Slowdown or no slowdown, the OOH industry is looking ahead at a growth time in 2009. Some of the key drivers for this growth are expected to be infrastructure projects, rise in the number of the working population, and clutter in traditional media, among others. exchange4media speaks to some industry leaders on their expectations in the year ahead.
The OOH industry is expected to touch Rs 2,000 crore, inclusive of airports and malls and multiplexes display, by the end of 2008. As a share of the overall advertising pie, it is still about 7 per cent, though no official industry estimates are available.
Indrajit Sen, President - Projects, Laqshya Media, pointed out, "The key driver has been billboards – hoardings. Other formats grew, but did not impact to the extent it was expected to. For example, airports and other transit media did not sell as well as it could have, on an aggregate. Individually, Bangalore has been full from the day it started. But then, the buses in Pune or Bangalore didn't take off as well as it was expected nor did the other airports. Bus shelters are mostly in execution stages and will come into the market mainly next year."
He further said, “OOH is a highly localised medium, hence less spillovers resulting in it being the most cost-efficient medium, generating quick awareness, and creating a larger than life impact. One can a turn page or change the channel, but if the content is interesting, it can engage the consumer and leave a lasting impression. OOH is now part of the media mix, which means any campaign that breaks in OOH will positively be used as a ‘must medium’ option. Technology, viz printing technology, has helped bring this medium alive in creative directors’ minds. Other mediums are expensive, and with over 200 TV channels and hardly any time to go through newspapers, OOH uses consumers’ dead time while they are on the move.”
Ishan Raina, CEO, OOH Media, noted, “The need for innovation and a change in lifestyle trends of the consumers have catalysed the growth of this industry. The latest findings derived from OOH Metrics reveal the audience behaviour and profiling to drive home the point. Also, the increased fragmentation across media genres is making clients adopt the OOH medium, especially with Metrics beginning to take shape.”
According to Robin Carruthers, CEO, Clear Channel Communications, there is not but quite a few real growth factors for the OOH industry. He added, “The resultant effects are that Tier II cities and main metros have contributed largely to this burgeoning economy. There is rapid development of infrastructure and real estate. Cities have expanded and travel time has increased. Consumers are spending more time outdoors. Advertisers increasingly want to reach out to the potential consumer, plus fragmentation in other media forms is increasing. According to a report by E&Y, over Rs 22,700 crore is spent annually on advertising in India. This is set to increase substantially in the coming years.”
According to M Kumar, General Manager - Brand Development, Jagran Engage, “The key drivers are growth in infrastructure projects, increasing working population, double income families leading to higher disposable incomes, workforce on the move – as per a recent study, in metros people spend 3-6 hours traveling, clutter in traditional media, increased media penetration leading to demand for clutter-free advertising, traditional mass communication vehicles’ effectiveness and aptness in rural marketing. The other factors are low literacy levels – print media really not very effective here; significant power shortage – renders electronic media ineffective; local advertising, cost effective vis-à-vis broadcast based regional or national media; being localised – drives traffic to OOH advertising. OOH can strategically leverage radio as a medium.”
Indrajit Sen, Country Head & CEO, Stroer OOH Media India, pointed out, “The key driver has been billboards – hoardings. Other formats grew, but did not impact to the extent it was expected to. For example, airports and other transit media did not sell as well as it could have, on an aggregate. Individually, Bangalore has been full from the day it started. But then, the buses in Pune or Bangalore didn’t take off as well as it was expected nor did the other airports. Bus shelters are mostly in execution stages and will come into the market mainly next year.”
Farid Kureshi, CEO, VIA OOH Media, noted, “The key drivers include privatisation of airports, BOT based street furniture, digital platforms – all three have and will contribute to near international class fabrication and products, transparency in business and better ROIs to clients. The biggest driver, though, for the industry will be research, which sadly is still not here.”
Nobody is talking economic slowdown yet. Only the coming year will reveal how much of the OOH industry’s expectations would be met.