‘Agen­cies are gear­ing up on OOH’

Anu­radha Ag­gar­wal Sr. VP, Brand and Con­sumer In­sights, Voda­fone In­dia

Outdoor Asia - - Brand Take -

Mea­sur­ing the medium

OOH mea­sure­ment de­pends on whether there is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort among all stake hold­ers to de­vise a com­mon cur­rency of eval­u­a­tion, which can then de­liver an ROI cal­cu­la­tion. Ad­dress­ing the cur­rent gaps in mea­sur­a­bil­ity col­lec­tively as an in­dus­try will go a long way in en­hanc­ing our con­fi­dence in the medium, and pos­si­bly help in higher spends on OOH, but if the cur­rent frag­mented and in­di­vid­ual ef­forts to do so con­tinue, then the evo­lu­tion will be spo­radic and su­per­fi­cial at best. In the ab­sence of any ma­trix that de­rives ef­fi­ciency fig­ures, there will be con­tin­ued vul­ner­a­bil­ity of bud­gets be­ing de­ployed into me­dia that can be eval­u­ated for ef­fi­cacy, wher­ever al­ter­na­tives ex­ist. This, even as we con­tinue to em­ploy OOH as part of the me­dia mix.

Per­cent­age of ad­ver­tis­ing spend on Out­door medium

It is be­tween 8% and 10% of over­all spends. In­creas­ing this per­cent­age will de­pend on var­i­ous fac­tors - what are our ob­jec­tives as a brand, there­fore what me­dia out­lets and for­mats work best to achieve our vis­i­bil­ity goals, what our cam­paign mes­sages are, and there­fore whether OOH can help in tak­ing those mes­sages for­ward. We have re­posed faith in this medium over the last sev­eral years, and it has worked for us, in var­i­ous ways. With chang­ing dy­nam­ics of au­di­ence en­gage­ment and me­dia con­sump­tion, the way we plan all me­dia also un­der­goes a change, and this is true for OOH as well.

Pre­ferred out­door for­mat

It com­pletely de­pends on the task at hand. Each for­mat has a role to play, based on what the brand / cam­paign ob­jec­tives are. It would be fool­ish for us to in­sist on a spe­cific large for­mat bill­board at the busiest junc­tion of a metro, when we are look­ing at reach within a spe­cific tar­get seg­ment. Con­sid­er­ing Voda­fone’s brand im­agery and his­tory of cre­at­ing sig­na­ture OOH properties, ob­vi­ously bill­boards and other large for­mats would be an in­te­gral part of our me­dia mix, but again, it would de­pend on the brief, en­tirely.

Fo­cus on Dig­i­tal OOH

Dig­i­tal OOH still needs to prove its worth, in our opin­ion. While it may claim to de­liver reach, there are lim­i­ta­tions in what it can achieve for us. Costs, reg­u­la­tory is­sues and ac­tual con­tri­bu­tion to en­gage­ment are some of the ar­eas where we would evince con­cern, be­fore we can em­brace this in a large way. This is also due to the fact that our OOH foot­print ex­tends to lots of small towns up­coun­try, and th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties may be fewer than in met­ros.

Creative agen­cies –Their fo­cus or the lack of it on OOH & their cre­ativ­ity

In In­dia to­day, there are not many agen­cies who spe­cially fo­cus on OOH cre­atives. The creative agen­cies can come out with in­ter­est­ing op­tions if they have a strong un­der­stand­ing of how the me­dia works, which is still not the case. At times the OOH creative may look bril­liant in pre­sen­ta­tions but when ex­e­cuted has lit­tle im­pact be­cause it may not fit the de­sired ef­fec­tive met­rics that OOH de­mands. Creative agen­cies have to re­mem­ber that OOH is a 4-5 sec me­dia… if the mes­sage can­not be con­veyed in that much time, then it has failed. Clients can ex­tract bet­ter at­ten­tion from agen­cies if they be­lieve in OOH as an equally im­por­tant con­stituent of their me­dia mix.

Credit is­sues faced by me­dia own­ers

Tra­di­tion­ally, OOH has been rel­e­gated to a size adap­ta­tion of a print ad. This is chang­ing for the bet­ter with OOH com­ing into its own as a for­mat, and agen­cies be­gin­ning to lever­age the strengths and cus­tom­ize the mes­sage ac­cord­ingly, If the brief is shared with the OOH agency and the creative agency si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and they work on the cam­paign de­vel­op­ment to­gether, then we find the out­put is sharper, more rel­e­vant and co­he­sive. It is bet­ter than OOH be­ing roped into the pic­ture af­ter the print and tele­vi­sion work is al­ready done. OOH agen­cies have also be­gun to think be­yond the con­fines of size adap­ta­tions, and cre­ate a dif­fer­ence, which helps a cam­paign stand out among the clut­ter. While this is a work in progress, at this point, the only way for­ward is up. Creative agen­cies don’t will­fully set out to ig­nore OOH as a medium. If they can be made to see the value of in­clud­ing OOH in the plan and the po­ten­tial it of­fers to take the mes­sage for­ward, they are happy to cre­ate some­thing mem­o­rable. Well main­tained sur­faces, cus­tom­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tion and a mod­icum of plan­ning can help them re­al­ize what OOH can bring to the ta­ble and we have seen them do won­ders with the work. Like me­dia in­no­va­tions in print, there are pos­si­bil­i­ties in OOH which are now get­ting ex­plored more of­ten, and creative agen­cies are geared up to take ad­van­tage of what OOH has to of­fer.

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