Picture this: You walk into a restroom at your local multiplex and on the door of your stall is a poster advertising movies that will be playing on TV over the weekend.
You step out to fix your hair and the mirror tells you what shampoo you should be using, as a woman tugs on your sleeve and thrusts a free sanitary napkin or shampoo sachet at you.
On the fleet taxi ride home, the back of the driver’s seat is screaming at you to read a particular news magazine if you don’t want to be left behind.
As you begin to settle in, the driver turns around and suggests you try the free sanitiser placed near your seat.
In a city starved for space, the battle for the consumer’s attention has begun to send advertising into the most unlikely spaces — like train tickets and railway foot overbridges. And everyone’s searching for an innovative space so they can get their ad to stand out.
“There are so many messages being conveyed to consumers, that it becomes important to break away from the clutter,” says Rajesh Iyer, marketing director at TV channel COLORS.
In an effort to do this, COLORS pasted the Bigg Boss eye on CCTV cameras in 1,475 BEST buses and pasted strip ads between stairs on railway foot overbridges — a first for the city.
The dial-a-taxi Meru Cab fleet, meanwhile, has ads on the backs of the drivers’ seats — and product placement in the form of free hand sanitiser.
“We realised that the consumer does very little during taxi rides,” says Gavin d’Abreo, executive vice-president for sales, marketing and operations at Meru. “So we advertise magazines on and inside the taxi and have samples for the consumer to read inside.”
Raja Jain, head of advertising and sales for multiplex chain Fame insists these ads have a significant impact. At Fame theatres, ad space is available at the box office, in the lobby, in washrooms and washroom stalls, inside the auditoriums, in the exit passages — even on the popcorn cones.
“We sell more than a million popcorn cones a month,” says Jain. “Imagine the relevant reach the advertiser enjoyed, at fraction of the cost.”