Paridhi Agarwal* Preeti Suryawanshi**
Transport hubs are emerging as a target for India’s marketers who have rapidly taken to ambient media in their search for new and effective ways to reach consumers. As leading cities develop modern mass transit facilities, operators are looking beyond ticket revenue, with advertising and station naming rights expected to account for an increasing proportion of their income. Also, in order to reach travelers effectively and to stimulate their consumption, advertisers have to understand the needs and media behavior of these visitors.
In this respect the researchers viewed it is important to understand effectiveness of advertising on Delhi Metro with respect to reach and Brand recall. This paper aims to measure: 1. awareness and liking of metro advertisements among travelers 2.perceptions of outdoor advertisements among travelers. To achieve the research objectives eight outdoor ads were selected for the study. These ads were displayed at the busy “Rajiv Chowk” metro station for a week prior to the survey. The ads had a variety of executional cues, such as the imagery, language, color, font and celebrities. A survey was conducted to measure the response of travelers and the responses were measured using the Message response involvement theory.
Keywords: outdoor advertising, Delhi Metro, Message response involvement theory, Reach, Brand Recall
‘Hundreds of thousands of people take what they call joy rides, short trips to savor the ef?ciency, modernity and sense of progress the metro system seems to generate’.Quoting an article in the New York Times (Rohde, 2003: A4)
Delhi Metro is the lifeline of the NCR and connects Delhi, Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad through its widespread rail network. Beyond the movement of people, the metro has been of?cially sanctioned as a vehicle for inculcating a culture of discipline, order, routine and cleanliness in Delhi. These ideals are in sharp contrast to the congested, unpredictable, chaotic pace of life in Delhi today.
Delhi Metro advertising is a fantastic medium for local advertisers as it allows them to reach out to the local community in a highly targeted and cost effective way. Brand building requires broad reach and involvement: Offering scale with lower entry cost and greater regional flexibility is a huge selling point for Delhi Metro, and one that isn’t really exploited by many advertisers. Delhi Metro advertisement rates is often a deciding factor when incorporating different avenues of advertising into one’s marketing plan. Delhi Metro advertising is one of the cost efficient advertising spaces one can use if the number of people reached is considered with respect to the price paid. Thus advertising inside and outside Metro Train will reach large number of audience.
A marketer or advertising professional tends to get carried away several times in assuming facts about the consumers – their mindset, their habits and most importantly their willingness to accept what they dish out to them. If one talks to the ordinary individual on the street who may be a part of the target group of a large range of brands, one will have a rude awakening to discover that he or she can barely name two or three ways in which a company can advertise, specific examples being a rarity. Moreover, these answers are limited to hoardings, posters and metro stations at large. However, target consumers of specific brands, when probed for further information; appear to be able to recall outdoor advertisements in great detail. This presents a dilemma. One cannot simply assume that if an advertiser puts out a so-called innovative campaign, it will be seen and appreciated by all. Some case studies suggest, only after careful targeting and focused media usage can one reach out to the right people and convince them to purchase a product or service.
Another point of debate is the consumers’ changing mindset at various touch points outside the home. What the consumer may be thinking and feeling at a metro station or a bus stop is completely different to what he or she is thinking and feeling inside an elevator at the mall or while waiting for a flight at the airport. Creativity therefore becomes subjective. While the idea may be extremely imaginative and interesting at a particular location, it may fall flat when used on another vehicle as the consumer may not absorb the message. It therefore becomes essential to develop a strategy of contextual creativity while making outdoor advertisements.
This study will help to assess the reach of metro advertising and the recall value using the ‘Message response involvement theory’ and thereby a conclusion on the effectiveness of Delhi Metro advertising can be drawn.
Consumers’ Attitude towards Advertising
Advertising is a non-personal communication in the structure of information, usually paid for and generally persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by acknowledged sponsors through an assortment of media (Bovee ; Arens, 1992). In general, advertising is used to inform, persuade, and remind consumers. Advertising is believed to enhance buyers’ responses to products or services offered by a firm, thus enabling possibilities of increased profitability. Advertising is a growing business and with advances in the Internet technology, the dynamics and landscape of the business has changed as well. Prior findings on consumers’ attitude towards advertising are mixed. Hence, the purpose of advertising is to create awareness of the advertised product and provide information that will assist the consumer to make informed-purchase decision. The importance of advertising as a promotional strategy, therefore, depends on its capability to influence consumers to not only purchase but to continue to repurchase and eventually develop-brand loyalty.
