Effectiveness of Delhi MetroAdvertising amongst TravelersParidhi Agarwal* Preeti Suryawanshi**AbstractTransporthubs are emerging as a target for India’s marketers who have rapidly taken toambient media in their search for new and effective ways to reach consumers. Asleading cities develop modern mass transit facilities, operators are lookingbeyond ticket revenue, with advertising and station naming rights expected toaccount for an increasing proportion of their income. Also, in order to reach travelerseffectively and to stimulate their consumption, advertisers have to understandthe needs and media behavior of these visitors.Inthis respect the researchers viewed it is important to understand effectivenessof advertising on Delhi Metro with respect to reach and Brand recall. Thispaper aims to measure: 1. awareness and liking of metro advertisements amongtravelers 2.perceptions of outdoor advertisements among travelers.
To achievethe research objectives eight outdoor ads were selected for the study. Theseads were displayed at the busy “Rajiv Chowk” metro station for a week prior to the survey. Theads had a variety of executional cues, such as the imagery, language, color,font and celebrities. A survey was conducted to measure the response oftravelers and the responses were measured using the Message responseinvolvement theory.Keywords:outdoor advertising, Delhi Metro, Message response involvement theory, Reach,Brand RecallIntroduction’Hundreds of thousands of peopletake what they call joy rides, short trips to savor the ef?ciency, modernityand sense of progress the metro system seems to generate’.Quoting an article in the New YorkTimes (Rohde, 2003: A4)DelhiMetro is the lifeline of the NCR and connects Delhi, Gurugram, Noida andGhaziabad through its widespread rail network. Beyond the movement of people,the metro has been of?cially sanctioned as a vehicle for inculcating a cultureof discipline, order, routine and cleanliness in Delhi. These ideals are insharp contrast to the congested, unpredictable, chaotic pace of life in Delhitoday.
DelhiMetro advertising is a fantastic medium for local advertisers as it allows themto reach out to the local community in a highly targeted and cost effectiveway. Brand building requires broad reach and involvement: Offering scale withlower entry cost and greater regional flexibility is a huge selling point forDelhi Metro, and one that isn’t really exploited by many advertisers. DelhiMetro advertisement rates is often a deciding factor when incorporatingdifferent avenues of advertising into one’s marketing plan. Delhi Metro advertisingis one of the cost efficient advertising spaces one can use if the number ofpeople reached is considered with respect to the price paid.
Thus advertisinginside and outside Metro Train will reach large number of audience.Amarketer or advertising professional tends to get carried away several times inassuming facts about the consumers – their mindset, their habits and mostimportantly their willingness to accept what they dish out to them. If one talks to the ordinary individual onthe 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 twoor three ways in which a company can advertise, specific examples being ararity. Moreover, these answers are limited to hoardings, posters and metrostations at large. However, target consumers of specific brands, when probedfor further information; appear to be able to recall outdoor advertisements ingreat detail. This presents a dilemma. One cannot simply assume that if anadvertiser puts out a so-called innovative campaign, it will be seen andappreciated by all. Some case studies suggest, only after careful targeting andfocused media usage can one reach out to the right people and convince them topurchase a product or service.
Another point of debate is the consumers’changing mindset at various touch points outside the home. What the consumermay be thinking and feeling at a metro station or a bus stop is completelydifferent to what he or she is thinking and feeling inside an elevator at themall or while waiting for a flight at the airport. Creativity therefore becomessubjective. While the idea may be extremely imaginative and interesting at aparticular location, it may fall flat when used on another vehicle as theconsumer may not absorb the message. It therefore becomes essential to developa strategy of contextual creativity while making outdoor advertisements. Thisstudy will help to assess the reach of metro advertising and the recall valueusing the ‘Message response involvement theory’ and thereby a conclusion on theeffectiveness of Delhi Metro advertising can be drawn.Literature reviewConsumers’ Attitude towardsAdvertisingAdvertisingis a non-personal communication in the structure of information, usually paidfor and generally persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas byacknowledged sponsors through an assortment of media (Bovee ; Arens,1992). In general, advertising is used to inform, persuade, and remindconsumers.
