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Shalini Gupta

Head – Brand & Corporate Communication | 18 Oct 2013

I feel innovation and more consumer engaging outdoor activities are two things which a brand needs to look at going forward. There are opportunities of international level of branding that make OOH integrate well in the city landscape, strategically placed to highlight and make the brand’s message stand out interestingly.

As Head of Brand & Corporate Communication, Shalini Gupta is responsible for all communication needs – external and internal, annual corporate brand and communication calendar for Loop Mobile and product specific plans. This includes budget management for 360 degree planning covering all media as PR and image building, print, radio, digital and online reputation management and activation. She is also responsible for mobile advertising awareness and generating revenue on this new media.

In conversation with Priyanka Nair, Gupta speaks about Loop Mobile’s outdoor advertising strategy and more...

Q. The OOH industry is labelled as unstructured. Please share your opinion. Where does outdoor fit into your media plans?

According to me, it can be read as being dynamic and flexible. The OOH industry is an outcome of not the only the media industry, but other permission granting authorities, which in a way have a role in maintaining the aesthetics of a city. Therefore, apart from core OOH media properties, there are other factors behind the OOH industry.

Our brand has always been active in OOH, and we have always strived in creating landmark OOH media properties for two-pronged needs – either for campaign specific visibility or ongoing brand awareness. OOH is an integral part of generating brand awareness and salience from a brand building point of view. It has now smartly translated from traditional OOH properties such as billboards to more interactive media such as digital OOH, LED mobile media scrollers, and cinema screens, among others. It is an essential element for creating impact in an urban and largely heterogeneous city such as Mumbai.

Q. Do you think above innovation, smart planning should be the ground rule while designing an outdoor campaign?

‘Innovation’ and ‘smart planning’ are definitely necessary and they go hand in hand while designing any outdoor campaign as they make the brand stand out. For example, for Ganesh Utsav communication, we used outdoor innovatively (up to 85 per cent) to create impactful islands of excellence in specific crowded areas rather than spreading all over the city. This way, we garnered maximum visibility near Lalbaug Raja, which draws up to 1 million crowd everyday. The campaign had a mix of innovative, strategically placed gates, big hoardings, rooftop branding, pillars, and shutter paintings around the area for maximum brand visibility. The innovation here is that we had specially branded rooftops of critically placed building for capturing electronic media or print coverage during Visarjan. About 10 key print media covered the brand behind the idol and the brand was visible on television channels on Visarjan day.

Another interesting example was the innovation we created during our ‘Xtraa++ campaign’, where we executed a ‘king-size’ cut-out introducing the uniqueness plan making existing customers feel special or like a king.

Q. What are the changes that you would want to see in the outdoor industry that will lead to retain brands’ trust towards this medium of communication?

I feel innovation and more consumer engaging outdoor activities are two things which a brand needs to look at going forward. There are opportunities of international level of branding that make OOH integrate well in the city landscape, strategically placed to highlight and make the brand’s message stand out interestingly.

Q. The outdoor industry doesn’t have a common currency as a marketer. How much does this worry you?

Like I said earlier, the OOH industry poses variable opportunities, however, it lacks in measurability and structured impact analysis. As a marketer, I shall look forward to improved ways and processes to better measurement and analysis.

Q. What are the key elements that you would want to see incorporated in an outdoor campaign

1. Simplicity of messaging
2. Tight messaging to garner maximum comprehension.
3. Tasteful and responsible communication

Also, we consider the brand’s requirements in specific areas and plan campaigns accordingly.

Q. It can be observed that Loop Mobile has been very active in the outdoors. What are the reasons behind choosing this medium of communication in your media plan?

Advertising outdoors means 24-hour exposure to the public eye. It becomes an ideal platform to create top of mind recall, especially in a mobile and dynamic city such as Mumbai, where people are constantly on the move.

Q. Could you throw some light on your latest campaigns?

Recently, we used OOH effectively and efficiently for national roaming advantage for Loop Mobile customers, highlighting choice of network while roaming across India. We also connected with Mumbaikars on the occasion of Ganesh Utsav. Our list of OOH media includes cinema, LED, station branding, BEST busses, and Meru Cabs, which is a healthy mix of transit media apart from other static outdoor.

Q. What are essentials that a brand should have while rolling out an on-ground activity?

1. Effective planning for maximum visibility and impact in shortest time
2. Healthy and scientific mix of all elements

Q. What percentage of your marketing spends is allocated to OOH?

In Mumbai, for any of our Loop Mobile campaigns, outdoor spend is in the ratio of 3:1 as compared to other media. It ranges between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of any campaign budget.

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