Despite floods, Kerala OOH industry hopeful of good festive season

Hope comes from the fact that flood has majorly affected northern districts such as Wayanad, Malapuram, Kozhikode and Kannur, which comprise only about 25-30% of the OOH business

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Aug 13, 2019 8:59 AM



For the second year in a row, flood is creating havoc in Kerala. According to reports, heavy rains have claimed 85 lives and displaced around 2.5 lakh people. Sadly, the tragedy struck while the state was still trying to attain normalcy after the floods of 2018. Last year too, the floods occurred during the Onam festive season and created adverse effect on the industries and businesses in the state.  However, despite the rain playing the spoilsport yet again this year, the OOH industry in Kerala is pinning its hopes on the festive season.

As Onam marks the beginning of the festive season in the country, it is the time when the marketing focus of both national and regional brands shifts to Kerala. The OOH industry in the state has a turnover of almost Rs 350-400 crore per year, of which Onam season alone accounts 45 per cent. Industry experts say the festive season looks bright and the floods haven’t have much effect on the OOH sector in Kerala. One major reason for this is that the flood this year has majorly affected the northern districts such as Wayanad, Malapuram, Kozhikode, and Kannur, which comprise only about 25-30 per cent of the OOH business in the state. The havoc caused by the rain in the central and southern Kerala areas, which comprise about 70-75 per cent of the business, is less. 

“The heavy rain has not affected the industry as of now, and hopefully, we will have a better Onam as compared to last year,” hopes M Chithra Prakash, Managing Partner, Chitra Painters.

Prakash says the business in the districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Malapuram is affected due to the rains, but the loss has been balanced out in the central and southern Kerala. He adds that unlike last year, none of the clients has cancelled orders, and so he hopes to have a better Onam this year.

The industry was hoping a 5-20 per cent growth this festive season as compared to the last year.

Hariprasad Menon, Managing Partner, Hillari OOH Media, is also positive about the performance of OOH industry during this festive season.

“As of now, the OOH industry has not incurred heavy losses due to rains. Inventory losses have been reported in the northern Kerala that has more regional brands as clients. If the same situation persists, there will be a revenue growth of 15-20 per cent this year,” adds Menon.

“The Kerala OOH industry will witness a growth between 10 and 20 per cent during Onam,” said Biju Babu, a veteran in the OOH industry.

He continues, “Despite heavy rains hampering the festive spirit, we are pinning our hopes on this year’s Onam. New bookings are happening and no cancellation, like last year, has happened by far.”

Haresh Nayak, Managing Director, Posterscope India, however, feels that the downpour will have adverse effect on the Kerala OOH industry.

“I believe that the Kerala floods will have a huge impact on the OOH industry as the physical structures and inventories will get damaged in the downpour. Generally, clients stay away from crisis like these due to sentimental elements. The floods will have a negative impact on the industry like last year,” adds Nayak.

According to Jayakumar N, Branch Director, Maitri Advertising, “If the weather condition of the state continues to be the same, the OOH industry will not face issues like last year. But, there has been forecast of downpour in the coming days and that may have a negative impact on the industry.”

In 2018, Kerala OOH industry was one of the widely affected industries in the state because of the floods.  According to industry experts, the OOH industry in Kerala incurred a loss of almost Rs 60 crore just during the months of July-August in 2018. The industry suffered heavy losses due to the destruction of ad inventories and infrastructures across the state.

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