India is set to see a boom in digital OOH in the next couple of years

A few days ago, US based social media celebrity and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner’s company, Kylie Skin commissioned out-of-home (OOH) ad platform Adomni to launch what the latter claims is the largest-ever programmatic OOH campaign.

The targetted displays which included over 5,800 digital video, was aired across 1,000 US cities. Following promotion on social media, the new product set got sold out in six minutes. This was impressive even for Jenner, a social media star, who’s no stranger to record sales. So, how is OOH in India doing? Experts believe there will be an explosion in digital OOH over the next two years, as brands realise that content on digital is quite effective.

This year OOH industry raked in revenue from big ticket events such as the General Election, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and ICC Cricket World Cup.

While the number of OOH outfits haven’t increased, the industry has witnessed a growth in revenue on the back of increase in price. Also compared to traditional OOH, digital is growing at a faster pace. “Digital allows control of content on individual screens, so if one has a network of 1,000 screens, one can run specific content, across them. Further beacon technology allows to capture data,” Pratap Bose, founding partner and chairman, The Social Street, said.

Further industry observers believe that digital OOH is expected to play a big role in transit. “Metros will see a major influx of digital OH in the next two-three years, and transit as a medium will grow by 25%. Mumbai will get two extra metro lines, and smart cities too will follow,” Rachana Lokhande, Co-CEO, Kinetic India, said.

The other reason for the category, getting a new life, in the last few years, is due to the entry of new advertisers such ad video over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as NetflixAmazon Prime Video, Hotstar and Zee5. This category has used hoardings aggressively. According to industry estimates, its ad spend is pegged at about Rs 400 crore, this year alone.

While it’s not difficult to install a message, which can grab eyeballs easily, the biggest power of OOH is that it has minimum wastage as the strategy is location driven.

“The ability to go hyperlocal without any spillover is big,” reiterated Lokhande. For Google Maps, for instance, Kinetic deployed almost 9,00 creatives, across the same number of location. “OOH is more effective than other channel at driving online behaviour, thanks to mobile”, she added.

Yet, at the end of a message should be able to grab eyeballs, hence quirky social messages still rules the roost. For instance, recently, adidas’s campaign for Nite Jogger shoes, grabbed the attention. The campaign rolled out in Gurgaon, part of Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), had installed creatives on 20 consecutive metro pillars with GIF- like images coming alive in a ‘flip-book’ feel.

“One has to be topical, specific, use current opportunities, and humour interestingly,” added Bose.

Interestingly, when Netflix started promoting Sacred Games on OOH, commuters eventually saw all those hoardings covered with a massive red mark. This OOH-customised transition into their horror series ‘Ghoul’, again became a conversation point.

Even as India has adapted to digital advertising, it’s still a long road for buying ad space in OOH, through programmatic. “We are still at a nascent stage. However, in a market like India, what seems far now, can be achieved in the near future. It’s a data rich country, and people are more entrepreneurial and ready to take a punt,” Lokhande noted.

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