OYO’s ‘Hockey’ print campaign is winning the internet; there’s a lot more in store, says its head of global brand Mayur Hola

  • As IPL warms up, more and more brands will start coming up with campaigns to grab the attention of the league’s audience.
  • During such a time, it is a pleasant surprise to see a brand swim against the tides and come up with a campaign talking about a sport other than cricket.
  • Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand, OYO Hotels & Homes tells us more about the campaign and about why the brand keeps using Print.

For the past week, cricket has been ruling our minds and our screens. There has been a bombardment of campaigns that are aimed at grabbing the eyeballs during Indian Premier League (IPL) and brands, like every other year, are going all out. Therefore, it came as a good surprise when we came across a Print ad by Oyo, not talking about cricket, but about Hockey.

These few months that IPL is on, most other sports are completely neglected. Brands and consumers alike forget about the existence of any other sport, which is why it was a surprise, and a really good one, to see this ad from Oyo, just as IPL is starting to warm up.

The text and the message in the creative is pretty simple. “While the nation ODs on T20 cricket for the next few weeks, most other sports are destined to stay buried under run rates, slower ones and free hits. There’s just one thing we all might love more. A great discount. So here’s one. Go to the OYO app, apply the coupon code ‘HOCKEY’ while paying for a safe and sanitized room and you’ll get a flat 45% off. Why Hockey? Team India is playing Olympics champions Argentina in Argentina. And they have got off to a great start by winning the first two matches. That’s it, that’s the update. Hopefully we all remember this sport just a bit more now. 45% more maybe?’

What makes the ad great is, it is not being preachy, telling you that you should give equal importance to other sports. It’s a great example of why long-copies, when smartly done, are still effective. The messaging is clear and it hooks you, with the smart use of a cricket ball at the top of the creative and the use of the word ‘Hockey’ as the header.

The ad was noticed, and appreciated by many on Twitter.

We caught up with Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand, OYO Hotels & Homes to understand what it is they were wanting to achieve through the campaign and realized its part of a much bigger campaign. “As someone recently pointed out, many people don’t even remember this is an Olympics year. There are a lot of sportspersons out there putting in a lot of effort. Our Hockey team is in Argentina and they are playing the best teams in the world. Even our wrestlers are doing that. So, we thought it is important that people talk about sports other than cricket. So it is Hockey to begin with. During the seven weeks of IPL, you will find us covering seven sports, which we believe, needs our support for various reasons. As a nation, we can cheer for more than one sport,” he said.

What was interesting is the fact that the brand chose Print as a medium. Considering it’s a digital platform and a lot of its users are young, and more tech savvy, we asked Hola about his choice of medium for the campaign. He said, “A lot of the times, when brands want to put out a reassuring message, Print becomes an important medium. The medium has worked well for us in the past too. And when a print campaign takes off, like it did today, it covers a wide spectrum of our audience. Let’s face it: today we have two different sets of audiences, the ones who consume print, and the ones who don’t. OYO is a brand that is used by people who go to work, equally it’s used by young people who perhaps don’t even read the newspaper. That’s why we find print such an interesting medium as opposed to say social media. Social media helps us reach our bang-on audience really well but print helps us reach out to a much wider audience. So when we use Print, our intent always is either to make an impact, or come up with reassuring communication, be counterintuitive, as we are today, with people who will pick up the paper, and then hope as well as plan, to make it jump off from paper to pixels, which then means that our younger audience also consumed it. Paper to pixels is always our intent with Print.”

Here’s to more such thoughtful campaigns and the effective use of Print!

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