Vritti i-Media’s unique selling proposition has been its distinct range of outdoor advertising services. The most prominent of these is a result of the company’s tie-up with Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) that has enabled it to make announcements at village bus stations, combining bus announcements with advertising. This OOH offering encapsulates a fundamental credo of the company, which is reaching the consumer when he is idle and receptive to information or communication. This service has been among Vritti i-Media’s most distinct and successful offerings since it has allowed advertisers to establish a significant degree of brand recall among the target audience. So, having met peerless success for this innovative advertising solution, Vritti i-Media has stepped up its plans for aggressive growth and expansion in the country by now taking its entire groundbreaking basket of offerings to north and south India.
IT and media solution provider Vritti Solutions Limited empowers brands and advertisers to connect with audiences at a grass-root level, through its unique media subset – Vritti i-Media, that is known for its innovative outdoor marketing solutions. A two-time winner of ‘The Best Zonal Media Owner – West India’ at the ‘Outdoor Advertising Award,’ Vritti i-Media has handled some noteworthy and prestigious projects involving effective mass and regional marketing for significant brand entities from almost every segment, especially retail, in the grass roots of India. Its esteemed clientele includes some of India’s largest and most successful brands, namely, Tata Agro Products, HUL’s Wheel and Lux, Big Bazaar, Airtel, Maruti Suzuki, State Bank of India, Star Plus, Star Pravah, J K Cement and Make My Trip, in addition to government entities like Maharashtra Energy Development Agency, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), among others.
Branding and advertising are essentials for any SME to grow big. However, SMEs face a significant challenge of limited budgets and resources. In such a scenario, cost effective advertising is what can ease the problem of SMEs.
Vritti i-Media, a next generation advertising solution provider in Maharashtra has come up with innovative audio advertising solution for advertisers. Vritti i-Media has partnered with Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to run audio advertisements at various district bus terminals. They have been appointed as the Sole Authorized Agency by MSRTC to run commercial audio advertisements that are played along with the Buses’ arrival/departure announcements. Thus ensuring 100% compulsory listening for small towns and rural market consumers who travel frequently in MSRTC Buses. Since the advertisements are aired through centralized web server, Vritti i-Media has been able to connect with consumers in the most remote villages of Maharashtra. The audio network of Vritti i-Media is currently spread across 80+ locations of MSRTC bus stands covering key centers, investor hubs, all districts, important taluka places and pilgrim centres in Maharashtra.
Advantages of Vritti i-Media’s audio advertising solution to SMEs in Maharashtra:
- Reach of 103 Million people
- On-air time morning 6am to night 10pm daily
- Broadcasting every 30 minutes
- Passengers on an average change every 30 minutes and that assures your advertisement is heard by new person every time
- Every District bus stand – Average 40000 passenger footfalls every day
- Per persons cost is almost 10% compared to other media and impact is 100%
- Audio advertisement in local language can reach out to illiterates as well
- Advertisement releases at various district place bus stand and repetition throughout the day and month create a brand image
- Advertisement is heard across bus stand and up to 100 meter periphery
- Mandatory listening as the advertisement is coupled with the bus departure announcement. Passengers are actually waiting to hear the announcement
- 100% battery backup to ensure 16 hours running of system
- Advertisement can be changed within 30 minutes
Vritti i-Media assures wider reach for SMEs in cost effective budgets. This innovative concept of audio advertising solution has also won 2 Gold and 1 silver awards at the Outdoor Advertising Awards, 2011. Gold Award for most coveted “Media owner for western region”, Gold Award for “Best Transit Media and Silver” Award for the Best Format Innovation – New Media category.
Vritti i-Media has been responsible for making various brands a house hold name in rural and semi urban areas of Maharashtra. SMEs like Kirti Gold, Maharashtra K knowledge Corporation, Gujarat Tea traders – Vikram Tea, Pitambari, Kalnirnay publications and many more have been successful in building a brand name in rural and semi-urban parts of Maharashtra with the help of Vritti’s advertising network.
The article is authored by Mr. Rajesh Radhakrishnan, Head-Marketing, Vritti i-Media on the official India Mart Blog.Image source: Top News.in
The agricultural department of the Maharashtra Government has set up an agro advisory feed at Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus stands with the objective of providing expert agricultural advice to farmers in Maharashtra public address system at the stands. This initiative has been started with the aim of keeping the local farmers up to date with the latest in farming techniques and to increase their awareness about agriculture. The initiative is conducted across all parts of Maharashtra excluding Mumbai.
MSRTC buses are the chief mode of transport for farmers in rural Maharashtra, thus forming important junctions for communicating information. The agro advisories by agricultural universities and the meteorology department are broadcasted through Vritti’s audio network along with the announcement of bus timings at regular intervals. Experts share advice about quality of seeds and probable quality of production in the coming harvest season, information about market prices, seasonal crops, using fertilizers and hybrid seeds. In order to increase financial stability, farmers are also informed about various beneficial government plans, its application process and the advantages reaped out of them.
