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Ambient Advertising: How long will it


Prepared by

Bhawna Sajwani

Pravinkumar Bapna

Pr. L .N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research Page 1

Executive Summary

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused.
- By Samuel Johnson

Today on an average an individual is attracted by 1500 ads daily and reckons only few of
them which he is concerned with. All media today are saturated with different brands each
trying to draw on the best of their ‘creativities’. Advertisers are trying to connect with
customers by the social concepts like “JAAGO RE” (Tata Tea) and “WHAT AN IDEA SIR
JEE” (Idea Prepaid). Some brands are coming with creative concepts to tickle the
customers as Vodafone did with their ZOOZOO ads.

In such a rat race, where even most novel place of advertisement (internet) is also
cluttered, other alternatives are been searched upon.

Solution could be “Ambient advertisement”. This new breed of ad “creative” is not nearly
so encumbered, giddily promoting their ability to reach a "captive audience" with "forced

The paper, therefore deals with scope of this new media and this strength in comparison
with other media available. Will ambient become the next big “A” of overloaded media
world? How this “unconventional mean” will make its way through and finally how long will
it survive?

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What makes an impact on you?

You are on holidays in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), enjoying
the sand and heat. Suddenly you see a Camel with
AQUAFINA painted on it.

You are bored on a Sunday morning so you pick a
magazine and notice AQUAFINA ad on it.

The advertisement of case-1 showed a new ground, it was

unusual and hence created an impact on us. On other side of coin, for
companies its “much more attention without even paying much for it.”

In a market with millions of brands, each vying for the consumer's time and
attention, advertisers are resorting to such 'unusual' ideas to woo customers.
Ambient advertising is a form of advertising done in a non-traditional media or
using a medium in a way it has never been used before either as part of the
mainstream campaign or as a standalone activity.

Question arises “How do these unconventional ways can help companies?”

Advertising professionals to this “It helps brands be more a part of people's

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How ambient media works?

Weak theory or Ehrenbreg’s ATRN model of adverting can provide the crisp
working and affect of ambient advertising. Refer figure-1.

Consumers tend to exhibit little pre-purchase decisions making for low

involvement purchases. A study shows that 70% of buying decisions are made
inside the store only. Trolley advertising make 19% difference to purchase of
specific brand, this shows the power of ambient advertising to nudge the

Awareness Trial
Reinforcement Nudging
Consciousness is Trial purchase of brand Prosperity might
followed by interest. may occur. Customer is Satisfaction will lead
change by nudging
in skeptical frame of to repurchase.

Awareness Trial Reinforcement Nudging

Consciousness is It is close to point of This only has a reminder Since has better proximity
developed by a high- sale may be enough to role to play at this stage. to problem and point of
impact innovative nudge the consumer No more effective than purchase. Hence better
method. towards one brand. other media. than other media.

Figure.1 Ambient advertising explained with ATRN model

Ambient advertiser should consider the relationship between medium being used,
advertised product or service and proximity from point of sales or problem as well
as the basic objective of promotion.
Kellogg’s NUTRI-GRAIN BAR is a classic example of the
text explained above. They targeted commuters who miss
their breakfast and printed the advertisement on the bus and
train tickets. To create an impact campaign highlighted the
nutritional facts of the bar, which made it fit for consumption
in comparison with alternatives available. As a result people
were reported to have bought the bar from railway stations
and kiosks near bus stand.

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Ambient v/s Conventional Advertisement

Ambient advertisers are clever players; they catch the eye of the targets without even
target realizing that. Newspaper, TV and other main stream (above the line)
advertisements usually cost a huge amount for one insertion, (If the size of the
newspaper advertisement is not significant, it goes unnoticed) but when it comes to
ambient advertising, it helps in establishing individual connect, and is more
reasonable in terms of cost.

Many companies like radio stations (RED FM, RADIO MIRCHI); Vodafone etc., have
their goodies with company logo and customers having them
could not only relate with it but also becomes the mobile
advertiser for company. Sometimes owing such products (with
company’s logo on it) is matter of pride for customers.(Having a
T-shirt with Google logo.)

For ambient, world is a stage; creativity, novelty and appropriate themes are its
props. Ambient ads can appear anywhere like store floors, washroom buildings,
gas pumps, on elevator paths, and park benches with the aim of getting
maximum consumer attention .Having a creative AD definitely differentiate the
product from rest of the players in market

Doesn’t size matters in advertisements? Yes it

does. Can we compare a 10 by 10 advertisement
in a newspaper to train completely painted with
company’s logo?

For smaller players, it would be the medium to

reach the masses. Not all companies can afford “JAGO RE” kind of media ads.
So solution is ambient, the bumper sticker for example, while seemingly simple
can be a very effective tool to promote certain stores. It can be very effective
because the cars move around and therefore a lot of different people can get to
see it. This increases visibility and therefore it can be seen to be a good form of
promoting. A bumper sticker is also quite cheap. It does not cost a lot especially

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when mass produced; thereby allowing small-scale companies to make full use
of it.

