Why Indian brands advertise in New York’s Times Square


Indian companies place advertisements in Times Square, paying up to $50,000 for a day’s inventory. We find out why.

Indian brands are making their way to Times Square in New York through large outdoor advertisements. As more and more Indian companies consider global expansions, they are landing advertisements in Times Square as part of their multi-channel marketing strategy.

Brands like Laxmi, Pepper Content, Chingari, Mohun Bagan Football Club, ICICI Prudential, Classplus and many more have advertised in what many consider the mecca of global advertising.

Why does Times Square make sense?

“The chance of your brand going unnoticed is minimal to none in Times Square. Space primarily helps build brand awareness, brand recognition, and repeat. The more brands in front of you, the better you will remember them. This translates into brand trust, emotional connection, handcrafted differentiation and reinforcement of premium quality,” says Imtiyaz Vilatra, Country Head, Posterscope India. Posterscope has helped many brands Indian companies like ICICI Prudential and others to advertise on premium spots in Times Square.

There are 238 billboards in the square. On average, nearly 380,000 pedestrians enter Times Square, while another 115,000 drivers/passengers pass through it daily by car and bus. But the real reach is when a photo of your Times Square ad spreads across the world via social media.

Explaining the value proposition of inventory, Vilatra says Times Square signage advertising can expect nearly 1.5 million impressions each day.

“On the busiest days, Times Square has over 460,000 pedestrians. With these tourists, usually taking photos and selfies for social media, this means your ad will see a significant amount of additional impressions over- beyond the eyeballs of Times Square,” adds Vilatra.

How much does it cost to advertise in Times Square?

The cost of advertising in Times Square depends on many factors. Like everywhere else, the amount charged for a spot depends on the format of the media, the size of the inventory (billboard), the exact location and visibility of the ad and of course the duration of the campaign.

The cost can be between $5,000 per day to $50,000, or between Rs 3.9 lakh to Rs 40 lakh approximately. Although there is no match in the visibility and x-factor of a Times Square billboard for comparison purposes in India, DOOH (Digital Out of Home) rates usually start at around Rs 5000 per month in rural areas and can go up to Rs 20 lakh for the same period for inventories in busy urban streets with maximum visibility.

Elaborating on the value proposition, Rajesh Radhakrishnan, founder and CMO of outdoor advertising agency Vritti Solutions, says, “Digital is about control. Data analytics can be used to capture data on how many people walked past the ad, how many people actually saw the ad, and correlate product sales with how many people noticed the ads . Brands can engage with audiences by creating content that encourages them to react instantly. »

Which Indian brands advertise in Times Square?

Five-year-old content marketplace Pepper Content stepped up its Series A funding celebration with a Times Square twist. Last month, the brand was on the NASDAQ Tower for a day where it announced the funding news along with images from its content creators.

“It was more of an initiative to create ambitious brand value for us,” Anirudh Singhla, co-founder and CEO of Pepper Content, told Storyboard18. “We are a young team and this was just an initiative to give all of our stakeholders a big cheer.”

Experts suggest that it makes sense for brands that are aiming for global reach or trying to establish themselves outside the Indian mainland or targeting the Indian diaspora in the west to take up space in Times Square.

Radhakrishnan says tourism as a sector can make the most of Times Square’s inventory. “Companies such as ITDC or state tourism enterprises such as Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, etc. can benefit from global targeting… That aside, other key sectors who could benefit from this targeting include Indian food companies, BFSI companies, stock exchanges and mutual funds, major hospitals for medical tourism, and Indian hotels and restaurants planning to open in the United States,” he said.

Speaking of targeting, Laxmi, for example, which is a South Asian food brand in the United States, took to Times Square as part of its Diwali campaign to reach its core audience during the Indian holiday season and also introduced its brand ambassador Shilpa Shetty. in the ad for maximum impact.

Most brands use Times Square as an extension of their ongoing campaigns to amplify the message, much like the short video sharing social media app Chingari was featured in Times Square as part of their NFT conference program.

Deepak Salvi, Co-Founder and COO, Chingari, says Times Square offers a unique experience that adds credibility and brand recall.

“The campaign lasted 2-3 days and we witnessed significant downloads in the US market during the campaign and even after. People noticed us as ‘Product of India’ and we got calls asking us asking what our offerings were. More than anything, it was like a showcase opportunity for us,” says Salvi.

Some Indian brands are also taking their celebrations to Times Square. Classplus, an educational technology start-up, took to Times Square as part of its fourth anniversary celebration campaign. Then, ICICI Prudential got the NASDAQ billboard in October 2021 to congratulate and recognize its star artists in the most unique way.

Posterscope India helped create brand experience for NASDAQ Tower winners.

“Perfect execution helped the brand connect with global business leaders and ensured our content reached the right audience. After 14 days of rolling out the campaign, our idea and understanding of the brief was in sync with what we wanted to communicate and create iconicity,” says Vilatra.

According to Vilatra, a place in Times Square is a way to make a statement, an opportunity to share a belief or ideology, and just one of the channels in the wheel of a larger public relations campaign.

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