Whether it is a car model elevated over a platform at a busy traffic junction; a campaigner instead of the dial tone on your phone or people standing on key intersection points with banners of new products, advertising industry is exploring new, creative ideas to expand its reach.
"Communication experts are always trying to develop newer and newer forms of media which are effective, engaging, entertaining and of course, cost-effective", says Chandrasekhar Saha, Brand Partner with Leo Burnett, an advertising agency. The best way to communicate with a consumer is to catch him unaware. Hit the message when he is least expecting to receive it, he says.
The Rs 12,000 to 14,000 crore (Rs 120 to 140 billion) advertising industry is booming, expanding its base in print, electronic and other outdoor media, says an official of Indian Newspaper Society.
A recent study of worldwide advertising trends estimates India's share of the world advertising market at 0.87 per cent in 2004, which ranks the country to be the 17th largest market for advertising in 2004 but expects it to rise to the 16th position in 2005, he says.
The study expects Indian press advertising spends to grow by 23 per cent in 2005 and television advertising revenues to grow by 11.4 per cent. The industry's business on the Internet is estimated to grow by 35 per cent while the expenditure in the other media are expected to grow by 15 per cent each.
Campaigning on TV and print is also changing with new concepts like retro advertising where models sporting post-independent period fashion statements campaign for products.
With the number of Internet users growing day by day, an estimated 1.07 billion worldwide and 39.2 million in India, business companies cannot afford to neglect opportunities offered by online advertising, they say.
According to Microsoft Network (MSN), 92.8 per cent of its 886,30,000 users shopped online in the past six months.
Be it banner advertising, e-mail campaigns, pay per click campaigns or search engine rankings, Internet strategies today offer global reach with flexibility in presentations at much lesser cost compared to print, electronic or other media, says Manvendra Chaubey, CEO, Netcatalysts, online marketing consultant firm.
Through Internet, businesses of any size can cost effectively, solidify existing relationships, initiate new ones and convert one-time visitors into repeat business and long-term customers, he say.
With 95 per cent of users searching for relevant information through search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo, search engine ranking services have come into play where websites are promoted to appear in top positions with particular set of keywords and key phrases.
The result is quality traffic to top ranked websites, generating leads and sales, he says.
Pay per click campaigns connect businesses with new customers at the precise moment when they are looking for similar products or services. In this, the advertiser has to pay only when someone clicks on these advertisements, Chaubey says.
The same way, banner advertisements, often referred to "online billboards", provide creative freedom in terms of words, colours, graphics and animation helping companies achieve bottom line by motivating consumers to buy.
"Advertising is about new and creative ideas which works as representative convincing people about the qualities of the products. Companies are investing much more on advertising as the market is becoming more competitive", says Lakshmi Shankar Pandey, creative director, of an advertising agency.
"The brand has to get into the lives of the consumer with its promise. The brand also has to talk to him in a relevant manner therefore they are getting into the mobile phones, Internet, into one's personal e-mail box or even at the airport trolley when the consumer is boarding the flight", Saha says.