Outreach Advertising, a leading full circle OOH service provider in North East India, has bagged a 15-year contract from the Jorhat Municipal Board to uplift the outdoor advertisement market by advertising through unipoles, gantries and traffic signals, which also includes the only FOB (foot over bridge) in the busy upper Assam town, which is only next to Guwahati in the state.
Speaking to exchange4media, Sunit Jain, Managing Director, Outreach Advertising, said, “This is a very significant development and very much a part of our strategy to significantly increase our footprint in the robustly growing North Eastern market. This will be the first occasion that the region will experience unipoles.”
Speaking further on the contract, Jain said that that it was a public-private partnership and would involve an initial investment of Rs 2 crore over the next six months. The agency is expecting to break even in the next 4-5 years.
He added that no formal pitch preceded this win. Outreach had won the outdoor advertising business involving 16 traffic signals in Guwahati in 2010. Following the successful execution of the outdoor ads, the agency got a formal invitation from the Jorhat Municipal Board in July 2011 and subsequently was awarded the contract.
Throwing light on the outdoor advertising industry in Assam, Jain said that it was largely unorganised. “No collective identity exists. While the print and broadcast mediums have industry bodies that regulate and set guidelines for the growth of those industries, the outdoor industry does not have any such body,” he remarked. Moreover, there were infrastructure problems that posed challenges, such as power cuts. He further informed that there were 25-30 outdoor media agencies in Assam. Selvel was the largest of these agencies and had been present in Assam for 35-40 years.
In such a market, Outreach has been charting its growth path. Set up in May 2009, the agency reported billings of Rs 3 crore in the previous fiscal. It is now looking to expand to other states in the North East, such as Nagaland and Tripura. Outreach has some media properties in Shillong, Meghalaya.
According to Jain, the agency’s strength lay in the innovative outdoor solutions provided to its clients, what he called, “new age”. Outreach has done some innovative work in the ambient branding space for Café Coffee Day outlets in Guwahati. There are some innovations lined up for two upcoming multiplexes in Guwahati – Fun Cinemas and Cinemax. In 2011, Outreach introduced Pedal-Ads, which are tri-cycles driven by promoters to take the display to the clients’ audiences.