The festive season that stretches from October to January, sees a marked spike in spends on OOH advertising. In fact, even a lean season is offset by the business generated by OOH during this time. However, the agencies that exchange4media spoke to, admit the celebrations have been off to a rather slow start this year.
Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director, Global Advertisers said enquiries are just about trickling in. “The last three months have been bad for various reasons. It is only over the recent days that we have had some enquiries,” he said, sounding hopeful about the pace picking up soon.
Atul Srivastava, COO of Laqshya Media also said that business has been improving the last few days. The key drivers this time around have been e-commerce and real estate, he opined. “Media & entertainment, consumer electronics and automobile have also been supportive this year as well,” he added.
One reason for the slow start in Mumbai, says Gupta, could be the Maharashtra State Assembly elections that will be held later this year. He opined, brands may be playing a wait and watch game similar to what we had seen during the Lok Sabha elections this year and the Delhi Assembly elections last year. However, the fact remains, no brand can afford to lose out on the festive opportunity.
Sunder Hemrajani, Managing Director, Times Innovative Media says brands had been conserving finances in Q1’14. “With the slow start the skew will now definitely be upwards. There have been enquiries from consumer durables, automobile and real estate sectors. Companies have realised that they cannot miss the festive season, and we expect the business to pick up,” he said.
Rajiv Saxena, Managing Director, Blue Ocean Media said that despite a feel good vibe in the market, advertising budgets for the festive season are yet to be finalised. “Normally, media planning starts by August and picks up by October. This year, the activity has not been on the same scale, but it will definitely pick up by the end of September,” he said. According to him, this festive season is touted to be much better than last year, even though queries have been slow to come in. “Usually, the festive season lasts till January, but I see it lasting till February or even March, because of the all-round optimism in the market,” he said.
Even Srivastava was of the opinion that spends on OOH advertising will be “one of the highest” this festive season. “Retail and E-commerce will have to fight for their share in metro and mini- metros. Automobile will also emerge as one of the largest spending category this season. Airports will witness very high occupancy,” he said.