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DND turns barren: Has economic slowdown hit OOH ?

Around 15 billboards along the flyway are lying vacant

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Sep 19, 2019 9:14 AM

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If you are a regular commuter on the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) flyway, there are all chances that you may have noticed the innovative, high-end, gigantic billboards along the road that once used to add aesthetic to your 9.2-km drive. But the flyway, it seems has fallen victim to the economic slowdown.  Around 15 billboards along DND lay vacant and the flyway has now become barren in terms of advertising.  

We spoke to industry experts to find out what could have led to this scenario. Is it the pricing, or has brands stopped showing interest?

According to Charanjeet Singh Arora, Co-CEO, Kinetic India, economic slowdown is definitely one of the key reasons for DND to become barren. “Whenever there is a crunch in the budget, advertising is the first one to get neglected. And with DND, a lot of brands do not want to invest because people generally cross it in speed and fail to notice the advertisements,” he explains.

Anant Sharma from Naksh Creators, that has the account of DND, says, “Economic slowdown and the policies of the SDMC are the major reasons for these vacant billboards. They don’t allow big size hoardings and rates are quite high.”

“There is always a shift in terms of brands. Earlier, I used to see telecom brands such as Airtel, Idea and Vodafone advertising aggressively here. Then came OLX, Flipkart and the likes. Nowadays, automobile advertisers have drastically stopped using OOH,” Sharma shares.

Pramod Bhandula, Managing Director, JCDecaux, however, believes that it is not necessarily economic slowdown that has impacted advertising on DND.

“It will pick pace in the coming times. DND flyway has majority of tactical brands and has become the only hotspot for OOH advertising that boasts of large formats and 3D cut-outs,” he argues.

Adding further, he says, “For instance, Samsung is placed here since they have the world’s largest manufacturing unit in Greater Noida and DND is a gateway for them. Most of the Noida/Greater Noida real estate projects have their presence on DND. It’s also a must-have for major automobile launches.”

A senior SDMC officer also told us that the lull cannot be correlated to the economic slowdown. “Brands need to be encouraged to invest more money on Out of Home, and in this case, municipality should take the lead. There is no point in brands directly interacting with the firms. They should come to us first for a better exposure,” says the official.

However, independent consultant Indrajit Sen is of the opinion that in times of slowing down sales, it is logical to only advertise more as well as to expect innovative sales schemes to be announced.

“However, if the conditions are so hostile that pricing or offers will not make any difference, then of course brands will opt to cut costs till an entire policy revamp can happen to create new opportunities. There is also a lull just before the festive season bursts are unveiled. Hopefully, it is just the latter in case of DND.”

“Vacancy could also be caused by changes in terms of offering by concessionaire or landlords. A sudden large increase in rates is always a deterrent and invariably raises customer resistance to bear additional cost - especially if sales are anyway not showing encouraging trends.”

 

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