In the 1970s and 1980s many studies on advertising effectiveness concluded the impact of agenda setting, uses and gratification, cultivation effects, knowledge gap effects and media priming on the effectiveness of advertising on consumers. According to this research, media use has a set of important and influential effects on audiences. William McGuire, one of the world’s leading social psychologists, concluded as late as 1986 that there is little evidence of mass-media persuasion having any effect on receiver attitudes, beliefs or actions (McGuire 1986; Shrum 2002). The crucial point made by McGuire was that the media may influence the way society works, how we interact and where we get our information to perform our daily duties, but there is little evidence that mass-media messages can persuade people to hold a specific belief or attitude, or perform a concrete behavior in a specified setting over an ascertained period of time.
In a recent study, the buying of a service (use of the weight room in a training facility) increased to almost five times the initial use after an outdoor advertising campaign (Bhargava and Donthu 1999). In another study, exposure to printed store sale flyers led to a doubling of the number of advertised products bought, and more than a doubling of the amount spent on items in ads (Burton, Lichtenstein et al. 1999). Products with a larger share of sales used for advertising have been found to have a larger share of market and a higher return on investment.
Measuring Advertising Effectiveness
With the high cost of producing a commercial and media budgets of Rs 100million–there is a natural desire, on the part of advertisers, to make sure that the advertising they are running is effective.
John Wanamaker’s famous quote, “I know that half of my advertising money is wasted… I just don’t know which half,” practically begs for a method to identify effective ad campaigns, commercials, or print ads.
Research companies, recognizing this need, have developed a myriad of testing approaches. They use conceptual models of how advertising works, various methods of gathering the data, different response measures, and different analytic approaches.
It’s safe to say that there is no general consensus, on the part of advertisers or advertising researchers, as to the best way to test advertising.
Outdoor Advertising recall and exposure
The fundamental value of outdoor advertising lies in the exposure it generates. The traditional measures of recall grossly understates the effectiveness of outdoor advertising. Also, in addition to the reach that is possible through outdoor advertising, one of the fundamental strength of this media is high frequency. Outdoor advertising is typically viewed in a less cluttered environment than most other media. As a result, an individual outdoor ad is more likely to be seen by the viewer than is the case in many other media.
CATEGORIZATION OF OUT-OF-HOME ADVERTISING AND ITS MESSAGE RECIPIENTS
One of the most common ways to grab the consumer’s attention is through outdoor advertising. Outdoor is a staple of the media mix, as it reaches hundreds of thousands of people, by foot, mass transit, or car, and is usually very quick and impactful.
The most common forms of outdoor advertising include:
Billboard advertising: When it comes to OOH advertising, this marketplace is dominated by billboards. These adverts, which come in various sizes and can be deployed at strategically targeted outdoor locations, strive to target customers on the move and engage in them in an entirely non-intrusive manner.
Point of sale displays: POS displays use emotional triggers to drive impulse purchases. It is also based on the accepted principle that a staggering 75% of our buying decisions are made in-store, which in turn suggests that customers are especially susceptible to emotive, in-store promotions.
Street furniture (bus shelters, kiosks, telephone booths etc.): Street Furniture enables advertising that connects with consumers on an intimate, face-to-face level. Options such as bench advertising and bus shelter advertisi ng provide impact to a mass vehicular and pedestrian audience. Whether providing broad-based coverage in many markets or targeted to a single neighborhood, Street Furniture advertising is as perfect for high-end fashion and entertainment as it is for packaged goods.
Transit advertising and wraps (taxis, buses, subways, trains etc.): This niche is dominated by adverts that are placed inside or on modes of public transportation, including buses, trains, trams and non-private hire taxis. It’s also possible to placed adverts on subway cars, in order to target customers on the move and engage them at a time when they’re actively seeking advertising content.
