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OOH Interviews

Nitin Kanungo

Founder & Chief Executive Officer | 05 Feb 2013

With changes in times and generation, consumerism has changed too. In fact, it’s a cycle. It will change again, and so will OOH in the coming time. However, as we know, the consumer’s mind space has increasingly shrunk over a period of time due to competition. The need of the hour is to be innovative and subtle while grabbing the consumer’s attention at a lower cost. This is where OOH has taken a leap from a recall media to a compulsive media.

Nitin Kanungo is an ardent management professional. After completing his college in Mumbai with distinction, he successfully pursued a higher degree in management and organisational development from Purdue University, USA. His diligence and self-starter ability was evident in all the eight years he spent in the Board of Directors at IMI International – one of the recognised steel business houses. Kanungo has now taken his passion for excellence to the media domain. His new venture, Yantra Media Solutions, won the contract for B.E.S.T. seatback media for a period of 10 years.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Kanungo talks about the changing dynamics of transit media for communication and much more...

Q. OOH is going beyond a recall medium to become a compulsive element of every media plan. What is your take on this recognition?

It was in the offing and inevitable. With changes in times and generation, consumerism has changed too. In fact, it’s a cycle. It will change again, and so will OOH in the coming time. However, as we know, the consumer’s mind space has increasingly shrunk over a period of time due to competition. The need of the hour is to be innovative and subtle while grabbing the consumer’s attention at a lower cost. This is where OOH has taken a leap from a recall media to a compulsive media.

Q. What are the factors you keep in mind while planning an OOH campaign?

Demography. Timing. Innovation. A movie running in central suburb cinema hall/ multiplex in Mumbai, for example, will ideally use OOH media around its relevant radius to advertise. And if it’s done in an innovative way, either through fabrication or innovation in message, eyeballs are up for grabs.

Q. With the evolution of public transport in the country, advertising has also equally emerged on these mediums. What are your thoughts on this?

Most members from the middle-class and upper middle-class have favoured and will continue to favour public transport. What this means for most brands is that media avenues on public transport will continue to evolve. In the second decade of the 21st century, we see this trend growing and benefiting all three parties involved – brands, consumers and media owners.

Q. Competition in the OOH market is becoming intense so is the clutter. How do you plan to remain competitive and work towards breaking the clutter?

A constant influx towards something new or desirable, until it reaches the threshold, has been the trend. The clutter and competition we see today in OOH bazaar is not focused. Fly-by-night operators are already finding it tough to sustain and survive due to obvious shortcoming and short term strategies. Rings-A-Bell, however, is focused on matching the relevance of its media with respect to brands and consumers. This is our USP – our differentiating factor.

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

Some OOH media, such as OOH on public transport, is state government controlled. We strongly believe that efficient processes and practices, along with a keen involvement of relevant government agencies will only boost the OOH media industry. We also believe that bringing new and existing OOH media on a business platform such as conventions, conferences, and so on, will greatly help in closing the lack of awareness gap.

Q. Last year, Rings-A-Bell had won advertising rights inside B.E.S.T. How much work has been achieved by your agency to revive the advertising scenario of this medium till now?

We are now accepted and catering to a host of brands from across categories and verticals. We have a few telecom giants promoting their VAS through our media, banks and financial institutions have done a pilot on our media and subsequently extended the duration; we’ve had also had local businesses using our media strategically. We’ve also had commitments for the next financial year by leading FMCG and dairy brands. We’re in the driver’s seat.

Q. How was 2012 for Rings-A-Bell?

Eventful. Challenging. Resourceful. Our media has made inroads into the planning sheets of many A-list brands; it has seen its share of acceptance by brands unaware of the potential of its unparalleled visibility. We have also run successful public awareness campaigns. All in all, we believe 2012 was a good year for us.

Q. Please elaborate on some of your current campaigns.

We are glad that brands across categories and verticals are demonstrating their faith in our media. At present, Greater Bank, Lexi Pens, LIC, Vodafone, Canara Bank, NKGSB Bank, Uco Bank, Loop Mobiles, Nobacco, and Allahabad Bank are doing their campaigns with us.

Q. What is your wish list for 2013?

We have a lot of aspirations and we are focused on achieving them. Some of the things that we want to do in the immediate future include revamp and re-brand seatbacks of seats reserved for women and senior citizens, get A-list FMCG brands such as HUL, provide innovation within our media to brands and for the passengers.

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