MUMBAI: Contract Advertising has bagged the advertising account of Tata Docomo in a multiagency pitch, breaking FCB Ulka’s five-year partnership with the telecom service provider .
Contract won the estimated Rs 300-crore business ahead of Leo Burnett, DDB Mudra and Rediffusion Y&R. “Their (Contract’s ) vision to take the brand to the next level was better than others and Contract had a better answer to our challenges,” Ritesh Ghoshal, brand marketing head at
, said. The company has also moved Tata Docomo’s media mandate to Mediacom from Lodestar.
Both the new agencies belong to British advertising giant WPP, while the old ones are Interpublic Group firms. Some sources in Tata Docomo indicated that there was an apparent fallout with FCB Ulka.
“There were no strategic input from FCB Ulka in the last one year and the ‘Open Up’ campaign that we launched in the second half of 2013 also failed to create any excitement around the brand,” said a senior official in Tata Docomo. The person said Tata Docomo spent close to Rs 40-50 crore on the Open Up campaign. But Ghoshal denied this.
“Open Up is working for us,” he said. “FCB Ulka helped us create the brand architecture and a large part of what we have achieved is because of them. It is not unusual for brands to align with new agencies,” he added. The company will launch the last set of Open Up during the Indian Premier League tournament that will kick off in the UAE this month.
Sanjay Tandon, COO at Draft FCB Ulka, said, “We had a successful run for five years and I believe the marketing team now desires to see something different.” This year, while Tata Docomo has not increased its advertising budget, it will have more stringent customer acquisition targets. In its annual operative plan this year the company is looking to increase its customer acquisition target by 20%-25 %.
Ghoshal, however, said this does not pose tough challenges for his team. “Last year we had a different goal and this year it is skewed towards acquiring new customers,” he said. Sources said that while FCB Ulka was earning Rs 1.5 crore monthly from this account.
They said constant reduction in advertising budget forced Tata Docomo to call for the pitch, and that Contract Delhi will be getting Rs 1 crore monthly. Ashish Chakravarty, national creative director at Contract Advertising, said, “The idea is to take the brand to the next level and create more customer engagement and excitement around the brand.”
He said the agency will have a better understanding of the work once its team starts engaging with Tata Docomo team from May.