DMRC services re-start today: Will OOH on Delhi Metro sites get back on track?

Delhi OOH players share insights on opportunities available for brands at metro media sites, how this reboot will help in OOH’s revival and the brands that are likely to show interest

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Sep 7, 2020 8:47 AM  | 5 min read
Delhi Metro Advertising Revival

With Unlock 4.0 guidelines being in force since September 1, the possibility of getting OOH advertising back on track seems higher now. A rise in traffic mobility during the earlier phases of unlock brought brands back on street furniture, transit media and billboards. And now with Delhi Metro re-starting operations today, OOH owners are hopeul that it will give the industry the much needed jumpstart.

Only Yellow Line of Delhi Metro, from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centr, will be functional in phase I. Whereas, the other routes of Delhi Metro, Blue Line, Pink Line and Gurgaon Line, will start operations two days later from September 9.

The opening of metro has come at a time when the nation is moving towards the festive season, making the opportunity to advertise even more appealing.
e4m spoke to OOH experts who prominently advertise on Delhi Metro sites about their expectations from the restarting of the services, how it will help amplify growth in the revival stage and which brands are most likely to come back on board to advertise on the metro media sites.

Opportunities for brands

According to Aman Nanda, Chief Strategy Officer, Times OOH, the overall confidence of the advertisers is growing as we unlock. Nanda shares, “Metro travel is an essential service and is the quickest way to travel within the city and its vicinity. Delhi Metro is a prominent medium to advertise in the capital city. Predominantly, one can target varied audiences like shoppers via pink line, corporate and residential via blue and yellow line etc.”

He adds, “The resumption of metro operation with safety protocol will inculcate confidence in the commuters that should allow the subsequent bounce back of traffic. The reopening of metro services will surely entice brands and OOH agencies to come back. We have already started receiving queries for advertisements, and brands are eagerly looking forward to welcoming customers on board.”

Sharing a different perspective, Pawan Bansal, COO, Jagran Engage says, “The services have resumed, but it will take time for the passenger traffic to build up since a lot of commuters will be vary of travelling in public transport. Secondly, with a restricted capacity to ensure social distancing, footfalls are going to see a sharp fall as compared to the pre-COVID era. Therefore, brands will adopt a cautious approach initially. As and when the traffic increases, the spends will go up.”

The metro network in Delhi is a great mode connecting the city from one end to the other. Citing some key factors why brands should advertise on metro media sites, Nanda says, "First, it offers a captive environment, Second, the ride is comfortable and this enables the commuter to consume the brand’s communication effectively. Further, the third reason is that metro sees lot of repeat commuters and this will help brands to get the frequency for their brand communications. Finally, metro train media offer a good amount of dwell time and hence brand exposure increases."

Delhi Metro's re-start a boon for the economic slump

Acccording to Emraan Kureshi, Founder & Managing Director, Active Media Innovations, advertising shall play a key role in the accelerated revival of the economy. "The resumption of metro services is a positive development in this light,” he opines.

Adding to this Nanda remarks, “Metro services are scheduled to re-start in a graded manner and the authorities will certainly leave no stone unturned in optimising the reinstatement of the service and implementing best of the security measures for the traveller. With this, we are optimistic that it will positively generate interest in both, commuters and advertisers.”
Bansal comments, “The only positive note is that we are approaching the festive season, and with the unlocking of economy, this will help in increasing the ridership, and hence will likely increase the spends by advertisers.”

Brands that are most likely to come back on Delhi Metro media sites

Talking about the brands that advertised on metro media sites prominently in the pre-Covid days, Nanda shares, “In the pre-Covid time, brands suh as Ajnara, Saviour Builders, MX Player, ET Money, Airborne, Ayurvedic Cancer Hospital, Wildlife SOS, Dine Out, Nadi Vaidya and Pet Care had advertised with us.”

Speaking about the interest that Times OOH has seen among brands after the announcement of metro re-starting was made, Nanda says, “We have spent a lot of time in evaluating the possible behavioural change of the commuters and have developed hosts of new concepts that will excite advertisers and offer them interesting solutions. Also, we have identified new sectors and companies’ basis changes in the trend of the consumers that are likely to strive in the new post-Covid world. We believe brands from new emerging categories could be the potential ad spenders. Some categories like two-wheelers, laptop, OTT, entertainment, online education, high-speed home networking solutions and hygiene products could start spending on metro train media soon.”

Kureshi states, “Demand in sectors like FMCG, home care and electronics has been steady even through the lockdown. Now brands in these sectors will seek to resume advertisement expenditure, and other sectors shall follow. Needless to say, brands and agencies that prominently advertised in metro services will definitely come back due to the proven success of this media for them.”

On the contrary, Bansal says, “Brands such as OTT platforms, GEC, education and retail were the main spenders on metro network. But with the slowdown in new content production, and coaching, schools, colleges being shut, the advertising will be limited.”

Finally, summing up the overall sentiment of the OOH industry, Nanda says, “We are confident that DMRC will take all appropriate steps for commuter safety. This step towards normalcy will help to get back the ridership at a faster pace. Soon, we shall see a consistent rise in ridership and adoption of metro service again by commuters, it will be a great sign of recovery. Reinstatement of metro services is a positive sign for us. OOH has a substantial power to reach out to masses, hence it is imperative for brands to advertise.”

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