The Indian out-of-home (OOH) industry seems to be on a high growth trajectory, with all the players involved in this space bullish about it. Presenting an overview on the OOH industry in the country at the Outdoor Adverting Convention (OAC) 2007, Smita Jha, Principal Consultant, Entertainment and Media Practice, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, observed that the recent report from the organisation also supported this growth curve of the industry.
Giving an advertiser’s perspective on OOH, Ajay Kakar, Head of Branding, Reliance Capital, pointed out that Reliance Capital has rarely allocated less than 20 per cent on OOH in any of their campaigns. Talking on the topic, ‘Out of Home: Out of Mind or Top of Mind’, he observed that the brand has already become a part of the media plans for many brands. Calling for accountability in the medium, he said, “We are investing heavily on this medium through gut feeling and sheer bullishness, in spite of not having much accountability.”
Going further with the sessions, Sita Lakshmi Narayanswami, Network Marketing Head, Zee Network, stressed on how outdoor advertising is like thinking out-of-the-box. Presenting on the topic, ‘Relevance of OOH: Beyond Hoardings’, she said, “We need to look beyond the traditional way of our consumer as the objectives need to be redefined.” While concluding her presentation, Narayanswami quoted, “The essential difference between emotion and reason is emotion leads to action and reason to conclusion.”
Ravi Kiran, CEO, South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, presenting the session ‘Creative Outdoor Media Planning in the Indian Context -- Opportunities and Challenges’ kickstarted his session by questioning the Indian context of outdoor. He said that when he queried others on this, he only received complaints and allegations in return. He said, “Is the objective of outdoor advertising of only getting notice and attracting attention? Is that what the clients hire creatives for? No, they hire to get business and achieve their goals of sales.” Kiran presented four objectives of insight, strategy, idea and activation. Reasoning out the challenges, Kiran stressed that today the right creativity and the cost effectiveness where one will achieve through a medium is none other than outdoor.
The pre-lunch session ended with ‘Increasing Out-of-Home Share -- What the Industry Needs’ presented by AP Parigi, MD and CEO, Entertainment Network (India) Limited. Agreeing on the facts presented by Kiran, Parigi focussed his session on how in the next three years, OOH as an industry will be seen as one of the largest industries attracting good talent. He commented, “Outdoor advertising has been striking its target audience through its advertising strategy. It reaches its consumer in the right way – be it outside, roadside and inside, above or below ground – it’s always on a move. It is everywhere.” He voiced that today the industry need to support standardisation and infrastructure. He said, “It’s time to usher in change -- changes in policy, technological innovation, and research measurement.”
(With inputs from Tasneem Limbdiwala)