afaqs!

Vritti iMedia to launch digital audio ads at bus stands in Punjab, Karnataka

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | October 30, 2012
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Vritti iMedia, which is already operational in Maharashtra, will be rolled out in Punjab and Northeast Karnataka by mid-November.

Vritti iMedia, the media arm of IT company Vritti Solutions, has created a digitally-driven audio system to promote brand messages at bus stands. A new avatar of a public announcement system, Vritti iMedia already has a presence in bus stands in rural and semi-rural Maharashtra. It will now enter Punjab and Karnataka through a partnership deal with Punjab Road Transport Corporation and North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation. The system will be implemented by November.

A Latur (Maharashtra)-based edible oil company had adopted the innovative advertising strategy four years ago when it chose to promote its product via audio announcements in state transport (ST) bus stands. Four years hence, the company has stuck to this sole communication medium for its ad campaigns. Similarly, Marathi newspaper Lokmat, too, employed the audio announcement medium to communicate its headlines from 6 am to 11 am at ST bus stands. There was an increase of 25-30 per cent in the newspaper's counter sales.

Rajesh Radhakrishnan

The audio ads, which are programmed through a software application, can be made lively and programmed to speak in local dialect for easier comprehension local travellers. "Unlike radios, jingles don't work in this medium. Since the ads are given out as announcements, it has to be clear and music free," says Rajesh Radhakrishnan, head, marketing, Vritti iMedia.

According to the agency, these bus stands, which cater to districts and taluks, see average footfalls of about 35,000-40,000, of which 70 per cent are first time travellers. Hence, the agency predicts that if a campaign is run for three months, it could cover almost the entire population of the area. The ads last between 10-30 seconds and are repeated 60 to 90 times between 6 am and 10 pm. Owing to its scope, the office of Chief Election Commission of Maharashtra used the medium to encourage youngsters to enrol in the electoral roll.

"I believe audio will have an impact if delivered in a right way. This medium is an alternative to cable television in local bus stands," Radhakrishnan says. He adds that the company thought of the innovative medium while building an announcement system for Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation.

"Railways has benefitted from this mode of communication since it has a strong network. Our challenge was to build such a network. So, when we developed the application, we also came up with the build-operate model and established the channel network for the transport corporation,"

he says.

The communication channel has already been implemented in over 80 bus stands across Maharashtra and will be rolled out in 12 bus stands in Punjab and 43 bus stands in Karnataka. Some of the clients which have adopted the medium are HUL (Lux soap), Chevrolet Beat, Bajaj Auto, SBI Bank, Lokmat newspaper, STAR TV, SET India (KBC) and 9X Jhakaas.

Vritti iMedia started in 2007 and its client base has doubled in the last one-and-a-half years. The company now plans to expand on a national level.

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