Outdoor advertising holds the potential of leaving a larger-than-life imprint on people’s minds. In the constant endeavour to scale new highs, companies in the FMCG and telecom segments in India have continually innovated with outdoor advertising to rule the mindspace of customers in both urban and rural segments.
FMCG companies, one of the largest spenders in outdoor advertising in the country, perceive this to be the best medium to turn brands into big hits. Hence, the players have taken on innovative ways to position themselves aggressively in outdoors, with a keener eye on the B and C cities where outdoors are seen to bring in the big bucks.
The FMCG interest has also catalysed the growth of the domestic outdoor advertising industry which is approximately sized at 700 crore. The telecom players too of late have played no mean role in reaching out to customers by way of outdoor advertising. In this context, an expert told exchange4media.com, “Gone are the days when a city welcomed you through black and white hoardings of some obscure brand. Now it is the latest telecom tariffs that greet you.”
Pepsi Foods Pvt. Ltd is one of the big spenders on outdoors. A company spokesperson said that through outdoor advertising they talk about new TV campaigns, local promotions, consumer contests, new price points and other local initiatives.
Outdoor campaigns have been largely successful in facilitating the comeback of ‘Fido Dido’, the 7UP mascot. The softdrink maker supplemented the outdoor initiative with print and TV campaigns.
The new campaign for Dukes Lemonade revolves around the character of Bandya Shinde which is currently being communicated to consumers through innovative outdoor campaigns. The massive visibility drive includes attractive hoardings, paintings on local trains, bus-shelters, street banners and point-of-sale (POS) posters.
In B grade cities of Andhra Pradesh, Pepsi's movie initiative ‘Pepsi Cine Mahadam’ is being currently communicated to consumers through an outdoor campaign comprising hoardings, the company spokesperson said.
Sharda Agarwal, Director--Marketing, Coca Cola India, too believes that outdoor advertising is an important medium. New innovative ideas are being introduced regularly. For instance, Vanilla Coke is now being promoted largely through this medium, she said.
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd has been successfully encashing on oudoors to promote its popular brand ‘Amul’. Citing reasons for the brand’s success, R R Chaudhry, Deputy Manager—Marketing, said the player had adopted a two-point strategy to successfully use the outdoors. Firstly, the annual hoardings were booked well in advance. The sites of the hoardings remain the same over the years. In fact, they in due course became landmarks in different cities.
Secondly, the frequency of change was maintained and the creatives revolved around topical issues. Out of the 34 products in its kitty, only Amul Butter is promoted through this medium. The rest are promoted through print and TV seasonally. At present, the PSU’s total spend on advertising is Rs 1.25 crore out of which Rs 1 crore is spent on outdoor media, Chaudhry said.
Telecom brands too have gone the whole distance to capitalise on the strengths of outdoor advertising. “We have indeed used this medium for strong brand building exercises,” said a spokesperson of Reliance Infocomm.
Throwing more light on the subject, Arun Sharma, DGM, Marketing, (Head–Media), Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd, said that for local circles it is the most important media and its lifespan is much longer than print and television campaigns. “It is the closest to point of purchase. The need to be local is very important in telecom and in our case this need is the highest which gets fulfilled thoroughly through outdoor advertising,” he said.
Industry experts will seldom tire in stating the difficulties they encounter while opting for outdoor advertising but there is no question posed on the enormous potential this medium offers in building brands. The canvas is truly large.