Success factor of ambient: Statistic spoke

A study done by Ann L. Breese and Donald E. Bruzzone showed comparison
between ROIs of different media and OOH

Figure1. 1: Comparing the efficiency of the media in reaching people.

The pie chart on the right shows how the four media compared in getting
noticed. It shows their share of the items recognized. The pie chart on the left
shows how the amounts spent on each media are compared. Comparing the
two shows OOH was the most efficient at reaching people. It accounted for 27%
of the advertising recognized, but only 16% of the cost.

Figure1.2 Effective Synergy with other media

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When each of the media was added to a mix of the other media, a mix that included
all possible combinations of the remaining media, the one that contributed the most,
measured in terms of additional buyers, was OOH.

Figure1. 3. Reach of OOH

Their study showed the effectiveness of OOH in reaching customers,

positioning products in their minds and synergy with other media.

Success story of Ambient Advertisement1

• Brand: Sprite
• Category : Beverages Non-alcoholic
• Product : Sprite Xpress pack 350ml
• Creative & Production: Encyclomedia Networks Pvt. Ltd.

The Market Scenario

• Absence of on-the-move beverage culture in India

• Choice made by most Indians is to stop at a particular place for tea, coffee and carry out their snacks.

Sprite Xpress!!

• The Mobility factor of the product is the big Idea behind Sprite Xpress. It is more of a 'Package' communication,
focusing on the new packaging.
• The Category context in which Sprite Xpress is rooted is that in India, while eating or snacking culture is rampant
when individuals are travelling or on the move, the habit of moving around and consuming a beverage is largely
under-developed. Sprite Xpress is the change catalyst that aims to open up this new space and provide consumers an
opportunity to enjoy their beverages while they are on the move!!

Source : Date Monday, 20 July 2009 17:40 (IST)
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• Campaign Name: "Sprite Xpress Ghumo Ghumao!"
• The word 'Ghumo' represents the take it anywhere quality of the product, and 'Ghumao' is an attribute of today's go-
getter youth, which symbolizes clarity of thought and smartness.

Campaign Objective's

1. To build a stronger connect with the youth.

2. Offer convenience to the end consumer.
3. To adapt to the dynamic and on the move lifestyle of the consumers.
4. To emphasize on the mobility characteristic of the product.

Medium Used to create awareness:

The Creative angle

• 22 different outdoor media formats were used.

• Every media format had a customized creative designed specifically keeping in mind the media and it's size.
• The idea was to create a forced visibility scenario wherein the target audience sees the message while on the move !!
• The outdoor campaign was planned in a way that it reinforced the mobility of this pack.
• In the tagline, 'Ghumo Ghumao' the word Ghumo represents the take it anywhere quality of the product and Ghumao is an
attribute of today's go getter youth, which symbolizes clarity of thought and smartness. Based on this tagline and what it
stands for, various high impact and eye catching creative's were designed and executed.

Media Formats Used

1. Billboards
2. Bus Shelters
3. Complete train Wrap (Mumbai)
4. Volvo bus wrap (Mumbai & Bangalore)
5. Platform Branding (Mumbai)
6. Elevators
7. Escalators
8. Delhi metro station branding.
9. Metro in coach panels
10. Metro Grab Handles
11. Railway Led (Mumbai)
12. Suvarana bus wrap (Bangalore)
13. National Highway Boom Barriers (Delhi)
14. Pole Kiosks
15. Center Medians.
16. Truck Backs
17. Car window graphics
18. Glass Facade Branding,
19. Subway Animation
20. Car Glass Graphics

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21. Bus Back Panels
22. Mall Drop Downs

Subway - In tunnel Advertising

About the Innovation

• It is common experience for most of us traveling in a lift or bus or a train to stare out of the window, at nothing. In a confined
space, where people are forced to concede personal spaces, their discomfort makes them avoid looking at each other.
Capitalizing on this fact Encyclomedia along with Sub Media India has come up with a media first - an innovation in the
Delhi Metro for the brand.
• The Dark Tunnel through which the train passes is the place where this innovation is executed.
• The technology consists of two sets of processes - one a specially designed display box, which houses the images, frame-by-
frame placed next to one another; and -the other process consists of changing images in such a manner that when installed in
the displays and watched by a moving audience, they appear moving without any blur, any distortions.
• The design of the boxes incorporates variables like speed of the train, distance of the viewers etc. The 'software' consists of
modifying the images in manner consistent with the above variables. Both these together along with the moving audience
creates the 'motion picture' effect.
• The technology in question is used essentially used play television commercial films but Encyclomedia took this innovation to
another level when they designed and rendered a 15 second animation for Sprite Xpress .This animation had the new and
improved 350ML bottle doing all sorts of outdoor sports such as skate boarding, surfing etc. accurately conveying the
message that the new pack is for on-the-move consumer.
• The animation was then broken frame by frame thereby making 280 frames which were then used for the innovation. This
being achieved, when the train passed through the tunnel, the people inside the train could see a short animation film on the
walls of the tunnel which had the new and improved 350ML bottle skate boarding, surfing and breaking through glass panels.

