After a huge fall off in road traffic during India’s lockdown, new data suggests travel times are rapidly approaching normal once more, and are “close to peak time”, so making the case for OOH advertising.

A report from the Laqshya Media Insights Group looked at data captured from Google Maps and data on time taken for daily point-to-point trips.

And it found that in Mumbai travel times are now between 77% and 84% of peak travel times seen in January this year; in Delhi that figure is 70%, and 80% in Bengaluru.

In Delhi, researchers found that at the famous ITO Crossing, human traffic (people in vehicles, on two-wheelers, plus pedestrians) is at 84% of the huge volume of pre-Diwali traffic in 2019.

With increased traffic volumes, there is a growing case for advertisers to return to using OOH. Laqshya CEO Atul Shrivastava also cited a PJ Solomon study showing that OOH media gives brands greater recall at lower costs. And, he added: “Being one of the best no-touch media, OOH is one of the best bets for marketers in the current situation.”

For more insights into OOH, read WARC's best practice paper: What we know about out-of-home effectiveness

More generally, the Laqshya report looked at how auto sales are showing healthy signs of recovery in India. Between June and August this year, consumers in India bought more than 2.5 million two-wheelers, 460,000 personal vehicles and 187,000 tractors. Overall, sales in June this year were at 58% of the level of the same month in 2019, and at 73% in August compared to August 2019.

The report also details the spectacular growth of e-commerce in India during lockdown. The beauty and wellness sector saw order volumes shoot up by around 130%. Meanwhile, FMCG saw growth of 55%, and agriculture, and health and pharma 38%.

The agency says brand websites have witnessed growth in orders of 88%, as compared to 32% growth on marketplaces. Currently, Tier 2 and beyond cities contribute around 66% of the total online consumer demand in the country. 

Sourced from Laqshya Media Insights Group; additional content by WARC staff