belonging. As for their other signed car CHERY, they have appeared in March with a promotional outdoor campaign using transactional marketing strategy to announce huge discounts on their cars for a limited period. The advertiser has launched another campaign to promote the CHERY Arrizo 5 in August; the impact of the “Let it rust” social media campaign can be noticed in this campaign as the car’s price nearly dropped to half of its original price that was on the billboards of Cairo back in 2018.

As the official importer of the French automobile brand Renault in Egypt since 1979, EIM Group has been highly active in the outdoor market compared to the previous years; only focusing on transactional marketing with the huge discounts that they made to their cars. They appeared in only one campaign during 2018. First, the advertiser launched an outdoor campaign in February right after the social media campaign started; the campaign advertised the Renault Duster, showing its price in the ad and it turns out that its price has dropped 20,000 EGP since 2018. Second, they were seen in another OOH campaign to reinforce the 2019 Renault Kadjar in June; displaying its price on the ad which has gone down 11,000 EGP since 2018. Lastly, during their last campaign that was launched in July, the hero of the campaign was the Renault Megane that appeared with a huge price drop, exactly 40,000 EGP difference from the 2018 model.

EIM Group is a company that manages the distribution, sales, marketing and service support for the Chrysler Brands such as Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler, as well as the Fiat brands such as Fiat and Alfa Romeo. The advertiser has finally decided to join the outdoor fearless race in August with two OOH campaigns parallel to each other; bringing to the OOH scene two of their signed brands, Alfa Romeo and Jeep. First, in Alfa Romeo’s campaign, the advertiser used brand lover marketing strategy, focusing on emotions and mixing them with the automobile; they romanticized the ad copy to convey emotions with their ad copies. Second, Jeep’s campaign was more focused on cultural and brand lover marketing strategies to make Jeep owners feel that they belong to the “Legends” league with their ad copies that focused on how to become a legend rather than the car specifications, and of course the answer to becoming a legend is by owning a Jeep.

Other leading brands and advertisers have taken the chance to shine bright in the crowd; a brand like Mercedes Benz has been having a successful ongoing OOH strategy to promote their cars and announce the arrival of their heroes to the Egyptian market in two different campaigns, one was launched during August and the other during September. German leading automotive brand BMW has appeared on the roads to announce that the BMW X5 is now assembled in Egypt in an outdoor campaign, hence dropping its price 100,000 EGP compared to the 2018 model. And right after that, the brand was seen promoting the BMW X3 in an awareness OOH campaign in August. Another German brand Volkswagen joined the OOH scene with an outdoor campaign to announce that the Volkswagen Tiguan starting price is 575,000 EGP, basically dropping its price 35,000 EGP in comparison to the 2018 model. The Japanese automotive brand Toyota has kept its ongoing OOH strategy for two consecutive months; to introduce the Toyota C-HR in the beginning of April, shifting the focus on the all-new Toyota Corolla by the end of the month and then finally reinforcing the Toyota Corolla in May again with an OOH campaign, hoping to raise their ROI with their huge campaigns.

This specific social media campaign has affected the market in so many ways, causing us to see brands that were almost never seen in the outdoor market. Brands like Ford and SEAT were rarely seen on the roads of Cairo; they would appear once a year to promote one of their car models. Ford has appeared during March with an OOH campaign to announce that they have dropped the prices of the Ford Kuga 10,000 EGP compared to the previous year’s model. SEAT was seen advertising the SEAT Ateca with an outdoor campaign in March, announcing its new starting price which has dropped 20,000 EGP. The impact of the social media campaign was somehow noticed when the Russian automotive brand Lada launched an OOH campaign for the very first time ever during April, promoting the Lada Granta and announcing its starting price.

The power of social media has proven itself in the past months, “Let it rust” campaign has affected the outdoor market and not only the car dealers. Those sudden changes grabbed our attention and they had us looking into their origin and where they came from. The automotive industry has a great chance to thrive now more than ever in the OOH market; stay tuned with us as we cover the latest campaigns of your favorite automobile brand.

The Art & Science of OOH

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