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Outdoor makes itself heard!

Audio advertising at bus stations in Maharashtra fetched the highest brand recall, according to a AC Nielsen-Vrittii media study

Neha Saraiya | Delhi | November14, 2011

According to a study conducted by AC Nielson, audio advertising fetched the highest brand recall for ST bus stations in Maharashtra. Vrittii-Media in association with the AC Nielsen Company conducted a research at all MSRTC bus stands across the state from May 12 to 15, 2011. The objective of the study was to find out the effectiveness of audio advertising as a medium compared with other outdoor media at bus depots.

The respondents were people at the bus depots ranging in age from 18 to 60 years and the data collection was spread across working hours in the day, which is from early morning to late night.

The finding indicated that the total recall for audio advertising/announcements was on a par with the more established conventional outdoor media like outdoor hoardings and bus panels at 98 per cent. However, lower unaided recall for audio advertisements was primarily because respondents may be coupled with announcements. Also, older age travellers were more tuned to audio advertisements/announcements.

On the other hand, the total recall of digital screens was very low at all bus depots and the only exception in this case was Nashik, which had least total recall for audio advertising/announcements at 92 per cent.

Furthermore, there seemed to be equal division between males and females for total recall of audio advertising. However, older travellers were likely to be more tuned to this medium.

In terms of brands recalled, on an average 2.2 brands are recalled on audio advertising/announcements which is similar to the average of 2.1 brands recalled for outdoor hoardings. The number of brands recalled was marginally higher among frequent travellers for all the media with the highest number of brands recalled by a single respondent from audio advertising medium.

Out of the six brands that advertised through this medium, Kirti Gold stood out as the most recalled brand across all bus depots, followed by Ghadi Powder.

Across all bus depots, a majority of respondents found audio announcements as a medium either ‘very useful’ or ‘somewhat useful’. On the clarity factor, majority of the respondents found audio announcements as ‘very clear’ or ‘somewhat clear’. However, it also came to light that advertising agencies need to focus more on audio clarity as the benefits in terms of recall are very apparent.

For volume levels of audio advertisments/announcemnets, 66 per cent pf the respondents found the vloume of ads to be ‘very loud’ or ‘little too loud. Only one-third of the total respondents thought volume levels were ‘just ideal’. The avergae number of brands recalled was as high as 2.8 among the respondents who thought the volume was ‘just ideal’.

The acitivities of respondents at the bus depots mostly included reading or resting while waiting. At the overall level, 15 per cent of the respondents listen to radio, and among them 94 per cent listen to it while using mobile phone.

The respondents who listened to radio on daily basis was highes at 31 per cent, with only 6 per cent of respondents saying they never listen to radio.

BestMediaInfo spoke to Veerendra Jamdade, CEO, Vritti i-Media, to elicit more detailed views.

What is the key point that needs to be considered while doing audio advertising?

Specifically talking of audio advertisement in public places (bus stands), certain points should be considered like a) advertisement should start or end with your signature tune if it is already established; b) advertisement should be in message (frequency of normal speech) form rather than musical jingle; and c) the brand name should come at the beginning, middle and end of the message.

The report finds that older travellers are more likely to be tuned to audio advertising and announcements. Why so?

Old age people prefer to sit or stand in one location while waiting for the bus to arrive, and they rely more on audio announcements for information on bus arrivals, bus number and platform, etc.

The report shows some variations across SECs in medium recall. Kindly elaborate on the variations.

Total recall (Aided + Unaided ) of the medium is 98 per cent across all SECs. The perception amongst masses waiting at bus stands is that its a bus announcement system which will announce bus departure timings and routes. People don’t consider this as an advertising medium whereas hoardings, bus panels are a completely advertising medium resulting in lower unaided recall. Thus, this system comes as a non-intrusive means of communication with the masses. Also, it has been observed that SEC A,D,E tend to travel less frequently and they do not know much about the routes, and when you do not know about the routes you tend to listen to the communication and announcements  resulting in top of the mind and spontaneous recall. The daily travellers (Office goers and college students) by ST typically belong to SEC B and SEC C (middle and lower middle class) and these people are aware of the routes and platform details.

Is audio advertising in India largely adopted by FMCG brands? Which are the other segments that are looking at it aggressively?

Other segments that are fast adopting are  banking,  insurance, finance,  government, jewellers, builders for cement, steel, education – colleges, training classes, shops, agriculture inputs – seeds, chemicals, newspapers and events.

What is the current estimated size of this market? And how do you see it shaping up in future?

The current size of the industry alone in Maharashtra is 200 million, which is expected to scale up to all other states, majorly 10 states who have organised state transport unit.

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