Outdoor advertising underutilised

MUMBAI: The outdoor advertising industry is not growing at a pace it should, said Bates 141 Asia regional executive creative director and Indian chairman Sonal Dabral at the seventh edition of Outdoor Advertising Convention.

Bates 141 NCD Sagar Mahableshwarkar presented Dabral‘s video clips talking about the various aspects of outdoor ads. "It is not just billboards, but live shows and activation too form a part of outdoor advertising. Outdoor advertising should engage people and should not be considered as a reminder medium," Dabral added in one of his clips.

The examples of outdoor advertising happening around the world were shown and Dabral insisted that India takes inspiration from innovative ideas. He also feels that outdoor advertising is restricted and the potential is not fully tapped.

Various other aspects of outdoor advertising were discussed in detail and the drawbacks were addressed.

Innovation was one aspect of outdoor, which was on every speaker‘s mind.

Vodafone VP marketing Anuradha Agarwal informed that it‘s just innovation that will create buzz. She established this fact by showing simple and innovative outdoor advertisements around the world and how it is remembered even today.

While it was agreed that outdoor medium is not given its due importance, Cheil India COO Alok Agarwal believes that the business of outdoor advertising needs ‘re-thinking‘. He said, "OOH is a giant stage. The cost of an innovative idea may be high, but ROI, when measured in life-time value, will be much higher."

Agarwal also maintained that to a large extent, mobile is taking over OOH and one of the drawbacks of OOH is lack of measurability. "Apart from innovation, we need to work on connection and engaging the population. Innovation is restricted due to infrastructure and law but investing money in measurement will tell us how bright the future of OOH is," he affirmed.

Talking about the future of outdoor and how innovations can contribute to the growth, Times OOH MD Sunder Hemrajani spoke about "Signs of Tomorrow".

Hemrajani stated, "Not all innovations are expensive. We are an efficient economy which is moving towards the era of innovation and we must continue to keep monetising the economy."

Hemrajani underlined that we live in the era of innovation and outdoor advertising should go from OOH to WOW experience! "It‘s not just awareness that is important, experience is what will make outdoor advertising stronger and impactful."

Hemrajani concluded by saying, "There will be a better urban transport infrastructure over the next 20 years. There are digital innovations and technology too has taken a leap."

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