Speaking about this initiative, Mr. Veerendra Jamdade, CEO, Vritti Solutions says, “It’s a matter of immense pride for us to be able to help out our local farmers who would otherwise have very little means to receive such privileged information. Our medium facilitates customization of advice specific to the location thus making the information relevant to the types of crops grown in the region, types of pests likely to affect the crops in a particular climate and solutions to cure them. For instance, in the Konkan region, which is the highest cultivator of rice, the messages are customized to provide solutions for better rice cultivation. This kind of timely, location specific advice has greatly benefitted farmers across Maharashtra.”
This initiative of the Government has received an overwhelming response in a short period of time. The farmers have reaped the benefits of this initiative at no cost while travelling to their destinations.
“There are 700 million people in India who live in rural area. We don’t want to neglect them. We see a huge opportunity there,” Coca-Cola Company Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Joseph Tripodi told reporters on the sidelines of AdAsia 2011.
This clearly states the potential rural markets offer to the product & service category in India. But with opportunities come challenges and in the Indian rural scenario, obstacles vary with geography. The problem faced by marketers in the villages of Uttar Pradesh would be different from the obstacles faced in the hinterlands of Maharashtra or South India. Marketing communication and promotion poses a lot of problem in rural India.
Constraints in rural advertising
From the profile of people to the availability of media, there are various problems that pose barriers to advertising in rural areas. For instance, the literacy rate among the rural consumers being low, the printed word has little use in the rural context. So far TV has been one of the ideal mediums of reaching the rural audience however its reach remains restricted even today. Radio has so far been the most favorable medium in terms of accessibility in rural areas. But according to report by Linterland, rural expert of India, the penetration of radio is not very high in rural areas because many cannot afford to own a radio set.
This goes to show that conventional media has still not been able to find its foot in the rural markets of India. It has been estimated that all organized media put together can reach only 30% of the rural population of India. Lingual diversity compounds the complexity of advertising in these areas. Hence, arrives the need to go beyond the standard forms of media to create a long lasting impact on the minds of rural consumers.
With changing times, marketers have tried and tested various unconventional forms of media which remain exclusive to the rural lands of India. These can also been termed as ‘Rural Specific’ media. The rural specific media with its effective reach, powerful input and personalized communication system has helped marketers achieve their set goals.
Rural Specific Media:
This media has been developed over the years to suit the local taste of villagers and other peculiarities showcased by them. Like, one of the most popular non-conventional forms of advertising is at the social gatherings of villagers, popularly known as the melas & haaths. Such gatherings are organized at a local level in different villages of India. As these occasions are also perceived as sources of new information, marketers have evolved strategies to captivate their attention at such occasions either by setting up branded kiosks providing educational information or having live demonstration of products & services.
It has been observed that advertisement couched in entertainment go down easily with the villagers. As important aspect of rural specific media is the language. Rural communication has to necessarily be in the local language.
Case: The MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) bus network is the key mode of transport for most of the villagers dwelling in Maharashtra. The bus stands from where travelers board their respective buses have an announcement system in place which helps the passengers with bus timings and other crucial information required. The announcement system also broadcasts brand advertisements exclusively in Marathi. As these advertisements are heard between the bus timing announcements, the bus stands serve as a place to captivate the audience attention at the time they want to listen to you. Moreover, the advertisements broadcasted are based on real life instances created in Marathi which has a powerful impact on the people as they can easily connect to the ad and also understand it.
Outdoor hoardings are also used very well in rural communication. In fact, currently many companies are using the outdoor medium imaginatively in their rural communication mix, through hoardings, wall paintings, illuminations and other displays in the rural areas. Moreover, getting one’s wall painted with the product messages is seemed as a status symbol.
Asian Paints promoted its Utsav range of paints by painting Mukhiya’s house or Post office 6 months prior to the launch of the paint to demonstrate that paint does not peel off.
Rural consumers place more emphasis on the experience of others who have used the brands to make their purchase decision. Hence, the Utsav campaign not only won the attention of rural consumers but also built reliability as the ad was displayed on the Mukhiya’s house wall.
The cost effectiveness and high involvement of consumers is what makes these form of media successful in the rural landscapes of India. Rural India is unique in its own ways and exploring each bit of it is a new learning in itself.
- Transit media advertising: Does your ad campaign have what it takes?
- Presence in rural markets: no longer a choice but a necessity
Whether you are out on the road, up in the air, on your first date, on your long treks or on your way to work – you can always be assured of the constant company of ‘The Brands’. In a world dominated by consumerism, the marketing gurus are watching your every move, have your travel plans figured out and have already reached your destination probably before you even thought of getting there. The Indian outdoor advertising industry, comprising less than 8 per cent of the total advertising budget has today become burgeoning industry worth Rs 1,900 crore, thus ensuring that the consumer is always thinking, albeit subconsciously, about his choice of brands – right from the toothpaste he uses in the morning, to the mattress he sleeps on at night.
