“I wish we can announce a pact with AAAI in 2013”

Indrajit Sen, Director, FleetAds & Exec Dir, IOAA looks forward to establishing a dialogue with policy-makers for uniform regulations this year

by Priyanka Nair
Published - Jan 16, 2013 6:16 PM Updated: Jan 16, 2013 6:16 PM
“I wish we can announce a pact with AAAI in 2013”

A lot has been discussed and planned by the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) over the last two years, but the need of the hour is to action these plans. The unorganised sector of media – as it is called – outdoor advertising still struggles to put down results using a common industry currency.

Indrajit Sen, Director, FleetAds and Executive Director, IOAA has been given the special responsibility of implementing the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and new business practices, which kicked-off in 2011. He is also carrying forward the research agenda of IOAA.

In conversation with exchange4media, Sen shares what IOAA will be focusing on in 2013, his new venture and more...

What are key things that are on Indian Outdoor Advertising Association’s (IOAA) to-do list this year?
IOAA has two key issues to deal with this year – one is to continue and fructify an engagement that has started with the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) to establish firm norms for out of home media to interact with specialist and mainline advertising agencies. The second area of focus is to establish a dialogue with policy-makers and regulators across the country for uniform regulations for this industry.

There is also the issue of metrics and the Indian Outdoor Survey (IOS), which is now being pursued along with MRUC; however, after the false starts in the past, the latest attempts are being handled carefully.

How has transit media evolved in the recent times?
Transit media in India has traditionally been limited to sides and backs of buses, using space below windows only. Then, about 10 years back, advertising inside and outside trains took off. With the advent of fleet cabs, advertising on taxis started in a big way and advertising on traditional black-and-yellow taxis also increased. Meanwhile, in metro cities, advertisements covering the entire surface of buses were approved and saw some spectacular campaigns. Currently, all popular transit systems get revenue from advertising – from aircraft to auto rickshaws.

Globally, inland truck containers have been a popular medium in all countries with large road networks. Advertising on containers on highways in North America and Europe are quite commonplace since the last decade or so. With the Golden Quadrilateral opening up highways and expressways in India, our traditional trucking industry started ‘containerising’ since the last two years or so. While containers bring considerable benefits to the logistics industry, the additional cost needs additional sources of revenue and advertising is an obvious solution that benefits both the truckers and advertisers.

Media, Analytics & Designs has a new division – FleetAds. Please elaborate on the service that will be provided by the division?
We have been working along with some large fleet owners to develop this medium over the last one year or so. Currently, apart from FleetAds, there are a couple of local players who offer primarily local routes or operate out of regional centres only. Having fleet owners as part of our enterprise brings us unique insights as well as synergies that create powerful offers for advertisers.

FleetAds operates out of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata as main hubs and offers 2,000-plus containers that travel on specific routes. All containers that we use for advertising are fitted with GPRS devices that enable online tracking of each container that forms part of any campaign. In fact, all concerns of advertisers and agencies to ensure accountability and maximum information and transparency are built into the process offered. FleetAds is operated by veteran professionals from the media sales and advertising fraternities. Hence, advertisers are assured of a trouble-free experience when advertising is released on FleetAds containers.

Which cities does FleetAds operate in? How has the response been till now?
FleetAds is headquartered in Mumbai and operates out of Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. The routes we operate are from Mumbai/ Pune to Delhi/ Ludhiana, Mumbai/ Pune to Kolkata/ Guwahati, Mumbai / Pune to Bangalore/ Chennai/ Coimbatore/ Kochi, Mumbai/ Pune to Hyderabad/ Vizag, Mumbai/ Pune to Goa/ Kochi – both to and fro.

We are currently negotiating three new campaigns; there are three campaigns that are running. We are expecting enthusiastic response from advertisers and agencies to this exciting medium. The creative opportunities that this medium provides are multi-fold – from 3-D visuals to creating engagement opportunities when combined with en-route activation. The 3-D visuals look especially spectacular and impactful when executed on a moving and large 32’ x 8.5’ container. The movement of the medium itself gives extra dynamism to the visual and that captures audience attention and interest. With this kind of impact, we really don’t expect to have too many containers vacant.

What is your wish list for 2013?
The first wish is to see increased and stable occupancy of OOH media across the country, which should see growth rates of over 15 per cent being restored to this industry and share of the overall media pie increasing to at least over seven per cent instead of the five-six per cent currently. I also definitely wish that we can actually announce an agreement together with AAAI by middle of the year and see it implemented this year.

At a more personal level, I definitely wish to see all our 2,000-plus containers being occupied by advertisers well before the end of the year.

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