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CTS Advertising Services

Train Branding-A Passenger Connect Initiative


Indian Railways comprising of 16 Zonal Railways, 7000+ Railway Stations transports over 90% of Indian travelers and it is estimated that in a year it connects up half the population of our country. Indeed a gigantic opportunity of business.

Train Branding    

Maintaining more than 1500 trains (corresponding to 25000 coaches) that transport millions of captive passengers is not a mean task. Although Railways have ensured provision of basic amenities in trains but its sustenance has been the cause of concern. For ages, the housekeeping of stations & trains has been a millions of doubt in the passengers mind. Extreme usage by passenger, their consumption behaviour and hostile operating conditions has taken toll on coach interiors, exteriors and amenities. Cleanliness in trains and availability of quality passenger amenities are key determinants of passenger satisfaction initially. The lack of these basic amenities in trains is the opportunity for corporate social responsibility (CSR) for any good brand advertiser. Upgrading passenger amenities in trains, providing housekeeping & cleaning services and maintaining these trains regularly by knowledgeable and professional agencies are some of the offers for CSR activities.

Train Branding 1

Train Branding 2

Booming economy, comparative mode of transports and exposure to quality services have resulted in increased passenger expectations. Indian Railways have strived hard to provide services to the satisfaction of passengers but the expectations have increased manifold and all deliveries have been found short of expectations resulting into criticism and umpteen complaints. Tendering procedure, last accepted rates and other bureaucratic hurdles have been some of the major limiting factors for IR to engage professionals to deliver high level of services on-board.

Given the large span of journey hours and captive elite passengers’ attention available in premier trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and important long distance Mail/ Express trains, inter city express, huge untapped advertising potential exists. Moreover, extended lie-over at the Railway platforms at originating/terminating stations also offers huge additional consumer eyeballs in the interest of market. It is estimated by Railways that approx. 2 millions passengers travel in trains and more than 30 million footfalls take place on railway stations everyday.

Train Branding 3

With the emergence of globalize markets, competing brands have taken many CSR initiatives. Researchers have found that CSR activities help brands to get emotionally connected with consumers and strengthen brand loyalty. Providing upgraded & modern passenger amenities, high-end on-board housekeeping services and maintaining them regularly for millions of traveling passengers (consumers) are not only CSR initiatives but also opportunities for message communication programs.

Train Branding 4

The existing gap in passenger amenity service provisions by Railways vis-à-vis passenger expectations could be an opportunity for brands to meet up their CSR objectives and yet engage them for message communication.

Of late Indian Railways have explored PPP (Public-Private Partnership) strategy to a reasonable success and thereby have helped itself fast changing the face of its looks. Markets can look up this opportunity as not only a communication medium but also a platform to engage it for CSR initiatives.

Vinyl Wrapping/ Fleet Graphics in transportation sector is the new communication medium worldwide. The wraps not only give excellent aesthetics to trains but also an alternative to coach surface painting.

Train Branding 5

The challenges for every outdoor media advertiser are exclusivity of audience, engagement and consistent impact in the consumer’s mind. Trains exterior and interior spaces that can be offered to advertiser as space for communicating messages and providing on-board services by advertisers are some of the best way to mitigate these challenges of outdoor media.
Immensely popular, highly patronized trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani have had a huge brand value and cater to upper strata of consumer market. Intercity expresses with full day visibility and consumer engagement, long distance mail/express trains covering length and breadth of the country and that cater to the majority of upper middle, middle-middle strata of consumer market could be the best moving billboards. The fact of the matter that future of businesses in this century lies in the bottom of pyramid and trains are the place where these bottom of pyramid consumers live, communicating with them in trains shall be the new mantra for advertising world.

These trains provide space in abundance to advertisers to not only communicate through its advertising campaigns but also the space for brand interactions with on-board captive audience. Long on-board journeys and free mind space of consumers give tremendous opportunities to brand advertisers to interact and engage with these passengers (consumers). Owning the train for a long period could well be the answer for exclusivity for media audience. On-Board service encounters by qualified professionals can give ample opportunities to advertiser to maintain branding impact and live experience with brand throughout the journey for consistently long periods. Every service encounters by these on-board staff can be the opportunity for engaging with passengers throughout long journeys.

Train Branding 6

CTS Management was the first company in the country to conceive this idea with Northern Railway in 2008. To take this idea forward, CTS joined hands with media partner Peacock Media Ltd. (the advertiser) and delivered first ever full-bodied “Vinyl Wraps” on trains with brand Airtel.

Over the last 2 years, we have constantly worked together with Peacock Media Limited, studied the Railway’s requirements and closely interacted with passengers. The gaps between service expectations and service delivery in trains have now been closed to large extent. In last 2 years we have produced some of the most appealing outdoor media in the form of trains with leading national & global brands. Our ongoing interaction with different brands reveals that future of outdoor media lies in trains and thus their intentions of developing this medium as most lucrative media in advertising world. We have executed brand’s CSR initiatives and services delivered by us to over 3 million passengers. The passenger feedback on our capability and quality of service delivery is highly encouraging and very satisfactory. View pictures….

Airtel’s – Barrier Break When People Talk, Max New York Life Insurance’s – Karo Zyada Ka Irada, Kerala Tourism’s – Go Kerala, National Stock Exchange’s – Sonch Kar Samajh Kar Invest Kar, Omaxe Constructions – Whatever be your destination, Omaxe has a place for you and BSNL’s – 3G Spectrum on the wheel are some of the communication message campaigns that are currently on trains and have been successfully running for quite some time along with above CSR objectives.

You have only seen the tip of the iceberg. The game has just begun!!

CTS Soul Video