Going forward, transit media will be the trendsetter: Pradeep Kumar KR

Pradeep Kumar KR, MD, Vijaya OOH Media Solutions, talks about the changing OOH landscape and the 25-year journey of the out-of-home agency

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Feb 4, 2020 9:01 AM
Pradeep kumar

Digital has become the way to go for the out-of-home industries. Without a doubt, in the coming years, it will be a top trend that will redefine the OOH space. In this dynamic landscape, how is Vijaya OOH Media Solutions, which is stepping into its 25th year, adapting to these changes? In a talk with exchange4media, Pradeep touches upon various key topics in the OOH space, the advent of digital, brand Vijaya’s journey and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) banning outdoor ads.

“It has been a long journey of 24 years now and quite challenging and exciting as we step into our 25th year with newfound opportunities. The journey so far has been really exciting from the time we started with two billboards and looking back, it seems that we have come a long way crossing many challenges and hurdles, but also makes us feel proud that we indeed have come so far,” said Pradeep.

Vijaya OOH solutions is a self-initiated organization, self-funded with a vision to excel in keeping ethics and hard work as the foundation.

He said, “Challenges are many that we have faced in this long journey from no Godfather in the business to being today a recognized OOH Player is the measure of our success. We have faced challenges in terms of projecting VIJAYA OOH as the company with integrity, honesty and a trusted OOH partner.”

Vijaya OOH has never shied away from challenges, leading by example in terms of embracing new media formats. They have always believed in diverse media portfolios and have never stuck with only hoardings/billboards.

Speaking on the brand’s uniqueness Pradeep said, “Our mantra has always been to offer what the customer wants and not what we have. So, we have always customized our offerings by creating new mediums of OOH.

“Firstly, we want to be always known as a company with a difference. We do not believe in going by and following the set trend or norms. We always wanted to be different from others in terms of our media portfolio or in terms of quality of media assets which we are offering. We are a company which strongly believes in quality more than quantity. We never ran behind quantitative numbers in terms of media assets or service.”

“The top trend that will redefine the OOH industry is going to be digital and transit media will be the trendsetter going forward,” he observes.

He continued, “Today we offer not only hoardings but also metro pillar backlit boards, Volvo Bus branding, Metro train wraps, inside metro train branding etc. We were the first company in India to start branding through a one-way vision branding on city Volvo buses in Bengaluru. We were the first to introduce digital LED perimeter boards in international cricket way back in 2008-09 to a whopping 50 per cent of the stadium capacity. We were the first to bring quality backlit boards on Bengaluru metro pillars. Recently, we became the only company to have started offering digital LCD screen branding inside metro trains.

Having done several campaigns with all big brands, clients and agencies, Pradeep thanks all of Vijaya OOH’s clients, brands and agencies who have always reposed trust in them. He names some of the memorable work done by the agency although the list is huge: “To name some, VIJAYA OOH has done big campaigns with major segments like FMCG, BFSI, corporates, automobiles, telecom, real estate and brands like VIVO, LIC, Airtel, Amazon, Embassy, Aditya Birla, Ultratech, many retail clients like Abaran, JOS Alukkas, Bhima, MAX etc., to name a few.,”

Speaking on BBMP’s ban on outdoor advertising and how it has affected the OOH industry, Pradeep said, “A sudden ban is like the earthquake which shakes and shatters the foundation of every strong building and it has affected all media players of Bengaluru; nobody is spared. The OOH industry in Bengaluru has come to a standstill for the last 18 months, and it is not a good sign for the industry and a number 3 metro city of the country. “

He continued, “Most of the problems are not solved because of lots of negative publicity for the industry and a prejudiced mindset. OOH is one of the most important forms of mass media communication and as per law BBMP or any local municipality is being entrusted the job of monitoring and regulating the media. It no way allows the local body to ban the media.”

Pradeep strongly believes that a highly regulated, self-controlled OOH media is a boon to any world-class city and not a bane.

“The local authorities must take cognizance of this and allow serious ethical and transparent OOH players to build world-class media assets and as I said earlier self-regulation is a must if we have to survive and grow,” he added.

Speaking on the DOOH, Pradeep said, “Definitely there are more pluses than minuses in transforming to Digital OOH. At the same time, there are umpteen challenges and hurdles to make this happen and have a Times Square or a Piccadilly Circus here in India.”

According to him, the major challenges, in the order of priority, would be, mindset or both authorities and media owners, acceptance and permission from the concerned authorities, integration of technology and measurements.

“Digital assets require huge investments and a very conducive and co-operative environment and long term commitments. Safety of the digital assets is also a matter of concern,” concluded Pradeep

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