Billboards of Recession

by anil on January 17, 2009

Kochi is a city of billboards. You can see them as soon as you enter the city from either side. Majority of those billboards are rented out by real estate biz (both big and small). The second position (way below the first one) is taken by jewellers. The third is cell phone brands and the remaining miniscule percentage is shared by the rest. That used to be the billboards share distribution in the city. But this time when I visited Kochi (my first visit in this year), I noticed one things as soon as I entered the by-pass: Many billboards are empty!

Billboards of Recession

Collage of some photographs of empty billboards I took. Follow this link to my Picasa album to see them separately

I am not into media selling business and I know nothing about it; this caught my attention accidentally. But this interested me very much because this is a direct indication of the fact that advertisers stopped spending possibly due to budget cut. To me this looked as a direct measure of the recession our economy has been passing through. A friend of mine in the advertisement industry told me a few weeks ago that promotional budget is what businesses would cut doen when there is cash crunch. This point is substantiated by what I saw there.

Billboards must be cheaper now. Those who want to have their message displayed in the city and think that still it is a good time, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. I am sure that other cities too have empty billboards reading “recession” on them.

Another interesting observation is that, at some key locations such as Marine Drive, small-time guys have already rented couple of prominent billboards. May be, people started taking advantage of the situation.


Your friend is correct. First in the chopping block is advertisement, if it is not entertainment industry. Maybe you will see the effects in TV Ads too…

by Vijayakrishnan on January 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm. #

good observation anil, I saw today some effects of recession at a furniture shop, A Door free with a door handle, a chandelier free with a 800/- lamp, no joke

by jsr on January 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm. #

Very true anil. May be soon you can see these bill boards disappear for a short while as well, as the GCDA authorities are springing into action. they want to reduce the number of hoardings in Cochin. Now is the best time for them as few may object to the removal of hoardings.

by prasad on January 31, 2009 at 6:13 am. #

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