‘Onus is on us to self reg­u­late’

Outdoor Asia - - Media Owner's Take -

OOH Clut­ter – The so­lu­tion

Five years ago when Out­doors – Bill­boards specif­i­cally -- out­lined the city land­scape in a man­ner that that would shout with brand mes­sag­ing. Un­reg­u­lated mar­kets saw large for­mats spring­ing left right and cen­tre. In fact, city plan­ners rued that such a clut­ter spoilt the city sil­hou­ette. It wasn’t far back in time when there were cheeky brand wars (Jet Air­ways and the erst­while King­fisher Air­lines quickly comes to mind). Some ad­ver­tis­ers used the clut­ter to their ad­van­tage as an at­tack­ing strat­egy, a few com­plained of clut­ter, a few brand cus­to­di­ans even stayed back from us­ing the medium as they felt that the cam­paign with this sort of clut­ter would be detri­men­tal to their brands. Be that as it may, as men­tioned ear­lier, the clut­ter of large for­mat me­dia was re­ally a reg­u­la­tory is­sue. Bet­ter sense has pre­vailed and now thanks to that, most metro mar­kets now are bereft of the clut­ter. As time goes by and newer me­dia op­tions are made avail­able, the clut­ter may soon be a thing of the past.

Reg­u­la­tion of the in­dus­try

This brings into at­ten­tion a few things to be put into con­text. Th­ese are:

1. The Out­door in­dus­try is by far the old­est busi­ness to have ex­isted in the coun­try

2. A se­lect set of out­door com­pa­nies had a monopoly in the mar­kets where they owned me­dia

3. Frag­mented and un­or­ga­nized busi­ness sta­tus

4. The top 12 mar­kets con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to­wards the in­dus­try/ state rev­enue cof­fers

5. In­dis­crim­i­nate mush­room­ing of me­dia ve­hi­cles across clus­ters On ac­count of a com­bi­na­tion of some of the above fac­tors, reg­u­la­tion has in­deed re­mained a chal­lenge. The onus is pri­mar­ily on the me­dia own­ers to self reg­u­late. Clearly clair­voy­ance was never a virtue with them and they went about dol­ing the me­dia out in the most abra­sive man­ner. A se­lect few with some long term view chose to wait and watch. It is now up to the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion to im­pose reg­u­la­tions and it is com­mend­able that quite a few have done that. Also with a few me­dia own­ers hav­ing ac­cess to in­sights from global play­ers, they are work­ing closely with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to of­fer util­ity based me­dia. The only in­dus­try plat­form – the IOAA -- is do­ing some ter­rific work in bring­ing the au­thor­i­ties and the me­dia own­ers to en­gage in pur­pose­ful dia­logue. The writ­ing is on the wall and we firmly be­lieve that like ev­ery busi­ness, the OOH busi­ness is also in the evo­lu­tion­ary phase and more reg­u­la­tion will fol­low in the com­ing years.

Dig­i­tal OOH

Even to­day the OOH busi­ness in In­dia is dom­i­nated with tra­di­tional large for­mats (bill­boards, build­ing wraps) that ac­count for 60% of me­dia space. Brands still give more prece­dence to them for their launch or tac­ti­cal ob­jec­tives. “The medium is the mes­sage” rings true with this busi­ness so far. It is also true that peo­ple spend most of their wak­ing hours out­side their house in tran­sit or net­work­ing with friends and rel­a­tives. In our opin­ion dig­i­tal OOH (con­tribut­ing to about 2% of 22+ UHYHQUHV) FDPH LQ WR fiOO WKH VSDFH ZKHUH EUDQGV sought out a cap­tive au­di­ence. They wished to en­gage and in­ter­act with their TG and there was a be­lief that the dig­i­tal for­mat could de­liver that stick­i­ness. So the dig­i­tal OOH ex­plored chan­nels such as res­i­den­tial com­plexes (near the lift), com­mer­cial com­plexes, recre­ational places like gym­na­si­ums, cof­fee chains (stand alone and in malls). Some­how it doesn’t have seemed to have clicked in a man­ner it was imag­ined. The be­lief in “Size does mat­ter” has led a few me­dia RZQHUV WR SUW US /(D VFUHHQV DW PDMRU WUDI­fiF MUQFWLRQV in many cities. Ad­ver­tis­ing in on the rise and its suc­cess or the lack of it will de­pend on how it can match up with the tra­di­tional sib­lings in cre­at­ing more im­pact for %UDQGV. ,W PDY EH D WULflH UQIDLU WR ZULWH LWV RELWUDUY YHW!

Mea­sur­ing the medium

One of the most pro­found prob­lems for the OOH busi­ness in In­dia is the lack of a mea­sure­ment tool. 7KH JR-ZLWK-WKH-JUW SKLORVRSKY MUVW GRHVQ’W flY ZLWK ad­ver­tis­ers any­more. A month long cam­paign even across the top 3-4 mar­kets calls for a sub­stan­tial spends and brand man­agers are look­ing for ac­count­abil­ity and ROI de­liv­er­ance. As key play­ers it is in our best in­ter­ests to bring method to the mad­ness and de­velop a cur­rency that is ac­cept­able to the agency and clients alike. There is no gain­say­ing that OOH can be mea­sured -Not­with­stand­ing the fact that OOH is ex­tremely frag­mented and the me­dia own­ers (mostly old timers) have an un­fath­omable fear about get­ting their me­dia mapped. IOAA has al­ready put in place a mech­a­nism map­ping mar­kets (ba­sis me­dia for­mats/ clus­ters/pric­ing) and once the re­sults are out, it will pave the way for­ward for the bal­ance mar­kets with sub­stan­tial OOH spends. Un­til such time, Most brands will keep putting their monies with Broad­cast and Print be­cause of the ROI fac­tor.

Pawan Bansal COO, Ja­gran En­gage

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