Guerrilla advertising (aka ambient media): The main point of guerrilla marketing is that the activities are done exclusively on the streets or other public places, such as shopping centers, parks or beaches with maximum people access so as to attract a bigger audience. This style of marketing is extremely effective for small businesses to advertise their product or service, especially if they are competing against bigger companies as it is inexpensive and focuses more on reach rather than frequency.
Conclusion Drawn from Literature review:
On the basis of the data gathered from the conclusion of above research papers it can concluded that:
Firstly, the out-of-home medium has become a very strong brand-building medium and not just a reminder medium for a variety of brands across product categories.
Secondly, it has emerged from the selected case studies that innovative advertising in the outdoor space has led to successful and measurable results which if assessed in more detail would prove high efficacy of advertising through use of innovations.
Thirdly, while there is a large potential for the industry in terms of growth and maturity, the retail and merchandising segment is still not being effectively utilized due to a multitude of reasons – most important being the lack of a unified body and experts who can carry it forward. Moreover, with the secrecy surrounding spends by companies on this segment, transparent policies and activities are yet to emerge.
Fourthly, the technological progressions in the form of LED, lenticulars and high-impact graphics are now giving marketers the freedom to execute out-of-the box ideas to attract consumers and deliver high recall. However, the cost-effectiveness though very high for campaign specific advertising, still remains debatable when it comes to being used on a large scale.
Fifthly, the focus on research-based software and metrics for efficacy though growing slowly but surely is an important trend that will help bring more credibility and stability to the out-of-home medium.
Finally, with systemic change still a distant dream and regulatory apathy still a reality, efforts by authorities and industry professionals on self-regulation seem to be boding good news for the viability of the medium.
OUT-OF-HOME ADVERTISING MESSAGING PROCESSING FRAMEWORK
MESSAGE RESPONSE INVOLVEMENT
Message-response involvement is a way that consumers can get involved with the marketing aspect of a product. This includes strategies like using prominent and novel stimuli, celebrity endorsements, providing value, appealing to needs, and allowing consumers to make messages or advertisements for the product. Hence, the more marketers engage consumers into their brands, the easier the marketers will be able to understand consumer behaviour in terms of how decisions are made and what product characteristics they are looking for. Subsequently, this creates a link between the individuals’ needs, goals, and values and product knowledge (Solomon 2013, p153). Therefore, when consumer are more involved with the brand marketing communication, the consumers will pay more attention to the product knowledge as individuals become more motivated to ‘gather, comprehend, elaborate, and assimilate on information’ (Aghdaie & Honari 2014, p6).
Levels of Brand Processing
Brand information processing is defined as the extent to which consumers allocate attention and processing resources to comprehend and elaborate on brand in- formation in an ad. “Brand information” is defined as any executional cue designed to communicate the advertised message. The level of processing from ads is influenced by consumers’ motivation, ability, and opportunity to process brand information during or immediately after ad exposure.
Figure 1 indicates that motivation, ability, and opportunity can be evaluated before ad exposure (pre-exposure MOA levels) or after ad exposure (post-exposure MOA levels). Pre-exposure MOA levels are influenced by consumer characteristics or situational characteristics (see Alwitt and Mitchell 1985). Post-exposure MOA levels are influenced by those factors and by ad executional cues.
Recall and the Motivation to Process the Message
Motivation has been defined as goal-directed arousal (Park and Mittal 1985). In the current context, the goal is restricted to the processing of brand information. Thus, motivation is defined as consumers’ desire or readiness to process brand information in an ad. High motivation implies that consumers are willing to allocate processing resources to brand information in an ad. Recall and motivation is directly related. If someone is motivated to process the message, there is a high chance of better recall.
Recall and the Opportunity to Process the Message
Opportunity is defined here as the extent to which distractions or limited exposure time affect consumers’ attention to brand information in an ad. High opportunity implies that the amount of attention allocated to brand information is not impeded. Thus, if the consumer gets a better opportunity to process the message, the recall will be high.
Recall and the Ability to Process the Message
Ability refers to consumers’ skills or proficiencies in interpreting brand information in an ad. The availability and accessibility of brand-relevant knowledge structures provide the foundation for processing ability. Hence, high ability implies that prior knowledge necessary to interpret brand information is present and is accessed. If the consumer is able to process the information effectively then the message can be recalled in the right manner.
