‘Skillful tools, reliable data & traffic movement info are essential to gain clients’ trust back on OOH medium’
By Bhawana Anand - July 01, 2020
Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum Outdoors, shares that the firsthand experience of rolling out multicity campaigns in the pandemic scenario
In an exclusive conversation with Media4Growth, Platinum Outdoors, CEO, Dipankar Sanyal shares the ground report of the Indian OOH advertising, which is facing problems due to Covid19 pandemic. He shares about change in planning, challenge in execution and the changing equation between advertising agencies and media owners executing some multi-city campaigns. Below are his edited excerpts:
Since your agency has executed first few campaigns for the brands in this pandemic situation, how did you find their sentiments towards OOH?
There are certain categories/brands which have been historically firm OOH believers such as Dollar Industries, TATA, and Kotak Mahindra Bank. In the current situation, it was certainly not easy for them to come out in the OOH space and start the campaign. However, being Madison World’s OOH arm Platinum Outdoors, having advanced set of tools, highly reliable data, and information on traffic movement provided by us has helped the brands in gaining the confidence back and strengthens their brand visibility through OOH medium.
How has outdoor media planning changed in the current scenario? How challenging is the execution with limited resources?
The OOH planning has become very dynamic in the given scenario where changes are taking place every day. Unlike earlier, where we used to plan for two-three weeks in advance, now it has to be done on weekly basis because of the changing lockdown rules.
The silver-lining is that the traditional media, which constitutes between 75% and 80% of total spending, remains intact in the media planning. Along with that, as some corporate parks are allowed to open up, the DOOH media have started to become a part of the plan. But the scope of including touchpoints like malls and airports has been ruled out due to fewer footfalls. In fact, Below-The-Line (BTL) activation has started at some places. The touchpoints have reduced, which I am sure will start increasing in the coming months.
Certainly, the execution has become a bit challenging with the traveling and time restrictions. But I guess, here the expert planning of a large network agency comes into the picture. We ensured that our logistics planning is strong for the hassle-free execution. All are multi-city campaigns across Tier I and II cities which were challenging to roll out but wasn't impossible.
How different was it to launch campaigns working from home (WFH)? How do you keep your employees motivated?
Currently, all our campaigns are planned and executed from WFH space. Though our teams aren't technically under one roof but we are well-connected through meeting platforms which has helped the teams in performing well. There is no mind-block amongst team members and hence, excellent ideas are flowing constantly. Also I feel, there is a better, faster and smoother flow of information, ideas and communication. Therefore, we are able to work on enhanced strategy, which play an important role. We are in touch with our clients on an individual basis and solving their queries, helping to bring back their confidence.
Moreover, considering this as the right time to upgrade skills, the motivational initiative has been taken on the group level where the discussions are done on programs being conducted and books are read by team members. Eventually, it also helps teams in coming up great work.
The idea of getting first set of clients is to attract other brands. Do you see that happening?
Absolutely, we are doing multi-city campaigns across different regions and cities. This is giving us strong case studies along with data on emerging traffic to share with number of clients to boost their confidence. We are now in discussion with various brands to execute their OOH campaigns.
Did you face any challenge from media owners?
There hasn't been any sort of issue created by the media owners. Infact, they have been supportive in executing campaigns. The entire campaign has become a joint effort of an agency and a media owner, aiming to bring more brands on the OOH medium.
How do you see the upcoming Unlock Phase II improving the conditions for the OOH business?
The next phase will surely improve the conditions for the business as we have been tracking the situations: pre-Covid19, complete lockdown and now unlock phase, which shows a gradual increase in the traffic on roads.