Ambient advertising in regional markets: Hit or miss?

Ambient advertising in regional markets

Sidharth Singh, Co-founder, CupShup pens down the benefits of Ambient advertising in regional markets that make it a hit and how to be effective with it. 

In the book Confessions of an Advertising Man, in stressing the need for repeating the advertisement till it is generating the pull factor for your brand, the great David Ogilvy says that your advertisement is radar and it should keep on sending signals to the receptor. If your ad is for a refrigerator, there are always newly married couples on the block looking to buy a new one. Millions die and millions join the market forces, in turn, every year and if your radar is good, the receptor will keep responding and answering your marketing call.

While I totally agree with the above viewpoint, probably there is a need to revisit the whole communication system, which the father of modern advertising is vouching for, and make few tweaks here and there to make the system more efficient and customized as per our modern advertising needs.

The system is fundamentally strong and behaving as per the basic tenets of advertising. But the numbers of both radars and receptors, i.e., Brands and Consumers respectively has increased many folds since Ogilvy mentioned it in his book more than 60 years ago. The problem lies in the fact that there are far too many types of radar who are trying to reach out to a receptor. And the receptor is tired of receiving and processing various types of signals.  Tell me about the attention span of the millennial!

To make your radar stand out, you need to send different types of the signal which is unique for the receptor to notice as well as strong so that it gets registered.

That’s where Ambient advertising comes handy in getting your brand registered in your consumer’s mind.

Also Read: Sujit Patil decodes Godrej’s experiential marketing strategy with L’Affaire

Write in big fonts and sassy colors about how good your product is and nobody gives a damn, just write few words in black and white just before the movie’s credits roll and you get the attention of the entire audience. (Check out #NeverTrustAClown by Burger King). Yeah, that’s what ambient marketing can do for you.

There are two benefits of Ambient marketing in regional markets that make it a hit and thus every brand should try to include it in its media mix. One of the returns on investment are very high in a regional market as compared to a metro. The reason being the novelty factor associated with such campaigns is easily noticeable and appreciable in a regional market.

Thus chances of an average millennial being awed by a graffiti or life-size installation in a mall or remodeled bus stop is much more than an average counterpart in a metro city that has seen it all previously.

This helps in spreading word of mouth and cementing your brand. When we undertook the cup branding campaign for Sultan movies in cities like Kota, Indore, and Allahabad, the response was fantastic. People went overboard and called on CupShup’s landline number (which was mentioned at the bottom of the cup) to enquire about Salman Khan’s new movie. Similarly, people in Ratlam and Zirakpur were excited to see that they can get a loan from India Shelter, which was advertised on the paper cup.

Secondly, the ease or cost-effectiveness in Tier 2 cities will be much better as compared to metro cities. The regulatory hurdles like permission from the municipality; competitor’s associations etc. can be a challenge in metro cities that can be easily overcome in the regional markets at it is unorganized at that level.  There have been instances of bureaucrats and competitors playing the spoilsport in the execution of what could have been a good Ambient advertising campaign.

For example, the Versova beach cleaning initiative that we undertook for Dunzo on Republic day, we had to take multiple permissions from BMC and other relevant authorities as security aspects need to be taken care of. On the contrary, we found it easy to execute a roadshow for a client in Tier 2 city.

Needless to say that as far as cost is concerned, there is a major upside in Tier 2 as not many radars are trying to send a signal to the receptor through this medium. Thus, it makes sense to capitalize on this and make you heard.

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