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Home » Viewpoints » 'OOH provides recall and relevance consistently'
'OOH provides recall and relevance consistently'

By M4G Bureau - February 07, 2014

Lakshmi Goyal, Head -- Marketing, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC India, shares with Outdoor Asia, her thoughts on how the banking brand leverages OOH in order to connect with its customers.


Impact of economy on marketing and advertising budgets

The economic environment has been quite dynamic for the past few years and by now, most organizations have learnt to see such changes as part of business in an ongoing concern. To this end, we do not see any exceptional impact on budgets.

Role of OOH in the overall marketing plans

OOH actually forms a very integral part at the planning stage. We do not however allocate spends vis-a-vis considered media at the overarching level. Our selection of media varies for campaigns, depending on the business and salience needs. There is no bias towards any particular medium. With the growth of digital media adoption, all conventional media including OOH are being re-assessed so as to stay flexible to the changing preferences of our customers.

Essentially, the effectiveness of single point medium has been static in most mediascapes - there is now a necessity to go and converse with consumers wherever they are. The out-of home format gives one the opportunity to do just that, and connect with consumers in ways which are innovative and not constricted when considered alongside legacy media.

A good example close home is the mall activation that we did for our HSBC Wealth Management services. Fashioned around the theme of 'You don't just build wealth. you build memories' , the mall activation aimed to get the prospective customer to experience what dream holidays are made of, through the simple medium of getting them photographed against desirable destinations. In an aligned rendering of  the thought of 'Because your little ones have big dreams', children of prospective customers were allowed to dress as per their desired future professions and photographed, with the photograph being presented to them on a mock Forbes cover. So, you can see that innovative OOH can really bring through the brand concept well.

We have been committed to using airport jetbridges as an OOH medium and it is something that has worked well for us over time. This medium has done well for us not only in India but in markets across the Globe. Jetbridges help us speak to a very relevant set of customers across the globe and HSBC being an international bank, it gives our global customers the assurance that we are wherever they could need our support and expertise. This exposure to the Brand is the first thing they see when they land in a country and the last thing on their way out. This medium has provided us recall and relevance in a very consistent manner. TV has been used for large campaign launches and for lending voice to our expertise piece as we partner channels to co-create content that is relevant to our target group (such as Wealth Masterclass with ET Now).

OOH Budgets

There are no set budget allocated to individual mediums, we of course keep an eye on the pattern of investments we make across channels/mediums. This helps us to gain insights into the efficacy and returns on our marketing investments.

Preferred Formats

There is marked focus on digital media today for most advertisers across segments and sectors. The dependency on traditional media is fast reducing as there is a paramount need to start an almost instantaneous 2-way conversation with your customers. We have explored innovations in the digital/mobile space in the recent times and response has been pleasantly surprising specially in home loans. We have launched our HSBC Mobile Banking App, which has been very well received, having trended right at the top of the App stores for over a week when launched.

Approach to campaign creatives

For every medium, we always try to come up with creatives which are not just an adaptation of print layouts but are specifically designed for a particular medium. Live rendering of a campaign idea is actively considered by us. For example, we got a live Opera performance before a movie screening in a theater hall to bring across the concept of building memorable holidays. Contrast this with just a static picture of a dancing ballet performer!

Defining innovation

OOH really provides the opportunity to create magic with innovations; it can afford to create experiences which are larger than life. Just drive through any city today, the kind of OOH innovations which you would get to see are innumerable. We actually did a very clutter breaking innovation with our "Loyalty Programme" campaign wherein the creative had a camera, which on the outdoor sites would actually have the lens zoom in and out, including the effect of a flash to mimic a real life click. This helped to draw attention to the main message which was on how the HSBC Loyalty program could help the user get a camera free.

Challenges in rolling out an innovative campaign


The main challenge is bringing an innovation from the drawing board to execution. There are so many moving parts with an innovative campaign along with operational challenges, that one must tread cautiously. Cost efficiency is another important consideration.

Measurement (of impact)

There are very few outputs which cannot be measured. If the input is carefully gauged, there will always be the avenue of measuring the output. With Group M, we do get a good measure of the efficacy of the OOH campaigns delivered on agreed metric.

Role of expectations from specialist agencies

Of course their role will change, this industry (especially in India) is at a very early stage of its life cycle, with time their role will also change as will their opportunities. My take is that they will come closer to their clients as integrated partners, moving and implementing ideas seamlessly between online and offline media.

Message to Media Owners

It is good to see global outdoor media evolve with digital interfaces making the erstwhile static media fairly 'intelligent' and dynamic. For example, the British Airways talking hoarding at the Piccadilly circus site made flight spotting so cool!
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