Wunderman splits into two entities

MUMBAI: At times, two heads are better than one. This is exactly what Wunderman, the direct marketing specialist branch of Rediffusion Y&R, has discovered. The agency has been split into two distinct entities with very different mandates. Rediffusion – Wunderman (formerly known as Wunderman India), headed by Leroy Alvares, will focus on homegrown Indian clientele.

Wunderman International, with Aditya Atri at helm, will work on large scale global clients exclusively. Speaking to ET, Daniel Morel, chairman and CEO of Wunderman, said this arrangement has been operational for close to two years. The agency forbore from making a formal announcement until it was absolutely certain that the two-pronged approach was working for its clients.

According to Mr Morel, “Clients have a really different outlook on the way to do business. And it’s easier, given the scarcity of talent in the Indian market, to have a separate set of people devoted to one way of doing business and another devoted to a different way.”

He argues that large clients, particularly Nokia, Microsoft and Ford, have a global footprint and require people working in tandem around the clock. Whereas for local businesses, agencies tend to rely on teams that are more attuned to cultural nuances and have a quick turn around time.

Besides the mindsets required are very different according to Mr Morel: “It’s hard to find the people who have a head for large international systems and for local creativity.” The employees of Wunderman International for instance are less focused on advertising and more on technology, analytics and web tracking.

The people within Rediffusion -Wunderman neither require nor possess a similar level of analytical skills. However, Mr Morel does admit that a cross pollination of talents; particularly making Rediffusion – Wunderman staffers get a strong grounding on the technological and analytical side of the business is a definite priority.

Both agencies currently have around a 100 people each. India is not the only market where Wunderman has such an operation running. The set up was pioneered in Japan and a similar arrangement exists in China as well.

Rediffusion brings back ‘Brand Asset Valuator’

MUMBAI: Nearly a decade after its initial launch date in India the Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) is back at advertising agency Rediffusion Y&R. A 15-year-old research-based toolkit, BAV is a Young & Rubicam global property that has been present in 50 countries.

BAV examines how a brand is perceived by consumers across 48 different attributes. Some of these are whether a brand is thought of as innovative, trustworthy, daring, unique, friendly or high quality.

This in turn is linked with feedback on actual consumer behaviour, covering aspects like frequency of use and preference, helping to plot the brand’s position on a power grid. It allows Y&R and its clients to determine where a brand stands, how it fares against competition and formulate strategies accordingly.

For instance, it can be used to determine a particular brand’s relationship with its company, category and consumer group, the demographic segments that resonate best with a brand, the ideal celebrity endorser and possible areas for seamless line extensions.

The first round of research for the relaunch of BAV in India has studied over 1,350 brands across 100-plus categories like telecom, FMCG and consumer durables.

Speaking of what’s different between now and 2003, Arun Nanda, chairman & managing director, Rediffusion Y&R says: “That was a test case. The shortcoming at the time was the sample size was not robust enough. The funds allocated towards it were possibly inadequate.” This time around the sample stands at over 4,800 consumers from across the country. “Last year was Rediffusion’s best financial year in its history and we have decided that we need to reinvest some of those funds in our business. We’ve spent as much as was needed,” adds Nanda.

Peter Stringham, chairman & CEO, Young & Rubicam Group, claims BAV was part of the reason he shifted jobs from BBDO to Y&R. He believes the tools appeal lies in that “it’s not category-specific but considers brands the way consumers receive them. I don’t know of any other study that proves its metrics in such a disciplined fashion.” He believes BAV helps in a number of ways, even on aspects that have nothing to do with marketing: “Clients look at it for their own research and development and apply it to mergers & acquisitions.”

The tool was brought in after Rediffusion Y&R spent the last couple of years strengthening its strategic planning function. Over 25 planners have been recruited over this period and they are undergoing an intensive training on the use of BAV from a global team.

New Nano TV commercial ‘Celebrate Awesomeness’ crosses 5 million You Tube views in 30 days

MUMBAI: The sales of

Tata Motors

micro-mini car Nano sales is struggling to take off, but the company’s new initiative to build the brand – Nano through a new TV commercial ‘Celebrate Awesomness’ has attracted 5 million views on You Tube in 30 days – the highest for any automotive brand TVC in India so far.

