International Techno Media (ITM), the company which was awarded the contract to install India's first network of 50 audio-visual giant LED screens (16 ft X 9 ft) last year, has got its first set of national advertisers. Slice, Kuwait Airways, Kent RO, Orbit, Sony Ericsson and Shopper Stop have bought spots on the network of screens in the Capital.
All the screens are managed from a central server in Gurgaon and software has been put in place for monitoring the ads.
While most of the advertisers have come-on board with the help of various agencies, ITM is in direct touch with Kent RO. Besides, last year in November, ITM also entered into a strategic alliance with Big Street to market these screens.
Additionally, Bollywood has shown some interest in using the giant LEDs for running promos before and after the release of movies; Kuchh Kariye and Phoonk 2 have already taken this route. The preferred time slot in this case is 4 pm-8 pm.
Sanjay Dayal, general manager - marketing, ITM says, "Prime time slots will soon pick up and become a premium offering. Also, we are in talks with clients from hypermarkets, who are interested in taking up a single screen exclusively."
Currently, the ratio of national and local advertisers is 80:20. Taking 100 spots of 10 seconds per day would cost around Rs 4-5 lakh per month.
afaqs! spoke to the industry on what can be done to make the medium an attractive option for advertisers.
Aman Chaudhuri, client services director, Navia Asia, feels that though the hardware is well in place, more initiatives need to be taken to build the right content. "An element of interactivity can be added to these screens by adding features such as Bluetooth. Rather than a TVC, an animated piece of not more than 10 seconds will make an interesting watch. Considering the steep costs of media present in other youth hangout zones such as malls and multiplexes, these screens appear to be a cheaper option," he says.
According to Vikas Bhambri, senior vice-president, Mudra Max, the frequency of TVCs on the screens can lead to boredom. He feels that ITM should explore the possibility of assigning one screen to a particular client exclusively, who would have the option of showcasing multiple products. Also, the resolution of these screens could be made brighter in daytime.
Agreeing with Bhambri on keeping a screen exclusive for one client, Raj Mohanty, GM, LG Ad India speaks about Coke's LED screen at Times Square in New York City. "Apart from being an architectural marvel, the screen grabs onlookers' attention by showing content related to Coke's history, its various products and different brand ambassadors who came on-board over the years. Sustainability will come only with the right content. Spot selling prevalent in television may not work for these screens in the long run," he opines.
While the small screen network in India has players such as OOH Media, LiveMedia and DSN, ITM's network is the only giant LED screen network in the country.