Battleground Mumbai: Outdoor is white-hot for dailies

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing
Last updated : May 30, 2005
Impending media launches have ensured that the outdoor space in Mumbai is choc-a-bloc

On a breezy March morning, harried Mumbaikars are startled by a rather conspicuous hoarding campaign that has faces of people staring at them with their mouths sealed shut. There's no copy, no logo, nothing, just framed faces.

Cut to the present. Mumbai Mirror, the 48-page 'compact' from Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd., is out in the stands today. The company needed to announce it, and the vehicles chosen were print (but, of course), and outdoor. Gigantic hoardings across the city throughout last week made it clear to one and all that Mumbai Mirror was 'hitting the stands' on May 30.

Indeed, outdoor is a hot medium for the new crop of papers looking to set foot in Mumbai. According to industry estimates, about Rs 15-20 crore will be invested on outdoor alone this year by the three players - HT, BCCL and DNA - to make their presence felt in the marketplace.

"That is because Mumbai lends itself well to the outdoor medium. It is impactful and generates instant response. So who wouldn't want to use it?," says a Mumbai-based media planner.

Contrary to perception, rates for sites in Mumbai are not particularly steep, with prime locations going for about Rs 5 lakh per month, while allied locations could cost anywhere between Rs 40,000-50,000 per month.

A bus back costs in the region of Rs 3,000 - Rs 3,500 and a bus shelter is priced between Rs 12,000-Rs 13,000. Hence the DNA teaser campaign, says an outdoor media specialist, would have cost about Rs 70-80 lakh for a month's activity. "After this initial burst where hoardings, kiosks, display boards, night lamps and other sites were used to create hype, it has been more a question of sustaining the campaign," adds the outdoor specialist.

However, all of this is set to change in the next few weeks as DNA prepares for its next major outdoor onslaught coupled with an on-ground activation exercise to 'amplify' effect.

Hindustan Times, meanwhile, has opted to take the television route with its 'Let there be Light' campaign playing across Hindi and English channels. A passing reference to the impending Mumbai launch can be found in the concluding statement - 'Coming to Mumbai' - in the commercial.

Unlike its rivals - The Times of India and DNA, which have attempted to outshout each other in the Mumbai market by plastering the city with hoardings, HT has a strategic 13-storey building wrap at the prime location of Haji Ali in Mumbai, to build hype.

It is also conducting a pre-launch order booking among readers in the city. The paper, which is slated to hit the stands on July 1, is available at 97 paise per copy for those who opt for a year's subscription at Rs 348 right now.

On the day of launch, an approximately 40-page issue will cost Rs 3 on weekdays and Rs 4.50 on Sundays. The paper will also have 4-page supplements on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and a 14-page Sunday magazine called HT Brunch. It is learnt that HT is toying with the idea of including supplements on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, though there is no confirmation on this. 2005 agencyfaqs!

First Published : May 30, 2005
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