How can OOH be more than a ‘last media’ for marketers?

Ideas, going back to the basics, building the trust factor, becoming organised and planning the future is the way forward for OOH, say industry experts

e4m by Abhinav Mohapatra
Updated: Mar 25, 2013 7:33 PM
How can OOH be more than a ‘last media’ for marketers?

Trust, or rather the lack of it, between a client and an agency was the bone of contention during a discussion on ‘OOH matchmaking brands with media solutions’.

Rajul Kulshreshtha, Founder Member, Xposure shared a video about McDonald’s Pick and Play OOH campaign. He said that OOH today is undergoing a massive change exemplified by this specific campaign where a digital banner was placed on a building and anyone could log in and play a game on the banner live through their mobile device, survive more than 30 seconds of the game and get a digital gift voucher from McDonald’s. After showing this campaign, Kulshrestha raised three questions: Do agencies understand the role that OOH plays in a brand’s life and present such opportunities? Are clients willing to adopt such options? Is there a way to bridge this gap between the two questions?”

“The first billboard that came to India said, ‘The circus has come to town’. Over the years, we have seen the evolution of OOH,” said Ritesh Bhatnagar, Head – Brand Strategy and Communication, Aircel.

Bhatnagar gave a few examples of innovative OOH campaigns such as the Subway campaign, which had ‘SEX!!’ written on a billboard and below that in fine print it said ‘Now that we have got your attention, eat at Subway’. He gave similar examples of out of the box innovations by Amul, Itch Guard, etc. and shared an example of Aircel’s OOH innovation where the brand stuck a real boat on a billboard in Mumbai and said ‘Sail through our network this monsoon, in case of emergency, cut the rope’.

He said, “In monsoon when Mumbai was waterlogged, people actually cut the rope and used the boat to get to places; hence, bringing our brand proposition to the forefront that brought people together.” Similarly, the brand stuck the front of a typical Indian truck to a billboard in South Ex in Delhi, which said ‘One nation, one rate, get free incoming and no roaming on voice SMS and data.’ This campaign, according to Bhatnagar, gathered a lot of eyeballs.        

“Do agencies and clients understand that OOH is not all outdoor? Clients should understand that in any scenario, brands need to evangelise, and in the last few years people were are not evangelising because they are fighting to survive,” said Ishan Raina, CEO, OOH India Media. He further said that innovation is about ideas; clients know what they want.

Vineet Trakroo, Vice President Marketing, Usha International raised an essential point, saying, “What we basically forget from a client’s perspective is to look at the basics. We don’t look at where the customer is, we need to build interactivity.”

Bhatnagar moved onto asking whether brands understand who the youth actually is? Or does this ‘youth’ have the propensity to spend? He said that to the telecom industry, the college going youth doesn’t have money to spend; therefore, creating engagement is the answer to connecting. “Flash mob is an outdoor medium that we took up, engagement is needed more than advertising,” he said.

Bhatnagar further said that OOH need to be organised as a sector. There is no national tool to measure or monitor it and that is the reason why agencies are so confident about the deliverables. “There is a common view that outdoor is the last media that people are going to look at, hence, there should be a strategy for outdoor,” he said.

Trakroo pointed out that value and rates are important and it cannot be unnoticed. “Clients are open to new ideas and good ideas. They are ready to pay money for the same too. With the fast moving environment, if there is no idea, the client will move onto the next guy with ideas,” he added. 

Ideas, planning the future, going back to the basics and building the trust factor will eventually make OOH medium stable. 

The above mentioned industry leaders shared their views during a panel discussion on ‘OOH matchmaking brands with media solutions’ at the third edition of exchange4media and network2media’s OOH Conference and Awards held on March 22, 2013 in Gurgaon.

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