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Delhi Metro Advertising Suffering From Underutilization

By Expert Author: Manish Kumar

Delhi Metro Advertising was once the biggest hype of OOH Advertising India. A decade since Delhi Metro became operational; Delhi Metro Advertising is yet to realize its full potential. Only about 40% of the total advertising space of approximately 25,000 square meters is currently being utilized for the purpose of advertising. This underutilization is resulting in the loss of potential in a medium which has added immensely to the scope of OOH Advertising India. This article discusses some of the primary reasons due to which the promise of the OOH Advertising heaven is yet to be fulfilled.

High Costs

This is the reason which is obvious. Metro Advertising comes for a high price and is about 60% more than other OOH options excluding Airport Advertising. Mr. Hiyav Bajaj, MD of OOH giant TDI International India P Limited, says, “DMRC Media still requires much deserved endorsement by the concessionaires with regard to offering efficient impact visibility quotient at effective costing for advertisers to capture the opportunity. Metro Media needs to be licensed at rational pricing to concessionaires by the DMRC Authorities for making the media affordable.” DMRC’s high rates of Advertising licenses are in tune to its plan, made back in 2011, to substantially increase revenue from advertisements. However, keeping the rates of the licenses high may lead to the killing of the proverbial hen laying golden eggs.

Few Options of Sites

The sites which are currently being used for ad displays in the metro stations are limited in the scope of creativity and innovation. The DMRC and the Metro Advertising Agencies need to sit and discuss the other options available. The advertisers should also be consulted for the same. Only then can be the occupancy levels of the sites be improved. Moving beyond the traditional sites of advertising is the need of the hour as the Metro Advertising still has the unutilized potential to become a key contributor to the OOH Advertising revenue.

Low Participation of Brands

Brands choose the metro stations according to the demography of the commuters. Stations that are the hub of low-end consumers are often not touched by the high-end brands. Such stations must be pushed to the smaller businesses with offers on the deals. However, the extent to which this can be done will depend on largely on whether the DMRC authorities realize and act on the need to lower license fees.

Delhi Metro with its 25 lakhs daily ridership, high dwell periods, and concentrated viewership is an OOH goldmine waiting to be dug. However, it has to be a combined effort from the media connoisseurs, DMRC authorities, and the advertisers. The Metro Advertising Agencies must push the sites aggressively. In a situation when the brands are not sure about the medium, earning their trust is the need of the hour. The authorities at DMRC should also realize that their focus should shift from immediate high revenue to sustainability. The brands need to look at the long term benefits of the media and utilize the potential of Delhi Metro Advertising. Advertising at the Metro Stations offers a few options that are exclusive to the medium. With 142 metro stations across 192.7 kilometers, this medium has the largest advertising area at a stretch. Busy lines with various segments of audience offer huge opportunities for businesses of all sizes and nature. It would be a tragic day in OOH Advertising India if such opportunities are lost.

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