August 30, 2008

Everyday while driving to work, I get to see huge billboards advertising products and services on the road side. Today, a thought crossed my mind. Isn't the space too big for a brand? Annual lease for such billboards run in lakhs of rupees. Isn't it possible to have more than one brand in one hoarding in such a way that there is one story about two or three brands and not separate stories? It sounds absurd and blasphemous but may be there is some value in this madness.

Why the idea can work?
In a cluttered world, more than anything else brands get noticed by the simple yet engaging story they tell. It is all about the story your brand can tell, with or without the spoken words, in the few seconds of attention a consumer grants to open an opportunity window.

Unlike products stories are not physical. Stories are a communication medium; a kind of bridge between message sender and message receiver. They are all about integration of thoughts and ideas in a coherent way that conveys the intended message. Due to this nature of story, it is very much possible to weave one story on two or more brands without diluting the essence of any of the brands involved. It's all about right synchronization of the story and the participating brands.

The key to such experimentation is the degree of maturity level of respective marketing team and their advertising agency. The higher the level of maturity in understanding their own brand, better their expectation from one another in their marriage on billboards!

How it can work?
For this to become a reality, advertising agencies will have to show guts to experiment. It will not only take a high degree of creativity to execute a campaign but also persuasive powers to bring all the stakeholders together to solemnize the marriage of brands on the billboard. The problem is easier to solve if the advertising agency is common to all brands involved. If different agencies are involved it will become a tough nut to crack and will require a high level of collaboration and check on creative ego!

Absurd as it may sound, my gut feeling says that it can work, not only in outdoor media but, may be, in electronic and print media also if some out-of-the-box thinkers indulge in out-of-the-box creativity. Any takers?