Size doesn't matter: Pond's uses pole kiosks to convey product benefit

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | June 25, 2009
Pond's has used consecutive kiosks on lighting poles in the city that tell the story in such a way that makes it seem like the ad is being played out

Imagine driving through a city and seeing an ad play out in the middle of the street. No, we're not talking about TV screens out of home. Pond's has used consecutive kiosks on lighting poles in the city that tell the story in such a way that makes it seem like the ad is being played out.

HUL's Pond's White Beauty claims to lighten and give a pinkish glow to the skin in seven days. The brand's agency, Ogilvy Action, opted for strategic locations with backlit kiosks at prime stretches across Mumbai, which would sequentially demonstrate the gradual progress of spot reduction by the product.

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Thus, kiosks on consecutive poles were used effectively, where each kiosk had a different creative and message. The first kiosk would have 'Day 1' written, with an image of a girl's face with spots; the next one had 'Day 2' written, with the same girl's face but lesser spots, till on Day 7, she is seen being proposed to. The last kiosk shows the product, brand name and offering.

Pond's target market is females, LSM (living standard measure) 5+, age group 18-30. To reach out to them, six stretches were identified and taken up - the Juhu SNDT stretch, Fame Adlabs stretch on Link Road (Andheri), two stretches on Marine Drive, Worli's Century Bazaar and Poonam Chambers.

Nabendu Bhattacharyya, president, Ogilvy Action India, says, "Kiosks are generally used as salience builders but if the creative idea lends itself to storytelling, then kiosks can be used effectively to tell a story. This particular campaign has primarily been done using kiosks and has been backed by use of a couple of billboards as well."

The billboards ran a teaser for a few days that showed a big spot on a hoarding covering most of the model's face. The copy read 'Spots always get noticed'. This was later revealed to showcase the same model's face with a glowing complexion.

Bhattacharyya continues, "Out of all the other outdoor vehicles, kiosks were the best fit to take this creative idea forward. As kiosks are in a row, used intelligently, these can grab the consumer's attention."

Anil Aggarwal, head, Mumbai, Pioneer Publicity, the company that has advertising rights on 32,000 street lighting pole kiosks across the city, says, "The only drawback for kiosks are their sizes, but used creatively, these can help tell brand stories." He shares that while an 800 sq. ft. hoarding would cost Rs 7.5 lakh a month, in comparison, a single backlit kiosk, with front and back area measuring 20 sq. ft., would cost only about Rs 10,000 a month. "So, even if a brand takes up 20 such kiosks at a stretch, it would cost only about Rs 2 lakh. Thus brands with lower budgets can effectively use this medium," he says.

For the Pond's campaign, only eight kiosks each were taken up in six stretches. Thus, 48 kiosks were employed and going by the above mentioned figures, the kiosk campaign would've cost the company not more than Rs 4.8 lakh, which is as cost-effective as a medium can get, considering the high-traffic zones these are present in.

Bhattacharyya of Ogilvy Action also recalls some memorable kiosk campaigns for DNA's Mumbai teaser and launch campaign, and also for 9X's teaser and launch.

Ogilvy & Mather had also created a memorable enrolment campaign for the Calcutta School of Music, where musical notations of Bach, Haydn and Mozart were hung overhead between kiosks on the streets of Kolkata. The kiosks had messages such as 'Learn to appreciate Mozart', with the school's emblem and number.

MOMS Outdoor Media also recently created a kiosk innovation for client, Dish TV, in February, where these were designed to resemble the DTH dish antennae, with about 50 of these being put up on street kiosks.

Kinetic India, too, effectively used kiosks for its client, Spencer's Retail, for its books, where the kiosks were designed as popular books, one based on Brazilian footballer Pelé and the other on the book of, Indian writer Amitav Ghosh. This outdoor idea, in fact, was even shortlisted in the 'Innovation of the Year' category at the Outdoor Advertising Awards 2009 held recently.

Over the years, financial and telecom brands such as Vodafone (as Orange and Hutch, too) and Idea Cellular have continuously used these kiosks as reminders for the brands. Recently launched in Mumbai, Aircel, too, has painted the streets red with its red and blue logo, being present on lighting pole kiosks across the city.

"Nowadays each brand is customising kiosks. They can be used interestingly as story telling media. If it is done maintaining consistency in terms of size, quality, look and feel and upkeep, then I think kiosks are a beautiful medium to build a brand effectively," Bhattacharyya reiterates.

Evidently, the small size of kiosks is not a hurdle for brands telling stories or innovatively using these. Big brands are all for this small but effective medium.

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