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The challenges for the OOH industry have only multiplied, say experts

01-April-2016
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The challenges for the OOH industry have only multiplied, say experts

At the exchange4media’s NEONS OOH Conference and Awards, the audience witnessed an enthralling panel discussion on the topic: Vision 2020: Looking forward or stuck 20 years back. Suresh Balakrishna, CEO South Asia and Middle East at Kinetic Worldwide moderated the panel discussion which included names like Dr. Sarandeep Singh, CEO & Master Trainer at Out of the Box Leadership program, Minali Shah, Head Marketing at Abbott India, Puneet Anand, GM & Group Head- Marketing at Hyundai Motor India Ltd, Arghya Chakravarty, CEO at TIMES OOH, Deepak Kapoor, Director at Gulshan Homz and Anup Jain, COO/CMO/Mentor and Angel Investor.

The OOH theme for this year was "The BIGGER Picture" and it referred to a keen understanding of where ‘Out of Home’ fits into the “the big picture” of media. Moreover, while the world over, the OOH medium embraces digital, in India it still is only 10% of the universe. In such a scenario isn’t OOH still ill equipped to embrace creatively the real power of the digital integration? While the world is pegging a 2020 vision India OOH is still stuck 20 years back?

“COFI is the way I’d say the OOH industry would develop in the next few years to come. COFI is an acronym where ‘C’ stands for ‘Connected Consumer’, which if the industry has to grow, it needs to understand that it is necessary to relate to the consumer; ‘F’ stands for ‘Format’ which basically means the traditional and digital format and ‘I’ stands for ‘Impact,” pointed Shah.

While Kapoor said, “OOH is a platform to register yourselves in the minds of the consumers. To create a visibility, OOH becomes a wonderful platform and that is why most of the real estate companies are using it. This medium will definitely grow exponentially in the coming years.” He further added, “We have observed that with India being the second largest consumer of smartphones, people do not spare time to observe anything around them and are completely glued to their mobile screens. Hence it is important to bring OOH to mobile as future lies in the digital.”

Stressing how OOH was inherently different from other industries, Chakravarty stated, “OOH industry needs to be deconstructed a little from the ambient and the non ambient media. Plus, I think it will be unwise for us to think that if we are not able to integrate mobile with OOH space, we will not get where we aim to be. But the fact of the matter remains that most part of OOH industry will remain outside and which, because of certain regulation issues, we cannot digitize as some foreign countries can. We are working with the government to make these regulations OOH friendly.”

In his remarks on the issue, Jain indicated, “There is something about digital which is making it jump higher in the advertisers mind vs. OOH. The industry needs to invest in a syndicated third party measurement system; the second stakeholders are the agencies that convince the clients to make the investment and they need to make case studies and share those with the clients as delivered instances work better as people want numbers and market shares.” He also added that consumers are rejecting passive advertising so it is important to create something interactive and not passive.

 Singh spoke about disruptive advertising and said that the customers are willing to listen and experiment and the industry needs to act now. He also added that there are three principles governing the OOH industry today, and those are “fear,” “envy” and “greed.” “But the vision 2020 needs to be to convert that fear into courage and say that this is what the client needs and how we intend to reach it by thinking differently.”

Tribes was the principal sponsor for the event, other sponsors and partners of OOH Conference and Neon Awards 2016 included: Laqshya Solutions, Orienta Cine Advertising Pvt. Ltd, Times OOH, Midas Group, Global Advertisers, Amarujala Outdoors, Prachar Outdoor Advertising (Co-sponsor), NewsD (Mobile News Partner) and 24 Frames Digital (Live Webcast Partner).

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