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OOH culture at the malls of Kolkata

By Nabamita Chatterjee - March 25, 2013

With malls mushrooming across the country, there has been a remarkable growth in OOH advertising in this space. Here's a report on the outdoor advertising scenario of the malls in the'City of Joy.'

Over the period of time Kolkata has experienced the emergence of mall culture with Forum, City Centre, South City, Diamond Plaza, Gariahat Mall and many more in this last decade. In this competitive market the brands are always in a constant battle as far as the advertising spaces are concerned. In this regard the mall media plays a very integral role in tapping its TG as they can directly communicate with the shoppers in the mall itself. The POS communication, cost-effectiveness and versatility of the media have made this format a'must' for every brand also in Kolkata. The media options which are generally predominant in the malls include façade branding, drop downs, escalator branding, scrollers, glass façade, step branding, back lit standee and so on.
"Today brands want to track its customer right at the point where they are present, if they are successful they can strike sale i.e. the client can buy their product from the supermarkets & store inside these malls. The main reason of this media being cost effective is that it allows the client to target its precise audience & spend only on them where in outdoor & other medias you have to suffer collateral expense. For example, a female cosmetic brand can have a kiosk put up & can only target its desired audience or may have branding in only ladies washroom. Another reason of its cost effectiveness is the variety this media offers with mediums available in price range of Rs.5,000 to Rs.10 Lakh per month,” says Joseph Ramsey (COO) Jaguar Services Pvt. Ltd.

Adding to this, Dibapi Bhattacharya, Manager -Media Planning & Operations, Orienta Cine Adv Pvt. Ltd. explains, "Malls are where the crowds are with disposable incomes. All the decision makers of the family are generally present in the mall at a time and decisions are quick about purchases. Thus we always offer customized solutions for the brands and cover the entire gamut of promotional activities in malls and multiplexes also which include events, sampling, product launches, product displays and on-the-floor contests, jingles during the intervals and gobo projections.”

Capturing the TG

Today various sectors such as electronics, apparel, F&B, fashion & lifestyle, are attracted to the mall media formats to target their shopper in this competitive market."As people are in a very happy mood hence the receptivity is maximum. Brand positioning in a spic and span environment and captive audience are the most important factors which are beneficial for any brand and it also acts as an instigator to come up with more innovative initiatives for their consumers,” explains Sudeep Ganguly, Accord Advertising Private Limited. He further mentions, "In the near future we want to experiment with newer options like trivision, LED displays etc. which will have more ready effect on the customers moving around the mall premises.”

Javeed Ahmed, Regional Head, South & East, Surge Media Pvt. Ltd. shares, "Malls have organized and appropriate media options which are legal and formatted. Surge has media in South City Mall, which has the reputation of being the No. 1 mall in Kolkata for its offerings and convenience. Apart from the pre-defined media space in mall exterior and interiors we also offer ambient media solutions according to the brand requirement.”
South City Mall, Kolkata being considered as the most hyped shopping mall where brand positioning is equal to highest brand value, we asked Dip Biswas, DGM- Marketing & Operations, South City Projects, the reason behind it and he explains, "Here the connectivity with the customers I believe is the most and one of the prime motivating factor for us as well. At the same time, we are very much selective in giving out our mall space to any brand. The creative or the message should be insigne with our brand identity.”
Speaking about the great impact of the medium, Rajeeb Bhattacharya, DGM, MOMS, shares, "Currently the FMCG sector is engaging into various activities in the malls apart from taking the general formats available over there. Today if a brand is present inside the mall, the impact is more rather than taking simple OOH options available outside.”
According to industry experts, activation programmes in malls help the products to reach their consumer in much faster and better way. "Through activations one may get the real touch and feel of the material, may clarify the doubts and gradually it will result in purchasing the product,” explains Aninda Banerjee, MD, Enkon Pvt. Ltd.

The growth factor

When asked about anticipating the growth rate of this segment in the near future, Aninda further shares, "There will be a rise in the budget regarding the mall advertising among the brands, the options being more organised it gives a good impression of the overall product in a much better manner in comparison to the traditional OOH formats.”

Further Bikram Banerjee, Director, Jellybeans Media Pvt. Ltd  believes that mall advertising here is in a pre-mature stage and there are multiple opportunities in the future for this segment. "Being present in all the major malls across Eastern India and specifically Kolkata, we feel innovation will be the key to success for any brand and we have also tried to introduce various formats of novelty as well. For example, the branding on the glass tricon at South City mall was first done by us.”

Joseph Ramsey further opines, "Mall advertising is the only medium where brands can directly interact with their customers right before POP(Point of Purchase). Brands can actually measure their own mileage/ROI of an activity, by simply counting how many people visited their kiosk and their feedbacks. Other means to calculate the same would be via footfalls of malls.”

To sum it up, we can surely agree that mall advertising option have grown in Kolkata and has very bright future in the marketing communication sector as far as new opportunities are concerned.

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