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Special Update: Taproot comes on board for Pepsico’s World Cup campaign, refutes JWT claim of collaboration

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Special Update: Taproot comes on board for Pepsico’s World Cup campaign, refutes JWT claim of collaboration

Gearing up for the cricket World Cup in 2011, PepsiCo has roped in Taproot India to handle the project assignment for Pepsi’s World Cup campaign following a pitch. The development is an interesting one as JWT remains the long time creative AOR for Pepsi.

This move has left many in the industry wondering about the reason behind such a decision when JWT has been exclusively handling the creative mandate for the beverage brand for the last 20 years. Officials from PepsiCo were unavailable for comment at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, according to an industry source, PepsiCo had not been very “happy” working with JWT India and hence, had also brought on board Taproot India.
However, Rohit Ohri, Managing Partner, JWT India, firmly refuted such statements. In an email interaction with exchange4media, Ohri affirmed, “JWT has set up a creative advisory board for PepsiCo brands. On this board, we have Cyrus Oshidar (ex-Creative Head of MTV), Shashanka Ghosh (ex-Creative Head of Channel [v]), Javed Akhtar (for Slice), students from design schools, fashion designers and a global creative team from JWT Spain. The objective of this exercise is to collaborate with the best talent in India and abroad to create winning ideas for PepsiCo brands.”

He further said, “This is a model that PepsiCo follows globally for creative development. As part of this collaboration process, we are working with Aggie (Agnello Dias, Co-Founder of Taproot India and ex-CCO of JWT) to develop the next campaign for brand Pepsi.”

This statement though is refuted by TapRoot. TapRoot spokesperson said “There neither is nor has there been any collaboration between Taproot India and JWT Delhi on Brand Pepsi. There has never even been a meeting between the two in this regard. It was a clean, simple pitch for an assignment that has been won by Taproot India. Taproot India is unaware of anyone else who participated in the pitch and is engaged in working independently on developing the entire idea into a full-fedged multi media campaign right now. It is Pepsico's prerogative to eventually implement and adapt the ideas on ground with any of their implementation partners. The thought, idea and execution of the idea in all mainline media is and will continue to be entirely Taproot India's which continues to remain an independent creative agency having no collaboration with any other company whatsoever.”

However, the question still remains as to why Taproot India. Is it because Taproot India’s Agnello Dias was earlier part of JWT India and had worked on the Pepsi account? Or is the recent departure of Anuja Chauhan, Executive Creative Director & VP, from JWT? Chauhan had been instrumental in shaping up and executing projects for PepsiCo brands and was the creative brain behind several memorable taglines such as ‘Dil Maange More’, ‘Mera Number kab Aayega’, ‘Nothing official about it’ and ‘Oye bubbly’.

Whatever be the reason, the final verdict is that Taproot India will be an integral part of conceptualising the creative thought process for the upcoming Pepsi cricket World Cup campaign and it is a definitely a big win for the creative hot shop. The ad spend for the particular campaign could not be ascertained, but is believed to be substantial.

Kranti Gada joined the family business at Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint of over two years in marketing at Pepsi Co. She has been associated with the company for 12 years.

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