Aarti Pahwa, New Delhi
The lockdown impacted most industries across the globe. However, one industry that had to bear the maximum burnt in the advertising world was the out of home segment. Considering people were stuck at their homes, OOH advertising had come to a complete standstill. The people who ventured out were greeted with empty hoardings, or hoardings that spoke about coronavirus and its precautions one can take to prevent it from spreading. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has left most markets with a dent.
However, with the festive season round the corner, is there a chance of some growth coming back to OOH? Experts feel there are a lot of factors that will impact the growth.
Fabian Trevor Cowan, Country Head, Posterscope India says, “we would like to believe that there will certainly be increased OOH activity during the festive season. The categories that will be more visible would be automobiles, app led solutions, retail to a certain extent, OTT and real estate for sure. Traditional festive advertisers too will tend to make a mark.”
Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum OOH says, “Festive season is sure to bring the smile back if not shine back. It’s a healthy sign wherein brands are showing interest in OOH across media formats. Mainly because the festive season has coincided with the unlocking phase. More and more touchpoints are getting activated like Malls, gyms, salons, airports etc. along with the road traffic. Though this year the spends are far lesser than past years during the festive season but still the industry has got the much needed boost as more advertisers are coming back to the media.
Categories that are using OOH are automobiles, FMCG, telecom, jewellery, retail, apparels, real estate to name a few but the significant ones.”
Nabendu Bhattacharyyaâ€‹, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Milestone Brandcom, says, “Out of home form integral part of ATL media. So any campaign without integration of out of home and media mix stays incomplete as a complete media plan to reach audience. Some categories are more relevant on our of home space as a direct relevant to the strength of ooh media includes Real estate, Boutique clothing store , jewellery, and some categories like OTT , Mobile handsets , and services , e-commerce , FMCG , Pharma , White goods , Automotive needs integrated campaign including out of home media national level and 10% to 20% contribution of advertising budget gets allocated to out of home media. Out of home media got initial beating due to stringent lockdown nationally over 100 days and followed by periodic lock down state-wide. Post gradual unlocking we see surge of all brands interest in out of home and it’s growing rapidly across brands.”
Atul Shrivastava, CEO, Laqshya Media Group, says, “Traffic on roads is back to 80-90% of normal times even in metros. In smaller cities it had picked up immediately after Unlock 1 and 2 were announced. It has come as a great relief to quite a few categories, where Impact advertising is a must. Some of these categories are - Automobile, OTT, Mobile Handsets, Real Estate. These categories are everywhere on OOH. Apart from the impact, the medium ensures the reach to large number of people at much lower cost than a few other mediums. Continuous spend by categories like BFSI & FMCG gives strength to the power of OOH Medium. Build up for the festival season demand started a bit late but we are seeing new campaigns with each passing day.
While the lockdown period affected the sales of the products, it also created a void in the advertising activities by the brands. It definitely left marketers flushed with budgets. There were 2 options - either to conserve it or to use it to support and consolidate the demand for their products through advertising. With the Unlock in different phases and demand in the markets, now every brand is trying to claim its place for the consumers’ preference. Recovery in terms of revenue has to be achieved in 2 parts - cost saving through the supportive measures by the Govt. and overcome the vacancy and rate erosion. I personally feel, there is a good indication and progress on both the fronts. While several municipal corporations, railways, AAI, private site landlords have offered discounts, the occupancy in Tier 2 cities has reached to 90% level. Very soon metros will also reach that level. As I said the marketers are left with decent budgets for this FY, I’m sure a large part of it would get spent in next 05 months only. We hope to reach 70-80% occupancy against the last year’s H2 numbers.”
Jayesh Yagnik, CEO, MOMS, said, “With OOH getting back gradually, we would expect the festive season to be a booster for the media. Many categories like Auto, Finance, Real estate, FMCG, Media & Entertainment are already active in OOH. These categories will continue and with unlock 5 additional categories like Retail, E-commerce, E-learning, OTT can be active in OOH. At Madison we believe it will be a good festive and some of the key brands associated with us will be visible in OOH. As far as spends are concern, we are seeing that slowly and gradually it is increasing on OOH. The first half of FY2020-21 took major hit in terms of spends however festive is helping in boosting the spends and we are seeing positive trends in spends. We are hopeful of the same to be continue for the latter half of the year. We should be back to pre covid-19 level in terms of our billing soon.”