afaqs!

Axis APM wins advertising rights for Indian Oil's consumer gas bills

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 27, 2009
The association will extend its reach to a cumulative 14 crore households

Personal media services agency, Axis Ad-Print-Media (Axis APM), has tied up with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) to sell advertising space on consumer gas bills. Through this arrangement, advertisers can now talk directly to 5.23 crore households.

Personal media is a fairly new concept in mass media that reaches consumers directly through semi-official personal documents such as railway tickets, electricity bills and gas bills. These documents are retained by consumers and referred to regularly, making them a more target oriented, cost-effective advertising medium.

& #BANNER1 & #IOCL ranked 105th in the Fortune Global 500 list in 2009 and distributes LPG to 5.23 crore households through nearly 5,000 distributors across the nation. With this tie up, out of 10.5 crore LPG households in India, Axis APM now reaches 8.23 crore households, including its other tie up with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), that reaches 3 crore households. Advertisers also have the choice of targeting specific states, cities and even areas within cities.

Commenting on the development, Pradeep Gupta, chairperson and managing director, Axis APM India, says, "We started this company with a vision to create a niche in the market and give a new personal medium to reach out to every household in India. The medium has been well received by the masses. As a result, IOCL has awarded us the branding opportunities on the gas bills."

He adds, "We are getting overwhelming responses from across sectors including FMCG, telecom, tourism board and banking. This clearly indicates that this new medium is here to stay."

The company shares that the benefits of personal media are many. It combines the reach of mass media with the personalisation abilities of direct media: a unique combination of micro and macro targeting with direct marketing tool. The medium reaches even media-dark areas where print and TV penetration is very low.

Sampling is also possible through personal media and response-led campaigns have provided good results for advertisers. The medium has a higher shelf life than other media and virtually no advertising clutter. Also, unlike other media, personal media is not a passive medium. Consumers actively interact with the documents, household heads and housewives in equal measure.

The medium targets all adults from A, B and C households. Amit Dey, chief executive officer, Axis APM, says, "The best part is that one cannot get a gas connection if he/she doesn't have an address proof, which automatically puts them into a clearly identifiable target."

Field research conducted by AC Nielsen has proved that the personal medium enjoys high aided and unaided brand recall. It is totally accountable and provides high effectiveness for advertisers.

Where pricing is concerned, Dey shares that the cost for the all four spots on one bill (two front and two back spots) is Rs 3 only. "Axis Media in most cases provides much better effective per unit cost for advertisers," he says.

Through personal media, Axis APM now reaches out to more than 14 crore households, including two crore train travellers every month through railway tickets, reservation charts and I-ticket envelopes in nine railway zones, and four crore households every month through electricity bills in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.