Primesite, the independent outdoor division of the Rs 780-crore Mudra Communications, is in the midst of repositioning itself as a complete out-of-home solutions provider. In the process, the agency is not only looking at an image makeover - from that of a traditional outdoor space-buying outfit to that of an out-of-home branding consultancy - it is also looking to tap the huge out-of-home market (which includes traditional outdoor, signage and retail merchandising), estimated to be worth roughly Rs 2,500 crore.
"The need of the hour is to reach out to consumers at every given opportunity, and the task of media does not end in the consumer's living room," explains Madhukar Kamath, managing director & CEO, Mudra Communications. "There are several out-of-home touch points that advertisers can utilize, and the huge potential that this market offers is something that advertisers are waking up to. And Primesite aims to leverage the opportunity for the advertiser's benefit."
Explaining this from the target audience's point of view, R Lakshminarayanan, head of Total Branding (which includes Primesite, Digital Branding Solutions and One-to-One), Mudra Communications, says, "Primesite's changed focus from outdoor to out-of-home recognizes the personal media network of key target audiences. With the share of eyeballs reducing constantly for traditional mass media, it becomes vital to capture high potential prospects wherever and whenever available to receive our messages. Primesite's differentiation comes out of recognizing this fundamental shift in media consumption, and developing internal capabilities to help our clients address the same."
In keeping with the desire to expand its basket of offerings to cover emerging opportunities and growth areas, Primesite has identified three key disciplines - outdoor, signage (design and consulting) and retail merchandising. Lakshminarayanan, however, clarifies that outdoor will not be in the traditional sense, but "clearly value-added and technology enabled". Signaling a break from the past, he insists that the emphasis will be on impact and effectiveness, and not on numbers. "The attempt will be to introduce greater degrees of accountability and result-orientation, and Web-enabled MIS will form an important part of this," he says, adding that the in-house creative team will be imparting a strong competitive edge in this department.
While Primesite is clearly looking to consolidate its presence in the Rs 800-crore outdoor market, it's the much bigger retail merchandising space (rough estimates peg this market at Rs 1,600 crore) that has caught the agency's fancy. "We recognize the increasing importance of the brand-consumer interface at the point-of-purchase," Lakshminarayanan makes his point. "We have in-house experts who have studied that environment and the most effective way to communicate through the medium. Giving the fundamental shifts in retailing, we believe this will become vital to brand building in the future."
Signage is the third revenue stream that Primesite is looking at. Signage essentially constitutes design, development and execution of integrated solutions for large-scale projects such as urban rail, visual workplace management and city landscape management. In fact, Primesite has been involved in developing the signage solutions for DMRC (Delhi Metro), in conjunction with UK-based design firm, DRU Plc. The agency is also creating signage for ITDC's information counters at the international and domestic terminals at Indira Gandhi International Airport, while it has been commissioned for a visual workplace management programme for a large industrial house. "We are building on a strong foundation of in-house competencies, international know-how wherever required, significant vendor development, national infrastructure and holistic project management," Lakshminarayanan observes.
The agency is also particularly pleased with the work it did for the national rollout of Reliance Infocomm. "I can confidently say it was the single-largest outdoor campaign in India's history," says Indrajit Sen, president, Primesite. "The launch campaign was spread across 19 states, 104 cities, covered 1.24 million square feet of vinyl space, 43 outdoor vehicles, 28 printers, 215 vendors, 1,694 billboards, 446 bus shelters, 5,062 kiosks and 14 giant-sized cutouts, apart from banners, drapes, gantries, traffic umbrellas etc. And the best part was that we had an installation time of just eight days. It was a logistical nightmare, as different places have different statutory rules. Then there was the task of ensuring the same quality from all printers, and then making sure that the right campaign reached the right location. I must say we pulled it off very well, and the launch went without a hitch."
Sen is also looking forward to the agency's initiatives in the areas of signage and retail merchandising. "We won the Delhi Metro project in the wake of a global tender," he says. "And we won the tender because the client wanted an international design experience with tailor-made executions for India. The challenge was to develop graphics that had local appeal, and was yet of international standards." Sen points out the Primesite was able to rope in the services of DRU Plc as "we have access to the best from India and from abroad." Among the retail branding and merchandising exercises that Primesite has undertaken are those for The State Bank of India, ABB and Reliance Infocomm.
"Be it in the area of outdoor, signage or retail merchandising, we are providing customized solutions keeping the brand in mind," says Sen. "And that will be our differentiator." With the three new revenue streams clearly identified, he reveals that Primesite is targeting a capitalization of Rs 100 crore this financial year, which will constitute "a 40-per cent growth over this year". © 2003 agencyfaqs!