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'Judicious mix of formats leads to better output'

By M4G Bureau - December 05, 2013

Taking a mix of small formats for frequency and large sites for impact and having a judicious mix leads to better output, rather than just sticking to a particular format, says Ritesh Ghosal, Head- Brand Marketing -Tata Teleservices Limited in a chat with Outdoor Asia on how the brand approaches OOH in the state of West Bengal.

Spend on OOH in W Bengal

OOH in WB is used as part of the media mix; where out-of-home media is not necessarily restricted to hoardings, billboards or just large format sites. We use this medium judiciously to increase opportunities to see our brand at multiple touch points. The spends on OOH vary from campaign to campaign. We usually spike during the festive season starting September and tend to spend less during the first quarter to avoid the wrath of the occasional norwesters in the state. By being selective in our approach and format we have been able to create more value.

In telecom, we have access to multiple data points of a consumer's usage pattern, enabling us to pin point our TG. This allows us to design a campaign that is specific to the TG. Recently we have taken up campaigns that have been addressed through micro marketing - communication specific to a small geography and through cost effective media. This local area communication was aided by non-lit boards, no parking signage and road signs which reflect positively on the key performing indicators of our brand scores. It only goes on to prove that well planned and optimized spends can also make a significant difference.

Key markets in the state


Kolkata is the most important market in the state, but is also the most cluttered in terms of OOH spreads. All district headquarters and key business towns are also important markets.

Preferred formats

Our objective in Kolkata is to differentiate in order to increase the'where seen' and the share of eyeballs. We look at taking a mix of small formats for frequency and large sites for impact. A judicious mix leads to a better output rather than just sticking to a particular format.

In smaller towns, we take a strategic stance by being present in bus terminus, railway stations and highways which are the primary gateways to these towns. The media in these towns are also cost effective compared to Kolkata and is free of clutter. Wall painting and non-lit sites work as good medium. Large sizes work better in these towns rather than frequency media.

Comparing OOH in rest of W Bengal with other states and the challenges

We have planning tools that identify pockets with specific target groups for different campaigns. The OOH medium in towns other than Kolkata is cost effective. Transit media do not perform too well in these towns as much as the entry and exit points to the towns do in rest of West Bengal. We keep these in mind while planning any new campaign in these towns.

Exploring new formats

It is true that Kolkata is an extremely cluttered market. Living our mantra of "Open Up” we explore means to stand out in this clutter. The mix of large and small format sites is being continuously explored. Apart from hoardings and bill boards we take traffic consoles, booths and pole kiosks. This help us create more occasions to remind our brand and also increase our share of voice at a comparatively much lesser share of expenditure. We also look at increasing our overall visibility in the out-of-home space by taking up wall paintings, road brandings, dhaba and eatery branding.

We do not restrict ourselves to just passive branding in OOH media. Branding in youth hangouts like colleges and food courts in malls create an interaction with the youth with a mix of visibility branding and activation. Durga Puja gives us another opportunity to showcase our brand through pandals and important road stretch branding. A key intervention during Durga Puja is the night recharge promotion that we activate in Puja pandals. We enable promoters with a lit display unit to make easy recharges at Puja pandals in the middle of the night. We got an immediate return on investment through the use of innovative media being at the right place at the right time.

Factors that would drive higher OOH spend in W Bengal

'Open Up', our brand philosophy outlines us to look beyond the possible. We are driven by exploring the undone. We have used LED boards as giant screen laptops and have not stopped at just keeping it as a display media. Instead, we have made it interactive through live streaming and mixing the digital media with OOH. We have explored audio in outdoor media and have broken its barriers. Our innovation of dongle shaped pole kiosks on a fast traffic lane is not limited to branding alone but was about making it synonymous with Photon and the speed of Photon.

OOH is an extremely interesting medium with an open field to imagine and explore. We would continue experimenting with this medium to generate more value for the brand and its business.

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