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‘OOH works well, but ROI assessment is a must’

By Bhawana Anand - April 04, 2018

Online table booking platform Dineout has creatively used OOH for brand building. The brand has used OOH to draw consumers to the restaurants with attractive offers. Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder, Dineout is a strong votary of OOH advertising, but says the absence of any data capture on audience response reduces the inclination to use OOH in a big way. At the same time, he highlights the advantages of OOH advertising via-a-vis other modes of advertising

What was the role assigned to OOH in your recent 360-degree campaign?

We live in a digital dominated world today and I doing so we tend to overlook the medium that catches the eye of people who spend a sizeable chunk of their time in the outdoor, in the city traffic. Against this backdrop, our OOH campaign served two purposes. First, it reinforced our ‘50% off on dining’ messaging. For this, we carefully selected the sites for display of the campaign, ensuring that the sites closer to the restaurants where the discounts may be availed. Second, the campaign delivered great brand visibility.

We have used every possible format, from hoardings and bus shelters to cab branding, airport media, etc. and it all worked really well. In terms of the impact, whenever we asked people where they noticed our campaign, most mentioned about our OOH campaign, instead of our campaign on the digital platform, radio or in print media.

Is it true that start-up ventures prefer OOH medium for branding as it cost-effective?

That depends on various factors, but the big challenge that lies in running an OOH campaign is that it does not facilitate a way to monitor conversions. We live in a world where obtaining maximum ROI on every rupee spent is important. Hence, startups tend to spend more on the digital format. For us, the principal reason for using OOH stemmed from our understanding that while digital and other formats work in the indoor environment, say at the office and home, OOH is the best medium to connect with people who are on the go.

The online food category is growing at a face pace. What steps would you take to ensure that your brand stand out amidst the general clutter in the outdoor?

Having seen the messaging of our competition we realised that our messaging ought to be simple. Hence, while other brands were using creative lines that sounded great we opted for simple messaging. Our entire OOH communication was very simple and I guess that worked for us.

As OOH becomes multi-faceted with dynamic transit media, activations, and the like, is there scope for more compelling brand story telling in the outdoor?

The challenge in OOH medium from the storytelling perspective is that if you are doing a lot of sites and investing huge budgets then it helps to go for storytelling. However, we realised that people’s attention span on roads is short. If I take 5-6 hoardings to narrate a story and if someone misses even a single hoarding then he will miss the dots. Whereas when there is only one single, simple message, then if a person sees one in ten sites, the message gets delivered.

You have taken up cup branding too. Did it work for your brand?

We took more than 10 lakh cups for branding at colleges and offices and I think it was a great recall medium. So, the idea was that when people go to relax or chill, they go for a cup of coffee and at that time they are thinking about their after-work plans. Sending out a dineout message at that time helped. If this sort of advertising is done as part of a 360 degree campaign, it would actually become integral to any campaign. However, I am not sure of the outcome if it is used as a standalone medium, as the real challenge is to measure the ROI from the campaign.

Could you share the outcome of your recent ‘50% off on dine out’ campaign?

In the month of February, we experienced 5x surging traffic because of this campaign wherein on a daily basis the number of bookings went up; the overall concept has gone really well with people.

What changes do you anticipate in the OOH space?

The only change we would like to see is a way to measure the ROI; unlike digital where I know the exact number of impressions garnered and how many people clicked, viewed, liked the campaign, OOH does not give any visibility on these counts.

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