Why OOH industry needs a unified measurement system now more than ever

Given the unpredictable business environment due to the COVID crisis, marketers are looking for ROI-driven campaigns and accountability for each ad dollar spent

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Jul 24, 2020 8:54 AM  | 7 min read
OOH Audience Measurement System

The unprecedented lockdown induced by the COVID-19 pandemic hit the out of home (OOH) industry hard. But as the country begins to unlock, the sector too is on the recovery path. Brands are gradually opening up their purse strings, bringing ad monies back in the market. However, given the unpredictable business environment, marketers are looking for ROI-driven campaigns and accountability for each ad dollar spent. And in such a situation, measurement is going to be a key factor.

OOH agencies that are able to provide clients with these metric solutions will pave the way for success and the OOH medium will garner more prominence and faith. The large-format that OOH is, it can garner a wider reach, and if the results are measurable too, it will definitely prove to be a very effective medium for brands. The measurement data will help brands conceptualize more personalized and hyperlocal content for consumers.

OOH agency leaders feel it is because of the lack of a unified measurement system that the sector gets a lesser share in the advertising budget of brands.

According to Ajay Mehta, Managing Director, Kinetic India, investment on OOH will only come back if we can prove to the advertisers that they are getting good returns on their investments. “Despite having the second-highest reach as a medium, OOH has commanded budget share in single-digit percentages. The investment on OOH will only come back in a meaningful manner after we can effectively prove to the advertisers that they are getting a bang for their buck. We have been doing this through a number of our tools, and wherever we have demonstrated the same, the clients are coming back to the medium,” shares Mehta.

And this need for a unified measurement system has only been compounded by the COVID crisis.

Giving insights into the minds of the marketers reeling under the COVID crisis, Ashutosh Sharma, Head-Demand Business, Moving Walls, shares “We're seeing increasing calls for any media spends to be closely linked to results and this is largely the reason why OOH's various stakeholders are investing heavily in audience movement data and planning solutions.” Due to the impact of the pandemic COVID-19, brands' marketing budgets are already under scrutiny as the focus shifts on cost-cutting, employee retention, and digital transformation to cater to remote working, he adds.

Gautam Bhirani, Managing Director, Eyetalk Media Ventures, a DOOH agency, too feels that fresh data and accurate insights have never been more important. "COVID-19 has not only shifted business trends but also consumer priorities and the entire marketing landscape," says he.

However, a unified measurement system for the OOH industry doesn't seem like an easy move at the moment. In March 2020, there was an RPF, with some prominent OOH owners taking the lead in coming up with a unified measurement system, but the execution was put on halt due to COVID-19 and the conversation now seems to have died down. The zeal to construct and implement an in-house measurement system, however, has only been amplified with some OOH agencies constructing their own. In the past two weeks during this unlock stage, several prominent OOH agencies have launched their own measurement systems. Kinetic India launched 'India On The Move', Madison OOH launched 'OTS Measurement Updates for COVID in the Unlock stage’, and Eye Talk Ventures launched ‘People’.

And this goes on to say that moving forward, having a measurement system will be vital for any OOH agency's business growth.

Speaking about the concept and workings of Kinetic’s measurement system launched two weeks ago, Ajay Mehta said, “Our newly launched tool, IOM – India On The Move, allows investments to be based on efficiency rather anecdotal evidence. It analyses multiple data points to track traffic patterns and movement across road, rail, and air. Through this, we can accurately track the current status of mobility across India. Combining this with our existing data sets, we are able to prove real-time figures on audience dispersion and aggregation.”

Gulab Patil, Founder & CEO at Lemma explains that there are two aspects to measurement in OOH, the pre-planning phase where you use tools to measure audience movement and post-campaign measurements that provide audience intelligence and gauge ad impact.

Patil, sharing about their own audience measurement tool, said, "Falcon is an AI-enabled planning tool by Lemma that maps the hourly audience density to locations which helps brands zero down on the most optimal screens to maximize audience reach. Lemma also provides post-campaign measurement which ranges from basic data like audience age, gender etc. to some advanced insights like handset ownership, persona, brand affinity and more. Not only this, Lemma helps brands measure ad impact as well, through brand lift surveys. Lemma enables these measurement capabilities using its in-house DMP (data management platform), infused with data from IOT beacons, data-partnerships, mobile intelligence & location intelligence. Lemma operates solely on data-driven media decisions, right from step 1 i.e planning OOH to post-campaign data-harnessing that allows for mobile retargeting as well." 

