Big Street-Nielsen study finds DMRC effective ad option

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | October 22, 2008
The study finds that a metro station is an ideal location for brands targeting SEC A consumers in the age group of 24-31 years, including students and government officials

The Delhi

Metro Rail Corp. (DMRC) has not only proved to be a boon for commuters, but also emerged as a strategic space with many inventory options for outdoor advertisers. In fact, the number of footfalls in metro stations is enough to tempt brands to use the outdoor medium effectively there.

Big Street recently partnered with The Nielsen Co. to measure the effectiveness of the DMRC as a preferred medium for advertisers and also to understand commuters' profiles and demographics. The independent study was carried out by The Nielsen Co. and sponsored by Big Street to add value for all its customers.

The study was undertaken at the Line II stretch of the DMRC, covering all 10 stations, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Rajeev Chowk, New Delhi, Chawri Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, Kashmiri Gate, Civil Lines, Vidhan Sabha and Delhi University. Around 1,460 interviews were conducted at the exit points of the stations. A structured questionnaire was given to exiting commuters.

The key findings of the study established that a metro station is an ideal location for brands targeting consumers in the age group of 24-31 years, including students and government officials. The male and female commuter profile differs across stations; Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat have the highest percentage of female commuters - 38 and 39 per cent, respectively.

On an average, around 2,50,000 people commute daily on Line II between the Central Secretariat and University Circle stations. More than 40 per cent of them belong to SEC A.

Key stations such as Rajiv Chowk, Kashmiri Gate and New Delhi Railway Station have more than 3,200 footfalls during peak hours. The average footfalls per day on all three stations are more than 42,000. Kashmiri Gate, with 49,500 average footfalls per day, emerged top of the list.

In an official communiqué, Chandana Banerjee, director, client solutions, The Nielsen Co., says, "Our research shows that the commuters on Line II of the DMRC are SEC A, young, with an average age of about 27 years, and a sizeable proportion of them are students."

Banerjee adds, "Given this profile, this medium is likely to become attractive to marketers with a direct interest in this target group, particularly given the fact that around 12 per cent recall having seen ads in this relatively new medium, which is quite substantial in the context of any spontaneous outdoor ad recall."

afaqs! spoke to Mayank Pande, regional business head, North and East, Big Street, to understand the key idea behind coming up with such a study at this point of time. Pande says, "OOH has been an unregulated and unprofessional industry. Most importantly, it's difficult to calculate the 'measurability' of this medium."

"We chose the metro as the site of the study because of the huge number of footfalls across different stations. Soon, we plan to host a forum where people from the media, advertising agencies, clients and government departments will be presented the findings of our study on the DMRC."

Big Street is high on investments in its inventories in metro stations. Recently, it spent Rs 2.5 crore to upgrade its inventories with new technology. The company's aim is to provide extremely attractive showcasing options to brands. It also plans to carry out similar studies for its inventories in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

Will the economic slowdown have a negative impact on the OOH spend of brands? Pande says, "The advertising budgets will be reduced, but this may not affect OOH. There will be a change in the media mix as television and print may witness lower spends. But brands will choose to spend more on outdoor and radio as they are comparatively cost effective."

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