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How difficult was it to place Brand India at Times Square?

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | February 16, 2006
Media Mindscapes, which worked with Grey Worldwide on the campaign, says it was a daunting task to advertise an Indian brand abroad


With the Incredible & #BANNER1 & # India billboard clamouring for attention at Times Square in New York City, or on prominent display on London buses, suddenly, one can see the opportunity for Indian brands and Brand India's values among global consumers. This might have been unthinkable some time ago. But getting the marketing exercise in place wasn't easy.

As Ranadeb Paul, partner, Media Mindscapes, says, "It was a daunting task to advertise an Indian brand abroad." Media Mindscapes is the Bangalore based specialised Outdoor and Out-of-Home media service provider, which worked with Grey Worldwide on the Incredible India campaign

Paul reveals, "Initially, no one was willing to work for an Indian client as they've never done it before, but we succeeded in convincing them."

Media Mindscapes chose DEFI in Paris, Posterscope in London and Clear Channel Spectacolor in New York City to facilitate media buying space. The problem is that an Indian agency cannot buy media space directly.

However, the agencies, which are part of a global advertising network, don't face such problems. As Pratap Bose, CEO (South Asia), Kinetic, Group M's global outdoor unit, says, "If and when we get an opportunity to take an Indian brand abroad, our international counterparts will help us."

Paul sees that the Incredible India campaign has opened an avenue for global campaigns in the areas of hospitality and health tourism. The agency is holding discussions with some clients who are in the hospitality business and exploring possibilities in outdoor advertising abroad.

He says, "The outdoor campaign has been an eye-opener to the global outdoor majors, who now look to India, not only as a potential market for investing in media properties, but also as a prospective field for potential clients with an undaunted desire to go global through outdoor advertising."

Bose of Kinetic agrees with Paul. He says, "Besides the hospitality industry, one can see this trend emerging in other sectors as well - banking or major Indian brands such as Reliance and Tata, for example."

Paul says, "The way to go (for the Incredible India campaign) was to identify the locations where we needed to advertise. As the category one is targeting is not globe-trotting backpackers, but people who are willing to shell out money, we had to choose locations that would reach out to SEC A+."

Once the target group was clear, the outdoor campaign then went on to place the various billboards, LED panels, building wraps and bus panels at the various identified strategic locations. Thus, there are four billboards at Times Square, New York City, which is perceived as the Mecca for global outdoor, and gigantic hoardings and display wraps at Cromwell Road in London and at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The other outdoor initiatives were through display panels on city buses in London and a huge LED display panel at Montparnasse Square in Paris. The entire media spend on the outdoor is estimated to be in the vicinity of Rs 5 crore across the three cities. Later, the campaigns were also taken to Zurich and Davos for a week during the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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