What is OOH’s game plan to survive night curfews, weekend lockdowns in Maharashtra?

Experts say that planning smarter with DOOH is the way forward for clients rather than dropping off OOH completely

e4m by Rasika Kiran Upasani
Updated: Apr 7, 2021 9:20 AM  | 3 min read

The current night curfews and weekend lockdowns that are being imposed in the state of Maharashtra may have certain effects on the OOH and DOOH industries. The OOH ecosystem is already grappling with last year's economic losses and had just revived its revenue during the festive season. However, according to OOH leaders, this time onwards, the OOH markets and brands are engaging in smarter planning and ensuring meaningful brand encounters with consumers despite the curfew.

e4m spoke to OOH and DOOH experts to get their perspective on the implications of the new restrictions for the industry and solutions to tackle the setback.

According to Jayesh Yagnik, CEO, MOMS Outdoor Media Solutions, the best part of OOH advertising is its hyperlocal nature. He explains: “It is not ‘one size fits all’ media and that is what will save the industry from these mini lockdowns. The curfew or rather the night curfew which has been imposed is limited to Maharashtra as of now.

“There is no doubt that Maharashtra is contributing substantially to OOH billing due to the media cost in Mumbai city. However, brands have realized now that one cannot doubt the sheer reach of what OOH can deliver along with other media.”

Yagnik says that while the lockdown will affect business, it will be less severe than last time. “Certain pockets will continue to get affected and because of that, we will keep getting few hiccups in the campaigns. OOH as a medium has great adaptability by which one can add or remove a particular location, area, city, town or state. This flexibility should help the medium from losing out on big revenues,” h says. 

Gulab Patil, Founder, CEO, Lemma, remarked, “The recent curfew will certainly impact the OOH industry in more than one way. To begin with, there will be an influx of questions regarding the audience movement and whether it will make sense to consider outdoor advertising branding. Media buyers will be apprehensive of investing in OOH with the new rules in place.”

Patil recommends smarter planning for clients with DOOH instead of dropping out of OOH completely. “Lemma, for instance, uses real-time audience count to ensure ads are served only in the presence of a certain volume of people across clusters. Similarly, certain clusters will witness higher footfall than others and this can be used to the brand’s advantage e.g., retail outlets, residential complexes, etc.,” he explains.

On asked about the percentage of revenue that will be affected by the curfew, Patil answers, “It is hard to gauge this at the onset but one cannot deny that there will be some impact on the revenue generated.”

Dipankar Sanyal, the CEO of Platinum Outdoor, also weighs in, “It is too early to quantify the effect due to the current lockdown in Mumbai. The malls, multiplexes, restaurants which were showing up on the media plans will take a back seat for the month. We were bullish that with DOOH playing a bigger role, it will also take a beating as most of the DOOH properties are in these spaces.”

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