Measurability is our focus and technology will help us achieve it: Gour Gupta, Tribes

Gupta talks about the evolution of Tribes, campaigns close to his heart and the key trends to keep in mind for 2020

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Jan 6, 2020 8:45 AM

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Gour Gupta

Gour Gupta, CEO - The Max, and Managing Director of Tribes Group has been a part of the OOH fraternity for more than two decades. Gupta’s past stints were with two very successful OOH agencies. He helped set up Kinetic (a WPP OOH Agency) and went on to become its Country Head. He then co-founded Platinum OOH with Sam Balsara. Under Gour’s leadership, Platinum became one of the most profitable and fastest-growing companies in Madison World.

In conversation with e4m, Gour Gupta shared insights on the evolution of Tribes, its latest campaigns, the AI/ML tools they are investing in for data and the trends OOH players need to keep in mind for the new year.

Edited excerpts below:

The growth of your agency and your role in bringing about an impact in the OOH space?

Over the past five years, Tribes has been a partner of choice for most of the brands across industries to deliver reliable, cost-effective and award-winning OOH campaigns. Our focus has been to deliver quality campaigns with a clear focus on differentiated, unconventional and ROI-driven OOH campaigns. I am just an orchestrator. Ultimate credit goes to our team of professionals and leaders who work relentlessly to make every campaign a success. I often restrict myself to provide a ring-side view and macro insights.

What sets you apart from other OOH agencies in terms of the solutions and offerings you provide clients?
People, Process and Technology. We are on a continuous journey to build a team that customers can rely upon. If you get the process right, rolling out a multi-million sq ft and multi-thousand sites campaigns in few days becomes much smoother. We are investing in technology that can help our clients seek measurability through digitally integrated OOH experience. Measurability in OOH is clearly our focus and the technology will help us achieve that.

A recent OOH campaign that you have worked on and the impact that it has created?
There are many. But the one that’s close to my heart is what we have recently done for Osram and ‘Nerolac Shera Pujo’ campaign in Kolkata. Both these campaigns went beyond lip-service to deliver ecologically-sustainable messaging that lasts beyond the life of a typical campaign.

Any new pitches or new clients acquired?
We are seeing quite a bit of traction with technology and digital-first clients. One may wonder why digitally-enabled tech platforms need OOH. But they are investing in OOH media, and that is a clear indication that no media will ever go obsolete in the near foreseeable future.

Which sector of brands is investing in OOH?
Mobile phones, e-commerce, and tech-platforms will only amplify their presence in outdoors. Automotive and local retail will keep coming back to OOH based on business cycles.

Any new creatives in the DOOH space that you found intriguing?
Check out what Tata Salt has done around Gandhi Jayanti. To me, that’s a classic case of integrated DOOH.

How much media spends (approx in %) are allocated for a particular campaign?
It’s too difficult to quote a figure. It’s subject to the product life cycle, market seasonality and sector. The spends might vary between 5 and 25%.

Is your agency using any AI/ ML tool to help gauge the traction of the OOH ads you'll put out?
AI and ML are overhyped. But we wish to cut the fad, and instead integrate real-time consumer insights by serving ads through DOOH backed by recommendation engines. You can say, we have taken the first step in the direction of implementing bid data, AI and ML.

How much has the economic slowdown hit the OOH Industry?
Again, this is too subjective. Auto, FMCG, and retail tend to be more elastic to market demand. Whereas, e-commerce, mobile phones continue to invest in visibility through OOH round the year.

How was the festive season for OOH players?
I think it turned out to be better than what one would have expected.

A key trend that OOH players need to keep in mind for the year 2020?
Media Buying was always key to success for any OOH player. 2020 will see ‘Intelligent Buying’ (backed by data, digital integration, and analytics) as a trend that will separate boys from men.

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