Recall and Affect
A brand’s value is directly connected to its presence in the memory of consumers. Quite simply, if a customer remembers a brand, he is likely to buy that brand. If he doesn’t remember it, he will buy the one he remembers. Thus, for a brand, it is important to set itself in customer’s memory.
New Delhi, the capital city of India runs an extensive metro system. The Delhi metro sees over 3.3 million passengers travelling in 220 trains per day, Delhi Metro Station Advertising has therefore emerged as a cost effective advertising platform for a variety of brand categories. The Delhi Metro is a metro system serving Delhi and its satellite cities of Faridabad, Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad in National Capital Region in India. It is the world’s 12th largest metro system in terms of both length and number of stations. Delhi Metro network consists of five colour-coded regular lines and the faster Airport Express line, with a total length of 225 kms serving 160 stations.
Ad can be displayed on the Panels inside the Metro Train or outside the Train as a Wrap. Rotem trains have 2 variants with 4 coaches and 6 coach trains. Branding options are the same in both. Bombadier Trains have 2 variants with 6 coach and 8 coach Trains.
Facts and Figures
Statistics of Delhi Metro Advertising
Total No. Of Train
Passengers Entry Per Line
Passengers Entry Per Line %
Commuters from Line 1 & switching from Other Lines
Commuters from Line 1 & switching from Other Lines %
Commuters Entry & Exit On Same Line
Commuters Entry & Exit On Same Line %
Sample Variable Selections
Backlit Panels/ Train Wrap
1/ 2/ 3
30th Jan/ 1st Feb/ 20th Mar
1 Month/ 2 Months/ 3 Months
Inside train branding is available in the following routes:
Line 1 – Red Line – Dilshan Garden to Rithala
Line 2 – Yellow Line – SamayurBadli to Huda City Centre
Line 3 & 4 – Blue Line – Dwarka to Noida/Vaishali
Line 5 – Green Line – Mundka to Inderlok/Kirti Nagar
Line 6 – Violet Line -Kashmiri Gate To Escorts Mujesar,Faridabad
Type of research:
The type of research that was used in this study was qualitative research and quantitative research. Qualitative research aimed at gathering an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. Besides this, the research also examined the issue through observations in numerical representations and through statistical analysis. Along with the questionnaire that was given out to respondents for the statistical representation of the findings in the study, interviews with the respondents was also conducted.
A questionnaire was used to survey the travelers of Delhi Metro. The “Rajiv chowk” station is one of the busiest metro stations in Delhi which was selected for research. This metro station is one of the major station and an interchange point which connects hotels and commercial buildings in the area. Advertising in Rajiv Chowk Station in Delhi Metro allows advertisers to reach out to their target group within a station. Rajiv Chowk Station Advertising in Delhi Metro has one of the lowest cost per reach among non-traditional media options. Quota sampling was used in an attempt to interview equal numbers of males and females and equal numbers of respondents from the 15–24, 25–34, 35–44 and over-45 age groups. The interviewer intercepted travelers coming out of metro station and interviewed them using the questionnaire.
All selected Ads presented different products and brands. These ads were displayed at the busy “Rajiv Chowk” metro station for a week prior to the survey. The ads had a variety of executional cues, such as the imagery, language, color, font and celebrities. For the aided recall the ads were in full color, but on A4 size sheet.
Metro Station selection:
Based on data collected from a reliable source, 71 metro trains run on the blue line. Approximately, 1,051,667 passengers board the train regularly i.e., out of total number of metro travelers about 38% used blue line regularly which is the highest as compared to other lines. As high as 53% of the total number of commuters switch at Rajiv Chowk metro station making it one of the busiest and most used metro stations and hence, the most suitable option for our study.
Three parts of questionnaire
Gender, age, education level, occupation and monthly income were asked
2. Data about respondent’s opinions and perceptions of outdoor advertising in general
Statements relating to the respondent’s opinions and perceptions of outdoor advertising in general
Use likert scale (1=strongly disagree; 6=strong agree)
3. Data about awareness of and liking for the ads based on the 8 ads.
The ads were shown to the respondents and they were asked if they had seen the ads on Metro Stations. They were also asked to rate how much they liked each ad using a six-point Likert scale (1=dislike very much; 6=like very much).