Sep 5, 2008

Mktg - India;Branding takes bluetooth way

Indian firms are now using wireless technology to advertise and create brand awareness among consumers for their products. The concept is being used mainly in the out-of-home advertisement (OOH) to gain maximum benefit.Companies are now taking the help of bluetooth technology at bus stations and other public places to promote their brands, after the successful use of this technology in malls, which was used for informing consumers about the latest bargains.To tap into the younger generation, Mudra and TeleBrahma have used bluetooth technology for brand promotion. Downloads are available for Lord Ganesha’s wallpapers, ringtones, branded Aarti tunes and audio tracks of the Cycle Agarbatti radio spots among others.“We have tried to use local area marketing for out-of-home branding and used technology innovatively. This method also allows the brand to be subtle in its approach and respects the sensibilities of the user,” explains Manish Sinha, senior vice-president, Mudra. In the coming days, the company plans to make ad capsule for its client and post it on YouTube.It’s only been two days since the Ganesh Utsav started but Mudra has already registered 200 downloads through the bluetooth medium activated at six bus shelters.Sinha believes that while Internet penetration has been disappointing, technologies such as bluetooth and the use of mobile handsets are the next big mediums to reach consumers. “Mobile is a very personal medium and brands will need to understand this medium and be relevant.When bluetooth came into market, users would hardly accept anything if it was from an unknown source. But the mall experience has shown that in an enclosed space if the sender is a reliable source, users are ready to use it,” explains Sinha.With retail outlets, bus shelters, airports and even railway stations getting a facelift, brand managers find these as good platforms to showcase their brands. Advertisers like it as this allows them to be present before the customer all the time.For instance, the advertising space at the Delhi airport is said to have been sold for around Rs 150 crore for three years to Times OOH. The company will invest around Rs 100 crore in constructing 1,400 bus shelters in Mumbai alone, apart from 300 in Bangalore and 200 in Hyderabad. Each shelter can fetch between Rs 20,000 and Rs 100,000, depending on its location.Most OOH advertising companies acquire rights to properties such as bus shelters, railways stations and highways through government tenders, while the in-store/ mall deals are done directly.The rights given by the government are usually between 5 and 15 years. However, in case of malls, the company has to go in for revenue sharing with mall owners which ranges between 20 and 40 per cent.

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