Exclusive: Outdoor advertising helps in the recall of the brand canvas – Saikrishna Gajavelly, Founder and Chairman at Mera Hoardings

Gajavelly revealed bewitching details about Mera Hoardings' relationship with LLC.

The leading Indian programmatic online marketplace for outdoor advertising, Mera Hoardings, signed a fruitful association with the T20 competition, Legends League Cricket 2022, earlier this month.

In this collaboration, Mera Hoardings has been named the official outdoor partner by the competition for the ongoing season.

Ashley Nurse posing for a picture with Saikrishna Gajavelly

SportsMint Media got in touch with the Founder and Chairman at Mera Hoardings, Mr. Saikrishna Gajavelly, who mentioned that outdoor advertising helps in the recall of the brand canvas. Gajavelly also revealed a few more bewitching details about Mera Hoardings’ relationship with the Legends League Cricket:

What was the thought process behind associating with Legends League Cricket, which is a relatively new competition?

The word revolution and passion is a bit overused these days, but it’s fair to say that the possibilities explored by Mera Hoardings, and sports outdoor campaigns are far-reaching and are close to the heart. Legends League Cricket is a great concept and it’s a great opportunity provided to retired cricketers across the world. Last year we approached them, but due to the Covid, the first season was held in Oman.

Legends League Cricket has been very welcoming and supportive to us, so the entire onboarding process was a very smooth journey. Mera Hoardings is the only outdoor advertising company that plans the Pan India campaign for every cricket exploration with a strong sports industry portfolio and experience working with similar sports like Road Safety World Series. Hence, it was a win-win situation and we both were equally excited to bring on board an outstanding sports media plan which helped us crack this deal. More specifically, the league’s outdoor campaign will work to increase participation, crowd-pulling, engagement, and revenue via ticketing.

What complications did you face while landing a deal with the Legends League Cricket?

This season LLCT20 is from September 16th to October 5th, this is the most crucial time for the outdoor advertising market due to Durga Puja, Navaratri, and Dussehra festivals, all the top brands have occupied big formats and major spaces across cities.

Nevertheless, we were on-boarded a week after the league meticulously finished the media plan, creative, installation, and execution within 3 days. We took a challenge to execute the pan India campaign within two days but delay due to heavy rains in some cities the campaign executions in the 10 states took 3 days, our campaign covered all metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai and also covered the season’s venues like Kolkata, Lucknow, Cuttack, New Delhi and Jodhpur.

What are your expectations from this collaboration?

India is a land of diverse cultures and varied ethnicities. Well, that’s a cliche statement that we have heard for so long. But there is a sport, Cricket, imbued in the nerves of the Indians which brings them all together. Due to Covid, the IPL and other major leagues were held in Dubai, Oman, and other places; now after 2 years, cricket fans are eagerly waiting for cricket leagues to enjoy live matches at their home stadium.

As an outdoor media partner, it’s our role to convey league canvas, dates, and ticketing booking information to connect every cricket fan through unique out-of-home formats. Our main motto is to pull the crowd to stadiums through the Mera Hoardings brand engagements across the league. This time we are also using digital screens DOOH to play live score updates and highlights, thus, through this collaboration, we expect to bring connect and create buzz for the league.

Is outdoor advertising losing its relevance amid the prodigious growth of digital marketing/advertising?

No, It’s not, I’m into this industry for the last 15 years, I have participated in many brands and sports pan India promotions and I did a lot of R&D in campaign analysis; as part of my knowledge there are no math principles which apply to advertising engagements, sometimes roadside pasting paper gives more mileage than the big hoarding, or a small format of road medians gives more viewership than a TVC ad. One simple movie wall pasting poster at traffic signals will give more brand recall than digital campaigns. So, we can’t predict and judge which promotional activity or media formats works or doesn’t. In this busy work life, most people travel to work at early hours and reach back home at late night and all through their commute the most time is spent on the road, where the outdoor advertising is put. Digital marketing helps in the engagement of the campaign, but outdoor advertising helps in the recall of the brand canvas. The biggest advantage of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising in sporting events is that it gives people a chance to experience the events even though they are not at the venue.