Just last week, Madison OOH too launched its own measurement tool 'OTS Measurement Updates for COVID-19 Unlock Times'. According to Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum Outdoor, a Madison vertical, the COVID-19 scenario has significantly changed user mobility. “The current traffic movements are very different when compared to pre-COVID times. Realizing this unpredictable outdoor scenario, it is important to know where traffic is actually moving and thereby provide realistic data and measurement to our clients," he opined.

Sharing insights on the newly launched measurement tool and the solutions it offers, Pallavi Patil, National Director Planning and Strategy, Madison OOH, shared, “The algorithm of our traffic count tool has a new feature to provide OTS based on current mobility with a location level detailing. The extension utilizes Google mobility reports. To make it more granular, a 1km vicinity to a particular location is mapped and dispersion of touchpoints studied. The dataset provides the change compared to a baseline value which was pre-COVID and we have seen a difference in recovery basis the touchpoint and market.”

Ashutosh Sharma, speaking about their own measurement solutions, said, “Our own robust solution is powered by a patented multi-sensor framework that recognizes the limitations of the various sources of location-based data. Billboards and place-based media sites are found in different types of locations - indoor, outdoor, CBD, highways, transit, and remote locations. Our planning solution addresses all types of locations and can measure any new location within minutes. We have also recently extended our solution to add location-based mobile advertising as an extension to the OOH campaign."

Adding on to the innovative solutions conceptualized by OOH agencies, DOOH media company Eyetalk Media Ventures last week launched ‘People’, a unified audience management platform that gathers, organizes, and activates first, second, and third-party data.

"Amid the economic crisis in these uncharted territories, with People, we have tried to bring answers in the form of data to questions a marketer would have while investing in Out Of Home media,” said Gautam Bhirani.

“People provide actionable audience insights daily, covering our network spread across 500+ unique locations. With this, the platform will help marketers Quantify - Classify audience and procure DOOH impressions at a price that complements footfalls. The platform also provides an opportunity to integrate our DOOH assets with mobile to amplify a digital campaign which will help measure brand ROI,” he added.

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Zen Digital Media makes it’s way into the Limca Book of Records

The DOOH ad company has created a record with a 20m x 5m LED screen floating on the waters next to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 22, 2023 11:04 AM   |   1 min read


Zen Digital Media, a DOOH advertising media company, has entered the Limca Book of records for owning the Largest LED Display Screen on Indian waters.

Their vessel “Blue Papillon”, floating on the waters next to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, houses a 20m x 5m screen, covering a total area of 100 sqm for DOOH advertising.

This LED screen has been powered with a display of 10,000 NITs (Network interface taps) with auto-sensors to adjust picture brightness as per daylight.

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Mortein launches Mortein Smart+ with innovation at cinema hall

Mortein initiated an experiment to imitate a mosquito attack on the screen in the PVR theatre with an added audio effect that was heard as buzzing

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 21, 2023 12:56 PM   |   1 min read


Mortein has announced the launch of its new liquid vaporiser Mortein Smart+ through an engaging intervention with consumers at PVR cinema in Ambience Mall Gurugram.

Commenting on the launch, Saurabh Jain, Regional Marketing Director, Hygiene, Reckitt - South Asia said, “Innovation has always been a part of Mortein’s DNA and we work towards serving changing consumer needs by offering superior solutions to ensure family protection from mosquito-borne diseases. The newly launched, scientifically advanced Mortein Smart+ is raising the bar of protection with an enhanced mosquito repellant solution. It has India’s fastest formula and its effect lasts for 2 hours even after being switched off* so it continues to protect our families from mosquitoes for longer. This advancement is another testament to our commitment of always providing consumers expert protection backed by advanced scientific technology, taking us one step closer to our goal of making India malaria-free by 2030.”

Mortein initiated an experiment to imitate a mosquito attack on the screen in the PVR theatre with an added audio effect that was heard as buzzing. The screen then revealed that the theatre hall was protected by new Mortein Smart+. This one-of-a-kind consumer engagement activation reiterated the superior formula used in Mortein Smart+** that is effective in protecting families with its heightened efficacy.

