OOH companies Sky Ads and AD's World join hands for aerial advertising

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | February 17, 2011
The two companies aim to offer aerial advertising solutions, in conjunction with radio, mobile and PR activities to deliver better impact for brands.

In a recent development, Chandigarh-based aerial ads company, Sky Ads (run by Aerial Advertising) has entered a partnership with the OOH media solutions company, AD's World to offer exclusive sky advertising to brands.

The two-decades-old AD's World operates in the out-of-home advertising domain through media buying, activations and retail solutions. Sky Ads, founded by Captain SS Dhillon, has been offering aerial advertising solutions, in the form of flights towing billboards and banners with brand messages since 2009.

The partnership, which consists of a five-year revenue-sharing contract, came about after AD's World approached Sky Ads regarding their aerial advertising offerings. This eventually led to the two companies joining hands.

Commenting on the tie-up, Ajay Dhawan, group CEO, AD's World, tells afaqs!, "We have been offering a lot of innovative solutions to clients, including sky balloons, since 1997. So, this was a natural progression for us."

Captain SS Dhillon, managing director, Aerial Advertising, says, "Our goal is to grow this unique medium in India, which has been used for years the world over. AD's World shares the same passion. This was the coming together of two like-minded entities. We are excited to enhance our position in this market by offering innovative new formats to business houses."

While aerial advertising has been seen internationally since the 1930s, the medium is at a nascent stage in India. Over the past couple of years, a few brands, such as Mahindra, Tata Docomo, Vodafone, Haryana Tourism and Frankfinn have used this medium.

Dhawan adds, "We intend to strengthen our activation offerings through this medium, which will involve a three-pronged strategy of partnering with a radio company, mobile services company and a PR company to support the aerial displays."

He provides an example. A banner, up to 4,000 sq ft in area, with a maximum of 40 alphabets of 7 ft height, can tail an aircraft. Supporting this, a radio station could announce a teaser asking listeners to look at the skies at the designated day and time. To win prizes, people could send in SMSes to a predetermined number -- this will help to engage with the brand after having seen the sky ad. Also, the entire event could be promoted by a PR exercise that utilises print and other media, thus giving the brand a bigger bang for its buck.

He suggests that such activations could be used for brand or store launches and re-launches, the cricket World Cup, IPL Cricket tournaments and other activation plans across the country.

It is to be noted that aerial advertising can be offered across skies in every city and town, except Mumbai, due to security and airport constraints.

The company will offer aerial advertising at the cost of Rs 10 lakh for four hours per day, and recommends that brands take it up for two to three days for full effect and highest visibility.

Dhawan points out that for a brand, a hoarding in a place such as Gurgaon would cost about Rs 20 lakh a month. In comparison, aerial advertising across two or three days will be able to offer much higher visibility and brand recall due to the buzz it will create.

The company intends to tie up with a single brand in each product/service category on an annual basis.

While the partnership between the two companies was signed over the last weekend, afaqs! was told that a few companies have already shown interest in the activities.

Whether the skies are going to be painted with multiple brand colours soon, we'll have to wait and watch.

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