OOH & Print still on auto sector’s festive itinerary

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Covid has, however, impacted the share of OOH and Print in the sector’s media plans

With the auto sector embracing the festive season with hopes to come out of the Covid crisis, most players are looking at all mediums and exploring which one would yield the best ROI.

Traditionally, auto has always spent high on Print and Out of Home, particularly during the peak festive season. But with Covid hitting the two mediums hard, are marketers reconsidering their usual domain?

Sharing insights on the strategy for the season, Vivek Srivatsa, Head – Marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, says the brand has been ‘taking a tactical approach’. “We have some presence in print and on billboards as a part of the entire strategy. OOH increases visibility and is very effective for most brands. Brands are slowly and steadily beginning to move towards outdoors and print. We have also been uniformly present across print, OOH and digital mediums through the forum of region relevant communication to attract customers to our dealerships in those areas. This has led to us attaining desired results with the company recording podium finish sales numbers in the passenger vehicles business,”

Echoing similar views was Abbey Thomas, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen India. “OOH was always a part of the media planning and still is. In between, there was no availability of media spaces to communicate because it was taken over by the Covid messages by the completely understandable government. Now the spaces have opened up and we will be completely back on OOH,” he told e4m.

Commenting on Print, he maintained that the sector was bouncing back and has seen a recovery of upto 80% post lockdown. “The print publications were suspended for some time. There was news which was read digitally for some time. Now the circulation is back to normalcy and we have been receiving newspapers at home. I wouldn’t say print is back to 100% as compared to the earlier days but almost 75%-80% circulation is back into normalcy. Therefore, Print and OOH will continue to be a focus for us. It is traditional media and there has been a shift towards digital media platforms. But there is no question about discontinuing from the print sector neither from OOH,” he added.

However, Vijay Kaul,  DGM, Marketing & Communications, Yamaha Motor India Sales, says for now he has decided to wait until the footfall is back. “Both OOH and Print have taken a back seat at this juncture due to the pandemic and other factors (postponement of product launches and cut down on large format ads). But when it comes to brand building for the auto sector, OOH really works and once the footfalls get back to the baseline, we will surely relook from next year onwards,” Kaul noted.

With regards to Print, Kaul said: “Our volume on Print has come down but we have been doing tactical campaign with smart size ad format in critical markets, while also mapping to cities where things have bounced back to normal.”

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Naziya Alvi Rahman

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