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Out of home is not a medium – it's different: Steve Ridley

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Out of home is not a medium – it's different: Steve Ridley

“Out of home is not a medium – it’s different. And we have to nurture and work on it in a very different way. This is something that is not being done around the world,” this was the observation of Steve Ridley, Global CEO, Kinetic Media. Speaking about the Indian market and its potential, he said, “India runs the world; it’s just that the world doesn’t know it yet!”

Drawing an analogy with the Oscar winning movie ‘It’s a wonderful Life’, Ridley noted that in many ways OOH essentially followed the tenets of that very movie – it is all about life, people and choices that people make. According to him, to be successful, one had to come out of the herd mentality and do something different. “The essence of successfully leveraging on OOH media is to break out of the pre-conceived idea of OOH,” he stressed.

The problem with OOH, he said, was that it had not changed much from circa 1950’s paradigm. There had to be substantial and serious research in the times to come to help OOH grow further. The need of the hour was to move with time, as this was the age of digital, online and iPads.

“OOH has to be consumer centric and not media centric, with unique communications, pathways and unique value propositions,” he pointed out.

Speaking about mobile, he said, “Mobile is going to be one of the biggest things in the advertising world in times to come, and the OOH experience can be extended to mobile to create more engagement.”

According to Ridley, “OOH consists of all forms of paid for media and any communication vehicle that can fall outside of home environment. OOH opportunity exists in every destination that is not home environment. Lastly, OOH encompasses all technology that can independently function outside of home environment.”

Meanwhile, Sunder Hemrajani, MD, Times OOH, said, “The recent meltdown was good and important for the industry… It was like baptism in fire. The meltdown helped give an unrelenting focus on customer value, customer engagement and for some clients, customer experience.”

He further said that the learning curve in the OOH segment was steep and was a high growth segment. The question, however, remains as to which and what model should India follow? With constantly changing demographics and landscape, the job is all the more complex.

Steve Ridley made these observations while delivering the keynote address on ‘Global Outlook for OOH Media 2011’ at the OOH 2011 Conference on Outdoor Advertising and Digital Signage, held on February 25, in New Delhi. Sunder Hemrajani, MD, Times OOH, chaired the session. exchange4media partnered with network2media for the OOH 2011 Conference.

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