Percept and Aegis bring OOH agency Posterscope to India

MUMBAI: Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has arrived in India. While a handful of ad agencies already have their OOH divisions in place, like O&M's Ogilvy Activation, Mudra's Primesite, Lintas' Aaren Initiative and Madison Communications' MOMS, a new player has stepped in this space. The Percept Group today announced the launch of Posterscope India through a joint venture with UK's Aegis Group Plc, which is the world's leading OOH planning and buying company Posterscope Worldwide.

Posterscope India will be headed by Jignesh Sharma in the capacity of CEO. Posterscope is part of GBP 7.1 billion Aegis Group Plc - one of the world's leading marketing services company.



This comes in the wake of the Percept Group's plans to consolidate its position in the fast growing Rs 13 billion OOH market. Percept's OOH clientele include Airtel, FedEx, SaharaOne, Phillips, Pantaloon, Kingsbury among others. Percept was also one of the first agencies to offer 360-degree OOH communications including urban, rural and retail media.



Posterscope India currently has offices in 16 locations comprising 120 people and has plans of strengthening their manpower to 375 across 20 full service locations this year.

The company also has plans of launching its proprietary tools and practices to meet the advertisers needs. 'Orbit' - proprietary tool 'for 360 degree service delivery, 'Prism' - industry leading tools for improving effectiveness and efficiency of OOH campaigns, 'Horizons' - dedicated research for better accountability and 'Hyperspace' - to explore and create new OOH channels and to create new media options. Percept will also be setting up the first ever state-of-the-art creative studio by an OOH player in India.



Announcing the launch of Posterscope India, Percept Group vice chairman Harindra Singh said, "Posterscope is a global leader in OOH communications with its creative approach to OOH backed by technological innovations and proprietary research tools. Coupled with our market insights, nationwide penetration and a strong track record in this market, we see Posterscope India as the beginning of a great partnership that will offer unparalleled value to clients and a logical extension of our existing relationship with Aegis in Carat."

Posterscope (Asia Pacific) CEO Koh Tai Hong, on the other hand said, "India presents a vast and common, yet diverse, market that offers a dream of opportunity for OOH business. While it has leapfrogged in various aspects of technology adoption across categories, OOH business is still at an evolving stage and the global expertise of Posterscope in providing state-of-the-art and innovative solutions will surely provide a communication experience never before seen in the Indian market."

The business model of Posterscope India will be based on the four pillars of Posterscope globally - Orbit, Prism, Horizons and Hyperspace. The global business practices of Posterscope will be adapted for the specific needs in India to cover:

Urban: conventional media like billboards, bus shelters, mobile media; new media like advertising in malls, multiplexes, inflatabies,

Rural: Billboards, bus and wall painting and comprehensive rural communications Melas, Haats, HTH / DTD, floats, van operations,

Retail: POP, merchandising, complete shop / space makeover, signages at vantage points.

Posterscope UK/Worldwide strategic development director Terry Alexander said, "We had a market share of 18 per cent in 1991 and since then it has grown to 40+ per cent. We achieved billings of 365 million pound sterling by the end of 2004 and we understand the full complexity of the total media buying, planning and implementation as far as out-of-home is concerned." Posterscope Worldwide works with agencies like Mediacom, ZenithOptimedia, Carat, MPG, OMD, Total Media and Walker Media to name a few.

Alexander also said that the Asia Pacific region was one, which had the highest amount of spends on outdoor - 11 per cent as compared to Western Europe (9 per cent), Latin America (7 per cent), Eastern Europe (6 per cent) and North America (4 per cent).

Sharma, on the other hand said, "Over the last year and a half we have built a knowledge and network capability covering the key commercial areas across India. With over 15 cities already covered we are uniquely positioned to offer OOH solutions that will enable clients achieve micro marketing goals like never before - uniquely, effectively and efficiently."

The Indian OOH market is currently growing at 15-18 per cent (compared to 9-10 per cent growth in overall media market). The OOH spend as a part of the overall media spend of major buyers has grown to 40 per cent compared to 10 per cent five years back.

One of the key reasons spurring the growth of OOH media is the growth of innovative/new media. Innovative/new media share is now 20 per cent of OOH and is growing at 100 per cent annually. Another significant development is the shift in the market towards organised sector whereby currently 55 per cent market now ties with the organised sector compared to 20 per cent five years back. In the next five years it is expected that 95 per cent will shift to the organised sector.

The major customer segments that have spurred the growth are telecom (25-30 per cent share), films (20 per cent share), finance - banking, insurance, mutual funds, etc (7-8 per cent share), television channels (8-10 per cent share) and consumer durables, consumer electronics and white goods (8 per cent share).

Another significant development is the increased shift to non-metros. Currently almost 90 per cent of spending goes to metros. In the next five years, non-metro share of outdoor spending is expected to go up to 40 per cent.

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