Wanderlust comes with its own set of problems. For most travellers, a bad hotel experience can ruin their stay/vacation, irrespective of the nature of their trip. OYO Hotels and Homes has released an ad campaign to draw attention to their original offering — that of a standardised hotel experience, all over India.
The campaign is titled Raho Mast and is live across television, digital and social media channels since November 25, 2019 until January 03, 2020. Inspired by real-life experiences of diverse travellers, the campaign narrates three stories showcasing challenges faced by various consumer segments — mainly those who travel for work, families that go on vacation, and couples who are looking for space.
Reflecting on the television campaign in a press release, Aditya Ghosh, chief executive officer, India and South Asia, OYO Hotels and Homes said, “We are excited about this new Raho Mast brand campaign. With its approach, the Raho Mast brand campaign reflects on what the average Indian consumer goes through and how OYO can help make the experience hassle-free at every touch-point. The red and white OYO sign stands for our enduring belief that low cost has nothing to do with low quality.”
“OYO was established with the vision of creating affordable, accessible and quality living spaces with standardized amenities and service delivery designed to suit the needs of every pocket. For years, more often than not travelers and city-dwellers were forced to compromise on location, quality, and price. All three videos are takes on real-life situations that travellers face during booking of hotel stays which are easily relatable. Each set has its own unique needs which have been taken as an insight to build memorable stories," says an OYO Hotels and Homes spokesperson over mail. Thespokesperson also mentioned that the campaign was conceptualised and executed by the in-house creative team.
Announcing the launch of its television campaign, Gaurav Ajmera - chief operating officer, OYO Hotels and Homes, India said, “We are thrilled to launch ‘OYO - Raho Mast’. With this campaign, we would like to strike a chord with our consumers by providing the best hospitality solution to end their travel woes with our standardised and comfortable stay offerings, at good value for money. Our journey so far has been nothing short of exceptional and we truly believe that this has only been possible because of the love our guests have shown us. These TVCs are an ode to our guests, who continue to inspire us in making OYO their most-preferred hospitality partner whenever they travel. We will continue our efforts towards providing a seamless and happy experience to consumers by eliminating the hassles that come along with hotel bookings.”
The three brand films will be aired across multiple television channels including primetime slots, with a major focus on GEC, Hindi movies, Hindi news, English news, music and several regional genre platforms. To increase visibility, glimpses of the campaign will appear on popular Indian entertainment shows such as Indian Idol, Bigg Boss and The Kapil Sharma Show. With an aim to reach 75 million consumers across the country, the campaign will go live across digital and social media channels such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Gaana among many others. Simultaneously, the campaign will be amplified through an influencer marketing campaign with noted celebrities and social media content creators.
According to Anubha Mathur, vice-president, Dentsu Impact, the OYO - Raho Mast campaign captures the insights of an Indian hotel dweller and traveller quite well. “Be it the third wheel every couple looking for privacy encounters, the harrowed business traveller or a typical travel agent bombarding your family with false promises, they have managed to capture the quirks quite well. The music track in the movie Date Film stands out for me personally," she says.
When asked if the campaign cuts through the clutter, she opines, “With MakeMyTrip and Trivago as competition, creative competencies in brand communication are quite distinct. OYO manages to hold its ground and be noticed in this cluttered media landscape. The signature tune at the end of the films does its job and sticks well.”
Mathur feels that despite no big celebrity names being attached to it, OYO has cast just the right faces to create characters that connect well with the customers. “There is realism with the right dose of humour to make the films relatable and interesting. Through this campaign OYO manages to establish a clear offering of the brand’s promise, which is to live a good life or Raho Mast. Aside from this campaign, I must commend the marketing team on creating a visual mnemonic that definitely makes heads turn on ground,” she concludes.
In Ramanujam Sridhar's opinion — the commercial is quite a different one. He finds the messaging dramatised, yet fairly straightforward. Sridhar is the chief executive officer of brand-comm and also a communications consultant, who says that it’s possible these things could happen if a person books a hotel without doing their due diligence.
OYO's competitors — MakeMyTrip and Goibibo have celebrity brand endorsers, but Sridhar says, “Within the category, if a competition is using a celebrity, then the best thing would be to stay away from them. Simply because the consumers end up getting confused. When you have high profile celebrities such as Alia Bhatt, people tend to remember the celebrity and the actor/actress rather than the brand in question and it can be counter-productive. They may not be able to associate a brand with their face since they endorse multiple brands (albeit in different categories).”
Sridhar thinks that despite a lot of clutter in this space, people are shopping around quite actively when they’re looking for places to go on holiday and hotels to stay at while they’re there. "I think they have a consideration set of three to four brands that they’re looking at and they transact with whoever gives them the best deal. From that perspective, what OYO is trying to do is tell customers not to go for the brand with the biggest discount. It’s an interesting strategy because they’re taking on more than one player in the market and highlighting the problems they tend to face. OYO is looking at all segments and not just a strategy against one or two players in the market," he notes.