Campaigns that revived OOH in the year of the pandemic

Looking at some of the biggest OOH campaigns of 2020 that reiterated brands' trust in the billboard medium

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Jan 5, 2021 8:52 AM  | 4 min read
ooh campaigns 2020

The OOH industry took a hit in 2020 due to reduced footfalls brought on by the COVID-19 lockdown. Roads were left vacant in the initial months from March to June’20. This led to zero visibility and zero filings for the OOH sector in Q1. However, as the lockdown eased out, brands who recognized the potency of OOH in their media plan were back spending on the billboard medium. In a bid to revive the sector, some OOH owners had even offered a 30% discount.

From OTT to FMCG from Automobiles to Retail, here are some of the noteworthy OOH campaigns of 2020 that against all odds began spending on OOH.

ZEEL’s #13thJulykiTayyari

ZEEL and Laqshya Media Group conceptualized an OOH teaser campaign in July 2020. The intent behind the campaign sparked a lot of curiosity on social media due to the tagline #13JulyKiTayyari. The motive was to create awareness about ZEEL’s new content roster by partnering with leading CPG brands like Nestle Maggi, Amul Lassi, PepsiCo, Red Label, Cadbury Dairy Milk and ITC Dark Fantasy

Mondelez India #KhanGayiCadbury

In keeping with the trend of piquing consumer curiosity, Modelez India conceptualised #KahanGayiCadbury to launch their new Cadbury Chocobakes Choc Layered Cakes. The campaign successfully integrated OOH with digital to instil better brand recognition. The 360-degree campaign featured Cadbury bars without the logo on billboards and social media, with the question: #KahanGayiCadbury. The campaign, which even roped in celebs, piqued interest amongst consumers.

Skechers D’lites flex

The global sports and lifestyle brand executed an iconic campaign in November 2020 with Street Talk. The campaign, in line with the tagline #OriginalsKeepMoving, aimed to set an example as they teamed up with three professional female mountaineers for an OOH activity in Mumbai.

The female athletes executed a herculean task of installing the Skechers D’lites flex over a billboard at a prominent location in Mahim Garden, Mumbai. They scaled a height of 35 feet, carrying a 70-pound flex, and draping it across an 800 sq. ft canvas.


The festive season was a welcome respite for consumers and brands alike. To truly celebrate the spirit of festivals, Tanishq, inspired by the theme of ‘Oneness’, executed the special Ekatvam campaign in 10 cities in India. It was launched on the 16th of October and was a part of their 360-degree campaign for the new festive collection. The massive OOH campaign encompassed an area of 1,52,000 sq ft of OOH media to create maximum impact and reach the target audience.


In association with Times OOH, The Max & PHD Media, ŠKODA Auto unveiled their all-new Superb & Karoq at the Mumbai Airport. This campaign was executed when Mumbai airport was witnessing high passenger traffic growth after the unlock. There was an overall increase in passenger confidence along with the rise of premium and business travellers.

By opting for the most premium promotional space at Terminal 2, the brand took a first-mover approach in the category post reinstatement of the market to target the growing premium and business air travellers at T2, Mumbai Airport.

PHD Media & The MAX (Tribes & Mudra Group Venture) has worked closely with the brand to conceptualize the campaign. In the automobile category, much of the buying choice is driven by the technology, precision and features that one has to offer. Hence, the brand chose a promotional space and a versatile location located in the high dwell retail zone - just after the security check catering to 100% departing traffic.

APPL’s first OOH Campaign by Posterscope India

Posterscope’s first campaign for Amalgamated Plantations (P) Ltd (A TATA Enterprise) deserves a special mention. The motive to launch a new product under the franchise ‘Majuli Mist First Flush Roasted Tea’. The OOH campaign was executed in Kolkata with the message: ‘Chumukei Paan, Shohorer Praan’ which translates to ‘Taste Your City In Every Sip’.

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Delhi-Mumbai expressway: A fast-track OOH route for brands  

The 1,386-km long expressway gives brands the benefit of achieving total market coverage and reaching a wider audience in a short span

By Shantanu David | Feb 27, 2023 9:07 AM   |   4 min read


Hailed as India’s landmark infrastructure project, the Delhi-Mumbai expressway seems to have put the OOH sector on fast drive. The longest expressway in India stretches up to 1,386 kilometres and cuts the travel distance between Mumbai and Delhi to 12 hours from the present nearly 24 hours.

