OYO YouTube Strategy: Mayur Hola on nurturing campaigns, sentiments & consumer relations

Mayur Hola OYO

Head of Global Brand at OYO, Mayur Hola, takes us through the brand’s YouTube strategy and how they leverage popular sentiments to deepen brand recall.

Promising safe spaces to young love and comfort to those with baggage, OYO has been able to create a niche for itself. YouTube content and strategy plays an important role in the brand-building efforts at OYO. They often redirect users on other platforms to check their YouTube content — it helps them better their RoI prospects as the production value of these videos is pretty significant, making them good assets to be leveraged across digital. In a candid conversation about their YouTube strategy, Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand, OYO tells us about the year that went by and the one that’s yet to come.

Could you briefly tell us about OYO’s YouTube marketing strategy?

YouTube is a pretty interesting channel for OYO in particular. This is a channel that sees masses of the content generated on our behalf, we’re a brand that is part of pop culture. So we have to observe that constantly and see how it impacts our perception. It’s a tricky one as we find that YT allows people to use our brand name and logo far too freely while it protects copyrights on songs and movies quite aggressively. It is a bit strange and questionable, really. But as such, it’s a continuous process of monitoring, investing in SEO best practices and content curation there. Never a dull moment with the platform benefitting all the way as it inevitably always will. We focus on our primary objective, however, which is to inform our consumers and position ourselves as a brand.

Could you tell us more about the various video campaigns that were run by OYO in 2020?

What we’ve done is live-streamed our journey through 2020 below to help give a real-time feel of what went down for us on YouTube in 2020. It was pretty eventful!

9th March, 2020. Shutter (not) down.

We’re sitting in the office jamming on what the brand should do, given what’s coming. We have a headstart on being aware of the full impact of Covid-19 as our China operations are impacted significantly. We crack the Namaste film today. Go on to run it worldwide. Emojipedia analysis of 68 million tweets in 2020 tells us that the use of ? goes up by 25% in April 2020.


30th April, 2020. Phew!

We’ve already released a whole bunch of work across geographies. Created a new property called Heroes of OYO, featuring asset owners, our partners who are helping people in need. That’s Live globally as well. We’ve partnered with governments wherever we could to offer quarantine facilities and free stays for medical professionals. We talk about that via the Everyday Heroes film. Through March and April, positive sentiment for OYO in key markets has gone up 4X.


July 1st, 2020. And we’re back!

Fir Badhega India is launched to announce our Sanitised Stays initiative by partnering with Unilever globally. It heralds the coming-back-to-life of India’s economy. We wanted to keep this campaign deep, not laden with the sentiment but bursting with optimism. SS is Live in all geographies with the SEA & the US campaigns ongoing as well.


August 15th, 2020. Flying the coop.

We’re all just done sitting around. Locked up, locked down with our little teacups. All surveys tell us that many of our guests are ready to hit the road. So that’s exactly what we do with RoadTrippin. Yes, that’s a car on a charpai!


September 1, 2020 Highway back on the plate.

We hook up with our brothers in arms, Rocky and Mayur of ‘Highway On My Plate’ fame and get them back on the road. They eat their way across Rajasthan and stay at some incredible OYOs along the way. Should’ve tagged along with them and eaten some of that amazing food, gah! Some pretty amazing numbers we get as well. These boys are gold. Love them to bits. 


September 26th, 2020. Chal Pahad.

The hills are open and it’s music to our ears. Because when in doubt, chal pahad! This is a continuous stream of videos that we keep releasing in response to the interest we see from our guests in various regions and destinations around India. There are chal beach chalein and chal registaan as well to check out here. All 3 mad fun, by the way.


October 20th, 2020. Suno Sonu ki.

Sonu Sood, the man, the helping hand of India helps us put the word out and reassure our guests with an industry-first service, sanitise before your eyes. We followed this up with Contactless Check-in with Sonu as well.

That was 2020 for us. We rode out the lockdown with some inspiring work and came back strong from it with the help of meaningful action taken and a little help from our friends.

How has 2021 been so far for OYO, concerning video marketing strategies?

2021 has been super so far. We started the year with our leisure film ‘Registaan Jaayo Re’, rolled out our month-long campaign in Feb ‘In a long-term relationship with OYO’ featuring Neena Gupta and released a big multi-region and language campaign, ‘Come to OYO’. We’ve built on the deep relationship our guests have with us, speaking to them in their language with stories they relate to so far and that’s been great for the brand. We’ve focussed on really positioning the brand OYO. 

Registan Jaayo Re campaign showed an incredible spike in booking on the 26th January Weekend. With the ‘In a long term relationship with OYO campaign’ we saw a significant growth of 38% in Daily App Users starting from February 01 till Valentine’s Day and the Organic DAU started an upward trend of around 19%.

Also Read: Decoding: OYO India Social Media Strategy

What are some of the geographies you will be focussing on in 2021 while creating video content?

OYO is a national brand. It is ubiquitous for stays. While a lot of our work before has been North focussed, this year we’ve consciously expanded our communication to be more regional in thought and execution. We aren’t looking to apply a one size fits all approach to the brand and Come to OYO really covers a bunch of geographies across North, South, East & West of India across those 11 films.

What is the significance of influencer marketing for OYO? To what extent, if at all, would it change in 2021?

OYO welcomes everyone, be it a corporate traveller, a local entrepreneur, leisure travellers, young folks looking for privacy and more. We partner with various influencers and celebrities that help us connect with these very diverse groups and individuals. For us, Rocky & Mayur fit like a glove, they are hearty, unassuming, happy-go-lucky, and indeed for everyone. Sonu Sood’s unparalleled contributions towards society are just so amazing. And who doesn’t relate to Neena Gupta! We leveraged Neena’s personality to build affection and likability among all segments of travellers, own relationships of all kinds and let them know OYO stands for them all.

All of these high-impact associations have helped us build higher consideration, trust and loyalty for our brand. Today, 90% of our consumer base are repeat users. That simply means that our customers are in a long-term relationship with us and loyal to us. We’ll continue to expand these associations to reflect the wide audience we represent and host.

When it comes to video-led campaigns, how do you measure RoI and sentiments?

Video-led content’s ROI is typically measured on Reach and Frequency and we play on both. By industry standard, we usually plan for 4+ Frequency. Even with video content, one of the biggest markers for us is directing traffic to our pages, as such traffic is another marker we keep an eye out for. Engagement with the high VTRs (not relying on non-skippable) also encapsulated the sentiment for the content and brand.


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