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Advertising hoardings in Mumbai.
Advertising hoardings in Mumbai.

Outdoor advertising shows signs of revival

  • Brands across automobiles, smartphones, jewellery, banking, financial services and insurance, telecom, e-commerce, OTT platforms and real estate are driving recovery, especially in smaller markets

NEW DELHI: Out-of-home (OOH) media, which took a hit during the pandemic-induced lockdown with virtually no billings during the April-June quarter, has started recovering on a month-on-month basis with festive spends touching 30-50% of levels seen last year September and October, said advertising industry executives.

The different phases of Unlock saw increase in mobility. While traffic within cities picked pace, inter-state travel also resumed. "This aligned with the festival season and customers coming back to markets. It is just the right time to reach the consumers through OOH," said Atul Shrivastava, CEO, Laqshya Media Group, an independent outdoor media agency.

"We started seeing an uptick in outdoor ads from July. We did a campaign #13thKiTaiyyari by television broadcaster Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) as it prepared to resume its daily television soaps from 13 July. This year, festive season OOH ad spends have managed to revive by 50% of what brands spent last year," he said.

Brands across automobiles, smartphones, jewellery, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) telecom, e-commerce, over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms and real estate are driving this recovery, especially in smaller markets such as Lucknow, Calicut, Jaipur and Indore, among others.

"Whether it was Tanishq or local jewellers across cities, multiple outdoor campaigns were run throughout the festive season. We have also witnessed higher media occupancy in smaller markets as compared to metros, " said Shrivastava.

Tanishq and Laqshya Media Group mounted brand's festive Ekatvam campaign in 10 cities including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Lucknow and Patna. Launched on the 16 October, the OOH campaign was part of Tanishq's 360-degree campaign for the new festive collection and was on for a month. It used 1,52,000 sq ft of OOH media to maximise impact and reach the target audience, the company said.

".... this campaign featuring the new collection will help strongly rebuild the livelihoods of our jewellery Karigars across India and illuminate their homes this Diwali," said Arun Narayan, vice-president, category, marketing & retail, Tanishq, Titan Company Limited.

Regional brands have also started advertising as Unlock has led to opening of businesses.

The road to recovery in OOH has been nearly smooth since July and traction is visible across national and regional markets, Nabendu Bhattacharyya, CEO & MD, Milestone Brandcom, a Dentsu India owned outdoor agency.

"Even at regional/local market levels, OOH has been actively used by local players especially real estate, education and retail businesses," he added.

Bhattacharyya said he expects demand for outdoor advertising to pick up in the coming months as it has the power to reach across markets within geographical locations.

"I think, by the first quarter of 2021 with vaccine news and new budget calendar of global clients, OOH spends will improve rapidly. I am hopeful marketers will look at the medium in a different light and use it to connect with their audiences across regions," he added.

According to the Pitch Madison mid-year report put in August, outdoor registered a drop of 55% and overall OOH advertising stood at 760 crore in H1’20. On account of this, the overall OOH share to the total advertising expenditure (adex), which has always been 5%, has declined to 4% in the H1 of 2020.

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