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Creativity is the game changer: Farrokh Madon

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Creativity is the game changer: Farrokh Madon

Today, consumers are spending far more time outside their homes doing a host of things ranging from jobs, meetings, leisure activities and so on. Against this background, outdoor advertising is getting redefined.

Speaking in the outdoor advertising scenario in India, Farrokh Madon, Chief Creative Officer, Y&R Singapore noted,“When I left India, there were not enough cars for the roads, but today, there are not enough roads for the cars. Considering the amount of time spent by a driver on the road and in the traffic, at best he has radio for his company. Thus, the outdoor medium can try and redefine itself to turn everyday into a special day.”

Citing the example of Hot Wheels, where a dummy loop track was constructed against a flyover,Madon said, “Thinking out of the box even when the advertising is in the box is one way to redefine outdoor advertising.”

Sharing another instance of out-of-the-box thinking, Madon gave the example of Singapore and its price sensitive consumers. Most of the outdoor ads have a barcode, which can be scanned to get the best deals.The barcode feature was used to convey a social message, wherein a campaign was launched which stated, “Leather shoes at unbelievable prices. Scan the barcode to know the price”. However, when people scanned the code, they got to view a film, which showedhow an animal is brutally killed to make that product. The whole campaign was built around the ‘real price’ of the product.

Enriching lives is another way of redefining OOH. Here, Madon cited the example of how a billboard was used to address a problem faced by the people in Lima, a desert area in Peru. The atmospheric humidity is as high as 98 per cent in Peru and the people face shortage of potable water. Madon shared a case study,wherein UTEC created a billboard, which produced drinking water from the humid air. “Connecting with the consumer in a more meaningful way,where it makes difference to them, instead of just telling things, is a way forward to redefining the outdoor media,” he added.

Another way to redefine OOH advertising is integrating it with the consumers’ lives. Vodafone launched a campaign in Egypt with an intent to replace small change with low value items and introduced micro recharge cards. These cards were given in return for small change and consequently led to the formation of a new currency – fakka, Madon shared.

Citing an example of how interaction can be used to redefine OOH, Madon spoke about an instance where a digital wall was set up that measured a runner’s performance against that of a champion marathon runner.

Speaking about the potential and influence of technology in redefining OOH, Madon cited the example of Apotek, a pharmacy brand in Sweden, which outfitted subway platform ads in Stockholm with ultra-sonic sensors that discerned when a train was coming. The ad featured a model with a lush hair, and when the train came, her hair flapped in the wind and she struggled to keep it in place.

Technology opens the doors and helps you walk through creativity, but if we have to predict some of the game changers, it would be creativity because technology grows older every day, Madon pointed out.

Farrokh Madon was speaking at the fourth edition of the OOH Conference and Awards 2014, held in Gurgaon on March 20.

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