The expressway is expected to be completed by January 2024, with work happening at multiple points along its routes. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sohna to Dausa stretch earlier this month, which is likely to reduce the distance from Gurgaon to Jaipur to only two hours.

Brands across the spectrum – travel, food and automotive – are set to go for OOH and DOOH contextual and regional advertising given that it’s easy to catch a viewer’s attention when they’re travelling especially on such a long highway.

Confirming the potential, Tanvi Bosmia, Associate Account Director, Brand Experience, SoCheers, says given the distance, travel time and states it will traverse, the expressway will help brands attain a total market coverage and reach a wider audience within a short span of time.

Mitesh Kothari, Co-founder and CCO, White Rivers Media, is also expecting exponential growth in OOH marketing this year overall as more and more offices have completely reopened and travel has resumed after the long pandemic fear and restrictions.

"With the new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, people are going to feel even more upbeat and motivated to travel for both leisure and work. It’s a golden moment for brands to go strong with strategic OOH advertising and unlock tremendous growth possibilities," he says.

A report by AdEx India predicts a CAGR of 11.5% for the OOH advertising industry in India between 2020 and 2025. Additionally, a Nielsen study showed that OOH advertising can increase brand awareness by up to 54%.

Vikas Kumar Mangla, Founder and CEO, Digital ROI, says that targeted messaging is essential for brands to connect with their intended audience. 

He cited Airtel's DOOH campaign in 2019 targeting truck drivers as an example. In the campaign, digital billboards displayed information about Airtel's mobile data plans, and entertainment options such as movies and songs that truck drivers could stream on their mobile devices.

“Location-based targeting can also help brands maximize their advertising efforts. Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) had previously launched an OOH campaign targeting travelers on their way to hill stations. CCD strategically placed billboards along highways that lead to popular hill stations, such as Shimla and Manali. The billboards displayed messages promoting CCD as a perfect pit-stop for travelers to relax and refresh themselves on their journey,” says Mangla.

The Delhi-Mumbai highway traverses six states - Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra - connecting major cities such as Kota, Indore, Jaipur, Bhopal, Vadodara, and Surat, and is expected to see a high volume of traffic, ranging from business to pleasure excursions.

 “Considering a brand will be seen on every corner of the route this will eventually help in high impact visibility thereby, building better brand awareness and recall,” says Bosmia, adding, “The brands will have to be simple, impactful and catchy. This, indeed, is one of the best opportunities for brands across geographies to capitalize their target audience.”

Satya Satapathy, Founder, Creation Infoways, points out that brands can also utilize dOOH advertising to create more dynamic and personalized experiences for consumers. “By using technologies such as facial recognition or mobile device tracking, they can deliver targeted messages and promotions to individuals based on their demographics, behaviour, or interests. This can be especially effective in attracting local consumers or promoting nearby retail locations,” he says.

For instance, brands can place large billboards, digital displays or even interactive installations along the highway to grab the attention of drivers and passengers. By creating visually compelling and engaging content, they can capture the interest of their target audience and leave a lasting impression.

"The advanced programmatic capabilities also equip DOOH to deliver a more engaging experience. Depending on the brand call, we can analyse and devise the best-suited plan to maximally make use of this opportunity," adds Kothari.

“That being said, it's important for brands to consider the safety and regulatory aspects of OOH/dOOH advertising on highways. They need to ensure that their advertisements don't distract drivers or cause any accidents,” says Satapathy, adding that they also need to comply with local laws and regulations regarding the placement, size, and content of their ads.

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Laqshya Media Group forays into UAE & Gulf

Elie Hankash is the head of its Dubai office

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 20, 2023 2:44 PM   |   2 min read

Elie Hankash

Laqshya Media Group (LMG), a leading  communications group in India, strengthens its presence in the UAE and Gulf region with the expansion of its agency business and the appointment of Elie Hankash as Head of its Dubai office. This move marks a significant milestone in LMG's growth and reinforces its commitment to providing its clients with top-notch services in the region. 

Elie has joined LMG as General Manager – UAE & Gulf and will be based at the Dubai office. He will report to Mr. Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO of Laqshya Media Group. Elie brings a wealth of experience, having worked in the advertising and media industry for 35 years. He was previously Regional Buying Director at MCN Group for 15 years and has held senior positions at Leo Burnett, Y&R, McCann Erickson, and Memac Ogilvy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management from Memphis, TN, USA. 

