On the back of a great 2014, the OOH sector is hoping to build on its success in the coming year too. With political stability in the centre and certain sectors like automobile and telecom once again ready to spend, agencies are expecting ad spends to increase even further this year.
However, there are still some hiccups with traditional spenders like retail and real estate.
Sanjeev Gupta, MD of Global Advertisers, says there is enough existing, ready to sell real estate stock to last two years. This coupled with liquidity crunch and high lending rates have made the going tough for the real estate sector, he claims.
“These factors are at work across all important sectors like retail, manufacturing, jewellery and apparel, electronics and banking. One expects these conditions to prevail for the better part of next year. The most important response from the advertising industry to these challenges has been a willingness to craft campaigns that are shorter, cost-friendly and also make concessions in bill settlement schedules for clients,” he opined.
Others like Blue Ocean Media MD Rajiv Saxena feels that real estate and government spends will be better this year and contribute to an improvement in the ad spend scenario, though he agrees that things will be much clearer by the end of March.
“As I see, 2015 will continue to bring in & also accelerate the growth in the OOH industry as a whole. More importantly, the thing that encourages me is that all the four major stake holders in the business, viz. clients, agencies, media owners and regulatory authorities have started to understand and appreciate the efficacy of the medium as also that standard processes and protocols are required and concrete steps are being taken to bring in core changes in the way this business is structured and run,” said Kaushik Chakravorty, Co-founder and Director of Street Talk.
Both Gupta and Hiyav Bajaj, MD of TDI, expect the OOH sector to grow in the range of 10-15 per cent in 2015. Saxena also said that ad spends on OOH are expected to be better than 2014.
“We expect all time better growth in the OOH Industry in 2015. Industry would forge better unity and consolidation will happen amongst the players with larger stakes. IOAA, which was started possibly as an experiment, seems to be growing roots and and may play larger role for bringing about the credibility and discipline within the industry,” said Atul Shrivastava, COO of Laqshya Media.
Others, meanwhile, feel that technological advancements and exploration of new avenues for advertising will increase in 2015 and this will prove critical for the OOH sector.
“Digitization of the OOH media in India has been long overdue. We expect that 2015 would see the necessary technological upgrades to the OOH display units. Since the key focus is on audience interaction, such digital upgrades can take it to whole new levels. I believe the integration between online advertising and OOH is here to stay. If the necessary upgrades of the OOH displays are completed, we can see OOH displays and audience mobiles becoming the top devices for brands to reach consumers,” said Bajaj.
Pointing out that new age consumers are adapting quickly to new technologies, Haresh Nayak, Regional Director, Posterscope Asia Pacific & MD of Posterscope Group India, said that there was a need for integration and innovation across traditional and new media. “Media companies today have no choice but to provide more touch points to engage with audiences. Therefore, I have high expectations from 2015 which would be fast paced, will see opening of new avenues and a lot of action,” he said.
Chakravorty also agreed that media, placed in non-traditional but OOH environments while being digitally enabled could become significant. “I also believe that some significant independent but inter-dependent business networks as well as business offerings will emerge, and while technology will pay a significant part in this, what will be game-changing is that more and more competitors will become co-creators of specific consumer centric and client friendly solutions,” he said.