The Indian outdoor landscape through the creative lens

Creative honchos say that the OOH industry needs a little madness. Campaigns from Aam Aadmi Party, Heineken & India TV are among the few they would like to see in the Indian outdoor space

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Jul 23, 2013 9:21 AM
The Indian outdoor landscape through the creative lens

In spite of being a medium that offers a larger-than-life effect to a brand’s communication, not many brands have displayed spectacular work in the Indian outdoor landscape in recent times. This is mostly due to the current economic slowdown and a little less enthusiasm on part of the brands.

If one compares the Indian outdoor advertising works with western counterparts, it can be noticed that not many brands are focussing on bringing out highly creatively concepts for this space. What one can see today in the Indian outdoor advertising is mostly plain vanilla work. While large brands from the house of HUL and P&G are investing money, a brand such as Amul is associated most with the medium with its topical creative work.

There is a decidedly boring state of affairs in a dynamic medium such as outdoor. How do creative experts visualise this medium? Moreover, which brands would they want to see taking to outdoor media in a bigger and more innovative way? exchange4media finds out...

India TV, Aam Aadmi Party & Heineken on billboards? Why not?

According to Aneil Deepak, Head – Ideas, DDB MudraMax, the industry is getting a little boring and predictable, and a little madness is the need of the hour. One of the first brands that he wishes to see in the outdoor medium is India TV. “I am probably their biggest fan. You need to have God-level talent to pull off what they do on television. I am sure they’ll make the OOH landscape 200 per cent times more entertaining,” said Deepak.

The second brand that he would want to see advertise on outdoors is the Aam Aadmi Party. “It would be great to see them emulate Amul. I would love to see Arvind Kejriwal and Co provide hard evidence on just one billboard every week. But unlike all the other politicians, I want them to communicate via a legal billboard,” Deepak added.

He is also a fan of Heineken’s experiential work, such as the Heinken Concert. “What they would do on a billboard!,” he wonders, adding, “I would be ready to offer free sites to any or all of the above. It will be an honour to work on any of those briefs.”

Wake up and be wacky!

For Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner, Bang in the Middle, traditional outdoor is no longer a rectangle on two wooden poles. He believes that is something ancient, but still effective, much like the obsolete concept of newspapers and magazines.

“I define outdoor as anything and everything that communicates to people outside of their homes. This could be for apples, blood, and corporations, and executed on walking xylophones, blue haired youngsters, and disoriented zebras,” thinks aloud Suthan.

He further said, “Add to it, the possibilities of digital, mobile, 3D, and technology, and suddenly outdoor is a blank piece of paper; waiting to be filled by innovative thinking for clients and brands that have the vision, boldness and the budgets.”

There is always an opportunity. Look for it.

While soft drink companies see a dip in their sale volumes during the monsoon season, Upendra Singh Thakur, Co-Founder, Origin Beanstalk sees an opportunity here. “It will be interesting to see how these brands chose to do a full outdoor campaign communicating around how one can enjoy a soft drink even in the monsoon.”


On the other hand, Priti Nair, Director, Curry Nation wants to see Axe and Airtel more in the outdoors. “Mainly because they are on genuinely interesting consumer engagement platforms and the spin offs, if made relevant to outdoor, can be truly fun and ‘hatke’,” she added.

Nair also feels that outdoor as a medium should promote itself. “Can outdoor market outdoor? That would be an interesting and breakthrough strategy if the idea truly hits home,” added Nair. 

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