and the result

• "The campaign received an overwhelming response and Sprite has been consistently gaining market share month on month."
- Spokesperson from Coca Cola India.
• Mukesh Manik, man-in-charge, Encyclomedia Networks says, "While usually it is TVCs that are rendered to such in-tunnel
advertising, we created an animation film for Sprite, especially for this medium."
• Srinivasan Murthy, general manager, marketing (Flavor Brands), Coca Cola says, "Outdoor media has worked well for our
brand due to two main reasons. One is that the media can be customized for different markets we are present in. Second, it
works as a perfect reminder medium for the soft drink category. It was a conscious decision to use outdoor innovatively right
from the first Sprite Xpress campaign. In-tunnel advertising is an extension of that decision."

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This campaign had clear strategy where they strengthen the brands connect
with the youth. The campaign was supported with innovative ‘on-the-go’
packaging; this new innovation helped expand the market and create a new
category in packaging in the beverage industry.

Conclusion can be drawn that companies are looking ambient advertisements

as an opportunity to have an edge over competitors. Sprite has exploited every
space to connect with youth to beat Pepsi’ “YOUNGISTHAN MERI JAAN”

Sprite Xpress advertisement Sprite Xpress 350 ml

Ambient Ads: Flip side of the coin

Nothing kills love and marketing like an overdose of it.

Ambient media advertisers should respect the consumer’s interests. There

are some instants and locations where people want to enjoy special moments of
their life and where they wish to be free of any commercial messages.

The ambient media faces the issue of clutter; every big city in the world faces
this problem. All the ambient media forms added in the last decade, which
includes phone boxes, stencils in the street, sampling postcards being
distributed, construction sites, sky advertising, are what people face when they
are not in their first contact point (home) or second contact point (workplace).
They experience this type of advertising in their third world, that is, when they
are simply walking or doing leisure activities. What we tend to forget is that
people need their relaxed moments.

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Unfortunately, most ambient advertising is developed in a way, which
sometimes annoys people. When it reaches that level, consumers ignore it
and secondly, they are aggressive against it.

Future callings
• Building wraps and other ambient media have a huge potential, as these are
numerous untapped media platforms. In western countries where ambient
Media is exploited to fullest, countries like India still have untapped potential
for innovation and space utilization.

• For branding, Advertisers still rely on print and electronic media. As

improvement ambient media should be made efficient so as to make it a reliable
medium of building the brands. One important aspect to this is that place where
is advertisement is put is solely not responsible for success of product, but the
presentation is also important

• The real challenge is the restrictions on the use of ambient media by the
authorities. Many great ambient ideas are scuttled due to permissions not being
available to execute them.

• Although, no advertisement will long for last, but electronic media has longer
impact. Ambient media need to realize the fact same thing every day will kill
shocking factor , so creating new concepts can only hold the interest of the
customers . Ambient media should introduce concepts of holding customer
attention for longer duration. This point is well illustrated in AMUL hoardings.

Figure-3 Variation in AMUL hoardings.

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Ambient advertising contains the seeds of its own destruction, because once the approach is
copied and becomes commonplace, it ceases to surprise.
Guardian, August 1997

As a matter of fact no media can survive without implementing contemporary idea

and emboldening innovation. If this was not true why products come up with new
advertisements every 6 months? Why they change celebrities to keep “fresh“factor
alive? Why Nestle Munch replaced Rani Mukherjee with Gelina D’souza?

To change is demand of time. Then why blame ambient advertisements? Accepted

it more attention in comparison to other media as it can be ignored easily. But it’s
also much efficient in causing “instant buying”. Can the impact of an advertisement
displayed on floor of super mall is comparable with ads customer watch’s during a
cricket match?

Ambient advertisements have much untapped potential to capture the customer’s

attention atleast in the part of world where it has not exploited to fullest (like in

Comparison of advertisements in Mumbai local train and in German bus.

Atlast “Out of sight is out of mind” and ambient is the wonderful media to engulf
your customers, just we need to know when, how and where!!!

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2.Consumer Behaviour – Jim Bilth
3.Brand Week
4.Economic Times – Brand Equity – Various articles
5. ANZMAC 2000 Visionary Marketing for the 21st Century: Facing the Challenge
6. Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan –Outdoor Advertising.
7. OOH v/s Other Media by Ann L. Breese & Donald E. Bruzzone.

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