Namah Chawla

“Installation marketing is still in its nascent phase in the country”: Hyundai’s Virat Khullar

The automobile company has unveiled a 30-feet-tall ‘namaste’ installation for its ‘Beyond Mobility’ campaign. A chat with the brand’s group marketing head.

Hyundai Motor India recently unveiled a 30 feet tall ‘namaste’ installation near the IGI Airport, New Delhi. The installation comprises of a robotic hand that symbolises technology along with human hand in a wheel representing the role of humans in long term sustainability.

The task of such a brand installation is to grab attention and also explain its purpose to the passerbys within a span of seconds. But in the first glance the installation might appear to be a bit abstract. Speaking to afaqs!, Hyundai’s group marketing head, Virat Khullar shares that the namaste installation has been created after months of shortlisting various options.

“We finally shortlisted it to the simplest form of expression in India. While ‘namaste’ is originally Indian, now it has also become an international greeting especially since the start of the pandemic. While there is no doubt that it stands for our country, any passerby (even a foreigner) at a glance will understand what the installation symbolises,” he adds.

Virat Khullar, Hyundai Motor India
Virat Khullar, Hyundai Motor India

What is nuanced about the installation is a combination of technology and humanity which is related to Hyundai’s brand theme - ‘Beyond Mobility.’ While ‘namaste’, the welcome message and the Hyundai brand can be perceived instantly, the robotic hand with human hand is something that the viewer might understand at the second glance.

But clearly, Hyundai has gone beyond putting a simple car as an installation. Khullar explains that the brand has attempted to put something that will attract the viewer, enhance its brand image and also build a strong connection with the customers.

When asked about the target audience, Khullar says, “This is an expression via an installation to any viewer in that area. Firstly, such installations will be converted into a digital format which will be used across the brand’s social media networks. The brand doesn’t want such an installation only to be localised to the physical viewer and wants to expand it in the virtual world too.”

The campaign is a part of Hyundai India’s brand strategy of ‘beyond mobility’ that was started in October last year. The brand completed the phase-I last year with a large 360 degree multimedia campaign. In 2022, it is in phase II and this is the first installation of the campaign in 2022.

As per Khullar, “Beyond mobility is not a one time activity. It is something that we want to stand for in India and continue over the next few years. So, this installation is part of a much larger plan which includes the work that we have been doing and it will be communicated across all mediums.”

The location of the installation was chosen to be IGI Airport Delhi from a geopolitical point of view. Khullar also informs us that since Hyundai India is headquartered in Gurugram, it was best for the brand to start with the NCR region and depending on how it picks up, move on to other locations across the country.

While a lot of brands are betting big on outdoor static advertising, such installations are rare. These kind of installations especially at prime locations, such as outside an airport come at a premium. Is it worth the cost involved and are the returns justified.

Khullar shares that when compared with regular outdoor advertising, the cost of such an installation is not that high (except the structural cost.) “The multiplier effect on this versus a static outdoor ad is humongous. We are able to create the right buzz within our dealers and customers, which may not have happened by a single billboard.”

“Installation marketing is still in its nascent phase in this country. And they have a massive multiplier effect, which is much more than the construction and site cost of it. So, from an ROI point of view, the traction we have got on the first four days itself justifies the kinds of investments we have done,” he concludes.

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