Brand News

Can Taproot revive the outdoor medium with these ads?


Through a campaign for the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) titled 'Everything Works Better When It's Outdoor', Taproot attempts to revive the outdoor medium.

In today's technology-oriented world, social media might be growing as a marketing medium, but the power of outdoor marketing cannot be ignored. This is what Taproot points out through its new outdoor campaign for the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA), titled Everything Works Better When It Is Outdoor.

The campaign, which was created by photographer Prashant Godbole, was launched in August during the Outdoor Asia Convention (OAC), an outdoor industry gathering.

To create a pan-India feel, the team chose locations like the Little Rann of Kutch, Wai, Chennai, and Mumbai for the shoot. The campaign aims to utilise the empty spaces left by media owners by putting pictures depicting the central theme -- to show the power of outdoor media. Many media owners have also used these creatives on their site to support the outdoor advertising community. The relevance of outdoor media in the age of the television and the internet, has been conveyed through the pictures, and how it continues to coexist with other marketing media in the country.

Currently, billboards are up in Bengaluru, which will be soon followed by Mumbai and Delhi. Activation has been done strategically, with similarity to the billboard visuals. The campaign will also be promoted across trade magazines.

Commenting on the campaign, Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder, Taproot Dentsu, says, "The idea comes from a simple human behaviour of seeking shared experiences when outdoors. A fact abundantly observed across India, where a TV or radio when kept outdoors, always attracts a large gathering of people. The fact that the power of the outdoor medium transcends regular boundaries and does wonders for other mediums, too, is what has been exploited by the campaign."

Godbole has previously worked with the Taproot team to create the Cannes-Lions winning campaign, Hated by Some, for the Mumbai Mirror. He enjoys working with Padhi and his team mainly because of the creative freedom that he enjoys while working with them. He says, "It's always great working with Padhi. He gives me a lot of freedom, which is basically every photographer's dream. His projects are always strong on idea and challenging, and I really enjoyed shooting this one, especially creating that sense of largeness and space, which implies the sheer scale of the outdoor medium."

Noomi Mehta, chairman, IOAA, says, "It has been observed in the last decade that people have been spending more and more time out-of-home. Unfortunately, OOH (Out-of-Home) in India has not yet capitalised on this insight. It was, therefore, imperative for us to reach out to advertisers and planners through a very powerful advertisement campaign to highlight the strength of the Outdoor medium. We feel this campaign brings out the message loud and clear in a very simple way."

The aim of the campaign is not to demean any other medium. Vasant Jante, director, IOAA, says, "The campaign is not trying to pull down any other medium, it's just highlighting the power of outdoor as a medium, and the fact that today, almost every medium/brand has to be outdoors, if it wants to maximise its reach."

The Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA), a 'not-for-profit' company with limited liability, was set up in September 2007, when OOH companies with national or multi-regional presence came together to promote, protect and advance the rightful interests of outdoor media, outdoor advertising media companies, and associated businesses.

The organisation provides a common platform for the industry to take up issues at various government and non-government forums. Since its inception, IOAA has struggled continuously to address problems faced by the industry and collectively find solutions that are mutually beneficial.

According to Manish Bhatt, founder director, Scarecrow Communications, this particular campaign should not be evaluated from a fixed logic. "There is no fixed logic behind the concept of the campaign since outdoor is not an endangered media, and we all know how important it is as a marketing media. I have seen the first electric bulb, the first television set in my village when I was young and this campaign transports me back to those times," he says.

Bhatt believes that through the black-and-white colour tone and the pictures, the advertiser uses the Indian connect to its advantage. "It is an amazing piece of art, the pure art side of advertising, and what's more, it works in that manner. It will be noted by the audience for sure," says Bhatt.

Rahul daCunha, director and owner, daCunha Communications, the makers of the classic Amul ads, says, "Even today, in the age of technology driven marketing, 80 per cent of the Indian audience still depends on outdoor media. The campaign is brilliant just because of the way it brings back the nostalgia. Through the pictures it shows us what we have really left behind in advertising." daCunha feels that the campaign adheres to what was originally traditional marketing. "It gives me the message through a simple picture, which is what traditional marketing has been. I am sure that this campaign will work since it has used the simplest and the best possible tool to connect with the Indian audience, which is rural India."