IOAA and Campaign India's breakfast session on OOH Advertising gave marketers an opportunity to air their views and expectations about the medium and its deliverables to the industry stakeholders. While calls for a unified common currency were doing the rounds, the importance of monitoring and accountability as well as freedom to innovate with medium were voiced by all marketers present at the session.
Indrajit Sen, executive director, IOAA, started the proceedings with a general overview of the medium as well as the Standard Operating Processes (SOP) that has been circulated by the association amongst its members. “We all know that OOH works, may be even better than other mediums at time. However, we realised that the industry hasn’t professionalised itself enough, leading to distrust, a sense of being short-changed no matter how cheap the rates are, no common metrics or currency and still living with empirical evidences as benchmarks to go by.”
Elaborating more about the industry’s collective failure to come up with a common currency, Sen pointed out that an attempt was made some years ago with the introduction with Indian Outdoor Survey (IOS) with the partnership of research agency, MRUC. The measurement system never really took off and “despite including the OOH specialist agencies in the development process, the tool was never really accepted by all the agencies involved,” added, Noomi Mehta, chairman, IOAA.
Sharing the OOH media users’ perspective, Rajesh Iyer, head – marketing, Colors listed out his main expectations from the medium as a unified common currency and importance of monitoring and accountability of campaigns spread across the country as well pointed out that with the new SOP’s suggestions like the 10-day minimum display period doesn’t allow brands to innovate sufficiently.
Agreeing with him, Anuradha Aggarwal, vice president - brand communication and insights, Vodafone Essar, noted that although retailers have been in the forefront of innovation as well as measurement techniques like eyeball tracking, she wondered why a similar medium like the OOH is lagging behind. She also pointed out that although some of the large OOH agencies have invested in their own monitoring systems, they have not come forward in unison for a common system that would help the industry as a whole. “Moreover, the industry is not doing any innovations for the medium; it’s the clients and agencies that are coming up with great ideas,” she added.
Vijay Koshy, national sales head, Future Group, also of a similar opinion and urged OOH media owners to come up with innovations that can help them communicate better using the medium.
The second part of IOAA and Campaign India's breakfast session on OOH Advertising will be held in Delhi involving the OOH specialist agencies to understand their perspectives.