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Spotlight on Digital Out-of-Home in Brazil

Traveling from Canada to Europe, I’ve become accustomed to seeing simple Starbucks orders come with quite the price tag on my credit card statement. As such, one might think it refreshing to experience the reverse. No doubt it is, especially when doing personal shopping. Yet taking a step back to think about what it means for the digital out-of-home industry (and Brazil as a whole) is a different story.
Brazil has had a tough year and the exchange rate reflects this. Heading over to exhibit at Brasil Signage Expo, my team didn’t know what to expect but braced for the worst. To our surprise, the show was bustling with activity. Perhaps low expectations were to thank for this but I give credit to Brazilian resiliency and optimism.
DOOH is in early growth stage in Brazil, perfectly positioned to learn from more mature regions such as North America and Europe. The willingness to take advantage of international perspectives during the on-floor conferences at last year’s Brasil Signage Expo made the biggest impression on me (not an empty seat in the audience) and this continued to be true, even with expanded space.

BSE booth
Broadsign’s booth at Brasil Signage Expo 2015.

There were 23 exhibitors at the Expo this year, fewer than last but in a “quality over quantity” kind of way. Booths designed with care were constantly busy thanks to network operators’ eagerness to learn, grow and innovate. The state of the economy has resulted in extremely detailed and selective network operators who are putting their investments under the microscope, meaning only the strongest of vendors are active in the space.
As quick as new information is absorbed, it is implemented – a refreshing change from some other, more developed markets. Take, for example, how new malls are making digital menu boards mandatory so that digital signage is integrated into infrastructure from the get-go, delivering a more visually consistent and seamless user experience than when it is brought into a building as an afterthought.
In all, the current and temporary weakness of the Brazilian economy has only demonstrated the strength of our industry’s participants. In addition to rapid education and strong players, the lofty costs of TV advertising has resulted in an opportunity for advertisers to consider the appealing pricing for performance of DOOH. With the 2016 Olympics on their way, our industry is well positioned for success.