After a busy summer, concerns of visibility and flex damage impact outdoor advertising.
After a great summer for the out of home (OOH) industry, the monsoon season has brought a 15-20% dip in revenues. Heavy rains tend to impact the visibility of ads and sometimes, coupled with strong winds, the flex tends to get damaged, making monsoon not a very ideal time for this medium.
The situation is expected to pick up closer to the festive season, beginning in August or September.
Imtiyaz Vilatra, country head, Posterscope India, says OOH is expected to do better this year. “It is not just the monsoon, but June-July is comparatively a lean period as well due to market behaviour.”
The monsoon doesn’t cover the entire country uniformly. While some parts, like Assam, are flooded, there are many others that are yet to receive rainfall. The spends are also linked to these factors.
Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum Communications, says, “The areas that typically receive heavy rainfall, like Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, have lower than usual spends. If you look at the main metro cities, like Delhi or Mumbai, there is a drop, but it is not by a huge margin. Advertisers consciously start lowering their budgets.”
Amarjeet Singh Hudda, COO, Laqshya Solutions, also suggests the same percentage of dip. Since the roads remain out of bounds through the monsoon, brands look to advertise in ambient spaces.
“There is little impact of the monsoon on ambient OOH, especially in the malls, coffee shops, restaurants, quick-service restaurants (QSR) and airports,” he adds.
Sanyal suggests that people are looking for sheltered places during the monsoon. “People tend to visit more malls and multiplexes. So, the outdoor occupancy of such places increase, and brands prefer to do more activation there during this time.”
Vilatra adds, “Media investments move from the street to closed spaces. With hyperlocal gaining momentum, brands prefer to stay closer to consumer point of interest touchpoints like malls, cinema halls, cafes, office spaces and residential areas.”
Meanwhile, during the monsoon, people prefer to travel via metro trains than get stuck in roadblocks. “The transit media is not largely impacted because they are closed spaces like airports and metros. So, the spends shift to transit media because of an increase in footfalls,” says Aman Nanda, chief strategy officer, Times OOH.
The decline in spends during the monsoon is an annual phenomena. But with offices opening doors again and people spending more time outdoors, OOH has once again become a favoured destination for advertising.
Moreover, after living under COVID-induced lockdowns and restrictions over the last two years, consumers are now revenge spending, and sectors like travel are seeing a surge. Nanda, expects this spending pattern to give an impetus to the sector.
“There is an aggressive revenge mode prevailing this year. So, there is an increase in consumer spending, people are travelling more, and road mobility is approaching pre-COVID levels. We are expecting the same response in advertising as well, since brands are eager to reconnect with their consumers. Outdoor advertising plays a key role in this.”
According to Nanda, the monsoon’s impact on the outdoor industry is more, in terms of creativity.
“Inclement weather doesn’t permit innovations and extraordinary creativity in the outdoor space. Nonetheless, improved technology in the printing and lighting space has given an edge to outdoor advertising, which stands out during the rainy season too. The impact is largely restricted to the traditional roadside media.”
Categories like mobile handsets, media & entertainment, e-commerce, BFSI, automobiles and real estate have new launches throughout the year. So, they continue to look to OOH for advertising.
“Additionally, there are a few seasonal categories such as paints, rainwear, tyres, tourism, etc., that are relevant during the monsoon. So, these additional categories also pick up momentum during the season,” Nanda says.
It is also the time when the new academic year begins. “We believe there will be a growth in education, laptop, and edutainment categories this year. Also, OTT and FMCG will focus on region-specific campaigns,” suggests Vilatra.
Hudda says that all major categories continue to spend during the monsoon too, only the budgets reduce.