However, most OOH campaigns tend to be reminders of the events themselves and aid brand recollection more than anything else. So, there is no comparison between digital and outdoor. All the brands have to do print, radio, outdoor and digital accordingly to get the perfect reach of the campaign. Our campaign is executed not only in static outdoor formats; we have added Digital screens (DOOH) in apartments, malls, multiplex theatres, railway stations, and supermarkets across India. We have to cover 360-degree formats then only we will get the ultimate reach of any advertising campaign.

Legends League Cricket and Road Safety World Series started within one week, why did Mera Hoardings choose the former?

Last year we were the official outdoor media partner to the Road Safety World Series and we did the pan India outdoor campaigns for them. This year also they approached us for an outdoor campaign and at the same time, we landed a partnership with the Legends League Cricket. So first we are hosting an LLC campaign and later doing outdoor in Raipur for RSWS finals matches. Frankly, I have to say one thing LLC team has more vision and they are spending budgets for promotions whereas RSWS is not much keen on advertising. Moreover, LLC league matches are happening in big cities like Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, and other major cities, and in these cities, the league must conduct an outdoor campaign; hence, we first chose this league.

Does Legends League Cricket have the potential of having IPL-type growth in the coming years?

Yes, of course, when I completed my MBA in 2008, the IPL started, and we know now how it is cracking the world market today. After retirement, many potential people like MS Dhoni and other top players will join the league, and more teams also are added to this league. I attended Kolkata matches, and the LLC received a tremendous response both from the in-stadium audience and TV ratings.

They got massive TV ratings for the first match which is five times higher than last season and also retained the position of being the second-most watched T20 league in India after the IPL. The LLC also crossed six hundred million, digital footprint wise. This indication is enough to explain the scope of the league, and truly soon enough it will be the most popular league of former cricketers across the world.

How Legends League Cricket will be beneficial from its association with Mera Hoardings?

Mera Hoardings, the official outdoor media partner of Legends Cricket league, had struck a chord with the city residents making them all excited and geared up for the ongoing competition. Mera Hoardings have rolled out a massive OOH campaign across metro cities inviting the fans of the former cricketers. LLC’s second season has come with several changes in terms of billboard treatment, campaign scale, and the level of excitement.

Mera Hoardings have been involved in entire league campaign planning and especially designed several OOH advertising marquee initiatives to celebrate the success and the vigour of the Legends Cricket League. The outdoor agency has riveted the “BOSSLOGONKAGAME” tagline with the fervour, rage, and passion of the legends team captions with our legendary “Amitabh Bachchan” by deploying large-format OOH advertisements across India. Mera hoardings are the only company involved in the entire advertisement campaign plan which meets the league’s overall budget requirements.

What is the significance of outdoor media for a sports league?

Cricket leagues have evolved into various formats viz. T20, ODI, IPL, and now it’s Legends Cricket League. The IPL cannot be described in one word, each season can be distinguished by its music anthem and the advertising is done around the cities, be it in the forms of hoardings, billboards, and LED screens. Those catchy tag lines splashed on the hoardings with the portraits of the players gruelling on the canvas serve as a war cry for the cricket enthusiasts!!! The biggest advantage of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising in sporting events is that it gives people a chance to experience the events even though they are not at the venue themselves. However, most OOH campaigns tend to be reminders of the events themselves and aid brand recollection more than anything else. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best time for brands to capture the attention of their target audience, by piggybacking on the content that these sporting events produce.

As per my personal view “sports attract people across all age groups, genders, and languages; players’ stunning images, taglines and the colourful canvas of the Billboards significantly create a huge emotion towards to develop a buzz around the sport, resulting in tickets sales in venue cities and increased viewership in non-event venue cities”.

Will the company look to further extend its partnership for the next season as well?

Yes, of course, we built a strong relationship with the entire team of LLC, we are pulling some brand sponsorships and would be involved in every stage of the entire league from next

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