"Brands see greater value in OOH today”
By Rajiv Raghunath - March 11, 2020
Allan Khoo, Group Managing Director of People ‘n Rich talks about the agency’s business journey and the growth prospects for OOH in Malaysia
Tell us about People ‘n Rich. How are you connected to OOH?
People ‘n Rich was set up some 30 years ago, in 1988. When we started out, we were only in the business of advertising. Subsequently, we opened new agencies, one of which is called the Media Consulting Corporation, and another called Velocity Asia that handles outdoor advertising. Now, we also have the display arm called Display Asia that handles trade exhibitions, etc. A little over 6 months ago we started PeoplExperience that handles the digital aspects like online data analytics, not only in advertising but also social media management, programmatic and so on. So, under People ‘n Rich Holdings we have five companies. Velocity Asia is tying up with Moving Walls for better audience mapping and programmatic buying, etc.
The Malaysia OOH market is seeing steady growth and brands are increasingly appreciating the value of OOH advertising as this medium keeps up with the moving population.
Do you operate as a buying agency or you also own media?
We work as a buying agency; we don't own any of the OOH assets.
What is the size of the Malaysian OOH industry?
It is about 1.5 billion Malaysian Ringgit, as per 2018 figures. The medium is growing as more and more brands are opting for OOH advertising, especially since Malaysians on an average spend nearly 70% of their time in the outdoor environment.
Are classic formats still the large part of OOH business in Malaysia?
Yes, the classic large formats make up about 60% of all outdoor media assets, with digital OOH accounting for about 20%, which is growing year on year.
Are there any restrictions on the size of large format displays?
The norms vary from place to place depending on the regulatory authority that is in charge of the particular place. There are some massive displays seen on the Federal Highway.
How you see the industry growth hereon, over the next 3 years?
Hopefully, double digit growth.
Is OOH advertising high on creativity?
Clients are getting more sophisticated, and there's no cookie cutter. If you look at a brand like KFC, they would approach OOH in Malaysia pretty much like they would in other markets. But if you take a brand like McDonald's, they do use iconic Malaysian images like the Twin Towers for their OOH creatives. Yes, OOH advertising is getting more and more creative.
I would think that even agencies are getting very creative as the clients seek more innovative and creative displays.
With several new OOH formats coming on the scene, do you see an increase in the number of brands using OOH?
Yes, that is happening. When it comes to transit, there are categories like cosmetics that use those formats in significant ways, such as, to catch consumer attention as they alight at the train stations. You also see brands like KFC, McDonald's, and JD Sports in OOH.
When you go to the mall you'll see a lot of watch branding.
Advertisers are getting smarter at segmenting their target audience and serving advertising that are relevant to them via different media channels.
Do you see digital media working in tandem with OOH?
Currently, the buzzword is ‘first on mobile’.
If you're driving along the highway, and you see advertising by a brand like Hitachi on the billboard, soon you would checking it on the internet, The billboard ad reinforces your digital media advertising. So I think they work hand in hand. The online is also spilling over to the outdoor.
From a planning perspective, where does OOH figure now?
It entirely depends on the product that you are advertising. Let's say, fast food is probably for everyone. So you can have a combination of billboards near market centres.
We need to work on programmatic as we move forward.