Hoardings on the Road are Clear, Startups are here to Stay

A month ago, online mobile payments company MobiKwik put up four large hoardings on a main South Delhi road, all next to each other and almost similar in content.The hoardings were reminiscent of real estate portal Housing.com’s large billboards placed one on top of the other recently across major metros.

Online entities appear to be coming around to the idea that they need to build up their offline presence in a big way, more so when they plan to raise funds.

Whether it’s the Delhi Metro, Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills, Bengaluru’s MG Road or Mumbai’s Marine Drive, India’s ecommerce startups are taking up prime billboard space across the country, becoming the No.2 spender in the ` . 2,500-crore outdoor advertising sector.

City skylines, arterial roads and a range of other urban structures are now dotted with hoardings bearing names such as Flipkart, Quikr, Portea, BigBasket, Ola, MobiKwik, BigBasket, Uber and PepperTap.

“We had lined up our outdoor hoardings at entire stretches around NH8 (the portion linking Gurgaon and Jaipur) or main roads in Delhi.There was no way a user would have missed it,“ said MobiKwik CEO Bipinpreet Singh. “It is cheap and cost effective, especially with respect to small towns.“ With a budget of only a few lakh rupees a month, startups are able to advertise on hoardings even in central business districts.

“Rates in the industry vary hugely, from ` . 80,000 per square foot . 50 to ` per month, depending upon the location. With ad budgets running in crores, ecommerce startups have become the No. 2 two outdoor advertiser in India, just after the real estate sector,“ said Ayush Srivastava, CEO of Lakshya Advertising.

He added that large ecommerce companies have outdoor advertising budgets of ` `20 crore.

. 15 crore-.

“Out-of-home advertising serves as a great awareness vehicle and status symbol as many of the recently funded startups are adding this to their kitty for launch campaigns,“ said Arghya Chakravarty, CEO for the OOH business at Times Innovative Media. “These players may not have a pan-India presence and follow a very focused approach.“

IT parks are typically the first choice for such companies, especially those that offer hyperlocal services.

On the Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway, an eight-lane tolled expressway, a huge outdoor hoarding of a oneyear-old startup has been strategically positioned.

“It’s put up to catch eyeballs of white-collar workers driving to Noida from Delhi. It’s a short campaign of 15 days,“ said Navneet Singh, CEO of grocery delivery startup PepperTap.

Paytm, Quikr, Portea and Big Basket are following a similar strat egy, making their presence felt on auto-rickshaws, at metro stations and even on pillars. Some online companies are experimenting beyond hoardings.

“You may have to look at other options like metro-train branding, poles and kiosks to complement the plan,“ said Shankar Nath, senior vice-president at Paytm, a mobile commerce platform. For one of our merchant acquisition campaigns, we branded 500 autos i Surat where we believed our target group would be very engaged with the messaging.“

Source: The Economic Times




Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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