'OOH should be innovative, engaging and participative'
By M4G Bureau - December 06, 2013
Till the time the audience does not connect with the brand, they will never be able to understand its potential, says Jimmy Tangree, Station Head, Red FM as he shares the brand's OOH experience in West Bengal with Outdoor Asia.
Spend on OOH in W Bengal
There is nothing like a fixed budget for OOH. We take it as and when it is required during a campaign or activity. Lot of time needs to be spent on the OOH medium, which could include anything, right from kiosks to brand activities in malls and multiplexes and such. We try to innovate and integrate radio on it in a big way. For instance, to create visibility in a mall, I would rather create a studio where people can interact with it. OOH is very important, be it on streets or in the malls. We also do campaigning in educational institutions. It is all about visibility and catching the people at the right time and getting them excited.
Key markets in the state
We have three key markets- Kolkata, Sillguri and Asansol because we have license for these places. I think Kolkata is number one. In Asansol only in certain areas have we been using OOH and it includes activity and branding during Durga Puja. We are present in PVR multiplexes; we have tied up with the malls for visibility there. I personally look at it as touch point marketing. We cannot be present in the whole city. We need to be at specific areas and in an innovative manner. The communication should have something to inform the audience like promos abut'Comedy Nights' as we cannot keep talking about the brand RED FM every time.
Honestly, nothing specifically can be preferred. Formats depend on the activity and the campaign. For instance in Kolkata, a tram can be used in an innovative way and there could be lot of stuff for visibility. It is not about taking an outdoor format but about categorically hitting the TG. If I have to reach out to a certain TG then I have a few locations where I can reach and execute an activity and branding. Also, in a good camping with lot of visibility, people not only see the branding, but also visibly interact with it. For example, we did the live studio on hoarding in Camac Street where people came and went live with our radio station.
Comparing OOH in rest of W Bengal with other states and the challenges
The spends are not big for smaller places. When we have to do an activity in say Asansol or Sillguri, then it needs to be done in combination. Sometimes one-offs can be done in Silliguri, there is scope for that, but the scope for innovations is restricted there. Hoardings are there in large numbers, but I think one should beyond that. I think people should define creativity in OOH which can be impactful. I think an extra mile has to be travelled.
Besides, budget is a big factor so people take whatever is available within that budget. If people come together and think up cost effective innovative solutions, then the medium will go a long way.
OOH players also need to think about innovations like hot air balloon, laser show on a building etc. In any medium, if you do not let people participate, then it is of no use. Till the time the audience does not try it or connect with the product, then they will never be able to understand its potential.
Exploring new formats
One new format we explored was the live studio which was launched for the first time ever where we created a live studio on a canter and it was broadcasting all the time. Also, for our'Bajate Raho' awards, we created a boxing ring in a mall where two professional boxers were present wearing actor's mask and we promoted the awards through this activity. We have also done branding at various touch points such as dhabas and other places.
With digital innovation, we can create appealing effects and there should be more innovations like one-offs on LCD screens, bubble street effect or LED laser show etc on a building facia which can create a lot of impact. These innovations are possible in this market as well.
We are giving a lot of thought to these kinds of innovations but we engage with a couple of agencies for this as and when the requirement comes up. But I do feel Outdoor advertising activity should always be innovative, engaging and participative.
Factors that would drive higher OOH spend in W Bengal
We are very particular about following the rules and regulations. I feel the media owners and the government have to come together and work on a win-win situation for everybody. The Municipal Corporation will get their taxes and rentals, the agencies will get their payments and the client will get to use the media in the way they want to. People here are indeed innovating, but they should look at more options like hot air balloons etc. I think the fusion of conventional media and innovation will give a big boost to this medium. And of course, the government should take more initiatives to beautify the city with the help of OOH. Finally, digital initiatives will certainly lead to increase in spends.