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Bright Outdoor Media’s public issue oversubscribed 1.27 times

The shares of the company will be listed on the BSE SME Platform on March 24

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 3:01 PM   |   1 min read

Bright outdoor

The public issue of Bright Outdoor Media has got an overwhelming response. The Rs 55.48 crore public issue was oversubscribed 1.27 times.

The retail category saw 1.15 times subscription for the public issue while the NII category received bids for 1.39 times of the quote.

The shares of the company will be listed on BSE SME Platform on March 24.

Sharing more details, Yogesh Lakhani, Chairman and Managing Director, Bright Media Outdoor, said: "We want to thank all our investors who have put their trust in our public issue. We are hopeful that after the proposed public issue, we will be able to execute our growth strategy in a manner that creates exponential value for all stakeholders while consistently delivering quality services."

The initial public offering comprises a fresh issue of 38 lakh equity shares of face value Rs 10 each at a price of Rs 146 per share (including a premium of Rs. 136 per equity share) aggregating up to Rs 55.48 crore. The minimum lot size for the application is 1,000 share, which translates into Rs 1.46 lakh per application.

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DSP Mutual Fund launches OOH campaign to create awareness about index funds

The campaign urges investors to start investing in index funds because they are simple, low-cost funds that aim to mirror different indices

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 10, 2023 2:12 PM   |   2 min read


DSP Mutual Fund has launched #LetsIndex, its new Out Of Home campaign #LetsIndex aiming to build awareness for Index Funds. The campaign urges investors to start investing in Index Funds because they are simple, low-cost funds that aim to mirror different indices. 

Index Funds have seen a massive rise in popularity, seeing a growth in AUM of more than 100% each year since the last few years. Investors and MFDs across India are appreciating the many virtues of Index Funds and recognizing how they can complement active funds in investor portfolios, thereby contributing to their growth.  

DSP Mutual Fund’s #LetsIndex OOH campaign is running across 17 cities across India, including the top metros via 1000+ touchpoints. This 3-week campaign includes Billboards, Bus Shelters, Digital Billboards, Transit media and more. 

The OOH campaign is also being supplemented with digital media to build further awareness and drive interested investors to learn about index fundson dspim.com/LetsIndex.

 This initiative continues DSP’s ongoing efforts to build focus on Index Funds and passive investing in general, adding strength to their content library on their YouTube channel as well as their blog. 

Abhik Sanyal, SVP & Head-Consumer Marketing, DSP Investment Managers said, “The simplest answers to difficult questions are often the right ones, as Occam’s Razor postulates. Index Funds seem almost boring in comparison to other categories of mutual funds, ones that generally grab more attention due to their raging but momentary outperformance or underperformance. At DSP, we believe this is exactly why Index Funds should find flavour in every investor’s portfolio, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor. They keep things simple, operate unemotionally & without biases and offer the low-cost advantage to investors. Our creative challenge while planning this OOH campaign was to condense the many advantages of index funds into DSP’s OOH lexicon – short, crisp, hard-hitting. I believe our creatives deliver on this front.”

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Bharat calling: Brands on OOH route to reach smaller cities

Hyperlocal engagement, cost-effectiveness and more disposable income are drawing advertisers to opt for outdoor advertising in rural India, say industry heads

By Tanzila Shaikh | Mar 3, 2023 9:02 AM   |   4 min read


Rural India or Bharat is featuring big on the list of brands and to amplify this further most marketers are taking the OOH route. The outdoor advertising sector is seeing steady growth and has the potential to get bigger, show numbers from industry reports.

Industry players share they have reached pre-Covid numbers and they see this getting better in the days to come with more premium spaces being developed in the country’s rural pockets, lending brands more scope of engagement via the OOH routes.

Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities are emerging as new target points and OOH is one of the biggest mediums, especially for regional brands, to catch the attention of consumers.

Haresh Nayak, CEO & Founder, Connect Network Inc, referred to announcements made in the Union “Amrit Kaal” Budget. “The budget stuck to the narrative of a larger economic strategy to boost India’s fortunes in 2047. The biggest positive is the 33% increase in overall CAPEX outlay on infrastructure development, which will take India towards becoming a true global powerhouse and help urbanize the hinterland. The funds announced for creating infrastructure in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities will go a long way in boosting overall consumer confidence, and also help the OOH industry with modern infrastructure and expand the business in more markets.”

