Delhi state polls: Rs 75-100 crore campaigning spends to go into OOH

BJP and AAP have been aggressive in OOH, and Congress too is expected to spend heavily on the platform for the upcoming state assembly elections, say experts

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Nov 4, 2019 8:50 AM



In the run up to the state assembly elections in Delhi early next year, the OOH business is expected to see campaigning spends to the tune of Rs 75 crore to Rs 100 crore, say industry experts.
OOH has been a strong tool for political parties to reach out to voters in state elections, thanks to its location-based targeting capacities. Like other industries, OOH had also taken a beating due to the slowdown and experts believe the Delhi elections will help the sector make some recovery.

According to Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO, Laqshya Media Group, “It is a great opportunity for the industry as it will help us gain momentum. Political spending will be heavy by all parties. BJP and AAP are anyway aggressive in this medium and we are hoping in this election Congress too will be ambitious and spend heavily on the platform.”

The EY-FICCI 2019 Media & Entertainment report said the Indian OOH industry grew by 8.8 per cent in FY 2018-19, taking the industry size to Rs 37.3 billion.

Fuelled by political spends, the growth in the OOH industry is expected to touch around 10 per cent before the elections. As it turns out, Rs 400 crore was spent on OOH during the Lok Sabha elections and according to media experts the state elections will see at least Rs 75 crore to Rs 100 crore if parties with deep pockets decide to go all out.

Of the total estimated spends, the BJP will be contributing 35 per cent to 40 per cent, said media buyers.

Although the elections are almost 3 months away, OOH campaigning by political parties has started to gain momentum. “At Laqshya Media group, we are all geared up to serve political parties with new age requirements. With our new measurement tool SHARP and geo-tagged inventory across multiple cities, we can actually give a comprehensive research-based hyper local OOH plan. With the help of Machine Learning, we can help political parties hit the right chord for the target group,” said Srivastava.

Anup Sharma, an independent political campaign strategist and mentor at The Lentils Institute, told us that the BJP is one of the biggest spenders and AAP is also not leaving any stone unturned in terms of advertisements.

“After the massive win in the 2019 general elections, BJP knows the power of integrated marketing communications. Nowadays, elections are fought on mobile phones. People have got used to digital technology and the exposure has been beyond traditional media, which includes newspaper and TV. In the last five years, BJP has gone for digital integrated marketing communication, and they have used it extensively since it is how the response rates for a message goes up when an increasing number of people get exposed to different touch points,” Sharma said.

Why is OOH so effective during state elections?

According to Sharma, since people are always on the move political parties make use of all OOH platforms - be it traditional billboards, transit vehicles, metro services, government offices, hospitals, etc.

The present government in Delhi has made it first move by already going all out on OOH. The party is aggressively using the medium to popularise their schemes.
Is AAP hitting the right chords on the advertising front?

“AAP has understood that outdoor advertising acts like a force-multiplier in political messaging,” says Sharma.

Nishi Kant Thakur, former Chief General Manager, printer & publisher and Resident Editor at Dainik Jagran, agreed with Sharma. “It will be a triangular fight during this season and all three parties are set to bring their A-game to the table. BJP has understood the advertising scenario in order to woo the voters and will try to set the bar higher with their road shows, campaigns, etc. AAP has started their political campaign with ‘Dilli mein toh Kejriwal’ and is already winning hearts with their on-ground campaigns. Congress will be aggressive too, this election season.”

When asked AAP about their strategy for the assembly elections, party spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “We want to create a positive narrative around governance. We don’t want any negative narrative from any party. People will vote on the basis of local issues. All our campaigns are generally government campaigns with few being party campaigns.”

“Our government campaign against dengue clicked with a lot of Bollywood celebrities and cricketers. It was a hit among the people, and a lot of school kids and residents came forward in support of the campaign,” Bharadwaj added.

Right from the ‘Farishta’ campaign to AAP’s aggressive hoardings, the party trusts outdoor advertising as compared to other mediums, he said.

It remains to be seen how big OOH emerges as a winner in this election battlefield.

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