Innovations are an integral part of OOH communication: Nikhil Verma, Street Talk

Nikhil Verma, President, OOH Services, Street Talk, spoke about the evolution of the agency, brand activations they curated and more

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Nov 18, 2019 9:38 AM
Nikhil Verma Street Talk

Journey for OOH agency Street Talk (a division of Signpost India Pvt Ltd) started in the year 2013. The first focus for director duo Shripad Ashtekar & Dipankar Chatterjee was to put in place a robust infrastructure that can handle national campaigns and in less than a year’s time, they have been able to set up their offices in all major cities.

On the business front, apart from allied businesses that Street Talk was handling because of their relationship with ZO & SMG, the first brand to come on board was Grasim Industries.

“We value our 6-year-old relationship with Grasim brand team, and it will always remain special for us as they were the first to come on board and have faith in us as OOH domain expert”, recounts Nikhil Verma, President, OOH Services, Street Talk.

Soon after, Street Talk started working with many prestigious brands like Bajaj Auto, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Bajaj Allianz, ITC personal care division, ITC Food division, Force Motors, Paytm, Star Health Insurance, Hatsun, TVS Tyres, Tata Housing, Skechers, Allied Blenders & Distillers, Gulf Oil, Nestle, Havells and TCNS clothing to name a few.

“Winning businesses gives us pleasure but retaining them for longer period gives us satisfaction,'' says Verma. The core team, comprising of Hardeep Singh, Vipul Mehta and Rajat Sikder has made it mandatory for the entire servicing team to adhere to this philosophy.

“Innovations are an integral part of Out-Of-Home communication. You get a much bigger canvas as compared to other mediums. The year 2018 was very encouraging for us in Street Talk as some of the work that we have done has won us many awards in various prestigious forums in India and abroad. We are thankful to brands like Nestle, Havells, FBB and Casio for giving us opportunities to think-out-of-the-box and execute ideas that have extended the communication in a very interesting manner”, adds Nikhil.

Last year, Street Talk had done an OOH campaign and brand activation for Nestle which garnered impactful results. The results of the campaign Nestle bus shelters That Talk Coffee is that there was a 9% increase in street channels (2018) and it was displayed on 150 plus bus shelters across Tamilnadu.

“We looked at bus shelters and mapped 30-45 small coffee shops that were close by. Our communication was designed by the client where the picture of the owner was displayed talking good about them, decoding how they have been here for years and how people start their day drinking coffee at their shop. We moved the technology to a sensor that was installed in the bus shelters. When somebody was sitting there at the bench waiting for the bus for an interval of approximately 7 minutes, the coffee aroma was dispensed. Then a Tamil Jingle would come up. We wanted to make the coffee stall owners a local hero and that was the idea behind the campaign. We wanted to increase the footfall to his stall. The campaign went on for a month and was a great success. It moved on to other cities like Coimbatore too.”

During Durga Pooja,  clients wanted something clutter-breaking. Street Talk came up with a brand activation for the brand FBB on a tram. They converted the tram into a fashion on wheels. They re-structured the whole tram with FBB campaigns and also had a fashion show. They were pioneers in doing a brand activation like this.

The Glam-Tram journey on the tracks of Kolkata witnessed long queues waiting to hop inside, and experience the never before seen innovation. Tens of thousands of selfies along with the Glam-Tram got posted on social media. The twitter contest of 'Spot the World’s First Glam-Tram and make your Puja wardrobe stylish' attracted more than 15 Lac views.

The results of the campaign generated a 24% growth in sales. Increased 350+ footfall on average and increased 28% growth in the market share of the brand FBB.

Sharing his views on the festive season this year, Verma commented, "From August to December, January was always considered as a peak season for OOH players, but this time it was not that great."

Reacting to the economic slowdown and its impact on the advertising spends in general and OOH spends in particular, Verma commented, “When there is an apprehension in market because of economic slowdown, the first thing that gets impacted is advertising budgets and that is quite visible when you compare this year’s festival season with the last couple of years.”

Another very important aspect that has been instrumental in the slow growth of the OOH industry is the measurability of ROI and accountability. Verma signing off said, “We understand the importance of measurability and an in-house team has started working on a tool that will very soon be in place for brands we are working with.”

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