THE GROWING POPULARITY OF OUTDOOR CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING IN NORTHERN UGANDA
The Growing Popularity of Outdoor Campaign Advertising in Northern Uganda
The constituencies in northern Uganda districts of Apac, Kwania, Kolo, Lira, Dokolo and Oyam among others are awash with mobile make shift wooden campaign billboards that are placed on the ground with someone contracted to take good care of it. The care includes placing the billboard at a strategic location every morning, removing it in the evening to keep it indoor and keeping it clean as well. A number of voters are earning from this service.
The standard size of the wooden billboards is 2 x 3 meters and the production cost of it is UGX 25,000 ($6.7). These billboards are designed, produced and framed locally.
A candidate can have over 500 of these placed in various strategic place across the country including paths to homesteads. There is a sense in which using multiple wooden billboards is providing a solution for candidates to reach out to the electorate much easier than it would if they were to use radio advertising. The owners of radio and television stations have revised their advertising rates upwards making it costly for a number of candidates.
ACFIM campaign finance monitors in Apac Town Council reported some candidates who have gone further creative by paying shop owners to play their campaign songs loud enough that everyone passing on the street can’t help but hear the campaign songs. These are some of the ways in which candidates are coping with Electoral Commission guidelines that banned open air mass rallies and processions amid fear of further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.