Sharing more on this was Lekshumanan Annamalai, Founder, Coral Media. “Regional brands are investing more as they have tested success with hyperlocal activities and concentrated areas. In terms of value, the proportion would be the same, as our industry is dependent on the real estate of the business (the areas where the OOH structure is situated). The cost of doing a campaign in Mumbai and NCR is equal to doing campaigns around the entire country.”

According to Mangesh Shinde, Co-Founder of OSMO Advertising, “The pandemic has shaped consumer behaviour in multiple ways. With the rising penetration of smartphones and subsequent internet consumption, Bharat unlocked a completely new user base for brands via E-commerce platform. Increasing digital literacy and disposable income in Tier 2,3 & 4 markets have opened up new growth opportunities for several categories.”

“The Indian government has also been aggressive in expanding the road infrastructure and making connectivity easier between a metro town and its nearest hub of Tier 2 & 3 cities. As a result there has been reverse migration of numerous industries from India to Bharat that has generated more local employment resulting in an increase of disposable income. There is also a reverse migration of talent from India to Bharat as it offers better standard of living at much affordable cost of living. This has created a demand for lifestyle and recreational needs providing growth opportunites for industries like E-Commerce, housing, Retail, F&B, Entertainment etc.”

Asked why advertisers are taking an interest in the hinterlands, Rajneesh Bahl, Business Head, Zest Outdoor, said, “It is very simple, your advertising levels are always proportionate to the level of consumption. These regions have started developing and their infrastructures are developing, the BFSI sector has reached far in these regions and they have the capacity to pay. And during the pandemic, a lot of people went back to their hometowns, and with work from home/anywhere being the new norm brands have found a new interest in these regions.”

Earlier in January 2023, the Zomato x Blinkit OOH campaign got the entire nation’s attention. This traditional media campaign was a trending conversation for days and spurred many brands to get on to the bandwagon.

Asked about the future of the OOH industry in rural areas, Annamalai said it is surely growing but will take a little while to catch up with the urban business. “It is certain that tier 2-3 cities are going to grow big. After Covid, the maximum disposable income is in these towns due to the WFH model. However, it will take time to match top cities like Mumbai and NCR because of the absolute pricing. Also, considering cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai still don’t have much infrastructure for the OOH industry, it will be a slow growth.”

Like other mediums, the OOH medium is turning to digital. Speaking on innovations in the industry, Shinde said, “OOH is one the leading mediums where innovations make high decibel noise. Technology integration in a brand-suitable context yields positive results. Recently we executed a 3D Anamorphic Installation campaign for Renault inside malls in Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru, which provided an immersive feature experience of Kiger. We have also successfully integrated OOH and digital for omnichannel communication of HP Spectre Laptop.”

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Delhi-Mumbai expressway: A fast-track OOH route for brands  

The 1,386-km long expressway gives brands the benefit of achieving total market coverage and reaching a wider audience in a short span

By Shantanu David | Feb 27, 2023 9:07 AM   |   4 min read


Hailed as India’s landmark infrastructure project, the Delhi-Mumbai expressway seems to have put the OOH sector on fast drive. The longest expressway in India stretches up to 1,386 kilometres and cuts the travel distance between Mumbai and Delhi to 12 hours from the present nearly 24 hours.

The expressway is expected to be completed by January 2024, with work happening at multiple points along its routes. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sohna to Dausa stretch earlier this month, which is likely to reduce the distance from Gurgaon to Jaipur to only two hours.

Brands across the spectrum – travel, food and automotive – are set to go for OOH and DOOH contextual and regional advertising given that it’s easy to catch a viewer’s attention when they’re travelling especially on such a long highway.

Confirming the potential, Tanvi Bosmia, Associate Account Director, Brand Experience, SoCheers, says given the distance, travel time and states it will traverse, the expressway will help brands attain a total market coverage and reach a wider audience within a short span of time.

Mitesh Kothari, Co-founder and CCO, White Rivers Media, is also expecting exponential growth in OOH marketing this year overall as more and more offices have completely reopened and travel has resumed after the long pandemic fear and restrictions.

"With the new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, people are going to feel even more upbeat and motivated to travel for both leisure and work. It’s a golden moment for brands to go strong with strategic OOH advertising and unlock tremendous growth possibilities," he says.

A report by AdEx India predicts a CAGR of 11.5% for the OOH advertising industry in India between 2020 and 2025. Additionally, a Nielsen study showed that OOH advertising can increase brand awareness by up to 54%.