On this occasion, Atul Shrivastava said, “We couldn't be more excited to welcome Elie to the Laqshya Media Group family! His extensive background in related fields is a game changer as we grow our presence in the UAE and Gulf region. Our expertise and experience make us confident that clients will warmly receive our tech-focused and innovative approach to out-of-home media and partners alike.” 

“I am eager to bring my skill set to Laqshya and help drive the company’s growth in the UAE and Gulf region. We believe that the Middle East region is an important market for us, and we are committed to building strong relationships with clients and partners in the region,” said Elie Hankash. 

The new Dubai office will serve as a hub for Laqshya Media Group's operations in the UAE and Gulf region, offering a full range of services, including out-of-home media planning, buying, digital solutions, and experiential marketing. The company's extensive portfolio of assets, combined with its cutting-edge technology and innovative approach, positions it as a leading player in the out-of-home media market. LMG's move into the UAE and Gulf region is part of its wider strategy to expand globally and offer its services to clients worldwide. Laqshya is already executing a number of campaigns in global markets through its alliance with some of the leading OOH agencies in Europe and the USA.

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First for OOH: Bright Outdoor Media IPO from March 14-17

The company seeks to enter the DOOH space and position the company in the ‘minds of people, Chief Managing Director Dr. Yogesh Lakhani told e4m

By Tanzila Shaikh | Feb 17, 2023 9:17 AM   |   1 min read


Bright Outdoor Media is all set to launch its IPO from March 14-17. This will be the first time an OOH company will be going for an IPO. 

In an exclusive chat with e4m, Dr. Yogesh Lakhani, Chief Managing Director, Bright Outdoor Media, said, “We have been in this business since 1980. We want to introduce the company and position it in the minds of people. We want to expand the business since OOH is also going with the digital wave and digital hoarding is costly. We want to enter into DOOH and we want to be a part of that journey.”

“Currently we have been funded by banks. This will be a landmark movement. We want to convert 100 hoardings of Mumbai into DOOH. The investment will be currently in India but we have plans to go abroad as well.”

According to Lakhani, building a DOOH needs an investment of Rs 1.5 to 2 crore. The company is going to dilute 25% stakes with this IPO, he said. 

The initial public offering will comprise a fresh issue of 38,00,000 equity shares of face value Rs 10 each at a price of Rs 146 per share (including a premium of Rs 136 per equity share) aggregating upto Rs 5,548 lakh. Minimum lot size for the application is 1,000 shares, which translates into Rs 1.46 lakh per application.

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Lemma partners with Maxamtech Digital Ventures for 'metaverse' billboards

They will offer clients strategic in-game placements and enrich customer engagement by allowing advertisers to redirect users to their website or landing page

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 16, 2023 12:19 PM   |   2 min read


Lemma, an independent supply-side platform for large format ads, has announced its partnership with Maxamtech Digital Ventures, launching its metaverse billboards to real-world digital out-of-home clients.

Advertising in the virtual world mimics the brand's actual world representation. Brands can now create a dual experience for audiences in the virtual and physical worlds through Lemma, doubling the overall impact.

The collaboration between Lemma and Maxamtech will assist global brands in creating an indelible brand impression on untapped audiences through the virtual billboards in the Metaverse, connecting the brand story seamlessly across both realms.

Billboard advertising in the Metaverse is currently relatively affordable. The costs of running a campaign in virtual space are low, making it a potentially lucrative opportunity to target a new audience entering the Metaverse.

Maxamtech is a prominent player in the market, with a growing audience in gaming and virtual worlds. Maxamtech and Lemma will offer clients strategic in-game placements and enrich customer engagement by allowing advertisers to redirect users to their website or landing page.

Gulab Patil, Founder and CEO of Lemma, said," Metaverse billboards can reach a global audience and help expand a brand's reach and target new markets efficiently. Further, virtual billboards can show unique advertisements to each user based on their demographics, interests, and actions. Ad personalisation reduces waste and boosts the efficiency of advertising campaigns as a whole." He continues, "Our decision to offer metaverse billboards to the clients will ensure that brands who aim to reinvent themselves to align with audiences in the Metaverse as new patterns of behaviour and consumption emerge will be able to do hassle-free through Lemma."

"We are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to grow and monetise our gaming platform, and this partnership with Lemma presents a perfect opportunity to do so. We look forward to working with them to offer brands and advertisers innovative ways to reach audiences with engaging and cutting-edge new ad units," concluded Xerxes Mullan, Founder of Maxamtech Digital Ventures

Brands can begin with billboard ads and expand into events, product placement, content creation, virtual influencers, and other metaverse advertising opportunities, making billboards the entry point for brands to explore Metaverse advertising.

