‘Digital needs customized content’
Siddharth Subramaniam Principal Media Consultant ITC Foods
Measuring the medium
Just like any other media vehicle, be it TV, print, radio, digital etc, OOH is also a quantifiable medium. Globally it is done. But in India, owing to the absence of industry recognised and accredited measurement metrics covering at least the top 15-20 OOH markets, which is accepted by advertisers/clients, the medium is yet to come up with a common currency that at least meets the consensus of clients, OOH media concessionaires and specialist OOH agencies. There have been some key initiatives in the past to cover this major lacunae facing the industry and I’m confident that going forward it will surely be done. Now, having said that, OOH works despite there being no common currency or an audience measurement tool. Otherwise we would not have so many brands across various categories continuing to use OOH as their lead medium or at least investing a good portion of their marketing budget in OOH.
Percentage of spend on Outdoor medium
Given the portfolio of brands in ITC Foods, we allocate OOH spends across brands after taking various factors into consideration like the market, objectives, etc. Depending on what we want to achieve, we allocate the OOH spends accordingly. And given our aggressive push in the market across the various categories that we are present in like biscuits, confectionery, staples, blended spices coupled with new products that will be launched, OOH will definitely play a key role in our marketing mix.
Preferred outdoor format
Ultimately it is a function of what works best for our brands. Our outdoor campaigns have a healthy media mix of various OOH formats ranging from billboards, street furniture and transit mediums to dynamic displays at malls and multiples. This ensures that we get the required reach and frequency to create the desired impact within the stipulated campaign period.
Focus on Digital OOH
It is a truly engaging OOH media that offers dynamic displays during day and night. We have used LED powered digital displays at strategic locations in Bangalore and in a few markets in Kerala as this medium is an instant clutter breaker. But the complete potential of this medium is yet to be explored in our country. There is an immediate need to customise the creative to suit this format rather than just running the TVC onto it. And the possibilities of customisation can be endless, limited only by one’s imagination.
Creative agencies –Their focus or the lack of it on OOH & their creativity
Creative agencies have truly evolved when it comes to OOH creative designs. They have understood the merits of the medium and the role it can play in engaging with the audience. There is a strong emphasis on the visual element with the focus on limited copy matter rather than just replicating a print design onto an OOH medium. The OOH creative designs for our campaigns across categories are designed in a manner where the focus is on the logo, the product shot and the call to action. This could be a function of brands’ key marketing objectives and what role OOH will have to play in it. OOH is a localised medium and if the product or service is launched in one particular market, then OOH is likely to be the right choice given the cost effectiveness of medium vis a vis its shelf life when compared to other localised mediums like print. OOH also offers creative agencies the scope to design eye catching visuals with excellent copy matter that can truly sell an idea or make the brand come to life. Creative agencies have won several national and international awards and this bears testimony to their understanding of the medium’s potential from the creative angle.
Credit issues faced by media owners
There are several factors at play over here: • Differential Rate in the same location and on similar type of sites/mediums • Availability criteria • Monitoring, feedback and rectification mechanisms • Factors which are sometimes beyond the control of media owners like government regulations