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Does size really matter in OOH?

By - March 25, 2021

Sumit Goswami, Business Director, Brandscope India explains that a permutation of site dimension, line of sight and time taken to cross the site (during peak or non-peak hour) determines the choice of a site for advertising.

By Sumit Goswami

Sumit Goswami, Business Director<br>Brandscope India As you drive down any street, you will observe several billboards in different sizes and formats, seeking your attention. However, do size and format have any bearing on the campaign or are they driven by budgets?

OOH comes in many formats, shapes and sizes as per each media owner’s story and logic on what would ensure better visibility and greater connect with the audiences. The media options, from the humble pole kiosk to 100ft X 100ft billboards to now DOOH, are all equally seeking attention. At the same, time, the media formats get regulated by the concerned municipal bodies that define the dimension and formats while tendering the licenses. In a city like Delhi, there are restrictions on the size of billboards whereas in Bengaluru large format advertising has been under a ban enforced by BBMP for over two years now.

Despite the restrictions, OOH continues to be a critical part of any media strategy. Let's look at some of the key OOH options and the role they play. 

  • Pole Kiosks: They usually come in dimensions of 2.5ft x 3.5ft and are mounted on electric poles on the median or sides of the road. Most of them are SAVs pasted on the kiosk structure and have the option of giving it the shape of the product, which helps in better visibility and product recall. Pole kiosks need to be bought in a fixed quantity. Though the sizes are small they can help create a better impact. One of the oldest and something that I still remember is when BPL (telecom) picked pole kiosks along Mahim causeway, covering the entire stretch and thus “zoning” became the mainstay for pole kiosk advertising.  Although pole kiosks are small in size, when used in multiples they enhances the OTS and builds on frequency. They are very effective for hyperlocal targeting. 
  • Bus shelter media: Bus shelters are located across the routes that cover every habitable area of a city. Bus shelter media have evolved over a period of time -- from being a basic (44x4 NL) & (46x4 BL) to more modern shelters with steel seating, front guard and MUPI. The biggest advantage of bus shelter media are their relatively bigger size, close to the ground installation and availability across the city. Bus shelters also lend themselves to various OOH innovations. The two examples that I can relate with is one done by Nickelodeon – AC bus stop and another by Ultratech Cement – rain shelter, with the bus shelter being extended to provide commuters cover from rain. It was a rain-sensing shelter that opened up as it sensed rain. Bus shelters can be branded not just on the upper part, but other sections too. Some of the bus shelters can be colour coordinated with brand colours. They are as good as setting up a pop store for a brand. 
  • Billboards: It is one of the most cost-effective and high visibility media options. They prominence on the streets is very evident and I don’t think there would be too many brands that would not have used this medium. They come in different sizes, front-lit, back-lit, morning traffic, evening traffic, in clusters or even double-decker billboards. There are over 30+ billboards on the Andheri flyover alone. Interestingly, the price range on that same 1.5 km stretch varies and caters to the same set of vehicular traffic. Each site commands a set of advertisers all through the year. Billboards offer a larger canvas to play on including implementing some of the awards winning innovations. As you move away from the city and get on the interstate highways, the sizes of billboards get bigger, which is largely due to the speed at which the traffic moves. However, the ones closer to the roads are smaller in size. 

For billboards, it is more about the visibility of the site that matters than the size. Of course, the bigger the site, the greater visibility it would provide. Also, there is a huge myth around the use of big billboards -- that bigger brands prefer bigger sites. Visibility index is the dimension of the site, line of sight and time taken to cross the site (during peak or non-peak hour). A permutation of all these helps make an informed decision and ensures better visibility for your brand. 

In OOH, size is relative to its visibility index. Better visibility scores ensure even better visibility to your brand.   

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