'Googly Gyaanchand' to entertain on OOH Media’s screens

April 28, 2009
Surina Sayal | afaqs! | Mumbai



With new media entering the market, there is a constant need for creating specific content for it. There has been talk about digital screens and how, instead of blindly airing TV and print ads on these screens, effort should be taken to actually create content for them. OOH Media has now tailored a special, first-of-its-kind character for its out of home digital screens. The character revolves around cricket and is called Googly Gyaanchand.

Television has seen its share of similar characters, with Channel V’s ‘Bai’, ‘Simpoo’ and 9XM’s ‘Bade and Chote’ who make people crack up. Radio, too, has characters such as Radio Mirchi’s ‘Sud’, Red FM’s ‘Kamala ka Hamla’ and Big FM’s ‘Son Sunny’. Now, it’s time for OOH digital media to let loose its quirky character!

Googly Gyaanchand is a friendly ‘Mr. Know it All’, who keeps throwing googlies with his ‘gyan’ (knowledge) on the game in the form of trivia nuggets, quizzes and witty one-liners. The campaign is currently on-air on all OOH Media screens and all clusters across the country.

Ashutosh Parekh, national content head, OOH Media, says, “Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore cricket. OOH Media’s constant endeavour is to maintain topicality at the multiple touch points that we have created for our audience.

  Discussing how the idea for ‘Googly Gyaanchand’ came about, Parekh shares an anecdote, saying, “Just as often characters are an extension of reality and inspired by real people around us, Googly Gyaanchand, too, was inspired by a colleague whose witty one-liners with a straight face and ‘gyaan laden googlies’ were the staple diet for most of us at the lunch table. So, Googly was born on a dull March afternoon at the table and took about a week to flesh out in our studios by a very talented team of visualisers and animators.”

He adds that friendly and fun loving, Googly Gyaanchand as a character was well thought out to go beyond just showcasing the best shots of a cricket match and establish a fresh connect, as cricket has transcended the barrier of being just a sport to being a full-fledged entertainment platform. The timing to launch a cricket based character, which was simple and yet had a sanguine sense of humour, was just perfect.

The company feels that Googly Gyaanchand’s appeal crosses boundaries. It’s a pan-India property, showcased across all of OOH Media’s 4,500 screens, reaching out to about 50 million people monthly. Every week, new and interesting snippets will be on display at the screens through the cricket season.


Parekh says, “This has been an innovation not just within OOH Media but the platform itself. Consumers’ connect needs to go beyond the obvious. As a part of content strategy, adding the ‘OOH factor’ to all our content is the critical litmus.”

Interestingly, Googly Gyaanchand was picked out of four cricket characters that the content team was working on. He was picked because the company felt anything simple works. “A genuine clutter breaker, this is a man who can ‘walk cricket, talk cricket and breathe cricket’- and if you think about it, Googly Gyaanchand could be anyone - your neighbourhood uncle, your boss or even your eccentric Maths professor who swears by cricket and also swears every time Tendulkar misses a wicket,” smiles Parekh.

Ashutosh Parekh

The response has been heartening and OOH Media is now looking to create more such special characters for other causes, sports, events and festivals. “That’s the idea,” he says, “the world of characters is amazingly large, as large as your mind can wander.

“As market leaders, the content strategy is very clear – innovate or suffocate. As OOH Media always does, we want to continue exciting brands to move beyond the regular TVC edits, leverage on our content capabilities and start owning properties and mind space of the consumer, using engaging and entertaining content,” concludes Parekh