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Industry Speak

Rahul Pansare

Head of Marketing & PR
FCA India Automobiles

OOH in India has a lot of offer

"I am optimistic that new formats and innovations will make outdoors a preferred choice for marketers."
July, 2018

OOH is a proven platform for brands to reach out to their target groups. Jeep India has recently opted for India's largest outdoor media installation for the promotion of its iconic Compass on one of the busiest national highways of India that connects two major cities, Mumbai and Pune.

Rahul Pansare, Head of Marketing & PR, FCA India Automobiles, talks about the brand's view of OOH and shares his particular views on the efficacy of the medium in an interview to allaboutoutdoor.

Excerpts from the interview are as follows:

Jeep India recently went big with India's largest outdoor media installation for their iconic Compass. Has this medium delivered as per your expectations?

The Jeep installation done on the Mumbai-Pune expressway has become a landmark now. Our objective was to do something out of the box rather than traditional flex on frame billboards. Brand Jeep is known for its capability and the true spirit of adventure - our attempt is to have these values reflect in everything that we do. The Jeep landmark OOH on the expressway is a reflection of what the Brand stands for. The project has delivered more than what we expected. More than media exposure what's important for me is interactions Jeep fans are having about this installations. We have received many positive comments from Jeep owners and fans about the installation. It's amazing to see people taking selfies against this backdrop and sharing with us.

Is this an attempt to lure gearhead consumers?

The initiative is for everyone who loves adventure and appreciates out-of-the-box thinking. I would dedicate this to all the brand Jeep fans and Jeep customers. Its only because of them today Jeep is the most awarded & loved SUV in India. It's been only one year and we have more than 25,000 happy customer enjoying the Jeep life.

What was the brief given to the agency for this campaign?

The brief was simple "Don't do usual Stuff". Let's do something that will be admired, talked about and shared. Jeep is an experiential brand which enables people to do things they always wished to do. So the challenge given to the team was to come up with ideas on how we can demonstrate these brand values. Post rejecting multiple proposals of doing standard billboards of size 40x20 or 20x20, we selected this amazing site on the Mumbai Pune expressway. The task was challenging and it required to move heavy metal sheets and equipment's up the small mountain. What the team has achieved within the limited time is phenomenal.

How challenging will it be to make space for the product in the cluttered automobile space?

Going forward into 2019-20 the customers will have even more choices than what they have today. So the clutter is going to get thicker. There are multiple factors that impact the automobile industry and influence the buying decisions. So a car manufacture needs to focus on everything that helps in selling more cars.  However, I strongly believe good engineering and superior product will always have its exclusive space in the automobile market.

Are we likely to see a regular and larger presence of your brand in the outdoors in the coming times?

The media space is getting cluttered day by day and the media consumption patterns are rapidly changing. Out of home space in India has a lot of offer, it has a lot of scope for innovations. I am optimistic that new formats and innovations will make outdoors a preferred choice for marketers. For Jeep brand, I will say we have just started. A lot more is yet to come.

How does this domain compare with print and television?

Every medium has its role to play. While TV is an audio visual medium and print reaches your doorstep every morning, It will be unfair to compare outdoor to any other mediums. As a marketer I would try to make best use of every medium to communicate the brand message.

How different is your brand and marketing approach in India as compared to other markets? What is unique about the Indian market?

Jeep is global SUV brand, born in America. We are aligned with the global positioning when it comes to brand Jeep communication. However, initially the challenges in India were bit different compared to other markets. In India, Jeep is a generic name for any SUV type vehicle. Even today we see tollbooths where Jeep is mentioned as vehicle type. We have crossed that bridge now, today brand Jeep is well known to our customers and prospective buyers. Compass is well accepted by the Indian customers and awarded by the best auto magazines as Car of the year.

The outdoor industry doesn't have a common currency. As a marketer, how much does this worry you?

It does worry me from a ROI perspective. It's difficult to draw conclusions based on the data that is available. Hence the dependence on innovation and out of the box ideas. By doing things differently you know you are catching the eyeballs. As said earlier out of home in India has a lot to offer and needs strong metrics to support investment decisions.

What is your observation on digital OOH in India?

Its high time digital OOH takes over the traditional OOH formats. Digital gives much for flexibility and is more dynamic in its appearance. Today the digitalisation in OOH is limited to using led lights and cut-outs on standard billboards. The Global OOH formats must now come to India and give marketers better opportunities to explore this medium.

What are the changes that you would like to see in the Indian OOH space for you to consider a higher outdoor spend?

I think OOH advertising needs to reinvent itself and rethink its relevance in today media scenario. Today content being the king, be it on social media or TV, OOH is the only medium which is static and not content driven. Its sheer strength is its size and impact followed by the real estate. Knowing its strengths, OOH space needs to now connect with the audience through technology and innovation. Digital billboards must now be made available and new mentoring systems must be introduced. Infrastructure in tire II towns is still poor. I think both, the service providers and local authorities must work together to make OOH the next big opportunity.


Interview by: Aarti Pahwa

Tags :  Rahul Pansare FCA India Automobiles OOH


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