‘DOOH is fantastic, but pricing is a crucial factor’
By M4G Bureau - June 24, 2023
Rajesh Chheda, Founder and MD, Just In Time shares his perspective on using OOH for business growth, retail design and more in an interview with Media4Growth
As a retail brand, what value does OOH as medium provide for you in terms of audience reach?
The understanding at Just In Time (JIT) is that because the nature of our category (watches/jewellery) is larger-than-life, anything that looks bigger is perceived well in our ecosystem. For a brand like ours, that is omnichannel, and hyperlocal, strategically placed hoardings have worked quite well for us in the past.
We have a strong presence in Mumbai with 20+ stores, 10 stores in Navi Mumbai and about the same in Pune as well. There are more than 2 lakh cars that travel between Mumbai and Pune everyday who primarily consist of our target audience, and the distance involved in this travel gives them time to think about things they wish to do or purchase, and I believe our ads are placed perfectly to help foster these desires. While our brand is well established across the country, OOH as a medium helps increase the recall value for the viewers. And it’s effective because we have had customers walk into our stores asking for specific watches that they have seen on our hoardings.
Last quarter, we invested in a 45-day campaign where our ads were displayed on bus wraps in Mumbai and Pune, as well as on bus shelters in Bangalore.
We usually advertise on hoardings on a long-term basis – anywhere between 3-6 months. And we are constantly experimenting with our creatives, as we change them every 3-4 weeks. This ensures that all new products and offers are being leveraged effectively on all our assets. At any given point, we have over 100 sites across the country.
Have you utilized the DOOH format, and how comfortable are you with the medium?
I think DOOH absolutely fantastic, there’s no doubt about it. But pricing is an important factor as the cost of DOOH assets is much higher than that of the traditional static assets. From what I have observed, it’s primarily real estate companies or OTT platforms that advertise on this medium, and I haven’t seen many consumer-centric brands, and I think it’s because DOOH is not a sustainable form of communication – yet.
For a brand like ours, I don’t think it is the right time to invest in the DOOH, but someday we like to experiment with our creatives, and are certainly open to exploring the medium in the future.
Do you primarily work with specialist agencies or do you prefer working with OOH vendors directly?
We handpick our own vendors, and we work with multiple vendors, and it is based on the relationship we have with the site owner. At Just In Time, we value healthy business relationships that we can create with our vendors. Unlike OOH advertisements for movies, our campaigns are relatively long. In order to have regular and tangible communication we need reliable partners where our brand is not viewed as just another client, which is the case with agencies.
But of course, it is not that we do not work with agencies at all. We work closely with subject matter experts and smaller, specialized teams who are able to provide us with the same services while giving us
How has your experience with transit media been?
During store launches, we have advertised at airports and even the express highway(s) leading up to the airport (in Mumbai). For example, when we began operations in Ahmedabad around 12 years ago, we had taken up branding inside and outside the airport, as well as the roads leading out of the airport towards the city. These ventures are part of our system of constant experimentation to get a better understanding of what works for us, and how customers perceive our brand.
Do you conduct these evaluations in house or have they been out sourced?
We are actively evaluating new mediums, and regularly conduct A/B testing using data from our previous campaigns as reference. We have robust tools, along with a CRM engine that helps us reverse engineer the customer experience to give us clarity on which mediums helped them discover our brand. While these tools aren’t developed to a level where they can provide us with completely accurate data, it does give us a gist of what’s working for us and what isn’t.
Looking towards the future, what are your plans for expanding the brand and what role do you see OOH playing in that strategy?
When we look at the future, the retail ecosystem is evolving and adapting an omnichannel approach where customers can view products online and also experience it in-person at the nearest store. Having said that, I firmly believe that offline communication channels are the backbone of any brand regardless of the product segment. And fortunately for us, we deal with a premium category of products, hence it allows us to maintain a sustainable pace for our growth.