Industry POV

Nabendu Bhattacharyya writes on 'Going beyond regular OOH'

04 Jul 2017

The OOH advertising industry in India is around Rs 2,600 crore and grew at a healthy rate of 7% CAGR during 2011-16.

The OOH advertising industry in India is around Rs 2,600 crore and grew at a healthy rate of 7% CAGR during 2011-16. Digital OOH is set to propel the industry’s growth on the back of 100 smart cities. Currently, the Indian out-of-home industry is at a growth stage with only 10% of OOH inventory being digital, whereas 40% of the medium has moved to digital in international markets. With smartphone penetration at 33%, digital OOH opens various possibilities to engage consumers by targeting them with spot-on campaigns using AR, QR codes, NFC, Bluetooth, etc. This creative and technology-led innovation means huge possibilities in terms of efficiency and measurement of the medium. Government policies and permissions play an important role in the growth of digital OOH.

Currently, digital OOH in India is restricted to controlled environments such as airports, malls, retail chains, hospitals, path labs, coffee shops, restaurants, railway stations, metros, etc where safety of the digital display equipment is guaranteed. Digital media formats like LED displays on streets are low in number — around one or two signs in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. In these formats, only slideshows are played and not video due to traffic rules and restrictions.

In India, digital OOH has been used most effectively at Delhi T3, Mumbai Terminal 2, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. Delhi’s T3 Arrival is the most memorable case of digital OOH. The digital units are visible on a travelator which is a 10-minute walk. Passengers can view multiple stories from categories like banks, handsets, jewellery, travel portals, watches, cars, etc.

Creative agencies have huge opportunities to maximise creativity to interact with the audience, and engage them throughout their walk. Each TG can receive a story based on their likings. British Airways’ Magic of Flying campaign, also identified on social platforms by the hashtag #LookUp, was a Grand Prix winner at Cannes and a great example of using digital OOH. It had a young boy on an OOH screen ‘looking up’ at British Airways flights flying overhead, wherein, being within the trigger radius would prompt the screen to display the point of origin of the flight.

In India, large media owners should work with government authorities to get desired permissions to operate on large street DOOH signages like Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, etc. For Airtel’s Open Network campaign, the brand placed smart screens at bus shelters in Delhi and billboards across India to showcase its open network and transparency. DOOH is the future of the Indian OOH industry but the actionable initiative by stakeholders is questionable: it holds the answer to how soon will the light dawn on the medium.

The author is CEO & MD, Milestone Brandcom