afaqs! news bureau

Stay in or go out? Ponders part 2 of OYO's new ad campaign

The second ad in the campaign #YeRishtaHaiKhiska is out, featuring actress Neena Gupta and lyricist/writer Swanand Kirkire.

On your first date, you may wear your prettiest dress, your highest heels, and your most expensive perfume. But on your 450th date? Maybe not.

OYO, the leading hospitality brand, has released the second spot in its four-ad series. The first ad was released before Valentine’s Day as a part of a campaign called #YeRishtaHaiKhiska, and featuring actress Neena Gupta and lyricist/writer Swanand Kirkire.

The campaign focuses on the long-term relationship between the two protagonists (played by Gupta and Kirkire), and how dating may look a little different after a long life of being happily married to the same person.

As the ad plays out, we see Gupta (playing the wife) snug under the covers as Kirkire (playing the husband) asks her what happened to their candlelight dinner plans. She lights a candle and hands him a menu (all without leaving the bed) and pulls the covers over herself yet again. Kirkire has a smile on his face as he starts going over the menu – considering he knows his partner all too well and the evening is going to be spent in the comfort of their OYO room.

The first ad film in this campaign is a pun on familiarity, with Gupta asking Kirkire if he was 'bored' of staying in the same hotel room, in the same location, at the same time every year, with the same person.

Both the concept of the campaign and the script of the films were written by OYO’s in-house global brand team, with support from Oink Films on production.

Commenting on OYO’s data-driven approach towards its campaign, Yatish Jain, chief growth officer, OYO Hotels & Homes, India & South Asia, said in a press statement, “As the world’s largest technology-led hospitality chain, data runs deep through OYO’s DNA. We believe that speaking with our consumers directly and understanding them better will enable us to provide the best guest experiences as well as ensure sustainable growth in the long-term for OYO. This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to cut through the clutter, launch a campaign that speaks to our target audience by connecting at a personal level."

"Once our data showcased that women were the key decision-makers, we sat with a problem statement – How to increase consideration amongst women but, at the same time, appeal to all our other existing and potential consumers. And the creative answer to this was simple, yet impactful – ‘Long-term relationship with OYO’ represented by a strong female protagonist – Neena Gupta, the metaphorical play on relationships and that all are welcome at OYO. We hope our consumers resonate with this campaign.”

Speaking on the campaign, Mayur Hola, head of global brand, OYO Hotels & Homes, said, “All of us who've been in a relationship know that we rely on women to make all the decisions. They just make better decisions. When we chatted 1:1 with our guests, women in particular, the same pattern applied to the room booking decision.”

“This campaign simply and charmingly reflects that reality. Whether it is the same hotel and room that we see a high repeat usage of from our guests or, indeed, a bathing suit being picked or the decision to step out, Neena takes all the calls. As it is in real life, as it should be.”

“OYO is for everyone. Through this campaign, we want everyone to feel welcome at OYO, whether it is a family, groups of friends, a local entrepreneur travelling for business, or even corporate travellers. This campaign isn’t just about couples. It's about relationships in general. By leveraging a personality like Neena, we're looking to build affection and likability among all segments of travellers, own relationships of all kinds and let them know OYO stands for them all,” added Hola.

OYO has also been using Gupta in a series of social media posts (in the context of Valentine's Day).

The brand also used the couple to make a reference to music composer Yashraj Mukhate's new viral hit 'Pawri Ho Rahi hai'. In the song, a young Pakistani woman is seen misproununcing the word 'party', while making a video.

In light of the COVID pandemic, there are fears and concerns around travel. So, it seems logical that people would want to choose the hotels that they’ve visited and can trust, than to take a risk and stay at an unverified place.

In a bid to reassure customers of the safety protocols followed, OYO, last year (2020), announced a tie-up with consumer goods giant Unilever, wherein the former would use the latter’s home and personal hygiene brands to clean and disinfect its properties.

This partnership was meant for the OYO’s ‘Sanitised Stays’ initiative. The properties that clear background checks for sanitisation, hygiene and protective equipment can use this tag. In November last year, OYO also rolled out ‘Contactless Check-in’, where guests can choose to check-in from anywhere using the OYO app and, therefore, eliminate the need for a physical check-in upon arrival.