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"OOH plays a very important strategic role in our circle campaigns"

By M4G Bureau - April 22, 2016

Sunita Bangard, President - Marketing, Idea Cellular India believes that outdoor is the only medium that offers you the opportunity for local treatment of any campaign.

While other brands are resorting to OOH as a reminder medium, telecom brands are surviving heavily on OOH. Idea Cellular is one such brand which has always has gone overboard with its multi-city large-sized OOH campaigns. Wonder how the telecom major has been able to welcome changes in OOH as well as make it perfectly work for its brand-building purpose? We chatted with Sunita Bangard, President - Marketing, Idea Cellular India, to learn all about it. Edited excerpts.

Outdoor Asia has reported some amazing OOH campaigns of Idea. Your brand seem to have major thrust on outdoor. How do you make OOH work for you.

See, when we are talking about national campaigns that are executed through 360 degree media, OOH has role to certain extent but if you are talking on regional or circle-based campaigns, I think we rely majorly on OOH. Outdoor is the only medium that offers you the opportunity of local treatment of any campaign. When we are promoting local talk-time/data plans, we have heavy bent towards OOH because we can customise the campaign with local feel through OOH. For print, we have 3-4 insertions while in OOH, we have a minimum tenure of 30-45 days and it works perfectly for circle-based campaigns.

Let's talk about the new kids in the OOH block. Say for example, metro rail or even futuristic digital OOH.

I think that metro rail, specially Delhi Metro has enormous potential in form of OOH. Delhi Metro is all about speed and connectivity emerging as a lifeline for the people of this city. It echoes the same brand ethos for Idea and hence, we have launched our 3G campaign voraciously in Delhi Metro through mainly train wrappings. Talking on digital OOH, I think it has a promising future. We ourselves use it to certain extent primarily in malls and airports. We use digital only when we are talking about data or internet plans as the medium sounds relevant to the subject. For talk plans etc, we may not use the similar platform.

What are the innovations you already are using or are in the pipeline?

For traditional OOH, we are as innovative as one can get. In our recent 3G 900 campaign, we have used multiple neons to give the effect of city highways. We try to keep away from too many clutters in OOH as at Idea, every medium has a role to play and it can't be cut-paste job. Ideally, a typical hoarding for us will have one large image and that should be all. Lowe Agency is doing a good job for us.

Apart from traditional OOH, we rely heavily on activations and engagements. Our latest edition of Idea Rocks India has 50,000-55,000 attendees compared to its first edition which drew only 3000-5000 people. These free-to-attend events have different treatments according to the places. While we organise Idea Rocks India in smaller cities, we do Jalsa (involving classical music) in bigger cities. Activations are important to us as it helps us evaluate our brand in a larger way.

What kind of drawbacks can you see today in OOH?

Most importantly, OOH in India is not auditable therefore it's difficult to justify a large spend in this medium. The industry is highly disorganized and has legality issues around it. No thought is put to develop the medium or infrastructure making it difficult for us, the marketers, to even try out innovations sometimes.


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