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All news channels not toxic, says Oyo’s Mayur Hola after taking a dig at them in a print ad

The global brand head of Oyo says he empathises with conversations around rising toxic content on news TV at a personal level, but professionally he doesn’t want to classify all news channels as bad or toxic. He talks about the Oyo print ad featuring Sonu Sood, in which the brand seems to be taking a dig at TV news

A recent page one print ad featuring actor Sonu Sood by hospitality brand Oyo became a topic of discussion on social media as it seemed to be taking a dig at the state of news channels in India and how the medium has become more of entertainment than news.

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Talking about the ad that appeared in the Hindustan Times, Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand at Oyo, told BestMediaInfo.com, “The print ad attracted a lot of attention and was shared around because of Sonu Sood and the context of truth over news as it exists today. But we’re really just looking to deliver our message in as authentic and honest a manner as we can.”

Hola said the ad was a reflection of the climate we live in today. “Our intent is to contrast transparent and visible efforts like those by Sonu Sood and now our attempt is over dubious news wherever it may present itself. As opposed to taking a dig or a boycott call,” he added.

Sharing his views on the debate around rising toxicity on news channels and whether it was right for a few brands to ban advertising on the genre, Hola said, “I don’t think that all news channels are toxic, there can be some content on some channels that we might find toxic. To generalise and label them all as such would be incorrect.”

“I might personally vibe with some of the stuff out there against toxicity, but as I said, I don’t apply that on every piece of content out there,” he added.

Objective of the latest campaign

Talking about the idea and execution of the latest campaign, Hola said, “The idea and execution of the campaign is to assure proper sanitisation of Oyo rooms. After the lockdown, we already initiated conversations on proper sanitising and communicated that with everyone. Consumers are not comfortable with places that don’t have proper sanitising protocol. We felt it's time to march it up again with our campaign so that people start with their travel comfortably.”

“The campaign leads the story on how we are heading for business, keeping the safety and satisfaction of our guests as first priority,” he said.

Hola said the campaign has been kicked off with a print ad but it’s not print-heavy at all. “It's not a print-heavy campaign at all; it was just one ad we led with. The campaign is mostly dominated by digital and social media,” he said.

“We’re not a brand that needs to be on TV too often as most of our core consumers are accessible and responsive via the Oyo app. ATL for us is on the odd occasion really, so this wouldn’t apply to us. We’re active and visible all year round without necessarily being on TV,” he said.

Sharing details of the marketing plan, Hola said, “We will market and communicate our tech-driven initiatives with customers for their best stay experience. There is a lot more focus towards the leisure things that people want to do and we intend to improvise our offerings to cater to people’s demand. It will be communicated by our campaigns, which are fulfilling a consumer’s stay desires.”

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