Faced by drop in sale of OOH inventories in the first half of 2012 and sites remaining vacant for longer periods despite introduction of new schemes, the outdoor advertising industry was plagued by uncertainty in 2012. The situation has reversed in 2013, with industry experts more positive about the growth prospects.
According to various media reports, improvement in performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors is expected to push the economic growth rate to 6.4 per cent in 2013-14 from 5 per cent in the previous fiscal. Economic growth rate had slipped to decade’s low of 5 per cent in 2012-13 mainly on account of the impact of global financial woes.
According to Sunder Hemrajani, Managing Director, Times OOH, “With some positive hopes coming from the economy, business is showing confidence this year. Last year, the industry was uncertain as to where it was headed.”
Auto continues to ‘drive’ positive growth, BSFI ‘investing’ too
Experts are of the opinion that the drop in sales and volume in the automobiles sector is temporary and that the media spends will not be compromised, in fact, it is likely to increase. Market is aggressive and with various new launches in the two-wheeler, four-wheeler and luxury categories, auto makers are likely to boost campaign initiatives. Players are expected to get aggressive on advertising front as the market gets more crowded.
Atul Shrivastava, Chief Operating Officer, Laqshya Media felt, “The automobile sector is still the dominant spender nationally. Real estate leads at local level, but automobile sector is the biggest consumer of the OOH medium. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector has also spent much higher this year, as compared to Q1 of last year.”
Mushrooming of ‘specialised’ divisions
Meanwhile, in keeping with the paradigm shift in the way OOH media is influencing consumers, many players have started giving specialised offers to brands today.
In a recent development, Posterscope India Group launched a dedicated ambient OOH practice based on scientific knowledge and best practices, called Ambient OOH.
Global Advertisers, too, started new business offerings. Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director, Global Advertisers shared, “Recently, the new policy of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail has shown promising growth for the outdoor advertising industry. Keeping the advertisers and consumer in mind, we have launched customised packages for each industry, offering them easy payment options, value addition services via our digital marketing team, public relations services and many other more value addition packages. We have got huge response for these schemes.”
Good ‘hopes’ from H2
Looking at the market scenario of the last two years, as a strategic move, various brand categories have been keeping their spends low spend during the first half of the year. The business picks up during festival season in the second half of the year. Gupta noted, “The second half of the year always brings a smile on our face as it is filled with festivals. After monsoon, all the industries become active, therefore, we have a lot of expectations from the next half.”
If the industry builds on this momentum, makes strategic investments and stays committed to improving trade practices, we could definitely see some great work in the Indian outdoor landscape in the coming weeks.