Advertisement in Urban Transit systems like Metro Rail, Rly Stations, Monorail, Airports registers 60% growth

MUMBAI: Railway stations, Metro rail, Monorail, bus shelters and Airports have emerged the hot spots for advertisers in the country as ads on rapid transit systems have grown close to 60% in the past one year. Industry experts estimate that rapid transit systems’ advertisement would be worth at least Rs.300-400 crore out of the country’s overall out-of-home (OOH) advertising pie of approximately Rs.2000 crore, thanks to rapid development of urban infrastructure.

“Modernisation of the Indian transport system, increasing demand of fast and convenient mediums of travel, and expanding network of existing transport mediums…are some of the reasons that’s contributing to rapid growth of transit media advertising,” Sanjeev Gupta, managing director at Mumbai-based outdoor ad agency Global Advertisers, says. Another reason for marketers’ increased focus on rapid transit advertisement is it can be monitored and measured effectively.

Harjap Singh, founder & MD of Proof of Performance, a Delhi-based agency specialising in auditing and monitoring outdoor campaigns, says one can easily find the number of people visiting airports and railway stations through ticket sales. Also, in rapid transport system it is easy to monitor for how long the ads are displayed. “Maybe the demographic data, like age, gender and so on is difficult to get. But we can monitor how long a passenger waits on a particular metro rail platform in between two trains, or how much time it takes for a passenger on the elevator of a particular airport and so on,” Singh says.

“This helps advertisers to plan their campaigns effectively.” Experts like him expect advertisements on rapid transit system to capture a significant portion of the overall OOH category, which is expected to exceed Rs 5,000 crore in 3-5 years.

Infrastructure development in the country is helping the overall media inventory in rapid transit system grow nearly 15%-20% a year. In Mumbai, the inventory has increased 25%-30% in buses, 35% in autos, 20% in taxis and 15% in local trains.

Most marketers and media owners believe advertising inside airports carries the most impact because people spend more time there because of factors such as early reporting time and security check-in. “It (airport advertising) offers captive audience and most air travellers have the buying power as well,” says Atul Shrivastava, chief operating officer at Laqshya Media, another Mumbai-based OOH media firm.

No wonder, the cost of advertising is highest in airports. “While a railway station billboard may cost you Rs 100 per square feet, it might be Rs 500 per square feet at a metro station and Rs 2,000 per square feet at the airport,” Shrivastava says. But then every medium has its own attraction. Gupta of Global Advertisers says, “Every transit medium follows a specific route; hence it depends on the brand and its target group. For instance, a tourism board will primarily take up the airport medium, whereas an education group will go for bus and railway medium mostly.” Among cities, Mumbai is the costliest with its rapid transit mediums commanding about 30% premium over other cities.