In October 2009, afaqs! reported how Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) awarded the contract to install India's first network of 50 audio visual giant LED screens (16 ftX9 ft) to International Techno Media (ITM). The company also signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyderabad based MIC Electronics, which is manufacturing these screens. Later, Big Street came on board to help ITM market the screens.
The biggest challenge while putting up a giant LED screen is to zero in on the right location in a market place, where maximum people will be able to view it. This is done first by taking the approval for a chosen location from the MCD and Delhi Police, and later getting a nod from the market association of a particular area. Also, final clearance is taken from the concerned authorities if there is a parking lot present in the vicinity. All this is taken care of because many screens have been pulled down by the authorities at various locations pan India as these were placed close to roads, proving to be a traffic hazard.
As of now, clients are provided with the option to run their television commercials on the screens. What sets these screens apart from the network of small LCD screens predominant in the country is the added sound feature as there is no point in running a TVC without sound.
In future, to add a touch of novelty, ITM will make custom made creatives for its clients. Since the set up is new, first the company conducts trial runs on the screens and later, slots are sold to the clients to ensure flawless execution of a campaign. All the screens are scheduled from a central server located in Gurgaon.
Brands such as MTNL, Shoppers Stop, Olive Mobile and PC Guru are already on board and test runs are being conducted for several other telecom players.
The industry is unanimous on the fact that the right sound, coupled with the right creative, can contribute to the success of the network of these screens in the long run.
According to Aman Chaudhuri, client services director, Navia Asia, running the same TVC on a screen will not be able to ensure eyeballs. "There needs to be a tailor made creative for this new medium as the onlooker is seeking novelty in 30 seconds, which is the maximum time he or she will spend on the screen. Sound, if well managed, is something that can really act as a value addition and work wonders for the screens," he says.
Madhuri Sapru, managing partner, Kinetic is excited about the new medium and feels that the screens will be successful. "Noise levels are higher in a market place and the company will have to work out the sound adjustments accordingly. Earlier, sound was added to some screen networks present in the retail shops, only to be neutralised or turned off eventually," she warns.
While the small screen network in India has players such as OOH Media, LiveMedia and DSN, there is no network of giant LEDs present in the country, besides ITM's network.