‘OOH is an eco system, not just a medium’
Sandeep Tarkas - President - Customer Strategy (Future Group) & CEO (Future Media), CEO (T24) India
Measuring the medium
This industry can be measured. We definitely can’t get the transparency like in TV and print measurement, but we can surely have some sort of measurement. It would be difficult to predict the consequence of not measuring now. We spend on this medium with a better understanding of it. Even with measurement, it would be tough to say whether there will be a dramatic increase in spend or not. We will have to see the results once the measurability comes in.
Percentage of spend on Outdoor medium
We spend around 10-11% on the OOH medium. For the betterment of the industry I believe there should be some sort of standardization in the industry and reduction in the number of media owners. Yes the industry looks better as compared to say 5 years ago, but still it is much cluttered. There should be some organization in the medium in terms of formats and measurability.
Preferred outdoor format
Format selection varies from campaign to campaign. But a lot of our campaigns are short term therefore we end up taking large size formats like hoardings, mall facades, inside mall elements etc. So we take all sorts of formats of OOH apart from small units like kiosks.
Focus on Digital OOH
The digital OOH performance in India has been below the expectation. Initial disappointment was over the fact that people failed to understand the medium. But I feel there will be a lot of learning in the future.
Creative agencies –Their focus or the lack of it on OOH & their creativity
It is still a challenge when it comes to OOH ads. We always face the struggle in this area. I am surprised to see that mainline agencies are illiterate and have lack of understanding about OOH creativity. As for getting the agency’s attention on OOH, I think we all need to face this challenge together. I don’t think anyone can get their attention alone. Everybody -- right from the media owners and OOH agencies to the brands -- need to take the responsibility for this. I think the biggest issue is that we take OOH strictly as a medium whereas everyone needs to understand the entire eco-system of OOH medium. In this medium, each format works differently whether it is BQS, Mall façade, hoarding or even digital OOH, which would perform a different role in a retail store. So we need to understand the characteristics of formats and this medium.
Credit issues faced by media owners
I don’t think credit is a big challenge now as it was 5 years ago. I feel now the media owners’ money is much safer if they work with big agencies and big brands.