Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum OOH sheds light on some of the top OOH trends to watch out for in the New Year for brands and marketers from the industry.
Never in our lifetime have we waited for the Next Year, in this manner. 2020 was a year that we would like to forget but on hindsight, it taught us so many important lessons. It not only leapfrogged digital, e-commerce into the next level of growth, it also prepared Out-of-Home to face the future. I will come back to it in a wee bit.
No media platform was as badly hit as OOH in totality during this pandemic. From the last week of March to June 2020, the Outdoor industry saw a near-zero billing. However, when we started looking at mobility reports intently, we found that people were already braving the situation and moving around. But the movement wasn’t taking place in our regular markets, where we were used to having consumers. Work moved from offices to home. The Mobility Report showed people were moving in and around residential areas, hypermarkets, pharmacies, etc. Hence, the touchpoints changed.
To bring the clients back to Outdoor, we had to continuously feed them this new data to restore their faith into investing in OOH. This brings me to the first point for 2021.
Data will play a key role in the decision-making process of investing further in Outdoor.
OOH in India has been bereft of any industry syndicated data for long. Agencies like us will further invest in more proprietary tools and rely on third-party data that will benefit and strengthen the confidence of clients in this media. Madison’s set of tools like VU-On Street, Vicinity, Maxemiser, Viewpoint, and Traffic Count has been used extensively for our clients to measure the efficiency of the media, thereby relegating gut feel and bringing in a scientific approach to planning.
It is clear that the categories that have always believed in Outdoor have maintained it even in the most trying times.
The top 5 categories of 2019 – Real estate, FMCG, Retail, Automobiles, and educational institutes contributed to 50% of the spends.
They remained constant even in the period from March to December 2020. So, it can be safely said that 2021 will see the above-stated categories to be the mainstay.
Digital OOH will see a comeback in 2021. The lockdown saw major part of the inventories being locked away in Malls, Multiplexes, Eateries, Workplaces, and Airports. Now with the unlocking in the final phases and lowered restrictions, DOOH is seeing a renewed interest. As I have stated earlier, Outdoor will have to work doubly hard backed by hard data to build justification for spends in the minds of the Advertisers.
DOOH will play an active role as the medium is in some way poised to provide the matrix that clients are looking for.
In 2019 -20 DOOH was around 2.5% of the OOH spends. With unlocking and vaccination having started, we will find more people in Eateries, Malls, Airports, and some returning to workplaces, etc. Footfalls are steadily rising hence DOOH will gain more traction. In another development, there is a rise in smart city projects and we are seeing Digital screens on traditional media as part of their infrastructure and landscape. This will further increase the demand for DOOH and spends.
In 2020 we have read and heard about the Tier II and III cities doing well as they were less impacted than the Tier I cities.
A little look at the AdSpends pattern shows that Tier II and III have garnered a larger volume of business. The split in terms of spends is almost equal whereas in 2019 it was more skewed towards Tier I towns. This trend will continue.
The thrust of infrastructure and booming of rural economy will see more spends moving towards the smaller towns.
Lastly, technology will play a key role. The digital integration of static media with activation and digital properties will enhance the consumer experience of a brand. It is getting more mainstream hence its cost effective and its measurability will be the reason for greater adoption of the media.
Overall, 2021 will be an exciting year to be in OOH as the medium will rebound. The magnitude of adoption of changes will determine the force of rebound. Here’s wishing all the OOH practitioners and clients an exciting 2021.
This article piece is authored by Dipankar Sanyal, CEO, Platinum OOH