TODAY´S NEWS

HOME OOH Nabendu Bhattacharyya

OOH Interviews

Nabendu Bhattacharyya

President | 09 Feb 2009

We are recently experiencing the trends seen 10 years back coming back in new avatar – categories like boutique stores, furniture stores, PSU banks and insurances, and real estate, localised brands are suddenly seen on outdoor mediums. In January 2009, we witnessed less inventory and more bookings. I predict this trend will continue, though the industry will still be ruled by telecom, financials and media - entertainment. Moreover, inventory balancing will be done by localised advertisers.

Born in the ‘City of Joy’ – Kolkata, Bhattacharyya dreamt of being a famous football player. Football – a sport that needs no lines, no floodlights, no time limits. It is played in parks, on street corners, alleyways, side streets, apartment block lobbies, beaches. It is spontaneous, freeform and individual. He got close in real life, he joined out-of-home advertising. Bhattacharyya is currently heading Ogilvy India’s flagship OOH division, Ogilvy Landscapes and the other OOH division, Meridian Outdoor, which controls 40 per cent of industry space and by far is the best in its class.

Bhattacharyya began his career with Selvel - Vantage Group, an OOH specialist based in Delhi in 1993. After a successful stint of five years, he moved on to the international sphere with Emirates Neon in the Middle East. His last stint was with Mudra, where he started their outdoor division, Prime Site, before moving on to Ogilvy.

Bhattacharyya is an ‘Ogilvyite’ in the true sense and cherishes each moment of his last 10 years with Ogilvy. His recent achievement was being runner up in the category Business Person of the Year 2008 in ‘The Agency of The Year Awards’ organised by Media Magazine A’pac’.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Pallavi Goorha, Bhattacharyya

Q. How do you view the OOH market in terms of the slowdown?

In the current economic slowdown, along with other businesses, OOH has also suffered a dip in demand, resulting in increase in inventory and cost reductions. I guess, the very nature of the medium’s strength – that is, it is a localised, larger than life, a 24x7 medium, increased time spent out of home, less spillovers in planning – makes it the obvious choice for advertisers to look at OOH in these tough times amongst other mediums choice, where every rupee spent should work harder for the brand.

Q. What are the main trends one sees in the outdoor industry today?

We are recently experiencing the trends seen 10 years back coming back in new avatar – categories like boutique stores, furniture stores, PSU banks and insurances, and real estate, localised brands are suddenly seen on outdoor mediums. In January 2009, we witnessed less inventory and more bookings. I predict this trend will continue, though the industry will still be ruled by telecom, financials and media - entertainment. Moreover, inventory balancing will be done by localised advertisers.

Q. What are the future plans for the agency?

We would look at delivering ROI against each penny spent. I guess content, creatives and tighter planning at the micro level will deliver the end results. Hence, we as a communication partner to our client will look at the client’s business issues and address through apt planning and creative deliveries.

Q. What are the technological advances that the medium is witnessing? How would you compare OOH ad spend vis-à-vis total ad spends done by brands/companies?

There are restrictions in India on video display, hence large format displays on LED is available in fewer numbers and cities. LED technology came to India only a few years back, but is facing challenges of getting permission from government authorities. I don’t remember seeing any other technology. True, Bluetooth on Bus Q Shelters or Light Projections Systems are available, but are not used as the audiences are not habituated to using Bluetooth in India. Light Projections are used rarely in the OOH medium due to permission and cost issues. Radio cabs are yet to be seen as per international GPS-based standards.

Q. Please tell us about some innovations for Croma in Delhi and Mumbai?

Croma is India’s first national large format specialist retail chain for consumer electronics and durables. It has had a good festive season with various OOH innovations under its belt with unique campaigns in Delhi and Mumbai. To rekindle the spirit of the holiday season, OgilvyAction and Croma, the electronics mega store, have strategically executed a campaign at prime locations in the heart of the Delhi at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Bus Q Shelter in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The roof top of the Bus Q Shelter has been dressed up to give a look and feel of gift boxes kept on top of the shelter. The display has also been covered with a net of decorative blinking lights to give a festive look. The agency suggested the media option keeping in mind the strength of the medium. ‘Medium is the message’ has been demonstrated in simple to convey format, which generated enough curiosity amongst consumers to visit the store. It created the buzz and awareness amongst consumers and resulted in higher footfalls in stores.

The shelter looks spectacular during the day and night, while catching the attention of the viewers for the client. The free standing unit of the shelter displays a message about ‘The Croma Wish Tree’, saying ‘Keep the light of humanity, burning bright, Make a wish at the Croma wish tree! Visit a Croma Store today!’.

Q. Please describe the Plug & Play Internet innovation done by OgilvyAction?

The product offering was Vodafone Data Card amongst their TG, which was heavy Internet users, especially serious business professionals who are also frequent travellers. Thus, for the product offering we came out with the concept of getting connected, hence we picked aircraft as medium and the towable ladder as the connector. We created a look of a USB Card on a towable ladder that was connected to the aircraft, and the message the creative team came out with was ‘Stay connected with Vodafone Plug & Play Internet’. We implemented the innovation at the Pune Airport, consumers were thrilled with the innovation, that brought a smile in their faces, and I am sure resulted in new acquisitions of the data card.

Q. What is your view on advertising in radio cabs?

It has huge potential, provided we get to see international standard video display inside the cab while the consumer is on the move. GPS-based technology will allow the advertiser to advertise close to a particular mall, wherein he can advertise brands and promotions on offer at that mall. Then the planner can target specific TGs.

Q. What is the current size of the OOH industry in India?

As per my estimate, the OOH Industry was close to Rs 1,900 crore in December 2008, which also includes airport advertising.

Write A Comment