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Sunder Hemrajani

Managing Director | 18 Sep 2012

One of major initiatives that the industry needs to take care of is the quality of media. Apart from that, a great amount of regulation needs to be in place to control the outdoor clutter. This is needs to be taken seriously because if that doesn’t happen, neither the media owner nor the brand will get value from the campaign. Measurability at the airport is a bit in control because of the accessibility of the demographic and psychographic data, which is still lacking while measuring traditional outdoor campaigns.

Sunder Hemrajani has been associated with Times OOH since 2007. He has an overall corporate experience of 25-plus years. Prior to his association with Times OOH, Hemrajani was President - Distribution at Reliance Capital. He had started his career as a management trainee at Hindustan Unilever and moved up the ladder to become the General Manager, Sales. Thereon, he moved on to work with companies like PepsiCo and Whirlpool at senior management levels in Sales.

In this interaction with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Hemrajani speaks at length about the evolution of airport advertising, newer industry verticals using this medium, opportunities in the coming year and more...

Q. How has the execution of the airport advertising business evolved over the recent past?

If you look at the whole out of home segment virtually, it is divided into three parts – billboards, street furniture and transit media. Billboards, which comprised 50 per cent of outdoor media, over the recent period of time have seen a decline in usage. This drop is basically because of the growing sophistication at Indian airports. The street furniture is still not a planned media and looks cluttered in most key markets. Predominantly the media available at the Indian airport space today is of global class and one can expect a significant growth in advertising generating from this space.

Q. How do you think billboards in India can be sophisticated?

The major reason why there is less sophistication in billboards in India is because the regulatory mechanism itself is not in place, as a result of which there is proliferation of sites which one cannot take control of. This definitely affects the quality of exposure. Globally, outdoor sites are organised, the regulation there allows outdoor sites to embed digital technology for engagement purposes. Once the regulatory policies for the outdoor industry are well framed, we will definitely see significant change in the look and feel of billboards in India.

Q. What are the major advertising trends that you are seeing in the airport space?

One major advertising trend that one can see at the Indian airports is the usage of digital for interactive purposes. Quality of media is extremely good, because of which innovations at airports stand out. This is mainly because of the controlled environment that it has. Another factor that makes brands choose airports for promotional activities is because the media formats there is content driven, which scales up the interactivity factor of a campaign.

Q. What are the challenges faced while executing outdoor campaigns at airports?

In the airport space what comes as a challenge is the process of security. This process thereby causes delay in the execution of campaigns.

Q. How would you compare India’s OOH industry to the global scenario, especially in the airport space?

Worldwide one can see a lot of innovation happening at the airport space. According to me, major learnings have already happened, what needs to be looked into is involving the evolving technology in this space, which will soon be seen.

Q. Which are the new brand categories that have shown interest in advertising in the airport space?

Over a period of time, two sectors have shown keen interest in advertising in the airport space – banking, financial services and insurance (BSFI) and automobile. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and luxury brands are the other two brand categories that are leveraging this medium to a large extent in recent times. Apart from these, retail is another space in airports which is huge. This is mainly because majority of travellers have time in their hands and many are in the buying mode because of the under-one-roof option. This is one major reason why we see retail in airport growing at a tremendous pace.

Q. What do you think needs to be done to propel the Indian OOH industry forward?

One of major initiatives that the industry needs to take care of is the quality of media. Apart from that, a great amount of regulation needs to be in place to control the outdoor clutter. This is needs to be taken seriously because if that doesn’t happen, neither the media owner nor the brand will get value from the campaign. Measurability at the airport is a bit in control because of the accessibility of the demographic and psychographic data, which is still lacking while measuring traditional outdoor campaigns.

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