As startups have mushroomed across India, it’s become increasingly hard for them to get noticed. With consumers often having multitudes of options to choose from for the same service, it’s not easy for companies to stand out. That’s when brands start getting creative.
If you walk down the Hitech City Road in Hyderabad, a popular hub with the young IT crowd thanks to the offices of Google, Deloitte and TCS in close proximity, you’re greeted by a sight that’s familiar on all roads in India. The sides of the road are brightly lit with hoardings that scream out persuasive brand messages, all lined up and vying for your attention.
But some of these hoardings are not like the rest. Because they move.
Strapped on the backs of wiry a wiry young man, this hoarding follows the traffic where it goes. Battery powered and surprisingly light (we tried it on), it turns out to be an efficient way for companies to advertise. Groups of agents are stationed at busy streets during rush hours, and they also hand out pamphlets out to curious onlookers they invariably attract.
A more sophisticated model of this digital signage idea is the cycle version. It has a large hoarding affixed to a cycle, and agents take their cycles to busy spots and park strategically. These agents also get into conversations with interested pedestrians, and act as evangelists for the brands they promote.
These mobile hoardings save the company the fixed costs associated with booking hoardings at high fixed rates. Companies can now run burst campaigns and only pay their workers hourly wages for being out at high-visibility peak times. In addition to that, these hoardings manage to turn heads and generate buzz wherever they go. While Indian startups are often accused of not being innovative and original, as far as marketing goes, they sure seem to be thinking outside the box.