Bring in young blood to revolutionise OOH industry

The notion that outdoor is 'a spot selling business' has discouraged talent from entering the industry. We speak to experts to understand the scope of this larger-than-life media vehicle

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Aug 14, 2013 7:59 AM
Bring in young blood to revolutionise OOH industry

David Ogilvy once said, “Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.”

Today, advertising business is driven by young minds. Over the last one decade, advertising as an industry has gained a lot of attention in India. Career opportunities in the field are vast but there are various areas that are yet to be explored. Outdoor advertising is one such lesser explored option by the youth.

“Many veterans of this domain are basically running family businesses. These have a different work culture altogether. Another reason is that outdoor advertising is considered to be ‘a spot selling businesses’ and remains to be less glamorous as compared to other media domains,” said Atul Shrivastava, Chief Operating Officer, Laqshya Group.

In India, outdoor advertising industry is fragmented in nature. For many brands, it is just another recall medium. However, in reality OOH can be magical for creating brand impressions. OOH advertising globally is an established medium of communication. Additionally, consolidation has helped businesses flourish, allowing brand campaigns to be aesthetically represented.

“Given the fact that outdoor advertising is a much more acceptable, specialised art in the West, India has a lot to learn from these markets. Bringing in best of the best talent on board is what India should focus on when it comes to giving outdoor advertising a boost,” said Sunder Hemrajani, Managing Director, Times OOH.

Experts reveal that they are increasingly hiring talent from outside the industry. Many established agencies and media owners are looking to rope in management specialist. Also, internally, these professional set-ups are conducting talent enhancement programmes too.

According Nabendu Bhattacharyya, Founder and Managing Director, Milestone Brandcom, the industry needs to be proactive in this area. He observed, “It is not the enthusiasm that is lacking, but rather the lack of proper knowledge about the industry and its ups and downs. The industry leaders need to initiate in depth campus interviews and informational sessions across all leading colleges. This will not only help educate the youth about the importance of OOH, but also prove how vital OOH is as a media channel for delivering impact. This fresh young talent is extremely important for the positive growth of the industry, and their interest can only be sparked once they are educated about the various opportunities they can explore in the field.” 

“I think human resource management is another aspect that is overlooked by most agencies. We need to maximise the potential within every employee, large or small, and encourage them to deliver their personal best. It is only with a combined effort that it will be possible for the organisation and the employees to sustain themselves towards a stronger future,” he added. 

So what is the need of the hour for the outdoor industry? How can it bring the right talent on board? exchange4media takes a look...

Creative geniuses need to be discovered
Indian outdoor advertising is yet to discover masterminds who know the best creative fit for brands in this space. The best outdoor campaign often comes from a mainline agency or is an inspired one. There are a handful of specialised outdoor agencies who are investing in bringing creative talents in their system. The game will change when agencies as well as brands take the dynamics of the medium seriously.

Time to bring in innovators
Outdoor advertising work today is mainly static in nature. Though there are some that have created impressions even at global forums, we are yet to integrate art and technology in an innovative way.

Strategist can do wonders
The best of OOH creative work cannot stand out if not placed at the right location. Globally, there are professionals who only strategise and brainstorm the best outdoor maps for a brand. These strategists also support the role of business development at many agencies. The Indian outdoor industry should look beyond the traditional business practices and offer specialised services by bringing talent that will add global flavour to their work.

Visualisers have great scope
Creative thought is an integral part of an outdoor advertising process. Campaigns are born out of imaginations. A visualiser is responsible to think out-of-the-box ideas. It is the visualiser who knows what idea will be apt for which media format and how. In India, visualisers in the mainline agencies are usually the ones who replicate creative ideas for different media formats. It is essential that specialised outdoor agencies understand the art of visualising and rope in professionals who give their campaign the creative advantage.

The future of outdoor advertising is bright. As the market gets organised, opportunities in business will also blossom. Various stakeholders of the Indian outdoor industry look forward to coming together to bring efficient systems in place. Hopefully, young talent will understand the potential of this business. Every branding opportunity here is a blank canvas and new talent can strike some unusual, yet strategic magic.

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