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‘DOOH is the new conversation starter for OOH’

By N Jayalakshmi - October 01, 2021

The selling pitch for DOOH is very different from that of a traditional OOH medium and a close understanding of the differences along with their alignment is crucial for pDOOH to really take off in any meaningful way, says Gautam Bhirani, MD of Eyetalk Media Ventures.

Gautam Bhirani<br>MD, Eyetalk Media VenturesCan you take us through your experience with pDOOH?

With our extensive national presence, we were among the first media companies to get into the programmatic space in India, and our inventory was integrated with some of the leading DSPs (Demand Side Platforms). Pre-Covid, in 2019 there was a huge surge in interest from both mainline agencies and digital specialists; in Q3-Q4 we had executed 15-20 campaigns programmatically but with the unforeseen circumstances due to the pandemic, that momentum was lost.

Post unlock as mobility rates increase OOH is making a steady recovery and DOOH is leading the show. With introduction of new digital formats, the demand for DOOH has increased as brands today are looking for cost effective and dynamic mediums, which not only give them measurability but higher ROI as well and this is where pDOOH can play a big role in the current scheme of things, but it seems like its losing steam. At present our network is at 100% occupancy with 0% share of programmatic. 

So, what do you think are the reasons for pDOOH not taking off the way it was expected to?

There have been some mainline agencies who tried to bridge the gaps between traditional OOH and DOOH, wherein DOOH is sold as a digital medium and not as an OOH medium, but even those initiatives somehow fizzled out. One of the problems is that DOOH is still a grey area with a lack of alignment between Digital and OOH specialists.

Current DSPs have failed to capture this surge in demand but what is interesting is OOH specialists building centralised DOOH buying teams and working on their own DSPs. In an ideal scenario, once there is a dedicated DOOH team within an OOH agency, DOOH sales will replace slots/location with impressions/audiences. Post unlock we have seen 30% higher budget allocation on DOOH from OOH agencies and brands, which is very motivating for us.

What do you think is the immediate way ahead for pDOOH?

One good thing that has come out of the Covid situation is that outdoor agencies have started using DOOH and its currencies – (Speed, Flexibility, Adaptability, Measurability) -- well and there is also a lot of interest coming in from new clients for DOOH. Today not only specialised content is created for our space, but technology is also used to innovate by HTML, API integration and Day-Time triggered content.


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