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Home » Viewpoints » We spend Rs 100 cr from our advertising budget for outdoor: DAVP

We spend Rs 100 cr from our advertising budget for outdoor: DAVP

By M4G Bureau - August 31, 2015

DAVP receives an approximate budget of INR 1500 crores, out of which INR 100 crores is spent on outdoor advertizing. The maximum goes towards newspaper advertising followed by TV and radio, while the rest is allocated for outdoor campaigns.


Started as propaganda office in Shimla, Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), a wing under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt of India, came into existence in 1955 and has been responsible for the publicity of government plans and policies to educate the masses on how to get benefit from them. Along with audio-visual (television and radio) and new media (SMS, internet) campaigns, DAVP has scaled up its OOH activities over the last few years. Padam Upadhyay, Production Manager, Outdoor Publicity, DAVP, talks on how outdoor media has been a winner amongst all mediums in connecting with the masses and also on how monetary spends on outdoor campaigns in railway premises or Metro Rail actually comes back to the mentioned departments by media owners. Edited excerpts.

DAVP doesn't invest in publicity for revenue-generation but for mass education. How has outdoor media been helpful to connecting to the masses?

We are doing publicity for all ministries in campaigns like health, anti-tobacco, immunization, mental health, child abuse, girl children, women's rights, consumer rights, rural development and many more. If you look at the variety of campaigns we issue, you will see the need of connecting to various cross sections of the society. Outdoor is one such medium that has a good publicity, exposure and penetrate the subject to the target audience with good mileage and longevity. The best part is that it is the cheapest if you compare with television, radio or newspapers. Outdoor also has the benefit of functioning in a non-independent way. For example, mediums like newspapers and television take support from outdoor media but reverse is not applicable.

What formats do you prefer in outdoor media?

Outdoor media in general has undergone a facelift in last few years. DAVP has been into publicity from the wall painting days to today's mediums which include flex and vinyl. The journey has been long. Now we can even see digitalization in outdoor media. We are happy to be part of such a vast changing scenario in outdoor publicity. The formats that we are using right now are traditional like roadside hoardings and moving media such as bus and train panels, wrappings and bus shelters, rail stations etc. But we prefer traditional roadside media because we feel that it has a wider reach to our target audience.

Tell us about the creative content for these campaigns that are sometimes generic too.

After the Hon'ble Supreme Court's order not to place pictures of party leaders and political personalities except for the Prime Minister and the President, the creative content of these campaigns have gone through major change. Now, it has more focus on creative part than the text. I feel, in order to reach people on-the-move, the campaigns have to be creatively more stimulating than the amount of text because travelling mass will hardly have time to go though words.

What is the overall publicity budget you receive and how much of that goes into outdoor advertising?

We receive an approximate budget of INR 1500 crores, out of which INR 100 crores is spent on outdoor advertizing. The maximum goes towards newspaper advertising followed by TV and radio, while the rest is allocated for outdoor campaigns. Interestingly, outdoor enjoys most of the attention than other forms despite the lowest budget spent on it. Adding to that, outdoor is the only media format that returns a percentage of its revenue back to different Government departments. A great example is the aggressive campaigning happening with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Outdoor is possibly the exclusive variety that begets approximately some 50% to 60% revenue back to the Government.

We have recently seen some unrest in outdoor media industry as NDMC and SDMC went on a drive to wash out hoardings all over the city. How has DAVP been affected?

We have a very transparent tendering process and offer two types of rates - firstly to the traditional media owners who are already on our panel and secondly to the Sole Rights Media Owners who are given civic authority of any public property. SDMC and NDMC went on a drive to pull down hoardings that were put up illegally. The media owners that we work with have been performing business in a legal way, so we have not received any adverse effect.

What are the challenges you face while publicising through outdoor media?

The biggest challenge that today's outdoor media face is restrained monitoring and verification processes. Even after outdoor media became digital, we are still dependent on manpower to perform physical verification on whether or not it's displayed for the given period of time. Looking at it as a big challenge, DAVP is developing an app that will help us monitor all our outdoor campaigns across the nation. The app is expected to notify us with geographical details in three stages - at the time of display, mid-day of the contract period and last week of mentioned period. We are planning to launch this app shortly that will be instrumental to overcome the only big challenge of outdoor media.

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