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SARE Homes: Building a brand on OOH

By M4G Bureau - April 25, 2014

Outdoor Asia speak to David Walker, Executive Director, SARE Homes, one of the biggest real-estate spenders, to find out more about the brand's equation with the OOH medium.

Today Real Estate is to OOH what Telecom was a few years ago in terms of spends, approach and experiments on the medium. According to Laqshya Media Group's media research report, the real estate has upped its OOH investments most rapidly compared to any other sector, making it the most dynamic category for the first half of 2013. The sector's spends grew by 51 per cent as compared to H1 of 2012.  This category has leveraged the OOH medium with big business as well as with innovations.  David Walker, Executive Director, SARE Homes, one of the biggest real-estate spenders, shares with Outdoor Asia on how the OOH medium works for the brand. Here are the excerpts.

Leveraging Outdoor

For any brand that has/ needs to establish local presence, the outdoor medium works very well as a vehicle for visibility. The medium has two-fold advantages for the Real Estate category - it not only gives visibility to the brand, but also shows direct results in terms of sales figures. It is for this reason that SARE Homes uses outdoors as an integral part of its campaign in all its township locations.

A significant allocation of budget is spent on outdoors, as this is an expensive medium and SARE has multiple projects across India.  On an average, we spend close to 30% on outdoors. The outdoor medium has been used in tier II cities and we are seeing good results. This medium is typically a support to primary forms of communication such as print or TV ads.

Seamless and Customized Approach

A conventional approach of doing outdoor campaigns is adpted quite simply to utilize the medium for launch campaigns. However, we have specialized in doing sustained campaigns well beyond launch dates, so that the brand remains fresh in the consumer's minds. Also, we focus on quality rather than quantity and do extensive groundwork, which means we don't need to plaster a city with hoardings, when a few, well-researched locations with a well-thought out idea will be more effective.

Another approach has been to rethink USPs for our townships and design campaign specifically around one thought, rather than talking about everything in one piece of communication. An example of this is the Distance campaign currently on-ground for our Gurgaon Township, SARE Crescent ParC, at Sector 92, which is highlighted using the 'Residential Property of the Year' Award given to SARE by ASSOCHAM.

Creativity is the Crux

A good campaign always keeps in mind its audience - our audience needs to understand the message. Any good location strategy ensures that the audience is exposed to the message, as many times as possible.

SARE Homes keeps its message succinct and sober at all times. Thus, we are building the image steadily, while making sure the message is simple to the audience and does not confuse or get cluttered in any way.

 Measuring the Worth

We measure the efficacy of the outdoor mediums by assessing the response from the same and evaluating the resultant ROI.  Based on this, we allocate spends on outdoors, so it's a continuous process of review.

We have our outdoor agency which works closely with us. We also have our sales teams and an internal monitoring team which ensures that we get the right picture on what's happening on-ground.

Firm Media Planning

We do extensive groundwork before launch our outdoor campaigns. It is important to tap into locations which have high audience-density, rather than simply highly populated areas. Also, we ensure that our outdoors also double up sometimes as markers for our townships. With the level of preparation that we have before any release, it is easier for us to use hoardings effectively and get in our sales figures as well as build our brand image.

If using non-conventional media is in line with our creative and strategic thought processes, we will definitely use these. We will not use them if they do not otherwise add value to our brand.

Quality is a Hurdle

Quality is sometimes an issue while executing an outdoor campaign. This requires very close monitoring, and sometimes, changes. Low visibility, torn flexes are common in some areas.

OOH Prospects

We have been using the outdoor medium very regularly, for the past few years now. Our campaigns have recorded our growth and credibility as a brand. Therefore, we are expecting the outdoor medium to start giving us more results in terms of sales, since our audience now has good visibility on our brand.

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