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‘OOH provides stronger ROI virtually’

By Bhawana Anand - February 16, 2021

Amit Dhanuka, Executive Vice President - Lionsgate shares his take on the OOH medium and what it means to the brand.

Amit Dhanuka, Executive VP, LionsgateLionsgate Play, a premium entertainment brand, announced its launch in India with an intriguing OOH campaign that caught public attention in 2019. The quirky, clutter breaking OOH campaign was handled by Havas Media and went live across Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. Spread across metro trains, highways, malls and business districts, the campaign aimed to showcase multiple genres of movies, highlighting the breadth of Lionsgate Play’s premium content range.

The brand later reappeared on the OOH scene to announce the launch of its mobile application with a big buzz campaign handled by Posterscope India. Though the campaign was short lived, it put OOH at the center of its marketing plan. The brand capitalised on premium locations of Mumbai and Delhi with large formats along with digital OOH.

What role does OOH play in your marketing plan? What makes the medium quite an essential tool for promotion?

OOH has been one of the most conventional ways of reaching out to consumers. Over the years, this space has undergone a dynamic transformation. Owing to the pandemic and the resultant reduction in overall movement on streets, 2020 might have seen a drop in outdoor marketing. But it’s still an integral tool for holistic promotion. For our recently launched Lionsgate Play app, we conceptualized billboards in sync with our key positioning at strategic locations across cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram and Noida). We were able to draw the TG’s attention to an edgy content mix that was in store for them. Key locations supported by a solid strategy helped us create the right awareness around our app launch.

What parameters are considered while selecting sites/locations to make a campaign effective with zero wastage?

Location is a critical factor to consider in outdoor advertising. We depend on data and insights shared by the partner agency to finalize sites for the campaign. The aim is always to be present at locations that get maximum visibility for our TG. Further, traffic count, audience demographics, proximity to residential or commercial areas, etc., are key factors that we consider to ensure zero wastage. We also set out to create impact by taking clusters of hoardings together to ensure people see our entire content range and not just a few titles. This is important for a brand like ours, which is launching and aiming to create a premium perception.

Catching attention in a short span of time on the outdoor medium is quite a task. How do you ensure the creative delivers the desired impact?

We consider outdoor a visual medium and hence the focus is on imagery and innovation rather than on messaging alone. In the current outdoor campaign for example, we used LED innovation for our logo on 80% of the sites, so it stands out in the clutter. We worked with 1-2 creatives to ensure consistency and impact. We also took clusters of hoardings together wherever possible to create the right impact.

How do you measure the efficacy of your outdoor campaigns?

Outdoor is a perception driver for us. So, while we always see a bump up in install numbers, stream counts, etc., the AHA moment for us happens when consumers take pictures of the campaigns and tag us with those on social media. In fact, we saw this happening this time around.

OTT is one of the most active categories in the OOH space. How do you strategise your campaigns around competition?

In the past, OOH media was more difficult to measure. As digital integration has evolved, the OOH media too has kept pace with it. In fact, OOH now provides stronger ROI virtually, compared to any other media that a brand invests in. The availability of mobile, geo-location data that our media planners help us with also helps in a successful campaign. Of course, today most OTT players spend big on billboard advertisements in key locations like malls, city highways, railways, etc., and we too plan to continue investing in OOH campaigns because it’s bold and exciting. With OOH, we get an opportunity to express our creativity and introduce exclusive content that stands out from the rest. Also, OOH helps us garner immediate attention from commuters. It particularly works well in a city like Mumbai, which is always alive and vibrant.

What has been your strategy in synchronising OOH communication with other channels? Do you think OOH medium works better in collaboration with other mainline channels?

Yes, we always try and take a 360 degree approach - take a campaign LIVE with OOH, and combine it with digital impact, performance marketing, influencer push and TV. Used together, it creates a good surround sound for brand messaging and creates a larger recall when compared to any single medium acting alone.

How has been your experience working with OOH specialist agencies in terms of planning, execution and other responsibilities?

The big agencies have their ethos in place. They not only help lock sites basis the impact or coverage, but also recommend the right creative/ innovation. We worked with Posterscope this time and they were absolutely committed to enhancing the campaign impact, whether through the production quality or through the innovations suggested.

What changes do you anticipate in the OOH medium?

The advertising landscape is shifting with the evolution in the OOH space. Today any physical space can be transformed into an OOH property, from bus shelters, railway stations and trains to building structures, car wraps and digital/3D billboards. Basically, the addressable market for outdoor advertising is growing rapidly. The fast-growing inventory of digital out-of-home will also usher in a major shift. Also, as new tools emerge, marketers are able to build more effective OOH ad campaigns that drive tangible results.




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