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'Digital billboards can work wonders for OOH'

By M4G Bureau - October 12, 2017

However, there are several pre-conditions that will determine the long-term success of digital OOH in the urban environment.

The outdoor advertising industry of Delhi would love to see more digital billboards, because they offer greatly expanded sales opportunities. When an advertising firm sells a traditional billboard, it sells one spot. But digital billboards typically rotate at least four different spots. So a single board can yield four ad sales instead of one.

And the spots aren’t cheaper. Because the digital boards are having a greater impact, they command a premium price — they’re not discounted.

One digital billboard could generate anywhere from six to 10 times the revenue that a single traditional board would bring in (However, digital boards are expensive to erect, costing several times what a traditional board would).

New Initiatives of OAP 2017

“A single body regulating outdoor advertisements brings uniformity, reduces clutter and makes the city look vibrant and unique.”

A portion of the available advertising space on a Digital Advertisement Instrument can be reserved for promoting social messages and other important information regarding the city, government and its initiatives.

Most importantly, by giving licensing rights to OOH agencies to display advertisements through digital means provides the city authorities with a highly reliable revenue stream to help manage the city more efficiently

A Digital Outdoor Advertisement Instrument will be preferred if it is installed in the market area, commercial hubs and should not face the vehicular movement of traffic on major roads, i.e., roads having Right of Way of more than 100 feet.

The following controls aim to reduce the frequency and extent of movement and colour change within a display.

•    Signs should be installed only where the required sign viewing time does not result in a safety problem
    for the particular environment.

•    Sign should not be facing and shall not be visible from any major roads meant for vehicular traffic.

•    There is adequate advance visibility to read the sign.

•    The environment is free from driver decision points and there is no competition with official traffic signs.Electronic display generally refers to variable message sign (VMS) which may display combinations of any of the following:

•    Graphics, pictures, shapes, conspicuous colours or colour combinations. It may or may not contain text.

•    Long duration display periods are preferred in order to minimise driver distraction and reduce the amount of perceived movement. Each screen should have a minimum display period of 8 seconds. The time taken for consecutive displays to change should be within 0.1 seconds.

•    The complete screen display should change instantaneously.

•    Sequential message sets are not recommended.

•    The time limits should be reviewed periodically.

The policy shall also be open to providing and developing these mediums for provision of new public services/utilities etc. for the overall development of the city without being a hazard to traffic or the visual environment of the city. The permission shall be taken from Commissioner, Municipal Corporations of Delhi, on case to case basis, before implementing any such mediums.

Digital inventory is easily created in almost limitless quantities, leading to a glut of available advertising slots. That would suggest that the price of digital billboard ads eventually will come down, especially if more of them are built.

Consumer behaviour is changing and opening a new media opportunity for advertisers. Delhites are spending more time in their cars than ever before, and traveling tends to be along the same routes each day. This means that Delhites spend less time consuming traditional forms of media. Even as the audience of traditional media dwindles, the cost of advertising with them remains high. Advertisers would want to make sure they invest their budget most efficiently and reach the right audience.

Additionally, digital billboards hold a unique advantage. Unlike television and radio, there is no attention seeking alternative (other channels) nor a digital video recording system that lets users record programmes and then skip the advertisers’ messages. Unlike the internet, there are neither pop-up blockers nor any delivery filters.

The Strategic Plan (2011-16) released by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India acknowledged the immense potential for out of home (OOH) advertisement fee to add substantially to the funds available with ULBs. It also made it a point to highlight that poor application, an overall lack of innovation and weak enforcement are currently the key hindrances to implementing an efficient advertisement revenue strategy.

Outdoor advertising has evolved to the extent that it can be almost as useful as traditional advertising media like newspaper, radio, and TV. This presents a good marketing option as the media audience becomes more fractured and more adept at avoiding ads. The outdoor advertising market is set to cross Rs 3,000 crore at a growth rate of 13% in 2016 against the projected 7% -- only marginally lower than then the overall advertisement industry growth of 16.8%. In 2014, the total spends on outdoor advertising grew by 12.9%. Transit media too grew by 12% as against its projected growth of 10%.

Today, the OOH advertising medium has taken marketing to an entirely new level -- it offers new digital technologies, new lighting and materials, new formats, and the involvement of more creative thinking to make messages reach a larger number of people than ever before.

The additional revenue can significantly contribute towards greater self-reliance, efficiency and reducing fund deficit – and greatly reduce a city’s dependence on tax accruals.

A city’s assets include public places largely situated in prime locations with high vehicular and pedestrian traffic, both of which are essential factors in impactful advertising. Many Indian cities including Delhi are challenged in terms of the effective upkeep of public convenience facilities, bus stops, parks, etc.. The rights to the advertisement on these assets can be coupled with responsibility for their operation and maintenance as well.

We have to release tenders for the market areas where we will allow mupis and Digital Advertisement Instruments. Currently most of the Delhi markets look very chaotic because shopkeepers have been installing their self-signages in an unregulated manner which makes the city look very ugly. Therefore, to curb this we are going to give out an instruction to use a uniform format of signage in the markets. We are trying to push that each market should have uniform signages where we are trying to set up different themes for different markets. Along with excluding the clutter from the markets, we are also doing this to increase the opportunities and justified space for outdoor sites in the markets.






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