afaqs!

STAR News' unusual clock on Delhi bus shelters

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | September 07, 2009
The MUPI of a BQS in Delhi has been transformed into a clock with 24 faces of the news channel's reporters

Bus shelters as a media format have come of age and brands have been quick to leverage and experiment with it. To promote its show, 24 Ghante 24 Reporter, STAR News tied up with OOH (out of home) major JCDecaux, which conceptualised and executed a clock innovation on a bus shelter at Max Mueller Marg Bhawan, KG Marg in New Delhi.

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Mobilier Urbaine Pour I'Information or MUPI, which is a free standing unit adjacent to the bus shelter, has been converted into an unconventional clock with 24 faces of STAR News' reporters, signifying 24 hours in a day, in place of the regular 12 numbers in a clock.

24 Ghante 24 Reporter is a news bulletin that delivers 24 stories in 30 minutes in a rapid fire and reporter-led format. The programme consists of segments such as Sabse Badi Khabar, Desh, Shahar, Gunah, Duniya, Khel, Karobar, Cinema and TV to provide a themed delivery of news.

Neeraj Sanan, marketing head, MCCS, tells afaqs!, "Outdoor plays a major role in brand recall. OOH innovations are conventionally perceived as something involving high costs. Actually, innovation has got more to do with coming up with an interesting, cost effective idea like this. The show is not about breaking news but a roundup of the day's major events and the clock communicates this effectively."

Sanan reveals that MCCS plans to take this innovation to other cities as well. MUPIs have been used very innovatively by brands. Earlier this year, to mark the launch of Nimbooz, PepsiCo used three JCDecaux shelters at Janpath, SP Marg and Patel Chowk in Delhi innovatively by placing a four-feet high Nimbooz bottle, along with a lemon replica, inside the MUPI units.

Also, Virgin Mobile fabricated its vKewl handset on a MUPI. Instead of the handset's static screen, the MUPI display had a 32 inch plasma screen. The footage captured by a CCTV placed in the bus shelter was played simultaneously on the plasma screen, leaving the audience pleasantly surprised and sometimes embarrassed.

For Tata Indicom's launch of the Blackberry phone, JCDecaux had converted an MUPI into a larger than life Blackberry phone.

According to Raj Mohanty, senior business director, Poster Publicity, the trend of using MUPIs innovatively picked up about two years ago when Reebok did an innovation with revolving shoes inside a MUPI. Another innovation he recalls is for Vodafone's two day music sale, where a MUPI panel was dressed up to look like a person carrying an assorted stack of CDs. The back lit portion of the bus shelter, too, had a similar image with the Vodafone branding, making it look like CDs stacked on a shelf.

He says, "The cost of fabrication on a MUPI varies on the type of the innovation. While a vanilla cut-out placed inside a MUPI can cost anywhere between Rs 20,000-30,000, an innovation involving technical intricacies and using plasma or LCD screens can cost around a lakh and a half. Costs vary, depending upon the scale of the innovation as well."

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