Head of Media
Allaboutoutdoor.com interviewed Neel Pandya, Head of Media at L'Oréal India to understand how OOH media has played a major role in accomplishing their goals.
On the media front, what role does outdoor play for Loreal, vis-à-vis other platforms?
L'Oréal India has been advertising across 360-degree media platforms. Outdoor has always been an integral part of marketing activity and plays an important part in MEDIA MIX
In urban India consumers spending 70% of their wake up time Out of Home hence it becomes important to be part of their commute route media visibility. By using out of home media smartly, we have successfully built brands through generating instant awareness and elevating the perception and credibility of a brands.
This medium's strong carry-over effects and "larger than life nature of medium" builds brand imagery and ensure that quick brand awareness levels and leave long lasting effect in consumers mindspace
OOH for us plays an ideal role for instant brand awareness during a new launch of a product or a critical campaign during the year. OOH plays supplementary role with other media in order to build fast reach and impact
What part of your marketing budget is allocated to OOH advertising every year?
We focus our brands visibility on OOH medium in urban India. With diverse brand portfolio within L'Oréal India ((L'Oréal, Garnier, Maybelline), we ensure to use OOH media smartly in communication building. TV continues to be the largest medium for us followed by digital. OOH is tactical and seasonal for impact.
Does it bother you that there is no common audience measurement system yet in the Indian outdoor space? What benchmarks do you consider when planning for this medium?
Indeed, planning for the OOH platform is a challenging task as there is ambiguity on a set currency for ROI measurement. We however try to capture through brand tracking as part of media tracking. While the best part about this medium is it provides brands an opportunity to reach out to TG in a region with minimum spillage and hence it becomes cost effective .Our agency also has proprietary planning tool for the cities we display OOH which give us logic behind every penny spends and it is working for L'Oréal India
Audience layering with Distinct markets & distinct media solutions, we monitor investments relative to strategic locations (eg. Tier I, II, III; SEC A, B, C categories), frequency of advertising (number of media vehicles involved), along with a calculation based upon market size versus city cost.
But there is a big need of third party owned measurement system in this medium which would definitely bring in more spends from advertisers across the categories.
Which markets are most crucial to you in terms of marketing?
For L'Oreal Group Metros followed by 1Million + cities would be the primary target for the brand.
Apart from tapping consumers in urban cities, how would you draw the attention of those in rural India? Do you see OOH as a strong medium to connect with consumers in non-metro cities?
Across non- metro's Television plays important form of given their immense reach & ability to explain complex messages in a simple way. And recently we have observed digital growing rapidly in such areas too. But with small city boundaries OOH plays a next best medium to connect with masses. With less cutter as compared to large metro's this is effective and generated positive response. With a simple innovation added, this medium has power to generate positive communication and buzz about the brand.
Will OOH only serve as a reminder medium?
Yes and No. Outdoor medium is LARGE, BOLD & ON THE FACE communication hence chances of getting missing is rare. With right placement and media selection we focus on audience specific targeting within each city. It is an integral part of Media Mix for us. But at the same time for us it becomes critical as reminder medium nearby our POS like department stores, malls, etc.
How does this domain compare with print and television?
I believe, each medium has its own role to play. Outdoor unlike TV is not a medium which you can turn off or switch a channel, or like Press where you need to turn a leaf to get to the message. But despite this it needs to break the clutter and catch the attention of the consumer. The sheer size and scale allows for it to create impact. With emerging technologies, visually it has improved by leaps and bounds. Also, campaign lead time is shorter as compared to Television & Print as campaign can be up within a short notice timeframe.
In todays fragmented media scenario it is important to look at creating Media Mix and OOH plays important role keeping in mind consumer spends 70% of their wake up time Out of Home
What are the challenges you face with OOH media?
Outdoor is a Ten second medium, hence getting consumers attention on the go is one of the toughest challenge to plan. Hence how to get right OOH creative is one of key thing which we discuss internally. The whole task is to create differentiation hence simplicity of message delivery is one of biggest challenge we face. At Loreal Group our creative partner cracked the creative need for OOH and its working.
What is your take on the efficacy of digital OOH in brand advertising?
I believe, Digital OOH in India is still at a very nascent stage but that could be a great future for OOH industry. With digital India momentum happening across sectors, I believe if incubated well, it has a potential of doing well in the future.
There are also regulatory norms which restrict digital OOH only at airports, malls, cafes, etc but not on street levels. This results in only selective use of digital OOH.
As brands are grappling to track ROI through OOH, what are the changes that you would like to see in the Indian OOH space in coming years?
Change is only thing constant and with evolving trends I believe Indian OOH space needs to evolve too. There are great agencies in market who have made lot of efforts to bring in technology and measurement system to make OOH ROI as an important factor of media planning. However some of the suggestions would be:
•Industry accepted robust system of audience measurement.
•Data mining & insights on changing audience pattern within city
•Technology enhancing visibility
•More CREATIVITY showcasing
Interview by: Aarti Pahwa
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