Recently, the Centre said it is planning to install up to 70,000 EV chargers across the country in the next few years. The work is already underway at various petrol pumps across India. Image: Shutterstock
With electric vehicles (EVs) taking over the world of mobility across the globe, the increasing number of EV charging stations are being looked at as potential advertising platforms.
Recently Adweek reported that a US-based EV charging network Volta Charging, which boasts of 2,137 stalls nationwide, is launching a dedicated media network, Volta Media, to better serve its advertising partners. The move simply means that brands across categories will now be able to advertise at these EV charging stations to capture the attention of tech savvy and affluent consumers.
On Volta Charging's website the company states: "It's time to rethink your media strategy. Our growing network of charging stations reaches millions of qualified customers with premium place-based, interactive content in a sustainable format."
In India, the same model can potentially be replicated as the EV infrastructure strengthens thanks to the strong impetus given to ramp up the EV ecosystem both by the government and private players.
Recently, the Centre said it is planning to install up to 70,000 EV chargers across the country in the next few years. The work is already underway at various petrol pumps across India. Meanwhile, key companies including Mercedes-Benz India, already have 100-odd EV stations across the country where EVs of all brands can be charged easily.
Innovate and engage
Experts believe that EV stations can potentially be an impactful outdoor advertising platform, giving brands access to upwardly mobile, tech savvy and an affluent urban consumer base. This cohort are not only early adopters of technology but are also equally conscious and responsible about the environment.
However, the formats of advertising at the EV stations need to be engaging.
Roshan Abbas, managing director of Encompass, a VMLY&R Commerce company notes that outdoor advertising in its interactive and digital avatar has become exciting. He believes if advertisers manage to interlink ads on EV charging stations to customer’s personal devices, it will be the key to success.
“If a brand manages to attract people’s attention through any interactive activity such as sending a message on a consumer’s smartphone, prompting them to look at the digital screen at the charging station and engaging with them...if they can direct attention, then it could be an innovative medium,” he suggests.
Noting that millennials and Gen Z consumers are getting extremely environmentally conscious, clothing brands, for instance, talking about sustainability, could use this medium and benefit from it.
“The number of people purchasing EV vehicles will also decide the success of this medium. For now, it could be an interesting one-off thing to engage with customers but for it to become a medium to advertise we need more people using electric cars,” he adds.
Innovative out-of-the-home is the need of the hour, and EV charging stations are innovative. Both combined could actually capture the attention deficient cohort of millennials and Gen Z consumer base, says Abbas.
Essentially, there are three tiers of EV charging modalities – first is two-wheeler charging, which can be plugged at home; second one is where there is battery replacement (a popular model in countries such as Taiwan and Scandinavia); and the third one being charging stations which can be roughly compared to the standard gas stations and petrol pumps.
“In all three, there will be a higher concentration of consumers who are environmentally conscious or affluent. There are some bragging rights of owning an EV today. This customer segment is an early adopter, risk taking, affluent urban Indian,” says a senior automobile executive.
The person quoted above further notes that this demographic is attractive and charging stations are a pivotal point of growing the EV environment itself.
“From a non-existent status now, EV charging stations will become very much a part of our daily life and, whoever takes advantage and the lead there, will benefit in the long run. I think all tech-related products should advertise at an EV station. It could also be beneficial for consumer durables and smartphone categories,” the executive adds.
The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.
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