Sohini Sen

OAC 2015: 'Marrying OOH and social will get brands results'

Rajat Mehta, YES Bank; Jasneet Bachal, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Anand Dubey, IndusInd Bank, discussed how the banking industry is using OOH to connect with consumers further, on day one of OAC 2015.

Day one of the two-day-long Outdoor Advertising Convention (OAC) 2015 saw a large number of media owners, brand marketers as well as industry experts in attendance in Mumbai's Renaissance Convention Centre. While the day was packed with several talks, discussions and contests, it was the finale - a panel discussion by the banking industry - that stole the limelight.

The discussion 'Banking on OOH' was chaired by Rajiv Raghunath, managing editor, Outdoor Asia. The panel comprised Rajat Mehta, president and country head, brand, digital and retail marketing, YES Bank; Jasneet Bachal, senior vice president - group marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Anand Dubey, vice president, marketing, IndusInd Bank.

OAC 2015: 'Marrying OOH and social will get brands results'
Banking, Raghunath said, is the fastest growing sector because disposable incomes have been rising, not just in the urban metros, but also in mini-metros and even rural towns. Banks themselves are offering a range of services and financial products, he noted. When consumers are moving fast, what must banks do to step up their communication?

According to Mehta, new digital and social are impacting a brand manager's decision making. Mehta was of the opinion that OOH and digital must come together to build greater consumer connect. He explained this through several case studies.

He cited the example of Pepsi's 'Like Machine' campaign, in which the brand put up a vending machine which asked people to come and like Pepsi's Facebook page, upon which they would be given a free can of Pepsi. This, he remarked, was a fine example of marrying digital and social, which "creates shareability and virality."

Mehta also shared that, while the ad spend on OOH has been growing at a steady five to six per cent, digital's growth rate has been a massive 30 per cent. Earlier, brand managers used to plan the life of a campaign around TV, radio, print and OOH, now there is pressure from the boardrooms to see how the brand is integrated digitally, he observed.

Jasneet Bachal used Kotak's recent 'Kona Kona Kotak' campaign to explain her point of view. In agreement with Mehta, she explained how to integrate and leverage the strength of OOH to the brand's advantage. Even though it sounds clichéd, Bachal reiterated that banks are following a 'customer first' approach. "From creation to co-creation is what banks are looking at now," she said.

The touch-points for any OOH activity is crucial, she said, citing the example of Heineken's 'where do you want to go' campaign which asked travellers to cancel their flights and go to a mystery destination on a whim. The brand chose the perfect place - the airport, for the suitable TG - the travelling spirit. Both tied back well to the brand image of being youthful, fun and spontaneous.

Bachal added that while most banking customers use online banking methods now, they still want to see a heavy branch presence. Therefore, for the 'Kona Kona' campaign, the brand put up a message - 'We are here and also there', on runways. Thus, creating not just sales through OOH, but also connecting to the consumer and making him feel a part of the brand.

Anand Dubey emphasised on bringing the brand back to life through the use of OOH. IndusInd Bank's decision to use Gurgaon's Cybercity metro station as a branding opportunity showed exactly how he and his team managed to do that. Incidentally, Cybercity belongs to DLF and thus the co-branding created India's first completely branded metro station.

Campaigns and communication at the station tied the brand back to its services and products. For example, lucky number kiosks reminded passengers about IndusInd Bank's offering of choosing a savings account number of their choice.

According to Dubey, innovation is what excites brands today. And transit media is the next big thing in OOH. Dubey added five more Ps to the existing 5 Ps of marketing (product, place, price, promotion and people). These were passion, pace, perception, presentation and precision. According to him, following these Ps make an OOH campaign truly engaging.

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