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“We need to have progressive regulations for DOOH”

By Ria Banerjee - January 28, 2020

Jahan Mehta, Director, Selvel Advertising, shares his take on DOOH in India

How do you see DOOH shaping up in Indian OOH industry in 2020 in terms of formats, spends and technologies?
I think a lot of development of DOOH will depend on the authorities and the permissions that they are willing to provide as there are enough companies willing to invest their capital into digital screen networks. We need to have progressive regulation in place so that we can make our cities look prominentat the same time taking care of their aesthetics. In terms of the technology, people are underestimating the importance of what goes on behind the screen. Technology and connectivity are changing extremely fast and we must create networks that can adapt to these changes. Ad spends are already taking place but brands haven't been able to utilise the full potential of this network. Since screens are extremely attractive; they provide a higher recall vis-a-vis to classic billboards and the convenience in changing display is already making efforts to make this a preferred medium. However, we haven't been able to make the most out of the digital capabilities yet. We can also do a lot more on the creative front.

The DOOH trend has taken over inside controlled environments like railway, airports and malls. What will it take to make DOOH formats out on roads?
If the Municipal Corporations come up with progressive rules and regulations, there will be a plenty of growth in the large format DOOH space. Even the brands are willing to invest in this space.

Regulations are challenge for DOOH growth. What efforts are required to make rules & regulations in favour of this media?
We need to engage with the authorities and educate them about the benefits of DOOH.  In turn they should see how DOOH has transformed the look& feel of cities. In Kolkata we have come across a winning model wherein we promote some of the government schemes and messages as well. The flexibility of DOOH has the advantage of spreading multiple messages in a short duration. A lot can be done on the public planning and transportation part as well. With DOOH we can get access to tons of data which can be used for public benefit. We also need to keep interacting with specialists from all over the world so that we understand the potential of this medium. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can provide us tremendous insights which can be of massive benefit to the authorities and planners.

What will attract better spends from the brands on DOOH?
The presence of large format DOOH in Delhi and Mumbai should see this formatpicking up different parts of the country. Since most of the brand heads have their base in these two cities hence, they need to see the effectiveness of this medium in order tosucceed across India. We can try to convince them with a lot of research and data but ultimately, I feel that one needs to be exposed to this medium on a regular basis to understand its true potential.
How has been your experience with regards to handling DOOH media and how are you planning to push this format in 2020?
It's been a fantastic experience when we see our clients gets excited about OOH once again. They like to brainstorm and come up with innovative ways for using the digital screen networkswhere we hadroundsof discussions on how we can link our screen network to the customers mobile. We have done some great social campaigns as well, in the last month when we ran a campaign ‘Get Yourself Tested’ for a week for a local NGO for the World Aids Day. Our client wassurprised to find the increase in the number of calls and awareness.

We are continually experimenting with new ideas and technology. The flexibility of the screens means that we can keep changing and experimenting with different kinds of displays and software. We are able to get live updates on to the screen as well, so it doesn't have to be preloaded with messages. In this upcoming IPL season we will be able to show live scores like we did for the ICC World Cup 2019. Similarly, we can do live news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, etc. in real time. I think brands will enjoy its reach and the ability to send real time contextual messages.


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