afaqs! news bureau
The Planner’s Special

"I want clients to involve outdoor agencies at the stage of annual planning"

An interview with Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum Outdoor. This is part of a special series of conversations with media agency heads - interview 20 of 31.

What, in your view, was your agency’s best campaign of 2019? What about it impressed you?

It’s difficult to pick one, but I will take the liberty of mentioning our Vodafone Idea ‘Clean Air’ campaign in UP, which was done post-Diwali. It was done at the right time, when the pollution in North India was a hot, highly debated topic. The work garnered immense media coverage. The second campaign I’ll name is our Gandhi Jayanti campaign for Tata Salt. It was a very engaging campaign that connected with people and questioned those who walk regularly on MG Road whether or not they really follow Bapu’s path and teachings.

In 2020, what is that big trend that ought to concern or excite media agencies?

Digital integration and destinations are the two trends that will be important going forward. Ambient media, DOOH (digital out of home), and transit will play a critical role in campaign planning.

In the context of media planning/buying, what’s the one global practice/trend India will do well to catch up with fast?

The fragmentation of media is a challenge that we all face in a country like ours. Also, limited digital assets are available. One key global practice which we should look at developing is a syndicated measurement system for traditional OOH and DOOH.

From a media spend perspective, which product groups do you suppose will be most affected by the economic slowdown that has crept up on us – and least?

Services and high involvement/high investment product groups like automobiles, mobile handsets, retail, clothing, and jewellery are most affected, as consumers will tend to be more conscious about their spending pattern.

And within that, what consumption trends are you seeing in rural versus urban markets?

There has been a dent in the upsurge in rural consumption that we saw over the last few years.

In the next 12 months, the solution to the digital ad fraud menace will come from…

It is not really an issue from an out of home perspective as of now.

What kind of specialisation/talent is missing in media agencies today?

OOH requires more youngsters with a marketing specialisation and a basic understanding of digital media.

I wish clients would…

... consider out of home agencies as partners and involve us at the stage of annual planning, so that we can give strong solutions with richer information, product know how, innovations, digital integrations and reduced lead time.

Note: This interview was conducted for the mid-March edition of our magazine afaqs!Reporter. It is a special issue dedicated to the top media planning and buying executives, who service some of India's largest advertisers. Market conditions have changed dramatically since this interview was first written and any apparent obsoletion therein must be seen in that context. To read/download all 31 interviews, please click here.