The torrential rains are significantly dampening the OOH business in the country. Atul Shrivastava, Chief Operating Officer, Laqshya Media stated, “Traditionally, monsoon is not a good time for outdoor advertising, primarily because clients feel that the visibility of the medium gets hampered. Climatic conditions such as wind pressure cause damage to flexes, more than the normal weather.”
Mandeep Malhotra, President and Head, DDBMudra Max said, “I think the outdoor business in Mumbai has reduced a little bit, but other parts of the country are doing decent. There is a bit of sluggishness in the market (Mumbai), but nationally 6.4 per cent projected growth seems in sight.”
Having said this, it can be noticed that many outdoor players are looking at smarter out of home media options and are interestingly banking on the retail space. This has been welcomed by advertisers as well, with retail space garnering a lot of attention lately. Many brands are seen experimenting with on-ground and ambient advertising too.
Commenting on this Abhijit Sengupta, Chief Executive Officer, Outdoor Advertising Professionals said, “Traditional roadside outdoor hasn't fetched more revenue compared to last year, but our non-roadside outdoor has tripled and the demand is increasing with each brief. I think one cannot much do if the client doesn't want to spend during this time. But one can strategically shift the focus to media which would work and be believed in.”
So what are agencies busy doing during the rainy days?
Agencies are working smartly for the pitching for the coming festive season. Rajiv Saxena, Managing Director, Blue Ocean shared, “Monsoon is a good time to align to business needs and internal think tank to brainstorm on way forward.”
Sengupta has a similar view. “The focus is now to increase new business development and tackle sales pressure. Conversions are bound to be lower during this period. Therefore, increase the pipeline by two or three times. We have a very direct approach, that of reaching out to advertisers directly instead of tagging along or falling back on creative agency or mainline media agency team. So that helps,” said Sengupta.
Is the business looking better than last year?
The business expectations are as speculative as always. But agencies are hoping that it would be better that last year. It might differ from sector to sector, but overall the sentiment is low. High rate of outdoor medium, especially at key locations is one of the reasons why brands are spending low in the outdoor landscape. This is the reason why brands are cutting the duration of their outdoor campaign.
Looking at the current market scenario, various brand categories, as a strategic move, planned on keeping a low spend for the first half of the year. They are gearing to unveil a marketing burst during the festive season. Out of home, as a communication segment, too will brighten up during this season. Though, the situation this year might look a little less shiny, industry experts believe there are good avenues to explore. We look forward to what brands and agencies will bring to the outdoor landscape in the days to come.