Fireside Chat with VJ Media Works: Disruptive Change in OOH Brings Opportunities

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Vasant Jante, Founder and Managing Director of VJ Media Works, India, together with Mr. Rajiv Raghunath, Managing Editor, sat down with Moving Walls for a fireside chat session as we wrap up 2019 and looks into how out-of-home advertising had transformed and moved into the digital media space, and what opportunities it brings for 2020.


VJ Media Works, a well established media group with a strong focus on the Retail and OOH industries, track, monitor, and analyses the latest trends, developments and initiatives in the Retail and OOH industries, and deliver well-researched magazines with insightful articles to niche groups in the Retail & Communications businesses. They publishes "Outdoor Asia magazine" — India's foremost publication on the OOH business. "Media4Growth", one of their digital media arm, tracks the latest trends and developments in Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising business across markets and publishes the latest news and information related to the industry on its website www.media4growth.com


The fireside chat session was also joined virtually by global Moving Walls staffs outside of Malaysia. The insightful session went on with a Q&A sessions as below:


What has made you dive into the OOH industry?

Rajiv shared he started working in the media industry before he got introduced to the OOH industry.

“As more convergence and potential are seen in the industry over the years, more people are becoming more attracted to learn and invest in the industry. I’m also one of the people that are interested to learn more of the industry.”


What is the best OOH campaign you have seen in the past few months?

Vasant pointed out that India DNA newspaper launch campaign was the one that stood out to him the most. The newspaper company had spent most of their money on OOH media so they would be able to communicate their message and values to the audiences properly.

While Rajiv, on the other hand, said that one of the OOH campaigns that remains memorable to him was the Ikea campaign when it first came to India. Ikea had successfully brought a real experience of what values and quality they had to offer to the consumers compared to the other brands.


How do you maintain your integrity of producing high-quality content?

To produce high-quality content, one must take a lot of proud of what he is doing. The campaign is executed not to only impress people but more importantly to inform and educate the audiences. Secondly, we need to be extra ambitious in what we want to achieve and where we wanted to be in the future. This will make us practice the “promise less but deliver more” saying. These two qualities will eventually bring everything else together in a way that we would feel the compulsion to pay extra care in producing high-quality content.


What is your first impression of OOH media in Malaysia?

More people in Malaysia started to realise that OOH does not only serve as an advertising media but it can be used to deliver a greater value of messages. As OOH advertising is considered to be consumer right - we should give information they really want to know and not on what we believe they need to. Plus, OOH contributes to improving the city facilities and beautifying the city landscape.


Navonil from Moving Walls Malaysia also shared his two cents in answering Rajiv’s curiosity on whether Malaysia city is developing alongside OOH media or does OOH itself plays a big part in developing the city.

He highlighted that some sites are government-funded sites while the others are commercially driven. There are also some national smart city projects that have facilities that can equip the OOH media, thus we need to use this opportunity to fully utilise OOH.


How do you see the evolution of the key metrics of the OOH industry over the years?

“When developing the metrics for TV and print register, one important key thing to take into account is that it does not necessarily have to be out in the street. The classic format of OOH that we used to follow is the belief that the media owner is the owner of the industry but nowadays, everyone is benefiting from the industry. Technologies are also changing the ecosystem - people have to spend so that the OOH industry can go on. However, the vital part of driving purchase and footfall is to convince people with the values in the campaign’s message.”


Some people say that billboard ownership is a realistic play and could get dirty and illegal along the way. What is your opinion on this matter?

“It always depends on the individual himself. How advertisers represent themselves and how they want their brand to be perceived by the world are very important to keep the advertisers on the right path.

As we go through the internationalisation process, we also expand our business to Nigeria- where it is known as the land of illegal things. But as we have involved in the industry in Nigeria ourselves, we realise that it was all only a misconception that OOH industry is also a dirty industry. All digital billboards and signage have a license and there is a fee that needed to be paid if any brand wanted to advertise their campaign. While in the Philippines, the brand needs to pay the media owner directly- in which this process has become more transparent.

OOH will always keep evolving, hence, we must be ready to embrace the differences in order to move forward. Some may still have the misconception on what OOH industry has to offer but more people are starting to realise its importance in delivering a convincing and persuading message.


de9aa08c-88bd-4bb6-b26f-0b6a67849eb72nd From Left: Rajiv Raghunath, Managing Editor, and Vasant Jante, Founder and Managing Director of VJ Media Works, India,
with the Moving Walls Team.


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