Did festive spending generate revenue growth for the OOH industry?

While some OOH industry leaders say there was a 40% increase in revenue from pre-Covid days, others say it was visibly muted when compared to last year’s festive season

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Dec 7, 2020 8:34 AM  | 4 min read
OOH festive spends revenue

This festive season has proved to be a buoy for the OOH industry in its efforts to survive the Covid-induced storm.

Industry observers have noted a 40% increase in revenue for OOH companies when compared to the lockdown period when business was at a standstill. It had been predicted that this festive season will bring only 60-70% of last year’s Diwali revenue.

The auto sector did show some spirit in leveraging OOH in their marketing mix. Times OOH shared that clients like Skoda, Kia, Volkswagen and Hyundai from the automobile sector are spending on OOH. Some OOH owners also offered a 30% discount.

Festive Season Spends: Growth and Decline
For Jayesh Yagnik, CEO, MOMS Outdoor Media Solutions there was a spike as compared to the last few months. “The industry saw double-digit growth in October and although the AdEx number is not out yet for November, we think growth will continue.”

Atin Gupta, Managing Director, Atin OOH, too believes there was a general upswing in the festive spends till Diwali.

Talking about the continuing impact of Covid, Pawan Bansal, COO, Jagran Engage shared that on an overall basis, there was a decline of about 30% over the last festive season. “It was due to a lot of categories keeping away from OOH as a medium and also yields being down by 25% vis a vis last year. However, the geographies where we are seeing better traction are tier 2 and 3 cities.”

Fabian Cowan, Country Head, Posterscope India, too said that while there was a spike compared to the phase just after Unlock 1, it was visibly muted when compared to the last year’s festive season.

Talking about the growth in airport advertising during the festive season, Manu Vats, Product Head, Times OOH, stated, “There is a spike in demand for both airports and traditional media. We also witnessed a positive sentiment among consumers as far as safety around air travel is concerned. This sentiment has also been validated by a surge in passenger traffic across different airports, which is more than 40-50%. With traffic on roads being around 90-100% of pre-Covid levels, traditional media has also witnessed a good jump this festive season.”

Did festive spending come as an antidote?
Atin Promotions’s Gupta says his firm has seen a 40% increase in revenue over the previous month due to festive spends. “It has given us hope that revival is in the near future.”

Sharing the same positive sentiment, Cowan remarked that the increased exposure by a few categories of advertisers is most certainly a good sign and will have a positive rub off on brands who are still cautious about restarting their OOH interventions.

Times OOH’s Vats shared, “The festive season is just a stepping stone as far as revival is concerned. The revenue has surely gone up but the focus is now to bring more brands on board with an increase in traffic at airports and more people on road now. We have seen around 50% jump in brands coming on board during the festive season. This year will see slight differences in terms of the business cycle because of dynamic market conditions. We have seen new categories coming up like Home Decor, Education, and even B2B sectors like IT.”

However, Bansal said, “We need to see far more spends and addition of categories to say that the revival process is on.”

For Yagnik, “The billing has increased and so has the revenue in proportion. However, the damages which were incurred in the first half of the financial year need to be revived completely yet and will take a few more months.”

Brand activity  
The main spenders this festive season, Bansal points out, were Auto, FMCG, OTT and BFSI. However, the demand among real estate and retail players has not picked up. “These categories accounted for 20-25% of the overall spend on outdoor.”

Sharing more on this was Yagnik. “FMCG and Automobile were the leaders on spends during the festive season. Brands from categories like BFSI (11%), OTT (3%), Auto (11%), and FMCG (16%) were mainly active this year in October. We expect that with positive sentiments, the market is set to grow further especially in the last quarter of this financial year. OOH is second highest reach medium after TV and we are very bullish of the time ahead.”

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