The Delhi Metro. It is the new pride of the National Capital. According to some, it can hold its own against the best in the world. And with the recent opening of underground line 2, connecting the heart of Delhi – Connaught Place – with Kashmere Gate, the tube is not only a delight for commuters, is also turning out to be a delight for advertisers as a new and effective out-of-home medium. The currently available eyeballs of around 1.2 lakh is all set to burgeon over the coming days.
The Delhi Metro has on offer advertising space on panels inside the sleek, airconditioned coaches and glow-boards at the underground platforms as well as outside. Until last year, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was facing problems in selling advertising space, which could be attributed to the fact that the localities in which it was initially introduced did not provide the kind of passenger profile that an advertiser would look for. With the opening of the CP line, the metro runs through some of Delhi’s best localities.
The current list of advertisers includes Yamaha Motors, Titan Fastrack, SAIL, HSBC, Hindustan Times, Punjab National Bank, and Career Launcher, among others.
Anuj Dayal, spokesperson of DMRC, is optimistic about the prospects of the Metro as a great platform for advertising. “Until now, advertisers had been assessing the profile of the passengers who were traveling and, therefore, we did not see so much of activity. But with a passenger profile that spreads across all classes, this medium is going to be a big attraction for advertisers. It was an uncertain market to begin with, but now it is stabilising and soon it will become really huge.”
DMRC expects ad revenues of around Rs 5 crore per year. It has sold advertising space to concessionaires by floating a tender, giving them all the advertising rights of stations.
Said Dayal, “We have entered into contracts with buying agencies like TDI International India and Clear Channel for advertising space inside stations. For ad space inside the coaches, we have sold space to EG Communications. The period of the contracts vary from one agency to the other, but we plan to end all the contracts together so that we can increase the rates at the same time.”
TDI International Vice-President, Business Development, B S Kamra is upbeat about the “terrific response” that the new underground line has generated. “In the next two months, this medium will emerge as a very strong one for outdoor advertising. The most attractive part about the Metro is the footfalls it is generating, there is no other place in Delhi which will be able to compete with it on this front,” he observed.
TDI is currently handling advertisers like HSBC and Hindustan Times. SpiceJet was likely to come on board soon, he said.
Indrajit Sen, President, Primesite, one of the country’s leading OOH agencies, was of the opinion that any public service transportation provided a healthy source of ad revenue, and the Metro would be no exception.
Primesite is utilising the Delhi Metro for some of its clients like Maruti, Hindustan Times and TVS two-wheelers. Sen said, “Traditionally, transit media has been very successful in delivering messages as they constitute an effective OOH medium as commuters always have time on their hand. Since the passenger load in the Delhi Metro is growing by the day, the potential of this medium is huge.”
Titan’s flagship brand Fastrack is being advertised all over the Metro stations. Elaborating on Titan’s association with the Metro, Manoj Tadepalli, Head-Marketing, Titan Industries, said, “This outdoor medium is extremely effective in places like Singapore and Bangkok because, when people are sitting in trains, they don’t have much to do; so they look at the ads inside the coaches and in stations.”
Like Primesite’s Sen, Tadepalli, too, is of the opinion that it was a value-for-money medium because the reach of this platform was bound to increase in the next few years as almost the entire underbelly of Delhi would be crisscrossed by the Metro.
Yamaha Motors India is another advertiser to have cashed in early on the Metro with its ‘Change the rule’ campaign. Atul Gupta, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Yamaha Motors India, said, “With our campaign in the Metro stations, we are targeting the commuters and offering them a different mode of transport in the form of a motorbike from the Yamaha stable. Hopefully, with the Metro spreading its tentacles all over the city, it will emerge as a far greater force in the outdoor medium.”
With DMRC about to float a tender for the Kashmere Gate-Central Secretariat line, it is the right time for advertisers to get their media planners into action. Where else could one log on to such a vast, captive audience? It has worked in London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, and nearer home, Kolkata. It is Delhi’s turn now.