The Indian outdoor industry has undergone cataclysmic changes in the recent years. Gone are the days when a plain old billboard was enough to make a consumer sit up and take note. In a scenario where thousands of brands are jostling for top of mind recall, the need of the hour is innovative, smart outdoor advertising.
The year 2011 was a period of ups and downs for the industry as a whole. An extended cricket season that caused majority of spends to be diverted to TVCs and decreased spends from the telecom and finance sector during the year caused a major setback to the industry mid-2011. However, the forecast for the industry looks bright as per PWC which has recently published a report stating that the Indian OOH advertising industry is projected to reach Rs 2,400 crore in 2015 from Rs 1,400 crore in 2010, showing a growth of 11.4 per cent.
As we speak of the potential of the industry as a whole, lets take a look at some of the key challenges and issues that have plagued the industry, a few trends that are definitive of how the industry has shaped up in the past year and the future direction that needs to be carved out to reach the complete potential in the coming years.
OOH – Not just a ‘reminder’
As the quickest, most cost effective method of grabbing consumer attention, the OOH industry has been steadily gaining significance as a key element of a media planning strategy that goes much beyond ‘just a reminder’. The tools and techniques of outdoor advertising have undergone cataclysmic changes. Gone are those days when ordinary billboards were used for outdoor displays. The OOH industry has given a lot to advertising brands in terms of ROI, strategic locations and innovations in the previous years which has led to increased spends especially from the finance sector into the outdoor segment.
Earlier in the year, I was fortunate to have been a part of the Outdoor Advertising Convention, based on the concept ‘Think Tomorrow, Today’. Among the many highlights of the event, there was a point made by Ashish Pherwani, Associate Director, Ernst & Young India Pvt Ltd, which made a profound impact on me as it will largely define the future of the outdoor industry. He had said, “70 per cent of advertisers are not, or are only somewhat comfortable, in buying OOH, and 68 per cent are willing to increase spends on OOH if they can get greater transparency.”
Increasingly more advertisers are demanding formats in segments with greater measurement metrics such as traffic count; dwell times, passenger engagement etc which are answers the industry will have to provide to scale up rapidly.
Urban saturation = rural potential
As OTS (opportunity to be seen) opportunities get slowly exhausted in the urban markets due to high budgets and market saturation, the smarter marketers are moving away from the city hubs and exploring the untapped and vast opportunities that lie in transit media advertising and rural OOH.
Taking an example of Maharashtra, of the 90 million residing in rural pockets, with 55 million in semi-rural or rural areas, only 40-45 per cent have access to Print & TV as mediums while the rest of the audience is subject to ‘media darkness’, that is, incapable of any media consumption due to barriers such as illiteracy and lack of TV and print. For this audience, the only effective way to make an impact is through the audio advertising medium, where messages can be relayed to them in their local languages, which they can comprehend. This model has met with tremendous success during the last couple of years with telecom brands opting for this medium to convey the brand messages to a significant part of their target audience, that is, the rural consumers.
Vritti i-Media has developed a proprietary technology whereby audio advertising messages are relayed to an audience at ST bus stands across Maharashtra along with bus arrival and departure timings which makes for mandatory listening and cost effective brand campaigning.
Highway advertising – Food malls become Digital Hubs
While signages, kiosks and samples have been tried and tested methods of branding at Highway Hubs, marketers are now moving towards a more dynamic form of advertising which is attractive, cost effective and easy to modify suited to the advertiser’s needs. A good example of this is the highway food hubs in Maharashtra, notably on the Mumbai-Pune and Pune-Nasik highways, which are dotted with food joints that have audio visual screens where advertisements are broadcast in between bus arrival and departure announcements thus ensuring the captive attention of the audience. The technology based audio visual screens allow advertisers to modify messages based on new product launches, change of schemes or to simply highlight an ongoing sale a little more effectively.
The audio visual method of outdoor advertising on food malls will pave the way for brands to communicate to a diverse set of audiences, in a multilingual format at half the cost, thus ensuring seamless delivery of messages that can be modified as and when required. It is also being touted as an effective way for brands to spread social awareness among their audience, especially the truckers, who are largely illiterate and who form a large part of the audience profile that frequent the roadside dhabas. It will be interesting to witness the shift in strategy of marketers from traditional to outdoor audio visual advertising, which will largely define how the future of this medium shapes up in the near future.
Digital OOH – An idea whose time has come
Offering benefits like flexibility to advertisers, higher recall and cost advantages, Digital OOH is an idea whose time has come. The medium facilitates audience measurement and monitoring of consumer preferences besides allowing category exclusivity which are all the aspects that the industry is looking to resolve at present. With high end luxury and automobile brands making entries into the Indian retail market, we can certainly hope to experience a lot of innovation on this medium in the coming years.