Advertising is believed to enhance buyers’ responses to products orservices offered by a firm, thus enabling possibilities of increasedprofitability. Advertising is a growing business and with advances in theInternet technology, the dynamics and landscape of the business has changed aswell. Prior findings on consumers’ attitude towards advertising are mixed.Hence, the purpose of advertising is to create awareness of the advertisedproduct and provide information that will assist the consumer to make informed-purchasedecision. The importance of advertising as a promotional strategy, therefore,depends on its capability to influence consumers to not only purchase but tocontinue to repurchase and eventually develop-brand loyalty.OUT-OF-HOME ADVERTISINGInthe 1970s and 1980s many studies on advertising effectiveness concluded theimpact of agenda setting, uses and gratification, cultivation effects,knowledge gap effects and media priming on the effectiveness of advertising onconsumers.
According to this research, media use has a set of important andinfluential effects on audiences. William McGuire, one of the world’s leadingsocial psychologists, concluded as late as 1986 that there is little evidenceof mass-media persuasion having any effect on receiver attitudes, beliefs oractions (McGuire 1986; Shrum 2002). The crucial point made by McGuire was thatthe media may influence the way society works, how we interact and where we getour information to perform our daily duties, but there is little evidence thatmass-media messages can persuade people to hold a specific belief or attitude,or perform a concrete behavior in a specified setting over an ascertainedperiod of time.Ina recent study, the buying of a service (use of the weight room in a trainingfacility) increased to almost five times the initial use after an outdooradvertising campaign (Bhargava and Donthu 1999). In another study, exposure toprinted store sale flyers led to a doubling of the number of advertisedproducts 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 usedfor advertising have been found to have a larger share of market and a higherreturn on investment.Measuring Advertising EffectivenessWiththe high cost of producing a commercial and media budgets of Rs100million–there is a natural desire, on the part of advertisers, to make surethat the advertising they are running is effective.JohnWanamaker’s famous quote, “I know that half of my advertising money iswasted… I just don’t know which half,” practically begs for a method toidentify effective ad campaigns, commercials, or print ads.
Researchcompanies, recognizing this need, have developed a myriad of testingapproaches. They use conceptual models of how advertising works, variousmethods of gathering the data, different response measures, and differentanalytic approaches.It’ssafe to say that there is no general consensus, on the part of advertisers oradvertising researchers, as to the best way to test advertising.Outdoor Advertising recall andexposureThefundamental value of outdoor advertising lies in the exposure it generates. Thetraditional measures of recall grossly understates the effectiveness of outdooradvertising.
Also, in addition to the reach that is possible through outdooradvertising, one of the fundamental strength of this media is high frequency.Outdoor advertising is typically viewed in a less cluttered environment thanmost other media. As a result, an individual outdoor ad is more likely to beseen by the viewer than is the case in many other media. CATEGORIZATION OF OUT-OF-HOMEADVERTISING AND ITS MESSAGE RECIPIENTSOne of the most common ways to grab the consumer’s attention is throughoutdoor advertising. Outdoor is a staple of the media mix, as it reacheshundreds of thousands of people, by foot, mass transit, or car, and is usuallyvery quick and impactful.
Themost 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 Literaturereview:On the basis of the datagathered from the conclusion of above research papers it can concluded that:Firstly, theout-of-home medium has become a very strong brand-building medium and not justa reminder medium for a variety of brands across product categories. Secondly, it hasemerged from the selected case studies that innovative advertising in theoutdoor space has led to successful and measurable results which if assessed inmore detail would prove high efficacy of advertising through use ofinnovations.
