Not propagating travel, but intend to be top-of-mind when consumers do plan: Mayur Hola of Oyo

Oyo's first multimedia campaign of 2022 saw close to 4000 tweets within just a few hours of going live and it trended organically on Twitter. reached out to Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand – Oyo, to talk about the campaign and understand the brand's overall advertising strategy for the year

Roohi Gupta
New Update
Not propagating travel, but intend to be top-of-mind when consumers do plan: Mayur Hola of Oyo

Mayur Hola

Oyo has launched a multi-film brand campaign comprising of three films featuring new-age actors such as Gul Panag, Kalki Koechlin, Chitrangada Singh and Kunal Kapoor, who bring to life the many day-to-day stories of travellers. 

The first film, “Assi reach gaye?” features Gul Panag. The film features a family’s road trip. Keeping with her real-life personality, Panag portrays the role of a confident and adventure-seeking mom, taking the lead in the driver’s seat. The film showcases the many stages of the journey, starting with the child enjoying the views of the scenic hills, turning to boredom and finally to restlessness after spending hours in the car.

Hereon, the film captures the many quirks of a now impatient three-four-year-old child, who incessantly nudges his mom from the backseat with the ‘engjabi’ (English + Punjabi) words “Assi reach gaye?” At this point, the now anxious couple realise that they have a long journey ahead of them, with over eight more hours to go. Everyone has had enough of the journey. While on the road, Gul turns to the Oyo app, taps on the “Nearby” feature and hits the book button. The film highlights the tagline, ‘Need a time out? Find a stay nearby. 

“We were about to go with something super straightforward. But then we thought of something that a child would say? Something real, incorrect and spontaneous.” says Mayur Hola, the Head of Global Brand – Oyo while interacting with

 “And one jamming call the team came up with was #AssiReachGaye - a simple phrase from a child’s perspective. Our team in Europe instantly got it and loved it, which makes it even more worthwhile,” he added.

Over the pandemic years, travellers not just in India but across the world have adapted and evolved their travel habits and preferences. Travellers now place higher trust and confidence in brands that provide flexibility and personalisation. With this insight at the heart of its brand campaign, Oyo aims to spread awareness about the key features of its app.

Interestingly, the campaign is conceptualised by the brand’s in-house team. Hola says, “Our in-house team comprises handpicked creatives who we’re lucky to have, brand managers, strategists, a global social media team based in India and SEA, film editor, studio person and even a coder. This enables us to understand a business problem, conceive of a product or service idea, strategise, research and deploy the largest campaign to the smallest tactical intervention globally, at short notice and with great quality.”

“We can do all this because we have access to and understanding of the data as it comes in, collaboration with internal stakeholders and functions and the ability to evolve as our product and markets do. Ultimately this helps us narrate Oyo’s story with unmatched conviction,” he adds.  

While sharing the media plan, Hola mentions that the film will be seen across multiple channels including GEC, news, infotainment and the kid’s genre. Not only that, but it will also be promoted on all the social media handles of the brand along with Oyo app, Co-Oyo app (for patrons) and across all the in-house digital communication mediums with customers, patrons and OYOpreneurs.

“Social media is a big part of our media strategy. We also saw close to 4000 tweets within just a few hours of going live, which organically trended on Twitter soon as we launched. Super happy to see so many viewers relate to a film that puts the Oyo app at the heart of the campaign,” he shared.

The film is directed by Vishvesh Krishnamoorthy from Prasoon Pandey’s Corcoise Films. Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy has been a Director at MTV and VH1 with over a dozen PromaxBDA awards to his credit. He's also won a Cannes Lion for directing the documentary series "The Dewarists".

When asked about their advertising plan for the year 2022, as the year may bring cheer to the travel and hospitality industry, Hola says, “Customers are much more likely to step out this year, compared to the last two waves. However, we aren’t propagating travel at the moment. We just intend to be top-of-mind for when consumers do plan their travel, that could be a month away from now or even six months.”

“We took this opportunity to increase consideration for the Oyo app, which provides flexibility, with features like nearby, search by the view, or even easy cancellation and refund. As a brand, we are merely evolving with our customers, and capturing the pulse of the Indian traveller,” he added.

Similar to the roles of Gul Panag, Chitrangadha Singh and Kalki Koechlin in the films, Oyo’s journey with the portrayal of strong women began last year with its ‘In a Long Term Relationship with Oyo’ brand campaign starring Neena Gupta’.

Oyo’s 2021 campaign was born out of a simple insight - women were the key decision-makers when it came to booking a getaway, holiday, or vacation. As per Oyo’s study, in eight out of ten cases, women drove the conversation and made the final decision around travel. Keeping these findings at the core of the brand campaign, Oyo decided to talk to their core customer cohort and decision-maker - women. 

While responding to a query on Oyo’s plan to venture into technologies like Virtual Reality, Hola says, “Having customers see rooms in VR would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t be surprised if our terrific engineering team have it on their exceedingly long-list of innovations.”

Mayur Hola Oyo