DOOH will thrive as restaurants re-open with MHA's new guidelines in place, say experts

e4m spoke to DOOH experts about their initiatives during Unlock 4.0, new opportunities brands can gain and the potency of DOOH in the F&B Industry in the new normal

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Sep 3, 2020 8:05 AM  | 6 min read
DOOH Inventories in Restaurants

The nationwide Unlock 4.0 guidelines have been implemented from the 1st of September 2020. This has come as a welcome move for the OOH ecosystem, which incurred heavy losses due to the reduction in footfalls to the media sites during the lockdown. In the new guidelines, restaurants in Bangalore, West Bengal, Goa, Delhi, and Gurgaon have been permitted to re-open from the 1st of this month, provided that restaurants follow the SOPs and guidelines issued by MHA. This is a great opportunity for businesses to revive their losses. It also gives DOOH owners, who have properties in restaurants in malls, hotels, bars, and pubs, the opportunity to get back to advertising as well.

DOOH inventories will be crucial in this new normal as establishments will opt for more contactless dining services and experiences at their restaurants. Since data will  be of paramount importance post lockdown, DOOH inventories will also be able to provide brands with footfall rates and audience reach, giving the clients more bang for their buck. An added advantage under the MHA guidelines digital signage, displaying Covid-19 guidelines in restaurants, has been made mandatory to display safety measures in the new environment.

e4m spoke to DOOH experts on their initiatives during this re-opening stage, the opportunities brands can be provided with and the potency of DOOH in the F&B Industry in the new normal.

Eyetalk Media Ventures are key players in the F&B ecosystem when it comes to digital inventories. Its MD Gautam Bhirani says, “Restaurants and Pubs play a very important role in a millennial's lifestyle and has been a key touchpoint for brands looking to connect with them while they are out socializing with their peers. With the F&B industry unlocking after six months, the fizz is already back as millennials are returning to their favourite hangout spots. According to multiple surveys amid pandemic, eating out with their peers was the only activity a majority of millennials were willing to resume immediately post lockdown.”

Bhirani shared that during the season of IPL they had sold out the majority of their inventory pan India as all matches were broadcast in the pubs and cafes they are associated with. Last year, the title sponsor of IPL Vivo had even collaborated with TagTalk for a live social media integration where they launched the #PerfectFan contest. It was a location-based live social media integration while cheering for their favourite team. Talking about the opportunities for brands this year, Bhirani remarked, “With liquor services resuming and IPL around the corner, brands have a great opportunity to reach and engage both GenZ and millennials in a receptive, happy and a captive environment with TagTalk. Being a content-driven platform, the brand can sponsor Covid-19 content, use live social media channels, and also drive cost-effective performance-driven campaigns targeting peak days and hours with programmatic.”

DOOH in restaurants

Bhirani says, “Digital signage displaying Covid-19 guidelines in restaurants has been made mandatory by the MHA guidelines, which make our network a key communication driver for all safety information and dining rules in the new normal.”

Bhirani, commenting about the new initiatives they have curated, said, “As restaurants begin opening doors amid Unlock 4, TagTalk with its new tools complimenting the new normal is helping the F&B industry create a safer, informed, and connected new contactless digital dining experience, transforming how food is seen, sold, and paid for. We have introduced multiple new features like QR Code scan for menu, offers, and payments, Real-time POS offers, which saves restaurants printing cost, increase sales with automation, and also CCTV camera integration, which enables customers to see how their meals are being prepared in the kitchen.”

Upinder Singh, Project Director, Edge1 Outdoor Media Management Software shared his views on the new guidelines and the opportunity to reach out to eager consumers: "While restrictions on the movement of people have directly impacted the OOH advertising industry, equally, this crisis has highlighted the importance of the out-of-home medium the world over. In recent weeks, many major cities have seen double-digit lifts in movement outside the home compared to early March. In some locales, traffic has returned to normal levels or near to what it was before the COVID crisis. And as consumers emerge for more activities including drinking, dining, grooming, and some gym-going, it's an opportune moment to reach them.”

Speaking about how brands should leverage the new channels in this new market environment Singh remarked, “As brands reinvigorate DOOH messaging, they also need to prepare for fast-changing circumstances. More than ever, brands need to target and message according to what's happening on the ground in near real-time. Even in states where car and foot traffic is up, overall, trends fluctuate week-to-week as consumers watch the news and officials tighten or loosen the rules. Outdoor is the place where people want to spend most of their time, so as soon as the restrictions are lifted, it is ready to take the lead by inspiring people to get back out there and rebuild. To reach consumers more effectively, now brands are increasingly looking at new channels to grow brand awareness, and inspire consumers to take action, DOOH screens in malls and restaurants will help them do this with much more visibility, creativity, and on a larger scale. "

Ramana Siddhartha - Head of LMX (a subsidiary of the moving walls group), India says, "The opening up of F & B establishments with adherence to COVID prevention SOPs will entice people to emerge from isolation and unwind with family and friends. DOOH in this setting would be an excellent opportunity for brands to reach upmarket audiences in a captive environment with dynamic and personalised content. Moving Walls is enabling restaurants and other retailers to comply with COVID related restrictions, by detecting and monitoring hygiene via real-time video analytics."

Siddhartha concluded by saying, "Apart from collaborating with the leading media owners in this space such as Eye Talk Media, we are working closely with hospitality businesses on their strategy to monetize their existing inventory. As the hospitality industry gradually recovers, this is a great opportunity for them to tap into new revenue streams."

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