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MC plans to replace flex boards on poles

Flex boards installed on poles across the city would soon be a thing of the past as local Municipal Corporation plans to replace these with electronic screens for advertising purposes. Under the new high-tech system, a control room would be set up, from where advertisements would beuploaded and removed from the digital screens. The step has been initiated after the new Punjab municipal outdoor advertisement policy 2012 was approved by the state cabinet on October 23 in Chandigarh. A notice would soon be issued, after which the MC would implement the policy that would look into issues relating to advertisements within MC limits. At present, advertisement boards made in flex are put on poles erected by the MC across the city, which are given on contract.MC commissioner RK Verma said that all aspects of advertising within MC limits would be taken care of. He said that spots for putting up these screens would be identified along roads in such a manner that they did not distract drivers and passers-by. "Safety of residents among other aspects is the main aim of the policy. It would not be adopted for commercial purpose but only to make advertisements on poles safe and secure for public," said Verma.He said other public utilities, including urinals, would also be constructed in different areas. According to a spokesperson of the chief minister's office, "The policy is primarily designed to ensure that outdoor advertisement is not hazardous to traffic. Spaces meant for outdoor advertisements will be auctioned in a transparent manner to stop illegal practices in the trade."The cabinet has given its nod to issue an ordinance for amending Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, to ensure implementation of the new policy as well as municipal outdoor advertisement by-laws 2012," said the official. Ludhiana MC earns nearly Rs. 4 crore every year from advertisements across the city.

Brands desire more effective digital marketing from local affiliates

National brands' investment in local digital marketing is on the rise. According to local-marketing automation company Balihoo's September survey of marketers in North America, 35.9% planned to boost their local digital dollars in 2013; just 6.8% planned to decrease spending. Most marketers reported already investing in common digital marketing tactics such as Facebook marketing (69.3%), search engine optimization (SEO) and display advertising (50.3%) for purposes of local marketing. The use of local websites (46.4%) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising (44.3%) was also common. In their report, Balihoo highlighted the low reported usage of local search registration, a practice of listing one's business in local online search directories such as Yahoo!, Google Places, CitySearch or Yellow Pages websites. Once a common digital tactic for local businesses, it is now used by less than one in four marketers. This decline could be partially attributed to changing consumer habits when searching for local information online: One need only look at consumers' increased use of mobile search and social media properties such as company pages and ratings and reviews sites to find local information. In fact, in the coming year, the greatest number of respondents said they planned to implement digital tactics such as local blogs (31.5%), online customer reviews (31%) and mobile marketing (35.4%).Many of the national brands surveyed (51.3%) used local affiliates such as dealers, resellers, retailers and channel partners to promote or sell their products and services in local markets. Though affiliates are useful for growing brand awareness and driving consumers toward in-store purchases, national brands were less than satisfied with their affiliates' digital marketing efforts: 47.8% of marketers said their local affiliates lacked the desired level of online visibility in their markets, and 30% felt affiliate websites were poorly optimized or outdated. Specific areas in which brands felt their affiliates lacked expertise most often included search marketing-specifically search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC)-as well as mobile marketing. Lack of experience with mobile marketing is understandable considering the newness of this marketing medium. However, poor use of search marketing-related tactics is surprising, given search's tenure in the digital marketing industry. Though affiliates were rated more effective with their social media marketing, social encounters are less likely to drive consumers to actual websites than PPC and SEO. The ability to drive consumers to local affiliate websites is both important and critical for both in-store and online purchases: Forrester Research found 90% of US online buyers visited two or more nonretailer websites before making a purchase decision.

2012 - A year of innovation for OOH industry

What do clients desire? What is possible with technology? What is viable in the market place? These are fundamental questions that arise before the execution of any Innovation in outdoor advertising. In 2012, we saw some bold, beautiful and dynamic innovations on billboards like the 3-D cutouts of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan on Mobile Vans for the promotion of the fifth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati, 'Citi Bank completes 200 years' displays on Bus Shelters, History TV channel's '365 days exploring a country' show on Hoardings, DLF-IPL match promotion on Flyovers, Pole Kiosk displays for 'Rio' movie characters, the Coca-Cola "Burr" campaign on Cantilevers and the Wall Mountings for Spiderman on UTV Action. These innovations not only caught eyeballs but made lasting impressions as well. Sanjeev Gupta, MD, Global Advertisers, says, "Innovations happen when one keeps a close eye on evolving needs that are on the verge of being articulated in the market. This year, we have witnessed brands across industries actively going for innovation. Players in BFSI, Entertainment, Retails, FMCG, Automobile, Telecom and Real-estate are all trying to stand apart from competitors via outdoor promotions. At Global, we ensure that our innovations translate into real value for our customers. For the record, the OOH sector is projected to grow at 10 percent (CAGR) over the next five years and reach a size of INR 28.59 billion by 2016. However, in 2011, the industry preformed at 6.15% CAGR amounting INR 17.75 billion. (FICCI-KPMG Report, 2012).

New York Festivals 2013 International Advertising Awards opens for entries

New York Festivals (NYF) has announced its call for entries for the 2013 competition honoring the world's best advertising.The International Advertising Awards competition receives entries from 70 countries and recognises work in all media in the following competitions: Avant-Garde, Branded Entertainment, Creative Marketing Effectiveness, Design, Digital, Direct and Collateral, Film, Integrated, Outdoor, Print, Public and Media Relations, Public Service, Radio and Student. In 2012, there were a total of six entries from India that won the Finalist Certificate award.NYF is expected to make an announcement soon on the jury members for 2013.The 2013 New York Show, NYF's two-day series of events, will begin on 1 May, 2013, and will feature creative panel discussions, keynote speakers, networking events, the 2013 Executive Jury press conference, exhibits, and the 2 May International Advertising Awards ceremony. Entries submitted before 16 December will receive a 10 per cent discount on fees, while those submitted after 27 January will be subject to a 15 per cent late fee.

