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‘It is an exciting time for the OOH industry’

By M4G Bureau - March 19, 2024

Within the OOH space most are exploring newer media formats, and the numbers are increasing, states Prash Gaikwad, Head Creative Services, GroupM OOH Solutions as he shares his perspectives on creativity in the Indian OOH sphere.

Prash Gaikwad

OOH provides great scope for creativity, and yet the OOH landscape in India does not see a high level of creativity everywhere. In your view, is creativity essentially about innovations or does it apply to every campaign that is launched?

I think OOH in India is witnessing a remarkable change. Creativity is at its best. Within the space of OOH, most are exploring newer media formats, and the numbers are increasing. Coming back to your question, I believe creativity is not about innovations; it is about how we use innovations to provide brand solutions. The advent of DOOH has opened up opportunities to think creatively and offer innovative solutions. Today, we are thinking beyond static media. Augmented reality has made static media an active medium. 3D anamorphic is truly adding a third dimension. Video screens are in fashion. It is an exciting time for the OOH industry. With so many possibilities around us, our efforts are to provide innovative solutions to almost every client brief.  Having said that, in some targeted areas and geographies, we may not be able to explore much due to certain campaign constrains. 

But I believe that the more we explore and find innovative out-of-home solutions, the more there will be a need and demand. This will push partners as well to think differently and help creative minds continue with the journey of innovative solutions.

What are the typical challenges that you see when handling the creative side of campaigns, and how do you raise the creative quotient of campaigns?

OOH is designed with visual images that have already been shot. The photography is done keeping in mind the print medium; hence the challenges come when the same has to be replicated on OOH. The size proportions invariably don’t match, requiring image manipulation. This loses its originality. Also, as the visual imagery is conceived separately, it becomes challenging to give it an innovative treatment because OOH requirements are different.
So, I think; right at the initial phase of the campaign creation, one must take into account OOH media challenges as well. This will bring a lot of newness to the way we design and create OOH solutions. Even the brief for OOH must be altered and relooked so as to suit the nature of the medium. Also, innovations for OOH must be budgeted separately to raise creative quotient.

How much does recognition of creativity matter for the team, and in that context, tell us how awards win matter, such as, winning OAA awards?

Industry recognition definitely helps to improve creative standards. It is a must, as it boosts the morale of creative minds and creates a desire to push the envelope. It motivates the creative team to constantly strive for excellence and hunt for fresh ideas.

In a way, it helps to know what’s happening in the industry and how one can improve the creative product.

The OAA Awards is one of the most acclaimed awards in the OOH industry and carries a lot of credibility. With its knowledge sessions through annual conventions and expos, it has created an opportunity for many to update and sharpen their skills and offerings. To us, OAA awards are prestigious and each win is a moment of pride.

Please find below 2 pieces of work done by our creative at GroupM OOH with a small write-up that explains the idea.

Sprite – World Cup Promotion

Sprite – World Cup Promotion

In a unique way, we used the excitement and euphoria around the India-Pak World Cup match and represented it on a 3D anamorphic display and multiple billboards. We flashed the real-time city temperature data alongside the rising temperature of cricket lovers and passed on Sprite’s brand communication of ‘Thand Rakh’ -- meaning stay calm. Also, on scanning the QR code given on the billboard, the mobile phone screens of the user got filled with smoke, thus reiterating the brand message of ‘Thand Rakh’.

Netflix – The Archies Movie Promotion

Netflix – The Archies Movie Promotion

For The Archies Netflix movie promotion, we made a larger-than life skate shoe worn by the young actors ply on the city roads. To make the idea happen, we used a small car and modified it to make it look like a skate shoe, with its original wheels as the shoe wheels. The moving shoe in the city turned out to be quite an attraction and grabbed eyeballs.

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