OOH, in agency language, means out-of-home. These constitute the giant billboards and outdoor advertising. OOH is probably the first thing you will notice when driving around the city of Metro Manila. There is a massive amount of giant billboards scattered every thoroughfare. And I mean massive.
Every single time a big storm comes, these billboard spreads come down. I guess for fear of falling giant steel structures that support the tarps (or whatever material they use for these ads) when strong winds blow.
I think that, in general, billboards just contribute to visual pollution. The photos above show what is left of the outdoor ads when they were all rolled down during a storm. Can you just imagine Manila with all these structures wrapped with advertisements? What about Manila without these steel trusses on top of buildings?
Don't get me wrong; I am not against advertising. After all, I worked in an ad agency for almost 5 years. I just think that ad agencies should be pushed to create visually pleasant and stimulating advertisements that will help beautify a city.
There seems to be hope.
Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are two cities in Brazil that have already implemented laws on banning outdoor advertising -- not just billboards, but all ads that can be seen by everyone including those that you see on public transportation.
It can be done. At first, of course there would be backlash. There will be fear of job loss, revenue decrease, etcetera, etcetera. Where will businesses advertise then? Well, let the creatives deal with that. They should think out of the box. They can go digital, or do art instead like what BBDO did for GE in Sao Paulo.
|View of Rio from Corcovado|
Wouldn't it be a great deal if Metro Manila were to be defined by its surroundings, its architecture, its cleanliness, and not sheets of out-of-home advertisements? I think there's a lot more to Metro Manila than billboards.
Manila, a clean city. What a wonderful statement. Sigh, one can only wish.