A stretch of road connecting two prime locations can present numerous advertising opportunities to the enterprising. For the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), opportunity seems to have struck in the form of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway - a 94-km stretch of road that runs parallel to the National Highway - 4, which is the
regular route to-and-fro the two cities.
Completed in 2002 by the MSRDC, the Expressway today is a busy route, with vehicular traffic crossing the five-lakh mark every month.
Seeing the potential of the route in terms of out-of-home advertising, the MSRDC has constructed unipoles along the Expressway for the display of brand messages. It is also on the lookout for other avenues where brands could advertise without creating too much clutter, says K Naren Babu, vice president, development, MSRDC.
"There are billboards put up at some underpasses on the Expressway," he says. "At the same time, wayside amenities such as petrol pumps, food malls, repair facilities (all developed by the MSRDC) can also be exploited in terms of advertising."
As far as the unipoles go, the company is leasing the rights of 14 of them located at points on the Expressway, where the traffic normally slows down. It has invited tenders from outdoor agencies, says Babu, with the Corporation looking at a minimum of Rs 28-lakh per year in terms of revenues from the leasing of these rights. "Of course, this is subject to the offers we get from interested parties," he adds.
The lease is for a maximum period of three years, with a year-on-year renewal based on overall performance, says Babu.
Interested players should have a minimum turnover of Rs 2-crore, with an office in Mumbai and at least three years of experience in the outdoor or indoor media business, he adds.
Meanwhile, the MSRDC is also looking at reorganising the entire advertising scenario at the Mahim Interchange - an important junction in the heart of Mumbai.
A meeting point of four roads - S.V. Road, Mahim Causeway, Bandra-Worli Sealink and the Western Express Highway - the Mahim Interchange has a clutter of billboards all over the place.
Babu says that the Corporation is working towards drawing up a master plan to reorganise the advertising along the Interchange. "The time has come," he says, "to get organised and allot space for advertising, bearing in mind safety standards and without destroying the aesthetic appeal of the landscape."
A noble thought, indeed, and no doubt, due for a long time. Hope the revamp is done ASAP. © 2004 agencyfaqs!