Content Analysis of Common Billboard Advertisements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Gaps, Weaknesses and Strengths of Billboard Advertisements

Yared Desalegn Abebe


This study analyzed the contents of some common commercial billboard advertisements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The contents analyzed include; photographs, messages, color and appeal strategy .As the demand to advertise products and services through billboards tend to grow the question over effective communication becomes a serious issue. This study thus, conducted to answer such questions raised in billboard advertisements. The gaps, weaknesses and strengths of billboard advertisements were deeply examined and findings were presented.Qualitative content analysis  and deep interview have  been used to analyze the contents .According to the analysis made , billboard ads  those planted alongside major roads in Addis Ababa  ,mostly used human photographs, particularly women's photograph and this was done without any connection women's had  to the product/service  being advertised. Apart from this, most billboard ads had been overlooked by the target consumers. This was observed as a key weakness and gap among the businesses those used billboard ads and ad agencies engaged in designing billboard ads. The study showed that, there were   billboard ads those achieved best communication through their messages, pictures and designs. Furthermore, the study indicated as there was ad agencies deficiency in designing, writing proper product and service messages. Significant weaknesses and gaps were found from the data collected, this includes, poor message structure, erroneous color choice and stumpy creativity.Concerning the documentary photographs, the findings indicated, there were mismatches found in those billboard ads selected for analysis. Beyond this, appeal strategies used   on the   billboard ads selected for analysis  were  weak ,thus , couldn’t  able to catch viewer's attention .The messages accompanied with the product /services were  also detailed, straightforward and embraced each information about the product. In association to the appeal strategy used most billboards used, an ornate design which means over decoration. This caused inconveniences over the billboards ads those selected for analysis. The result revealed that, Billboards those deployed in the city of Addis Ababa were unable to communicate the right information about the product /service being advertised.

Keywords: Billboards, Products, services, Advertisements, Customers, Photographs, Messages, Communication and Commercials.

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/102-02

Publication date:October 31st 2022

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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