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Innovation is key to success in the outdoors: Ajay Raghuvanshi

By M4G Bureau - June 11, 2014

Ajay Raghuvanshi, Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Dealer Development, Nissan Motor India, says that true innovation will involve use of 3D, interactive and digital technologies. He also underlines the medium's capacity to deliver in Tier II & III cities.

Down the years, a whole range of automobile brands - cars and two-wheelers - have marked their presence on the Indian OOH landscape. While some of the brands limited their OOH exposure to just their new model launches, there are a few automobile companies that have fully leveraged the outdoor reach to drive their sales volumes.

Nissan Motor India is one such auto company that has exhibited a high level of interest in the OOH medium. Speaking about the company's OOH forays, Ajay Raghuvanshi, Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Dealer Development, Nissan Motor India, told Outdoor Asia that "outdoor is an essential medium for communication. It plays a major role in selling products and creating brand image. TV takes the maximum share of budget but in the past 2-3 years the outdoor medium is also staking a larger share of the pie.”

Raghuvanshi added that "the recall value of an outdoor campaign is pretty strong. Therefore, automobile companies in general execute their outdoor campaigns during a new model launch and the duration of the campaign is 1-2 months.”

Keeping in view the growing market opportunities in Tier II & III cities, Nissan Motor India is efficiently utilising OOH medium in those cities to build the brand visibility. "I believe the OOH medium is highly effective in Tier II and III cities as compare to Tier I cities, especially the metro markets. The reason being that life in the metros is busier than in the small cities and people have less time to look at the advertisements. Also, the metro OOH landscapes are rather too cluttered so consumers usually don't get to focus on any particular brand or advertisement,” he said.

Raghuvanshi said that the outdoor medium in Tier II & III cities are cost-effective. "Moreover, we get good response in terms of sales and showroom openings,” he added.

Nissan Motor India prefers the large outdoor formats to project the brand and product lavishly but the company is open to using new formats, especially digital OOH, both indoors and outdoors. On this, Raghuvanshi remarked that "We would like to use digital formats that are creative, interactive and help in highlighting the entire carline display. We would also like to evaluate the digital formats or kiosks inside our showrooms where customers can see the car features and images digitally instead of through normal images”.

According to him, innovation in OOH medium is an indispensable factor that helps grab the attention of audiences. However, he felt that true innovation will involve various elements interactive, 3D and digital technologies that can make a site sand out. "Having said that, the brand is also conscious about rules drafted by municipal authorities for road safety,” he said.
Referring to ROI from OOH advertising, Raghuvanshi said the brand is intelligently deriving favorable results via the OOH medium. "The OOH medium is not directly allied with ROI. You can generate ROI with other mediums such as TV and print. We at Nissan execute campaigns primarily during a product launch, first to make the product familiar with audiences and second to build the brand imagery. It plays the role of generating enquiries and brings the customer to the showroom, and the sale part fairly depends on what happens inside the store,” he explained.

In closing, Raghuvanshi expressed hope that outdoor sites in key markets like Delhi and Mumbai will become more cost-effective in the near-term. He also laid particular emphasis on the innovative imperative to make OOH advertising truly impactful.

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