New Delhi: They fight for space on TV. They fight for real estate on the jackets of newspapers (encouraging some to carry up to five pages of ads before Page 1). Now, they are fighting for the Delhi metro—for coaches that will sport the livery of the brands being advertised.
After IndiaMart and Amazon, online fashion retailer Myntra will be seen advertising on the Delhi Metro’s coaches. According to a senior executive of Eg. Communications Pvt. Ltd—the ad agency that has the mandate to handle marketing on two metro lines—Myntra’s advertising should go live next week. Myntra declined to comment.
E-commerce sites Paytm and Snapdeal are also in discussions to do the same, according to people aware of the discussions who asked not to be identified.
Advertisers may pay around Rs.25 lakh to wrap six to eight coaches of the metro for a month. The prices vary depending on the metro route and the number of coaches. The companies are also hoping that similar opportunities open up in Bengaluru—where tenders for advertising may be opened soon—and Chennai.
Mumbai’s smaller metro has trains sporting ads from BigBasket, an online grocer, UltraTech Cement and Oxigen, an electronic payment service (or wallet). The Delhi metro covers 190.03km across six lines and ferries close to 260,000 passengers everyday. Part of it is underground and part, overground.
Delhi Metro Rail Corp., or DMRC, allows only 10% of its coaches to be wrapped with ads, making it a case of demand exceeding supply. DMRC runs 216 trains with 1,282 coaches. A total of around 800 million people used its services in 2013-14 Until November, it only allowed ads inside trains and in stations.
Advertising executives say that while e-commerce companies are scrambling to get their ads on coaches, consumer goods and mobile phone companies may join the fray. DMRC has outsourced the exclusive advertising rights to two companies—Eg. Communications and Meena Advertisers—that have the mandate for 10 years. “To augment the non-operational revenues of DMRC through advertisements, the Delhi Metro has awarded exclusive advertising rights for displaying advertising materials including pictures, printed material, electric/electronic media, smart posters, holographic images, visual displays, etc., on the external part of its trains,” DMRC said in a statement. Eg. Communications has the mandate to wrap about 13 trains on the Yellow and Blue lines that run from Huda City Centre to Jahangirpuri and from Dwarka to Noida, respectively.
The company has already rolled out the campaign for IndiaMart on two trains, Amazon on one and Morpheus Group, a real estate company, on one. “It is an internationally accepted media and companies who have already advertised are very happy with the outcome,” said Manish Sethi, director of Eg. Communications.
The concept is very popular in Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dubai and the US, he added According to Sethi, both the yellow and blue line see close to 1.5 million passengers a day. IndiaMart, an online marketplace for businesses, which rolled out the metro ad wrap in mid-December has already seen a spike in the business and its mobile app downloads have increased 10 times, although some of that can also be attributed to the high-intensity TV campaign the company is running.
“Most traders use the metro to commute,” said Brijesh Agrawal, founder and chief executive of IndiaMart. “We chose the lines from Huda City to Jahangirpuri and Noida to Dwarka because most of the trading population travels on these lines. We have managed to build a strong emotional connect with the brand which is far superior than any billboard advertising,” Agrawal adds.
“It even helped our sales teams who go to places such as Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar to interact with the sellers.” Meena Advertisers, which has the mandate for five trains on the Green and Violet lines, on Sunday rolled out the campaign for Jaypee Hospitals.
The Violet line currently ferries 550,000 commuters per day while the Green line carries around 200,000. According to Praveen Krishnamurthy, director, Meena Advertisers, the metro offers a clutter-free medium. “Such advertising has a very high impact.”
Basab Dutta, chief executive of Platinum Media, an integrated communications agency that is part of Madison World, said the metro is an attractive medium for advertising given the kind of audience it carries, including “young adults”. “We are looking at it (metro) quite seriously for our advertisers.” Not everyone is convinced.
“It will be popular with deep-pocketed clients,” said Gopinath Menon, chief executive of Melon Media. According to Menon, the RoI (return on investment) model won’t work with such advertising since the metro is a hugely expensive medium. Companies will do it largely for impact, he added. Amit Arora, head of supply chain, at Noida-based Jaypee Hospital, who announced its launch via a metro ad wrap said “this is a very catchy and effective medium”.