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OAC 2012: Digital OOH is the future

This was the idea that resonated at the 8th edition of Outdoor Advertising Convention 2012. A panel discussion on innovation stressed on the need to infuse digital with outdoor advertising to ensure systematic growth of the industry.

Outdoor Advertising Convention 2012 was organised on June 8-9 in Mumbai with the aim to go beyond identifying and acknowledging problems, and exploring radical and innovative options to bring about systematic change in the OOH (out of home) industry.

Navin Talreja
Nabendu Bhattacharya
Sunder Hemrajani

A panel discussion titled 'Innovation-Strategy for survival and status quo or differentiation and growth?' saw speakers deliberate on the innovations in the OOH segment that can bring about a bigger marketing budget pie.

The session was moderated by Navin Talreja, managing partner, Ogilvy Mumbai. The panellists included Sunder Hemrajani, managing director, Times Innovative Media Ltd; Nabendu Bhattacharya, founder and MD, Milestone Brandcom; and Mukesh Manik of Encyclomedia.

Kick-starting the proceedings, Talreja highlighted some of the common challenges faced by the OOH industry. He said, "The issues faced by the OOH industry are many. One of the most common issues plaguing the industry is the lack of consolidation of the players. The lack of entry or exit barriers and proper metrics are some issues the industry needs to address. And, innovation is the key to survival."

The panel concurred that with the advancements in the digital technology front, digital OOH is the future. Bhattacharya said, "The OOH work done in our country has been lacking consistency. With the coming in of digital technology into the segment, all the stakeholders will have opportunities to do good work. Apart from reducing the clutter in the segment, digital OOH will help in the growth of creative opportunities and ensure higher level of customer engagement. It is the future of the OOH industry."

Drawing attention to the volatile market conditions, Hemrajani said, "The overall slowdown in the economy emphasises the need to redefine marketing strategies for the OOH sector. As an industry, we have to concentrate on growing revenues by innovating and coming up with solutions that are customer-centric."

Highlighting the upcoming trend of marrying digital to OOH, Hemrajani added, "Digital has presented us with an immense opportunity. But the stakeholder must understand and realise that digital OOH without good content has no meaning."

Manik said innovation for OOH must be all about the ability to replicate. He said, "For an OOH idea to be called innovative, it should be replicable, economical and must satisfy the need of the people for which they are willing to pay. And, this will surely come with digital."

Another aspect that was deliberated upon at the convention was the rise of social media and its impact on other industries. Bhattacharya averred, "Social media has been a boon. It is an amplifier of messages and social media integration with OOH will drive the industry."

Talreja concluded, "The infusion of digital and social media has resulted in the evolution of OOH from a static medium. The evolution of digital OOH is going to be all about experience."

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