Case Study: How OYO drove Brand Awareness amidst family travellers through storytelling campaign

OYO Campaign Case Study

This Case Study explores what went behind the scenes of the OYO campaign with multiple videos featuring Kalki Koechlin, Kunal Kapoor, and the infamous ‘Assi Reach Gaye’ kid. For each video, the brand created a dedicated media plan – focused on driving views among relevant audience.

The Case Study of the OYO campaign includes insights into conceptualization and execution, along with statistics on the results garnered.

Category Introduction

As of 2019, it is estimated that there were on an average 54 million short-stay storefronts globally. Out of these, only ~10% of storefronts are organized under traditional brands. From 2015 to 2019, the total short-stay accommodation market grew at 7.5% CAGR to reach around 1.3 Tn USD in 2019. While the industry dipped in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is projected to revive back and reach US$ 1.1 trillion in 2021. Going forward, the industry is projected to grow at 6.6% CAGR from 2021 to 2030 to reach US$ 1.9 trillion in 2030.

Brand Introduction

OYO is a technology platform in the hospitality ecosystem, on a mission to build technology products and revenue management services of choice for hotel and home entrepreneurs. These Patrons (hotel and homeowners) then help provide accommodation of choice to our guests around the world.

The OYO Customer App is the third most downloaded travel mobile app globally with and most downloaded in Asia, in 2020 (as per Sensor Tower). The objective of social media has been to drive consideration amongst premium and family travelers by amplifying the renewed brand positioning. 

Summary

OYO recently launched a multi-film campaign that featured several actors such as Gul Panag, Kalki Koechlin, Chitrangada Singh, and Kunal Kapoor, who brought to life the many day-to-day stories of travelers. Over the pandemic, travelers not just in India but across the world have adapted and evolved their travel habits and preferences. Travelers now place higher trust and confidence in brands that provide flexibility and personalization.

With this insight at the heart of its campaign, OYO aimed to spread awareness about the key features on the OYO App such as ‘nearby stays’, ‘easy cancellation’, and ‘search the view’ through campaign films across all OTT platforms, TV and Social media.

Problem Statement/Objective

OYO is trying to expand its audience and remain top of mind when customers plan to travel again by driving consideration and changing/creating a perception about the brand that OYO has evolved into. The brand has been in Indian the market for nine years and has built a budget-friendly reputation and is widely associated with young people and the SMB sales force, the core cohorts that drive business.

Until 2019, it focussed on a ‘property’ centered narrative; showcasing the room/hotel and amenities played a prominent part in the communication. While the brand is ubiquitous and the awareness levels are high, they do fall in the consideration set of families, leisure trips, and premium travelers.

Brief

The campaign was undertaken by OYO’s Global Brand team. The team was given the following consideration to keep while developing the campaign

Position OYO for evolved travellers and city dwellers

OYO is a global brand, which believes that everyone should evolve in their life. In relationships, in careers, in peace of mind, in time well spent. The narrative developed had to reflect our global positioning and the evolution of OYO’s customers, Patrons (our hotel/homeowner partners), and the evolution of OYO into the global tech-hospitality brand.

Create the correct association about OYO

Across our customer calls last year, OYO realised how little the audience knew about the brand. So the customer calls guided to inform people about the OYO they must know. But, unfortunately, even what they knew about the brand was either incorrect or highly polluted.

The brand made a conscious shift to position OYO as a tech-forward, aspirational, premium brand that appeals to various sections of society.  

This finding meant the OYO app had to be kept at the core of the campaign.

  • An app that enables you to find an OYO right next door, wherever you may be. It also showcases the ubiquity of the brand
  • An app that enables you to change plans and live flexibly. Reflecting the demands of travellers today, given unpredictability in the new normal
  • An app that enables you to search for quality choices easily

The brand wanted to use this opportunity to expand the audience and remain top of mind when customers plan to travel again; From the start, it was clear that the campaign must help widen the pool that currently considers OYO to drive higher demand and supply. In India, this segment was identified as the family and premium segment of customers, which must add to the current OYO customer funnel. 

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

Creative Idea

OYO has distinct use cases of people taking a pitstop, studying, spending the night after a party, or just staying back at an OYO after a late night at work. So, with this idea, the brand talked about the various audiences who own it already and reach out to even further audiences, in terms of families.

