It had been a long-winding day of work at the office for Ramesh. There was a crucial strategy that needed to be closed and his team did so in record time. Presenting the same to his management, got him the thumbs-up response. Completely exhilarated, he ordered a round of beverages for his colleagues and broke biscuits in cheers. A workday well spent, he slid the keys into the ignition and started his journey home.
On the way, he kept a lookout for his favourite billboards, a few witty comments here, a competitive nudge there, and colourful visuals everywhere put a smile on his face. Suddenly remembering that he might be low on groceries, the car made a halt at the neighbourhood convenience store.
There, he saw a launch poster of a new product. The combination of impressive content and visual treatment did its trick and the new product became an addition to his shopping cart as he walked down the aisle of the store. Exchanging a few pleasantries with the person standing at the checkout counter, Ramesh packed his items and was well on his way.
What Ramesh probably didn’t know, was that it would be a long time before he could get back to his normal routine again.
Ramesh is an integral part of the audience that has experienced massive changes in their way of life in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. While resources from all ends of the globe tirelessly work towards mitigating this crisis, the advertising world has seen media-spends take a nosedive especially in terms of the Outdoor Advertising strategies or OOH (Out Of Home) as they are popularly known. As the world tilts on the axis of ‘essentials’, finding the right medium for communication has been quite unlike a frog race, where leaps could bring in great gains.
As a brand, it then becomes a task to try and connect with the audiences ‘at home’ and create a lasting impact on them. However, many studies conducted in the past few months have reported that about 62% of consumers would not be appreciative of radio silence coming from the side of brands.
Here are a few avenues that brands can explore as an alternative to Out of Home strategies -
FOCUS ON THE ‘HOME’ IN OUT-OF-HOME
The fluidity of a consumer’s mind can help them create a whole universe while they stay safe behind locked doors. This, as a prospect, can become one that brands all over can leverage. It is an opportune time for them to move away from hardcore selling tactics towards heart-touching talks. Banking on the home aspect could help brands talk about that ‘homely feeling’ and actually go ahead and deliver the same to their audiences. Focussing on the joy, familiarity, safety net and love won’t just welcome brands into the homes but also the hearts of the consumers.
TAKE TO TECHNOLOGY, RESPONSIBLY
Minimal to zero access to high-end cameras, state-of-the-art studios and allied equipment unavailability are sure to be the cause of crease lines on one’s forehead. Which is why it is important for brands to take a moment and fall back on all their brand custodians. These don’t necessarily have to belong to their workforce, they could be the audience itself. Switching to screens is well on its way to becoming a norm with more and more brands taking the chord route to OTT and Cable TV. Taking thorough advantage of user-generated content, bringing in ways of interaction and engagement and consistently taking the route of responsibility when it comes to content dissemination is important.
SET SIGHTS ON THE FUTURE
While brands find creatively enriching ways to deliver their message, it is equally important to stay in the know. Similarly, creating a future-point agenda, when things normalise, which they will; is a smart choice that each brand should be aware of. At the same time, it is important for brands to vocalise their ideas, philosophies and brand voice throughout the world of social media. With platforms sprouting newest features to engage with the audience, the onus is now on brands to make a home in their hearts.
As the world gradually restarts itself by stepping away from the grinding halt, brands must take the position of crusaders. This crusade would be one enriched with emotions, empathy and would pave a way for brands to get to in tune with the audience sentiment as they step out of the home.