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OAC 2007: Digitisation, innovation - the way ahead for outdoor

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 12, 2007
"If the Indian outdoor advertising industry intended to grow five times in the next four years, the way out is out-of-the-box thinking," says Pratap Bose, CEO, O&M India

The human & #BANNER1 & # society has reached where it is today because of a few individuals who have had the spirit to think away from conventional wisdom and change their thoughts into reality. Pratap Bose, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather India, at the Outdoor Advertising Convention (OAC) 2007, stressed upon the importance of innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, if the Indian outdoor advertising industry intends to grow by five times in the next four years. The industry is currently at Rs 1,000 crore, but the aim is to grow to Rs 5,000 crore by the year 2010.

To stress further on his statement, Bose mentioned the few innovative pieces of work that has been done in the country in this category. First, he spoke of an innovative ambient activity conducted by Ogilvy Action last year to promote the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival for Hutch wherein a bunch of guys from the Ogilvy Action team were made to sit at a restaurant, which was buzzing with activity during the dinner time. One of the guys started ogling at a girl, who was sitting on the next table with her boyfriend. This guy continued to do this till the time the girl's boyfriend got really annoyed and aggressive. The boyfriend ended up in a hostile argument with this guy. The argument led to the intervention of other people sitting nearby to calm the situation. When everybody in the restaurant got involved and started looking at what was happening, the Ogilvy team came out holding banners titled 'For more real life drama log on to Hutch Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival'. The same activity was repeated 25 times across the country to promote this festival.

Pratap Bose
The second example that he provided was also for Ogilvy's client Hutch where there was an innovative use of a hoarding to promote MSN search on Hutch. As per this innovation, a hoarding was put up on a road where there were lots of birds. These birds sat on the top of the hoarding and a picture below showed a phone with the word 'Bird' typed in, in the MSN search tab.

Bose talked about another innovation done by Ogilvy for its client SBI. This was to promote SBI car loans to the general public, where a picture of a car steering and dashboard was put up just behind the seat of the bus driver's in local buses in cities. The message said, 'How does it feel to own a car?'.

Besides the use of innovation in this category, Bose said that the entry of international biggies such as VIACom, Europlakat, Clear Media and Stroer in the times to come, will further spurt the growth in this category; however, he also mentioned that measurement tools need to be introduced to reduce wasteful decisions, and make the activities more effective.

In his course of talk, Bose mentioned about how different measurement tools has helped the industry grow in different markets. For instance, in the UK, the share of outdoor advertising industry grew from 3-4 to the current 11 per cent, since the measurement tool POSTAR was launched in 1996. Similarly, the share of outdoor advertising industry in Australia in the total advertising pie grew by 10 per cent after the introduction of the measurement tool ROAM.

Bose was assertive that the launch of Indian Outdoor Survey (IOS) will also bring in speedy growth for the industry in the country.

According to Bose, the next level of growth in this category will come in through digitisation of the outdoor media, which will facilitate one to one communication with the consumer through modern technologies such as blue-tooth and infra-red enabled outdoor hoardings and poster which will communicate directly and personally to each passing by consumer.

Besides digitisation will also allow the advertisers and media planner in choosing their location and time for their brand, and this will make the job for them much easier, thus further fuelling growth in this sector. This service is currently available only in the US, but is soon expected to arrive in India.

The retail boom in India, which increases by 25 lakh square feet of retail space every year, will also contribute the maximum towards the growth of outdoor media in the country in the coming times.

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