OYO makes things easy and simple which ties the different real-life stories of today’s evolved, Indian travelers – To bring the idea to life and reflect on the consideration that was set out, the brand did the following:

  • The cast. A set of recognized actors with purposeful, powerful women leading the way. And as cute as a button, restless boy. Explicitly picked to reflect the brand positioning and add virality to the stories
  • Gorgeous settings and aspirational elements were picked. Golf courses, lakes, upscale SUVs. Styling and imagery that reflects OYO’s global presence
  • Product at the heart of storytelling. The brand was selling the App and not a specific property. It amplified features visually to drive love and attention towards the tech that enables our customers to step out without a second thought every single day. 
  • The film’s original score integrates OYO in a quirky, contemporary way

Execution

Today, consumers follow specific content, series, or Live events. Therefore, OYO did not just play the usual reach and frequency game but instead focused on marquee media properties: 

  • Ensuring high reach by being present on top Live sporting events; The brand released all 3 films during the India Vs South Africa ODI’s and India Vs West Indies, but only the “Kalki & Golf’ film during the Australian Open – Ladies and Men’s finals. The intent is to customize programming as per the audience.
  • Ensuring high relatability with marquee media property choices, OYO aired the ‘Kalki’ and ‘Golf’ films during shows like Shark Tank & Kapil Sharma but only ‘Assi Reach Gaye” during family-oriented shows like Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
  • Ensuring the corporate and investor community take notice by capitalizing on national topics such as government televised conferences (India’s Federal Budget announcement for fiscal 2022).

Social media was used to drive reach and virality to the campaign by:

  1. Pre-identified critical elements from the stories that can drive stickiness and narrative; The cute kid and the phrase ‘Assi Reach Gaye’ (are we there yet?) the actor and expression in ‘Kalki’ and the outfit from the ‘Golf’ film – these moments were highlighted through short form content.
  2. Created an amplification plan for each story; Like the custom made media plan, each film was launched and amplified separately starting 19th January with “Assi Reach Gaye”, followed by Kalki film on 23rd January and finally Golf on 28th January.
  3. Sustained campaign on social media. Over and above the strategic placements, OYO ensured that it hyped the stories via social handles to drive up organic chatter.
    ⦁ The incorrigible Kukki (the restless kid from the film) took over the OYO Twitter handle on 21st Jan and immediately got spoken about.
    ⦁ OYO made its own emojis – the Assi Reach Gaye and the Kalkimoji packs
    ⦁ Brand Banter with new-age companies such as Uber, Urban Company, Gaana, Swiggy, Boat, and Flipkart was executed
  4. CGO’s LinkedIn profile was made and immediately got flooded by connections. So, much so that LinkedIn had to pause ‘new connections’ for this profile.

Results

Quantitative

  • Trended at #1 on Twitter with #KalkiKalDekhenge and #2 with #AssiReachGaye and #LooksGoodOnYou with over 15000+ tweets.
  • Kukki Twitter Takeover: In less than 5 hours the brand added 700 followers, had 40K profile visits, 675K impressions and 50K+ engaged users
  • Correct pronunciation of ‘Kalki’ was saved by over 1000+ users and was shared over 6000+ times.
  • 300+ Memes, a comic book and a music video were created organically (UGC), some of them landed on the front page of a national daily

-Positive Buzz around the brand was at its highest in the last 2 years during the campaign period according to YouGov Brand Index 

Qualitative

The brand trended on Twitter every day it released the film on social media. #1 with #KalkiKalDekhenge and #2 with #AssiReachGaye and #LooksGoodOnYou. Comic strips, memes and content creators picked up on the campaign and added their own spin to it. 

CMO Quotes

Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand, OYO

We realized we have several use cases right from travelers who take road trips and may need to make a pit stop on the way since it’s too dark to drive out, or a couple who needed to check into a room but really, they’re going in there to squabble because they can’t scream at each other at home. With an OYO virtually around every corner of India, we have unique use cases of people studying, spending the night after a party, or just staying back at an OYO after a late night at work. So, with this campaign, we’re trying to talk about the various audiences who own us already, and reach out to even further audiences, in terms of families and so on. In one way, it is reflective of usage already and in another way, we want to add more to that pool. The OYO App is the hero here and we tie it all together with different real-life stories of today’s evolved Indian travellers. That’s one of the reasons why these films connected so well with our audiences.”


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