The video has been an instant hit, bringing in more than 17,000 post likes, and over 700 comments from the Nano fan base.

A few days ago, the company’s chairman Cyrus Mistry stated that the company is working towards repositioning the Nano as ‘Smart City Car’ from the earlier positioning of People’s car.

In the new TVC, the brand has showcased the colourful world of Nano and young achievers from different genres who share the brand’s unique attitude – to do things bigger, better, and differently- whether it’s the gutsy Masaba Gupta whose quirky pop prints stand out from the crowd, the beauty-pageant-winner-turned-entrepreneur-turned-actor Sarah Jane, or the riveting street magician Ugesh Sarkar. Everyone embodies the spirit of ‘Awesomeness’ in the campaign. All throughout, it carried the jingle celebrating the awesomeness factor, almost making the film like a complete music album.

On the road, Nano sales in FY-13 fell 28% to 53,848 units. In the first four months of FY-14 too, the Nano sales are down 78.21% to 6,017 units. But the sales have improved after hitting the bottom in March of 2013, when it hit the three digit volumes. Over the last couple of months, Nano sales have exceeded 2,000 units per month.

The company is in the process of launching the CNG version of Nano later this fiscal and ET learns the testing of the Nano diesel is still underway which may hit the market next fiscal year.

Delna Avari, head- marketing communications, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors, said, The consumer’s voice has always defined India’s most innovative car as seen again with the all-new edition Nano. Our new ad campaign celebrates this awesome spirit of the Nano of living life on your own terms. There is a lot in store, with the new colourful TVC we have just begun our communication and we will soon roll out an activation programme to celebrate young achievers across genres.”

Conceptualised by Sam Ahmed, VC and CCO, Komal Bedi Sohal, national creative director, and the team at Rediffusion Y&R, the new commercial has been directed by the much acclaimed & Oscar nominated Iranian-British director Mehdi Nowrozian of Ridley Scott Associates.

Tourism ministry floats tender of Rs 200 crore for Incredible India campaign for agencies with revenues of

MUMBAI: The tourism ministry has floated a tender for the Rs 200-crore Incredible India campaign, inviting bids from advertising agencies with revenues of at least Rs 100 crore, a condition that rules out participation of mid-sized firms such as Contract, Rediffusion Y&R, Everest, Bates CHI, Grey or any Indian-owned agency like Concept group of companies and other smaller boutique shops.

While the ministry runs this campaign every year, in the international leg this year it wants to focus especially on new markets like Russia and CIS countries, the Middle East and South America, among others.

“The bidding agency must have a cumulative revenue from creative work equivalent to Rs 100 crore or above in the last three financial years. In addition, the creative agency should have handled at least one creative account in any field, with revenue of over Rs 5 crore, in any one of the last three years,” says the tender notice.

The ministry has also stated that the agencies will have to submit an earnest money deposit (EMD) or bid security of Rs 50 lakh. This will be returned to “unsuccessful bidders…within one month of issue of the work order/contract to the successful bidder”.

According to the head of a nonparticipating agency, if the guidelines are strictly followed, only five agencies in India can bid for the account. These include Ogilvy & Mather, J Walter Thompson, McCann Erickson, Lowe and FCB Ulka, said the agency head, who did not wish to be named.

“This is extremely discouraging for agencies at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is emphasising so much on patriotism and ‘Make in India’. With this tender, the ministry has alienated almost the entire advertising fraternity,” the agency head added.

The ministry briefed a few agencies at a meeting in Delhi earlier this week and gave them time till February 9 to submit their proposals.

“The selected agency should be able to provide a creative vision and strategy for taking forward the Incredible India campaign of the ministry of tourism,” the tender notice says, adding, “The agency would also be responsible for taking over the content, inventory of films and other creatives from the creative agency which handled the account of MoT and maintaining the same.” The Incredible India campaign was launched in 2003 by Ogilvy & Mather.

In 2006, Grey won the account while a part of the business went to Wieden+ Kennedy. But O&M won back the account in 2012 following a multi-agency pitch and it is seen as a frontrunner this time round as well.

The ministry runs the campaign in both domestic and international markets.

( Originally published on Jan 23, 2015 )