Facebook offering sales tracking tool for advertisers

Facebook wants more credit for making online cash registers ring.Facebook will begin rolling out a new tool on Friday which will allow online retailers to track purchases by members of the social network who have viewed their ads. The tool is the latest of the new advertising features Facebook is offering to convince marketers that steering advertising dollars to the company will deliver a payoff. ”Measuring ad effectiveness and outcomes is absolutely crucial to all types of businesses and marketers," said David Baser, a product manager for Facebook's ads business who said the "conversion measurement" tool has been a top customer request for long time. The sales information that advertisers receive is anonymous, said Baser. "You would see the number of people who bought shoes," he said, using the example of an online shoe retailer. But marketers would not be able to get information that could identify the people, he added. The conversion tool is specifically designed for so-called direct response marketers, such as online retailers and travel websites that advertise with the goal of drumming up immediate sales rather than for longer-term brand-building. It lets marketers track the impact of a Facebook ad hours or days or even a week beyond when someone might have viewed the ad. That allows marketers to understand the impact of the Facebook ad on the ultimate purchase. Marketers will also have the option to aim their ads at segments of Facebook's audience with similar attributes to consumers that have responded well to a particular ad in the past. Facebook defines a conversion as anything from a completed sale, to a consumer taking another desired action on a website, such as registering for a newsletter.

Online shopping yet to pick up in India: Survey

Online shopping is yet to pick up in India where television has the most perceived advertising persuasiveness across all age groups, according to a survey. Companies in India might be rushing in to tap the e-shopping market, but a lot has to be done to encourage consumer and see more transactions, said the Deloitte's State of the Media Democracy Survey India 2012.Purchasing products is the least online activity done by those surveyed with only 15 per cent saying they shop online, it said.The survey shows that combining online and offline research before deciding what/ where to purchase is important for the majority of consumers. Interestingly, majority of consumers visited websites after watching ads in televisions, newspapers, magazines, or even billboards. The vast majority of consumers continue to read magazines, However, affinity for magazines is considerably lower than TV or newspapers, and they're regarded as much less influential with regard to advertising. A large majority of consumers, 72 per cent on an average, use search engines on a daily basis. This has been an amazing change compared with the 2009 survey where only 17 per cent used search engines. Conversations about social networking sites and websites have gained tremendously compared with 2009 survey where the range was 3-4 per cent compared with 45-47 per cent now. Interestingly, newspapers (53 per cent) are the most talked about media topic among consumers, followed by music (47) and social networking sites (47) and television shows (46).

Mahindra 2 Wheelers scouts for agency for upcoming brands

Mahindra 2 Wheelers, a part of the multi-business conglomerate Mahindra, is on the lookout for a creative agency. The authorities are currently in conversation with a few leading advertising agencies. The process is underway in Mumbai. Sources inform that one round of presentations has taken place. The participating agencies will be evaluated both on their creative abilities as well as their strategic process. In sync with company reports that were released to the media earlier this year, sources reiterate that the company is set to launch three new two wheeler brands shortly and confirm that the ongoing pitch is part of the effort to finalise the branding and launch strategies for these brands in the Indian market. A couple of years ago, popular Hindi film actor Kareena Kapoor was appointed as the brand ambassador for Mahindra Two Wheelers' entire range of Power Scooters. Mahindra 2 Wheelers launched its 110cc entry-level bike Stallio on September 30, 2010. On October 17 in the same year, the company rolled out an ad campaign for the product. It was a 360-degree effort including TV, print, radio, outdoor and digital. The ads were created by Mahindra & Mahindra's creative AoR, Interface Communications and featured popular actor Aamir Khan. Around the same time, the launch of Mahindra's 300cc two-wheeler brand, Mojo, was announced.While the Stallio targeted consumers in the 18-25 years age bracket, Mojo looked to stir a slightly older set of individuals (those in the age group of 25-35 years). The two brands also targeted consumers in different economic strata; positioned as 'the fastest bike', the Mojo targeted a more affluent TG (target group) vis-à-vis the Stallio that was branded as 'the soul mate'. Mahindra entered the two-wheeler industry in 2008.

More Advertisers, Formats Bring More Money to RTB

Real-time bidding (RTB) is thriving. The programmatic buying technology will account for 13% of total US digital display spending this year, eMarketer estimates, or $1.95 billion. One reason for RTB’s fast growth is that more publishers and advertisers are getting into the game. Once used primarily to auction off remnant inventory as profitably as possible, RTB has extended to premium publishers, premium brands and premium ad formats. Digital advertising technology provider Index Platform reported that during the first half of 2012, increases in RTB usage in North America were seen across major advertiser types, including a 30.2% increase in the number of major national advertisers using RTB and a nearly 50% increase in local businesses using it. Mobile is another growth area, though for now it takes only a small slice of the total RTB pie. Mobile ad server and exchange MoPub reported that iPad full-screen interstitials were the most expensive RTB mobile format on their platform, followed by medium rectangles and iPad banners. The company reported that overall, RTB ads served to iOS devices were significantly more expensive than those served to smartphones and tablets running Android. The average eCPM for RTB ads served to all devices running iOS was $0.72 in September, compared to just $0.43 for Android.

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