Guest Article: Haresh Nayak: Let's go with Plan 'A'

By Haresh Nayak , Posterscope Group India, Mumbai | In OOH News | February 07, 2014
An analysis of ambient media by an outdoor specialist.

Haresh Nayak

For a moment let's consider hoardings and the cliché OOH options as Plan B of communication and let us put ambient media on the pedestal of Plan A.

The marketing communications arena is undergoing arguably its greatest period of change. This is a reflection of factors such as media convergence, major technological innovations, and the growth of 'Integrated Marketing Communication'.

Increased competition in crowded categories, short term focus in industry, greater focus on accountability, a decline in media advertising effectiveness, and the proliferation of brands has businesses demanding more effective advertising at lower costs.

This chaos is a great opportunity for going ambient. Growing numbers of people are looking to bring advertising into environments where previously there was none. Like ancient alchemists, their aim is to turn unpromising material into gold - or at least into lucrative channels of communication.

A Kinder Joy engagement activity created an overwhelming response at five malls in three cities, with about 8000 kids getting registered and participating in the activity. A set-up in malls was created which had engagement opportunities for kids. Keeping product attributes in mind (egg shaped) there was an automated cracking egg, two halves of which would open and close at regular intervals. This was attractive and engaging, creating the perfect connect between the brand and the kids. Games too were played related to the toys that are available in the pack. All participants were given branded T-shirts, caps and chocolates. A life-size inflatable named Kinderino played with the kids clicking pictures, dancing and hugging affectionately.

Ingredients of Making Plan A work - The 4 Is of Ambient

Innovation - Be quirky, trigger a wow affect. In ambient media, advertising newness and innovation are crucial as amongst the clutter of other media, the need is to create disruption which comes through innovation. So think unique and be creative.

Intelligence - While innovation is crucial, it needs to be intelligent and relevant to the brand message. Using a toilet for advertising may sound innovative, but whether it resonates with your brand's image and message is really an important question. If the answer to the question is 'No' then you can probably let the idea flush down the drain.

Interest - When an innovative ad resonates with the intelligence of the viewer, it triggers an interest for the product in the minds of the consumer. This phenomenon can jointly be attributed to both innovation and intelligence.

Intimation - Ambient ad provides you with the opportunity to create a mystery around the brand, which will just nudge the audience to the edge of knowing more. Once your audience is inquisitive, they will look forward to engagement and put in efforts to know the brand. So don't say the whole story, just cut out a lucrative trailer and then tie it with another more informative media and a call to action element.

A classic example of the '4 Is' was the Skoda Rapid campaign done by the ambient team at Posterscope, where plain cinema advertising was taken a notch above and the screen was used to create an engaging test drive. Since cinema is the most captive environment, this was an apt touch point. They had an edge with a blockbuster movie release over the weekend. This cinema interaction would not only take the audience by storm but also make an exquisite matter of PR. Within two days, 200 leads were generated for the client. The activity was shot and made viral on the client's website and thus gained more mileage. So far there have been 32,744 views of the video.

Additionally, this medium translates and percolates into a chain reaction and gives way to an effective PR spin off, which is like an added bonus for advertisers. You need to respect people's time and space. The experience must be rewarding for the consumer, both intellectually and in terms of entertainment value.

Do something good, do it at one place, it will make news, and people will talk about it. Get consumers to become the medium for the brand.

So let's go with Plan A.

(The author is managing director, Posterscope Group India, the out of home arm of Aegis Media)