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Points of view: Will the Commonwealth Games transform the OOH business in Delhi?

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | February 16, 2010
afaqs! takes a look at the expectations of insiders about the effects the upcoming games on the OOH business in the Capital

Can the CWG permanently change the outdoor business in the Capital?

Noomi Mehta
Chairperson and managing director, Selvel One Group

OOH (out of home) advertising rights, in keeping with the avowed policy of the authorities, are incidental to the infrastructure projects announced. A careful study of the suitability of locations and the positioning of the advertisement space is needed before jumping in to sign and submit tenders.

& #BANNER1 & #The biggest concern is the sustainability of the created infrastructure through expected ad revenue alone. The ability to carry on maintaining the assets, if faced with a loss in the immediate future, is doubtful. The sort of assets being created would have a normal life span of five-10 years, with proper upkeep and renewals. All cities face a slump in OOH advertising immediately after a mega event. OOH media owners are betting that India, and more particularly Delhi, will grow exponentially to be able to ride out the slump quickly and that local clients will jump in to seize the opportunity.

Can Delhi grow from Rs 250 crore to Rs 500 crore-plus in two years and sustain itself at that level? I think not. Excess supply will lead to massive discounting and if media collapses, the infrastructure collapses along with it.

Pradeep Shrivastava
Chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular

The Commonwealth Games will most definitely throw open a number of new OOH opportunities. For example, the metro network will get extended by 200 kms, permanently changing the way people travel across the Capital. It will also add on a substantial portion of facade area for communication. A mass brand such as Idea will benefit from it.

Idea has used OOH extensively in metros and other cities for speaking to its customers. The focus in telecom is, however, shifting to rural, which is witnessing significant growth today. With a majority of new subscribers coming from rural areas, these companies are increasingly looking at media that help connect with this audience.

In cities, there are high-end products and services in telecom, including data cards, roaming plans or VAS, which can be effectively promoted through new and innovative OOH media such as digital 3D frames, kiosks and metro fašade. The use of such media will, however, be selective after considering their cost effectiveness and relevance.

Raj Mohanty
Senior business director, Poster Publicity

Delhi's media scenario is undergoing changes. With the Commonwealth Games around the corner, many campaigns will be rolled out by the government bodies. Also, there will be campaigns rolled out by various corporates associated with the games through sponsorships and creation of infrastructure. No stone will be left unturned to grab eyeballs with outdoor advertising.

Delhi has more buying power than Mumbai but more money is spent on OOH in Mumbai due to traditional bifurcation of budgets. Also, media owners in Mumbai are more open to innovations and the city offers large formats. Both Mumbai and Delhi have approximately equal shares of print and radio spends. So, why should OOH lag behind? Delhi has the scope to grow - and it will - in a constructive and planned manner. There should be a dialogue between the government bodies, media owners and agencies to earmark large format media options across the city.

After the games, the media created will hold up to the market as more spends will be diverted.

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