OAP creates OOH campaign for Deccan Chronicle in Chennai

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | July 07, 2009
The specialist agency goes beyond media planning and buying and works on Deccan Chronicle's creatives as well

Out of home (OOH) specialist agency Outdoor Advertising Professionals, better known as OAP, has rolled out the new outdoor campaign for the Deccan Chronicle in Chennai. What's interesting is that OAP was given charge of not just outdoor media planning and buying, but also the creatives for this campaign.

The campaign, released solely on the new stylish bus shelters in Chennai, shows a chessboard with a white king in the foreground and a red pawn in the background. The copy reads: 'No. 1 English Daily in South. Deccan Chronicle'.

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The brief given by the client was simple - that the newspaper was the 'No. 1' in the South. The thought of a chessboard clicked instantly as the game denotes knowledge and skilful manoeuvres, which goes well with a newspaper brand. The 'king' signifies 'the leader'. The black and white theme, with a tinge of colour, was intentional to bring in a differential aspect, vis--vis the ambience of OOH and also as a newspaper is predominantly black and white.

The agency feels that OOH communication needs to be simple yet appealing. Therefore, pictographic representation, tagged with the communication line and colour representation, is of utmost importance to drive the essence.

Since Chennai has no billboards due to a government ban, the agency chose to use only bus-shelters as large format media. Currently, six such shelters spread across the city covering the main arterial routes have been employed. The campaign has been executed initially for a period of two months.

OAP had created another memorable campaign for the Deccan Chronicle a couple of years ago, where the letters AD and BC, denoting the eras Anno Domini and Before Christ, were written. The letters D and C were highlighted and the copy read 'Two letters sometimes denote an era' (DC also stood for Deccan Chronicle).

SS Bhattacharjee, vice-president, Touchpoint, a division of OAP, says, "News or newspapers are no longer a subject one dwells with for hours, resting on an easy-chair, sipping a hot cup of tea. This information industry, too, has undergone evolution in tune with the fast-paced generation - crisp, catchy, interesting and informative. With the plethora of newspapers made available to the consumers, this industry, too, has become highly competitive, like any other consumer brand."

About OAP working on creatives, Bhattacharjee says that who else can be a better champion of the cause than the OOH professionals, as they are the ones who understand the nuances of the medium and what works. Today, OOH specialist agencies such as OAP are geared to provide creative solution to a client's needs.

"The understanding of the intricacies and what makes an ad 'a visual delight' obviously comes with hard toil and experience. We, too, have evolved. We, too, have the resources and confidence in not just media buying and planning, but also providing creative solutions for our clients," he says.

He adds that as creative contributions go, in many of the campaigns, the client normally adapts the print ad to outdoor, which may not work and that is where the agency uses its outdoor expertise in rendering visual tweaks, such as cut-outs/blow-ups of certain segments of the creative to make it more vibrant.

Abhijit Sengupta, chief executive officer, OAP, adds that typically, the agency's role beyond strategising, planning, buying and execution is giving ideas to render the core creative idea in a smarter and attractive manner, to enable delivery of more eyeballs.

He says, "We are at times pained with the way this medium is treated. Since we understand this medium and believe that 'the medium is the message' we helped Deccan Chronicle in coming out with a relevant communication that will work in this format."

In the past, OAP had also worked on the creatives of Pepe Jeans, where the agency worked with pictures of the models, creating new concepts.

On a broader note, Bhattacharjee is of the opinion that the frames on a billboard, a shelter or a median are just like all boundaries in life. One needs to stretch his/her imagination beyond the boundaries. This paradigm shift is essential for the growth, especially the creative growth, of the OOH industry.

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