Western Railways Mumbai nets ad revenues of Rs 80mn

MUMBAI: The Western Railways (WR) in Mumbai has grabbed a total amount of Rs 80 million from advertising on railway properties in the previous financial year. The corresponding figure for the entire division (outside Mumbai city limits) is only Rs 115 million.

While speaking to, WR's chief public relations officer Shailendra Kumar says, "Mumbai city makes a major contribution to the total advertising revenues obtained by WR. However, advertising revenues lag way behind the freight and passenger tariffs, in the scheme of things."

The WR, Mumbai division, has tried out several innovative schemes to encourage clients to increase their advertising spends. "Recently, we have come up with the 'video wall concept' and attractive glow signs. We have also forged collaborative partnerships with major companies. For instance, through a co-branding exercise with the Bombay Stock Exchange, we keep commuters informed about the highs and lows of the BSE sensex," says Kumar.

When questioned about the placement of TV screens showing Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV India's 24-hour news broadcast at railway platforms, Kumar says: "The railways haven't directly given the mandate to NDTV channel. The railways sub-let video walls and other ad space to a marketing concessionaire or private contractors for a minimum guarantee. One of these agents in turn leased it out to NDTV. Moreover, the screens are placed in just five stations in Mumbai."

This is definitely some kind of a coup by NDTV because it is an exclusive arrangement and has resulted in huge unmeasured out-of-home viewing as well as great brand recall for the recently launched news channel.

When questioned about advertising on train coaches and rakes, Kumar adds, "Certain clients like Indian Oil Corporation and New India Assurance, for instance, come directly to us while others are routed through the ad agency. We have witnessed an upsurge in TV serial programme advertising - a recent example being Sahara TV's Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny."

However, Kumar doesn't expect to substantial increase in the advertising revenues in the next financial year.

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