The rapid growth in the airport retail business in India, triggered primarily by increase in passenger traffic and innovations in advertising, has brought about a robust revenue stream for the out of home players.
According to a boutique retail consultancy, the airport retail business in India topped $1 billion in revenues during 2011, on the back of increased airport traffic and more people shopping on the go. Hiyav Bajaj, Director, TDI International India (P) Ltd, believed that this would augur well for the OOH business this year, provided the advertisers were ready to take advantage of the rapidly changing profile of the ‘air traveler’ in India. He said, “The industry should realise that today’s air traveler is not limited to the ‘high flyer’ category, but belongs to a category that covers a broad range of decision makers with real purchase capabilities.”
Changing Airport Concepts Helped
Bajaj pointed out, “The last few years have seen a revolutionary change in airport advertising concepts. Today, the changes that you see are due to larger airports, larger formats, brilliant innovations, and new technologies such as Bluetooth, etc. The execution has also seen a revolutionary change. It is much faster. To give you an example, TDI’s pan-India turnaround time for launch capability has been as low as 17 hours.”
Today, airport advertising is looked upon as an emerging medium of advertising in India, with most airports being privatised. It is offering a lot of opportunities for clients to convey a qualitative communication or engagement with the audience, given the fact that airports have a captive audience in a quality environment far more premium and aesthetic ambience, which gives a great opportunity for brands and clients to advertise with a lot of engagement and interactivity.
Advertisers Expected to Increase Spends on Airport Advtg
Commenting on this, Haresh Nayak, Managing Director, Posterscope, said, “I see a lot of evolution in airport advertising if you look at the last three years in advertising, which has happened largely due to infrastructure development. Advertising has become far more qualitative and impactful. Brands will increase their spends at airports, given the background that clients and brands are asking for ROI on their spends. Airports provide captive audience, wherein you can measure the quality of audience and you can also have a lot of engagement opportunities. I firmly believe that brands will increase their spends in coming years.”
It may be recalled that PSI, from the Posterscope Group, a part of Aegis Media India, expanded its services last year to provide traditional and non-traditional OOH solutions to brands in the airport space.
A lot of evolution is taking place in airport advertising. For instance, replica of a Louis Vuitton bag at the Bangalore Airport and Mantri Developer’s tallest glass mock-up (21 ft) installation at the Bangalore Airport were some of the most talked about OOH campaigns in the recent past.
A Digital Evolution
Industry believes that airport advertising in India would get far more sophisticated to be at par with the international airport space. Advertising will be far more digitised, which not only gives qualitative response to the brand, but also provides lots of engagement and are far more measurable and tuned in to the communication that brands do.
Dipankar Sanyal, COO, MOMS Outdoor Media Solutions, remarked, “Airport advertising has evolved over the past couple of years. Many a times the demographics of an airport looks challenging for executing an innovative campaign, but in reality it’s a well pronounced space. Clients are now confident about this medium and look forward to it as investing opportunities for various interesting brand categories. These include banks, insurance companies, public sector undertakings, etc. Of late, the airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore are looked upon as excellent avenues for interesting brands to advertise.”
While OOH players look at airports as the next sophisticated medium of communication, planners have a different take on this. Anil Cheriyedath, Business Director-Planning, Maxus, remarked, “Airport as a medium was earlier considered to be niche, but is now opening up as a mass medium of reach due increase in traffic. Newer brands are opting for in-flight branding opportunities. Retail as a sector is also aggressively using airport as consumer engagement opportunities. However, looking at the current crisis that a few airlines are facing, airport advertising in India will have to hold on for a while to get completely aggressive and sophisticated.”