The changing face of the advertising industry in Rwanda

A digital billboard in Kigali. Sam Ndendahimana.

The advertising industry in Rwanda is slowly changing with both businesses and people shifting from traditional to modern methods of advertisement.

In Rwanda, these modern methods include digital and online advertising. Moving around in Kigali, one can only see digital and tri-vision billboards. This came after the City of Kigali issued a by-law banning analog billboards.

Talking to The New Times, Teta Mpyisi, Brand & Sponsorship Senior Manager at MTN Rwanda, said: “Digital billboards give advertisers the option to push more than one campaign at a time, unlike static ones.”

“MTN also focuses on digital advertising. Reason being, Digital makes it simple for customers and a brand to have ‘dialogue’ of some form with one another”, Mpyisi said.

Osborn Buhere, Ayen Media country manager, said that it was now more profitable for them. In addition, the digital billboard has the capacity of hosting 10 customers whereas the analog one could only host one.

“However, one cannot ignore social media’s role in these changes,” he added.

Social media

This is was echoed by one of the social media influencers in Rwanda, Patrick Rukundo commonly known as Patycope.

He said, “Technology is the common denominator here. Nowadays, you find Rwandan public institutions embracing social media. For instance, you will find their public statements and their daily operations on their Twitter accounts.”

This is mostly due to huge numbers of social media users who  spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day.

The future

According to a report by Accenture, digital advertising is the future of advertising.

“Digital advertising opens a whole new world of opportunity for buyers to reach and engage with customers. For sellers, it dramatically expands their advertising inventory and creates significant new sources of revenue,” the report says.

This will only unleash creativity and bring both the advertisers and their customers together as per the report.

According to Digital 2019 report, Rwanda has 5.6 million internet subscribers, 620,000 active social media users and 580,000 mobile social media users. The numbers are a driving force behind the shift from the traditional to modern methods, as Patycope notes.

“Influencers are also becoming the new billboards of our age”, he added.

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