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Times OOH wins advertising rights for GMR Goa International Airport, Mopa

This is an exclusive 20-year advertising contract for the Manohar International Airport

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 13, 2023 3:02 PM   |   2 min read

Goa International Airport

Times Innovative Media Limited (Times OOH) has been awarded the exclusive 20-year advertising contract for the Manohar International Airport, a Greenfield Airport at Mopa in North Goa.

The GMR group is developing a new airport in Mopa, North Goa, to ease capacity constraints and flying time restrictions caused by a strong military/naval presence at the existing airport at Dabolim, South Goa. The Mopa airport will be developed across four phases to reach a target passenger capacity of 13 million travellers per annum vs the 8 million currently served by the Dabolim airport. This Airport is a full-service airport catering to domestic and international passengers besides freight services. The first phase of the airport is complete, and Mopa Airport started its commercial operation from the 5th of January 2023.

“North Goa has been the favourite haunt of tourists from India and abroad due to its popular beaches and the active nightlife it has to offer. An airport in its proximity would serve as a convenient transit point for most travellers. After scripting a successful running advertisement partnership with the GMR group at the Delhi airport, we are delighted to partner once again with the GMR Group as the exclusive advertisement concessionaire for Mopa Airport too.

Due to its strategic location, direct international flights, and unrestricted fly-time options, we expect Mopa airport to be the preferred transit point for travellers to and from Goa. We have deployed a wide range of world-class media options that would cater to the contemporary and modern media objectives of local and international advertisers,” says Shekhar Narayanaswami, President - Times OOH.

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Laqshya Media Group executes Indian Oil Pavilion at India Energy Week 2023

The Indian Oil pavilion showcased cutting-edge solutions

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 13, 2023 1:09 PM   |   3 min read

Indian Oil Pavilion at India Energy Week 2023

Laqshya Media Group has executed the Indian Oil pavilion at the India Energy Week with innovative technology solutions.

The Indian Oil pavilion showcased cutting-edge solutions such as a power-generating mat, which generated power as people jumped and stepped on it.

In addition, the live data was displayed on screens, showcasing the innovative methods of energy generation. The stall represented the future of energy and innovation and was a testament to the sector's commitment to powering India's sustainable and green energy journey. The anamorphic display, augmented reality, hologram and immersive digital cube were some of the most talked-about installations at the Indian Oil pavilion. These modern technologies kept pace with the sector's efforts to drive innovation and progress.

Uttiya Bhattacharyya, Executive Director & State Head at Indian Oil Corporation Limited, acknowledged the group's efforts and said, “To the team called Laqshya! This hall no 4 of IEW2023, the space that was given to us, truly speaking, was not very advantageous because in front of us was a huge India experience zone, but we gave them a challenge by saying, let's use something so different, so special, so unique, that everybody will leave every other stall and come to Indian Oil pavilion and that's what Laqshya did. This group has done an outstanding job. Whatever we have conceptualized has definitely been brought to the ground. First, be the anamorphic wall, which was a great hit of the entire exhibition, then there was augmented reality, their immersive zone, that became a natural, safe environment, and the hologram even we had thought of this time that we at Indian Oil foundation will be having giving the customers and the visitors an opportunity to take some pictures that also coordinated very well. At the same time to entertain the customers, visitors, and dignitaries coming, we told them to get some good performing artists, the saxophone artists, and I would like to say that they were excellent. So in the wholesome, they have done a wonderful job. The team is extremely cohesive, hardworking, and talented. Best of luck to Laqshya for future business and future endeavors this time.”

Rajesh Mendiratta, Senior Vice President, Laqshya Media Group, said, “We are proud to have executed the Indian Oil pavilion at India Energy Week to our client's satisfaction with our innovation wing Inventech and execution partner, Laqshya Live Experience (LLE). We are grateful to Indian Oil for entrusting us with this important project and allowing us to showcase our capabilities. We always aim to provide innovative solutions to help our clients achieve their goals and drive progress in their respective sectors.”

He added, “We are honoured to have received such positive feedback from the Hon'ble Union Minister, Shri Hardeep S Puri Ji, management of Indian Oil, and all the visitors who experienced our work at the stall. We look forward to continued success in our collaboration.”

