Times OOH encourages advertisers to innovate

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | August 14, 2008
'Demonstration works best' is the aim behind the new campaign by Times OOH

The & #BANNER1 & # out-of-home company, Times OOH, has given the phrase 'lead by example' a whole new meaning with its novel campaign, Innovate. The campaign, which is targeted at advertisers, media planners and buyers, is an initiative by Times OOH to project to marketers how brands should utilise the new and different OOH formats that are available today in a creative way.

The company has launched a campaign centring on the theme, Innovate, and it has executed this on its properties to show advertisers how a brand can use OOH formats innovatively and creatively. Times OOH started the campaign on the new, designer, stainless steel bus shelters that it owns in Mumbai. It owns about 1,400 bus shelters in South Mumbai and in the Western suburbs of the metropolis; Mumbai has around 2,500-3,000 bus shelters.

Click on the image to enlarge
For example, the campaign has a creative that shows a suitcase handle in the top panel of the bus shelter and reads 'Extra spacious bags', while the inside of the bus shelter has images of folded clothes, thus making it seem like the inside of a suitcase. The ad uses the entire bus shelter creatively, instead of just advertising on the top panel of the shelter as is usually done.

Another creative has been created for a health drink, in which the inside of the bus shelter has two little boys and only the bottom half of the body of a third boy. The top panel shows the top half of his body, thus depicting the idea of the nutro health drink helping children to grow taller faster.

Talking about the idea behind launching the campaign, Pankaj Raina, regional head, West, and vice-president, marketing, Times OOH, says, "We are trying to showcase that innovation is something that can be done in the OOH format also. Historically, innovation in OOH has been a product cutout or a format cutout. But we would like the clients and the agencies to think OOH when they are thinking of a campaign. We do not want creative minds to adapt a print creative into an OOH campaign as is happening on most brands at present."

He adds that the current campaign highlights how brands can use different formats in an effective and innovative manner. In fact, there is a series in this campaign which is planned for the year with the core theme, 'Innovate'.

The entire campaign has been conceptualised and executed by Times OOH's creative agency, The Republic. Maia Katrak, executive creative director, The Republic, says, "The thought was that Times OOH is pioneering the new age looking bus shelters. Now these are unconventional media and the campaign had to target advertisers, planners and buyers. So, we wanted to create something that said that you can make your brand sexier and add that extra punch to your brand message. The best way to do this was by demonstrating what one could do."

The agency has been working with Times OOH for a year and a half and working on this specific campaign since the past three-four months. Katrak says this campaign has not only been done on bus shelters, but across other Times OOH properties available in the country, like a giant LED at the Mumbai airport, pillar wraps, hanging pelmet banners, the Delhi Metro, properties on a Delhi highway, etc. Times OOH would send the agency images of the new properties and, in turn, they would send them three-four creatives that would fit these properties.

What has been the response from the advertisers? "There has been a tremendous response. People have been calling on our toll free number to get more information on the kind of formats we offer and the ways in which brands can be projected," says Raina.

For the record, some of the advertisers on board for Times OOH's bus shelters are Reliance Communication, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, the Colors TV channel and Jet Airways.

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