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Election posters still an important tool for parties - analyst

While posters may seem archaic in this day and age, they are affordable and relatively effective.

FILE: Election posters hang on a lamp post in Carnarvon, in the Kareeberg Municipality in the Northern Cape. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A marketing analyst says even in the age of digital and social media the use of election posters still plays an important role.

Political parties spend millions on advertising with election posters still the preferred way to market themselves.

Marketing expert Chris Moerdyk says while posters may seem archaic they are affordable and relatively effective.

"One has got to have some form of hype the way that some community still put up Christmas decorations in the streets, you know. It's to just get the interest going and raising the interest.

"I think that the election posters are still going to be with us for a long time but they only really have one purpose and that is to create the hype."

Meanwhile politicians are making use of different ways to communicate their election messages beyond the traditional streetlamp poster, radio and television adverts.

The Provantage Media Group that sells advertising space at the country's airports, train stations and inside minibus taxis, counts the ANC and DA among its clients.

The ANC is advertising at airport terminals.

Provantage's Deputy CEO Mzi Deliwe calls this the premium market.

"Generally airports, you have the businessmen, you cater to the high-end LSM consumers," Deliwe said.

He says the DA has bought advertising space inside taxis.

"Middle to lower LSM, you use the in-transit TV in taxis to communicate to that market, we've found that the DA has booked this space."

While the company won't disclose how much the parties have spent, a national package on "Airport TV" for example costs around R400,000 per month.

And it isn't much cheaper to advertise inside taxis.

Last week the ANC's Head of Election Campaigns Nomvula Mokonyane revealed the party has spent more than R1 billion on preparation and campaigning for the local government elections on 3 August.

She said this includes rallies, paying volunteers, buying t-shirts and preparing candidate lists.

In 2014, the ANC reportedly spent R429 million on its campaign for the general elections. If so, it means it has more than doubled its spend for the local government one.