Thirdly, while there isa large potential for the industry in terms of growth and maturity, the retailand merchandising segment is still not being effectively utilized due to amultitude of reasons – most important being the lack of a unified body and expertswho can carry it forward. Moreover, with the secrecy surrounding spends bycompanies on this segment, transparent policies and activities are yet toemerge. Fourthly, thetechnological progressions in the form of LED, lenticulars and high-impactgraphics are now giving marketers the freedom to execute out-of-the box ideasto attract consumers and deliver high recall. However, the cost-effectivenessthough very high for campaign specific advertising, still remains debatablewhen it comes to being used on a large scale. Fifthly, the focus on research-based softwareand metrics for efficacy though growing slowly but surely is an important trendthat will help bring more credibility and stability to the out-of-home medium. Finally, with systemic change still a distantdream and regulatory apathy still a reality, efforts by authorities andindustry professionals on self-regulation seem to be boding good news for theviability of the medium.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: OUT-OF-HOMEADVERTISING MESSAGING PROCESSING FRAMEWORKFigure1: MESSAGERESPONSE INVOLVEMENTMessage-response involvement is a waythat consumers can get involved with the marketing aspect of a product. Thisincludes strategies like using prominent and novel stimuli, celebrity endorsements,providing value, appealing to needs, and allowing consumers to make messages oradvertisements for the product. Hence, the more marketers engageconsumers into their brands, the easier the marketers will be able tounderstand consumer behaviour in terms of how decisions are made and whatproduct characteristics they are looking for. Subsequently, this createsa link between the individuals’ needs, goals, and values and productknowledge (Solomon 2013, p153).
Therefore, when consumer are more involvedwith the brand marketing communication, the consumers will pay more attentionto the product knowledge as individuals become more motivated to ‘gather,comprehend, elaborate, and assimilate on information’ (Aghdaie & Honari 2014, p6). Levels of Brand ProcessingBrand information processing is definedas the extent to which consumers allocate attention and processing resources tocomprehend and elaborate on brand in- formation in an ad. “Brandinformation” is defined as any executional cue designed to communicate theadvertised message. The level of processing from ads is influenced byconsumers’ motivation, ability, and opportunity to process brand informationduring or immediately after ad exposure.Figure 1 indicates that motivation,ability, and opportunity can be evaluated before ad exposure (pre-exposure MOAlevels) or after ad exposure (post-exposure MOA levels). Pre-exposure MOAlevels are influenced by consumer characteristics or situationalcharacteristics (see Alwitt and Mitchell 1985). Post-exposure MOA levels areinfluenced by those factors and by ad executional cues.RECALLRecall and the Motivation to Process the MessageMotivation has been defined asgoal-directed arousal (Park and Mittal 1985).
In the current context, the goalis restricted to the processing of brand information. Thus, motivation isdefined as consumers’ desire or readiness to process brand information in anad. High motivation implies that consumers are willing to allocate processingresources to brand information in an ad. Recall and motivation is directlyrelated. If someone is motivated to process the message, there is a high chanceof better recall.Recall and the Opportunity to Process the MessageOpportunityis defined here as the extent to which distractions or limited exposure timeaffect consumers’ attention to brand information in an ad.
High opportunityimplies that the amount of attention allocated to brand information is notimpeded. Thus, if the consumer gets a better opportunity to process themessage, the recall will be high. Recall and the Ability to Process the MessageAbility refers to consumers’ skills or proficiencies in interpreting brandinformation in an ad. The availability and accessibility of brand-relevantknowledge structures provide the foundation for processing ability.
Hence, highability implies that prior knowledge necessary to interpret brand informationis present and is accessed. If the consumer is able to process the informationeffectively then the message can be recalled in the right manner. Recall and AffectA brand’s value is directly connectedto its presence in the memory of consumers. Quite simply, if a customerremembers 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 setitself in customer’s memory.REACHNewDelhi, the capital city of India runs an extensive metro system.
