Anchor | One Big Idea by Nabendu Bhattacharyya: ‘Innovation’ is the key to growth and differentiation in OOH

17 Jan,2013

By Nabendu Bhattacharyya , Founder & Managing Director, Milestone Brandcom Pvt. Ltd.


Over the past couple of decades, the Out-of-Home industry has made a remarkable transformation from being just a reminder medium to becoming a key element in any successful brand campaign. With people spending almost nine hours outside their homes on an average in a day in metros, OOH sure is one of the most important mediums to target them on the go. OOH medium is larger than life has multiple formats and touch points and brings enormous possibilities for our creative minds.


But the problem of plenty still plagues the industry! With over 20,000 players and no common rules it’s difficult for serious stakeholders or international media giants to invest. Even while the industry continues to break new ground, there are persisting systemic issues that seriously impede the rate of growth. No common industry research, patchy regulation and too many sites and too many players for example, has always been and continues to be acknowledged as one of the most significant deterrents of progress in the industry. There is a dire need to stand united and address regulation-related issues by encouraging more public utility-driven solutions such as city beautification, public conveniences, solutions for complementing the city architecture and eco-friendly solutions among others as a win-win business strategy.


Simultaneously studying international market trends and its success stories, educating local authorities on the possibilities to create more revenue earning opportunities in a more standardized and neat and clean form with technological execution is also essential.


However, lack of unified common currency for the industry is a media planner’s nightmare and as a result of which the industry is left with residual budget and a sheer gut-based buying. With the launch of IOS in Mumbai & Pune (Industry Syndicated Study on Outdoor) the industry is definitely on its way to maturity and the opportunities before us are endless.


The one big idea that I feel will help shape up and alter the pace of the Indian OOH industry is ‘Innovation’ as no other country in the world offers such flexibility to execute innovations. While all other obstacles are beyond one’s control, creative and media innovations are in the hands of our creative minds placed in agencies. India is the only country where authorities are flexible to give permission if you have a great and big idea to execute. We believe that’s the intellect space that we as stakeholders can take advantage of. For brands, it is a great opportunity to explore through this medium where sky is not the limit….And we all have been seeing for last couple of years, how India is winning at Cannes mostly in OOH & BTL.


– Technological break-through with DOOH + Social (Digital Out of home & Social)

– Weaving into the social fabric beautifully

– Bringing measurability

– Creating win-win situations for the govt, public & brands


Lastly, understanding the medium and its potential, the OOH work done in our country has been lacking consistency. With the advent of digital technology into the segment, all the stakeholders will have opportunities to do good work. Apart from reducing the clutter in the segment, digital OOH will help in the growth of creative opportunities and ensure higher level of customer engagement. DOOH will also enable multiple messaging on a single platform which means incremental earnings on the same inventory without incurring production costs. It is the future of the OOH industry. It has also helped at the back-end in creating service standards with real time photo uploads from the site providing campaign updates on web portals in real time as soon as the campaign is up. Digital technology has tremendously helped in expediting reporting and service deliveries to clients.


Outdoor is the only medium with life as a backdrop; the need is to go SoLoMo – Social, Local & Mobile. Offer back to citizens a socially better, beautiful and healthier tomorrow and understand the geographic nuance and local contextual environment of the consumer for relevant brand interaction. With people connected 24X7 even while on the go, the need is to connect with meaningful and memorable engagements by getting up close and personal with them!


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