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The state of programmatic and OOH - all things you must know

As part of e4m TechTalk series, Rachna Lokhande, an OOH industry leader and founder of Glocal Bridge, writes about some key developments in the DOOH sector

By Rachna Lokhande | Feb 13, 2023 9:02 AM   |   5 min read

Tech Talks

Archaeologists claim that the earliest billboards were used during Egyptian times. One could say that flyposting was practised in Europe as early as the 15th-century mini billboards. Jared Bell placed the first billboard for a circus. This marked the beginning of OOH in modern times. 

Wouldn't such a timeline make OOH the first mass media format? Well, I'll leave the answer to you. 

Before you get curious why I am writing about the past in an article meant for something as advanced as programmatic... 

It is important to gain a sense of history before discussing the contemporary or getting into the prediction business. If observed, the trajectories of the past could very well be the guidelines for the future. 


Programmatic and OOH 

It is important to realise that the nature of programmatic to digital advertisement vis a vie OOH is different. I shall try and provide a primer on this below. 

While India is pacing fast towards a platform-driven digital marketplace, we are yet to achieve genuine programmatic in OOH. This is owing to the current infra, environment and education and the very nature of OOH in relation to programmatic. 

Programmatic RTB has revolutionised digital advertising by leveraging real-time audience data to deliver highly personalised experiences to target audiences. On the other hand, Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising faces challenges in personalisation due to its one-to-many medium nature.

To evaluate a location for OOH advertising, both first-party data of the location and third-party data from aggregators are utilised to estimate unique reach, impression multiplier, audience demographic, and behaviour. This data is then analysed using predictive algorithms that allow buyers to make informed decisions on the display locations and frequency of ads through programmatic platforms.

The growth of programmatic in the OOH sector is boosted by the automation of the buying process and the availability of inventory through programmatic platforms. There are two main types of programmatic OOH buys through Private Marketplace (PMP) and Open Exchange (OX). PMP deal is where the publishers/media owners and buyers agree on the planning and pricing before bidding for the inventory.  At the same time, OX operates as an auction where publishers/media owners set the floor price, and buyers bid in real-time for the inventory. PMP is more popular in OOH due to limited inventory and the complexity of audience understanding.

Programmatic RTB has transformed digital advertising. Its integration into the OOH sector brings a new level of efficiency, flexibility and transparency to traditional out-of-home advertising.

However, one must clearly understand that we still have to cover ground and mature as a market. In terms of potential, India is second to none, and it is a matter of time before we see large-scale platform-based operations come through in OOH. 

Key developments 

India is far too important a market with the potential that global players cannot undermine. Let us look at some key developments as India strides towards programmatic in the world of OOH. 

Omnichannel DSP

Entry of the behemoths in DOOH. 

The largest players in the world, such as Google (DV360), Yahoo and Trade Desk, have made a foray into the Indian markets providing omnichannel DSPs. 

This is a significant step, and to understand its importance, one needs to understand that OOH has been about buying and planning manually. Implementing it involves other complex logistics. With the introduction of programmatic platforms, DOOH can be bought along with Digital media using these Omnichannel DSPs and implemented easily.

Advertisers in India believe in OOH, but due to the heavy fragmentation of the market and lack of standardised use of data, it was always bought separately. Now they have an opportunity to buy using data at parity with other channels. 

This was the missing piece which is now being actively built. 

OOH, space remains complicated with respect to measurement. But you can start using single source location intelligence data combined with standard methods to understand audience behaviours and derive the metrics/impressions. With this, the medium will find a healthy inclusion in almost every advertiser plan.


The rising pace of Infrastructure

City Infrastructure is being built at a rapid pace. Not just metros but all the smart cities too. The government has been one of the biggest advertisers on OOH, and they understand the potential of digitisation for effective communication. The government bodies make DOOH part of the infrastructure as they understand its potential to bring better revenues.

An improved mode of transportation means more avenues for targeting the audience. 

Massive investment is being made to set up Digital screens at all these touchpoints. 

Advertisers, therefore, can now smartly target people with micro-campaigns. 


We must focus on Standardisation and Education to take advantage of both these aspects.

Neither the tech nor the infra will be a challenge, but one area where I believe a particular emphasis is required is the training and education of those working in the OOH sector. 

In conclusion, the programmatic journey will be a grand tale for India in the context of OOH, but just like all stories, this one needs its heroes. 

Heroes who will invest in knowledge and education and deliver a generation who knows how to use this modality to drive value. 


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of


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