Rewind 2012: The new normal of outdoor

“The OOH industry saw advertisers climb up the value chain from awareness to engagement in 2012,” says Sunder Hemrajani of Times Innovative Media

e4m by Sunder Hemrajani
Published: Jan 1, 2013 5:10 PM  | 3 min read
Rewind 2012: The new normal of outdoor

‘Austere times require audacious goals.When resources are scarce, innovation is the only route to growth’ – Vijay Govindrajan

The year 2012 has been a mixed year with volatile market conditions, which were problematic as well as posed an opportunity to India. Global economic uncertainty prevailed in 2012 due to continuing Eurozone problems and Fiscal Cliff issue in the US. These have adversely impacted the investment climate around the world.

India also has had its share of economic problems compounded by political deadlock on reforms. High inflation and declining private investment has led to the loss of business confidence. The slowdown in GDP growth has tempered the sentiment. The Indian media and entertainment industry was also impacted as corporate maintained a cautious outlook on advertising.

The year 2012 has also been an uncertain year for the Indian outdoor industry which had its share of crests and troughs. Outdoor advertising industry started on a positive note between January and March. However, clients started to take a cautious approach and held their budgets and thus, outdoor advertising suffered during months from July to September.

However, spends started picking up to a positive trend from September onwards. The positive momentum has continued post September as advertisers have released the budgets to drive demand.

Drive for greater value
The main highlight of this year for the outdoor industry has been rise in demand for greater value out of an investment and hence, various strategies which offered greater value by the media owner worked well. The high value was offered by media owners through innovations, customised solutions and marketing packages.

Innovations have been crucial for adding extra value to the customers and have worked well in the year 2012.  Innovations have been the buzzword and advertisers have paid extra buck for a successful innovative campaign because of the higher RoI offered by innovations. Higher acceptability of digital technology has shown that clients are ready to try new medium in order to maximise value at lower costs.

Customers have increasingly asked for solutions rather than just sites and often refuse plain vanilla options. This has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way a media owner works and has pushed them to innovate and offer customised solutions. The top international customers are a step ahead and have been demanding something different which leaves an everlasting impact.

This year can be remembered for large number of tried experimentations with premium brands trying to increase their share of wallet. Certain big fashion and lifestyle brands such as Chanel and premium automobile brands such as Porshe, BMW targeted Indian audience with successful activations at airports.

From awareness to engagement
This year defined a change in trend for offering OOH solutions where advertisers strived to climb up the value chain from awareness to engagement. Clients tried to capture consumers’ mind-space and influence purchase decisions. Certain campaigns such as Go-Ibibo at Mumbai Airport where Ibibo offered attractive price-offs to airport customers on future travel bookings, helped them in setting up a database of prospective clients along with boosting brand connect.

Overall, 2012 can be summed up as a year with great ups and downs but with huge learning experience for the industry. The changing dynamics has created huge demand for the industry and organisations that are ready to embrace the change have been able to surf these uncertain times.

The author is Managing Director of Times Innovative Media

The theme for Rewind 2012 is Different Strokes. All write ups on various aspects of the Indian media, marketing and advertising industry will be around an international TV show or sitcom that best described the year that was...

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