The Delhimetro sees over 3.3 million passengers travelling in 220 trains per day, DelhiMetro Station Advertising has therefore emerged as a cost effective advertisingplatform for a variety of brand categories. The Delhi Metro is a metro systemserving Delhi and its satellite cities of Faridabad, Gurugram, Noida andGhaziabad in National Capital Region in India. It is the world’s 12th largestmetro system in terms of both length and number of stations. Delhi Metronetwork consists of five colour-coded regular lines and the faster AirportExpress line, with a total length of 225 kms serving 160 stations.Adcan be displayed on the Panels inside the Metro Train or outside the Train as aWrap. Rotem trains have 2 variants with 4 coaches and 6 coach trains. Brandingoptions are the same in both.
Bombadier Trains have 2 variants with 6 coach and8 coach Trains. Facts and FiguresStatisticsof 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 % Line-1 29 393,155 14 640,017 23 180,813 7 Line-2 60 972,810 35 1,544,553 56 533,251 19 Line-3/4 71 1,051,667 38 1,445,946 53 687,122 25 Line-5 19 102,415 4 178,639 7 26,388 1 Line-6 29 222,427 8 350,688 13 90,688 3 Total 208 2,742,474 100 4,159,843 152 1,518,262 55 Variables Sample Variable Selections Media Option Backlit Panels/ Train Wrap Quantity 1/ 2/ 3 Campaign Date 30th Jan/ 1st Feb/ 20th Mar Duration 1 Month/ 2 Months/ 3 Months Insidetrain branding is available in the following routes:Line1 – Red Line – Dilshan Garden to RithalaLine2 – Yellow Line – SamayurBadli to Huda City CentreLine3 & 4 – Blue Line – Dwarka to Noida/VaishaliLine5 – Green Line – Mundka to Inderlok/Kirti NagarLine6 – Violet Line -Kashmiri Gate To Escorts Mujesar,FaridabadMethodology:Type of research:Thetype of research that was used in this study was qualitative research andquantitative research. Qualitative research aimed at gathering an in-depthunderstanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior.
Besides this, the research also examined the issue through observations innumerical representations and through statistical analysis. Along with thequestionnaire that was given out to respondents for the statisticalrepresentation of the findings in the study, interviews with the respondentswas also conducted. Sampling:Aquestionnaire was used to survey the travelers of Delhi Metro. The “Rajivchowk” station is one of the busiest metro stations in Delhi which was selectedfor research. This metro station is one of the major station and an interchangepoint which connects hotels and commercial buildings in the area. Advertisingin Rajiv Chowk Station in Delhi Metro allows advertisers to reach out to theirtarget group within a station. Rajiv Chowk Station Advertising in Delhi Metrohas one of the lowest cost per reach among non-traditional media options.
Quotasampling was used in an attempt to interview equal numbers of males and femalesand equal numbers of respondents from the 15–24, 25–34, 35–44 and over-45 agegroups. The interviewer intercepted travelers coming out of metro station andinterviewed them using the questionnaire.Ad selection: Allselected Ads presented different products and brands. These ads were displayedat the busy “Rajiv Chowk” metro station for a week prior to the survey. The adshad a variety of executional cues, such as the imagery, language, color, fontand celebrities. For the aided recall the ads were in full color, but on A4size sheet.Metro Station selection:Basedon 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 oftotal number of metro travelers about 38% used blue line regularly which is thehighest as compared to other lines. As high as 53% of the total number ofcommuters switch at Rajiv Chowk metro station making it one of the busiest andmost used metro stations and hence, the most suitable option for our study.QuestionnaireThreeparts of questionnaire1.Demographic Gender, age, education level,occupation and monthly income were asked2.Data about respondent’s opinions and perceptions of outdoor advertising ingeneralStatementsrelating to the respondent’s opinions and perceptions of outdoor advertising ingeneralUselikert scale (1=strongly disagree; 6=strong agree)3.
Data about awareness of and liking for the ads based on the 8 ads.Theads were shown to the respondents and they were asked if they had seen the adson Metro Stations. They were also asked to rate how much they liked each adusing a six-point Likert scale (1=dislike very much; 6=like very much). FindingsConclusion