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'Need definite OOH policies for heritage sites'

By M4G Bureau - December 10, 2013

There is need for more definite rules and regulations regarding heritage zones like Park Street, Lalbazaar, Assembly House etc in Kolkata, says Mainak Chatterjee, Manager Marketing & Admin, Senco Gold Limited, as he shares with Outdoor Asia his thoughts on the OOH scenario in West Bengal.

Spend on OOH in W Bengal

Senco Gold has huge and rapid plans of expanding the brand and we are already going into the interior of West Bengal. Within the last couple of years we have come up with 18 new showrooms and thus to build the brand name we are constantly engaging in different advertising activities. For example, when we were coming up with our new outlet in Nabadwip, a town in W.B. we took at least 15 hoardings for that specific branch within the radius of 5 kms. Thus for Senco Gold, definitely there has been a rise in the OOH spends as far as W Bengal is concerned.

Key markets

After Kolkata our key markets are Bribhum, Bakura, entire Midnapore, Durgapur and Nadia.

Preferred formats

From our experience we have observed that for Kolkata it is better to use hoardings especially to promote our offers and showcase collections. But when it comes to ROB and towns like Bankura, Midnapore or Nabadwip, the roads are not very wide and it is beneficial to publicise the brand through mobile vans. We develop our creatives and take TATA ACE on hire or auto and run the audio-cd spreading the word about our offers and collections. It goes deep into the interior localities as well, which helps us to penetrate the ROB market.

Comparing OOH in rest of W Bengal with other states and the challenges

In rest of Bengal the most important challenge is monitoring. When we go into the towns or district of W.B,. apart from the vendors whom we work with in Kolkata, we need to take hoardings from the local vendors there as well. The common problem with them is that there is no guarantee or assurance on the flex installation, the lighting etc and we do not get any intimation from them if some problem arises. Thus they will have to be more organised in facilitating the clients.

Exploring new formats

For Kolkata we mainly use hoardings, both back-lit and non-lit.

Factors that would drive higher OOH spend in W Bengal

Both the authority and the media owners should sit together and formulate a policy which would be beneficial for the brands, the Government and the OOH industry. A more definite rules and regulations should especially be laid down regarding heritage zones like Park Street, Lalbazaar, Assembly House and how those parts can be beautified by at least installing some billboards or by introducing some innovative media rather than completely eradicating outdoor advertisements from that zone.

Apart from this, the rates are also going high and are not uniform these days and this should be regulated.
Digital initiatives/innovations 

Though digital hoardings look brilliant, they are present in very few locations in Kolkata.  I feel that for better visibility, some changes should be made in the DOOH format, like they should be placed at major railway and metro stations. The size of the board should be made bigger for improved visibility and the time slots should be made a little longer so that the communication can be TG-focused.

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