Vikas Kumar Mangla, Founder and CEO, Digital ROI, says that targeted messaging is essential for brands to connect with their intended audience. 

He cited Airtel's DOOH campaign in 2019 targeting truck drivers as an example. In the campaign, digital billboards displayed information about Airtel's mobile data plans, and entertainment options such as movies and songs that truck drivers could stream on their mobile devices.

“Location-based targeting can also help brands maximize their advertising efforts. Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) had previously launched an OOH campaign targeting travelers on their way to hill stations. CCD strategically placed billboards along highways that lead to popular hill stations, such as Shimla and Manali. The billboards displayed messages promoting CCD as a perfect pit-stop for travelers to relax and refresh themselves on their journey,” says Mangla.

The Delhi-Mumbai highway traverses six states - Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra - connecting major cities such as Kota, Indore, Jaipur, Bhopal, Vadodara, and Surat, and is expected to see a high volume of traffic, ranging from business to pleasure excursions.

 “Considering a brand will be seen on every corner of the route this will eventually help in high impact visibility thereby, building better brand awareness and recall,” says Bosmia, adding, “The brands will have to be simple, impactful and catchy. This, indeed, is one of the best opportunities for brands across geographies to capitalize their target audience.”

Satya Satapathy, Founder, Creation Infoways, points out that brands can also utilize dOOH advertising to create more dynamic and personalized experiences for consumers. “By using technologies such as facial recognition or mobile device tracking, they can deliver targeted messages and promotions to individuals based on their demographics, behaviour, or interests. This can be especially effective in attracting local consumers or promoting nearby retail locations,” he says.

For instance, brands can place large billboards, digital displays or even interactive installations along the highway to grab the attention of drivers and passengers. By creating visually compelling and engaging content, they can capture the interest of their target audience and leave a lasting impression.

"The advanced programmatic capabilities also equip DOOH to deliver a more engaging experience. Depending on the brand call, we can analyse and devise the best-suited plan to maximally make use of this opportunity," adds Kothari.

“That being said, it's important for brands to consider the safety and regulatory aspects of OOH/dOOH advertising on highways. They need to ensure that their advertisements don't distract drivers or cause any accidents,” says Satapathy, adding that they also need to comply with local laws and regulations regarding the placement, size, and content of their ads.

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Laqshya Media Group forays into UAE & Gulf

Elie Hankash is the head of its Dubai office

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 20, 2023 2:44 PM   |   2 min read

Elie Hankash

Laqshya Media Group (LMG), a leading  communications group in India, strengthens its presence in the UAE and Gulf region with the expansion of its agency business and the appointment of Elie Hankash as Head of its Dubai office. This move marks a significant milestone in LMG's growth and reinforces its commitment to providing its clients with top-notch services in the region. 

Elie has joined LMG as General Manager – UAE & Gulf and will be based at the Dubai office. He will report to Mr. Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO of Laqshya Media Group. Elie brings a wealth of experience, having worked in the advertising and media industry for 35 years. He was previously Regional Buying Director at MCN Group for 15 years and has held senior positions at Leo Burnett, Y&R, McCann Erickson, and Memac Ogilvy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management from Memphis, TN, USA. 

On this occasion, Atul Shrivastava said, “We couldn't be more excited to welcome Elie to the Laqshya Media Group family! His extensive background in related fields is a game changer as we grow our presence in the UAE and Gulf region. Our expertise and experience make us confident that clients will warmly receive our tech-focused and innovative approach to out-of-home media and partners alike.” 

“I am eager to bring my skill set to Laqshya and help drive the company’s growth in the UAE and Gulf region. We believe that the Middle East region is an important market for us, and we are committed to building strong relationships with clients and partners in the region,” said Elie Hankash. 

The new Dubai office will serve as a hub for Laqshya Media Group's operations in the UAE and Gulf region, offering a full range of services, including out-of-home media planning, buying, digital solutions, and experiential marketing. The company's extensive portfolio of assets, combined with its cutting-edge technology and innovative approach, positions it as a leading player in the out-of-home media market. LMG's move into the UAE and Gulf region is part of its wider strategy to expand globally and offer its services to clients worldwide. Laqshya is already executing a number of campaigns in global markets through its alliance with some of the leading OOH agencies in Europe and the USA.

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