A keenly awaited account pitch, which is being closely followed by the entire advertising industry, is now down to the slog overs. The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) group has shortlisted four agencies for its corporate branding initiative. The shortlist comes after months of intense speculation as the account involves one of the biggest pitches of the year. The final decision on the mandated agency will come in the next few days, informed sources at the ADA group said.
After the finalisation of the agency for the corporate mandate, a decision will be taken on the agencies which will handle the creative duties of the group companies - Reliance Capital, Reliance Infocomm and Reliance Energy. It is understood that in the quest to create a consumer-facing brand identity for the ADA group as well as the group companies, the company has earmarked Rs 400 crore for various marketing and communication initiatives.
“For the corporate branding effort, which started in September last year, a total of 10 agencies made their pitch. Of these, four agencies - JWT, O&M, Lowe and Mudra - have been finalised. We will be announcing the name of the agency mandated within the next few days,” sources said. They added that the finalisation of the agencies for the group companies will be taken within a week.
“The emphasis on creating a brand identity for each of the companies comes as each is retail and consumer-facing after the division of Reliance Industries. There's a need to create a consumer company identity and mass media advertising and communication will play am important role. Thus, we are looking to bring in the creative partners right at the inception,” said sources.
While the sources refused to divulge the size of the account, it is understood that the ADA group will be spending close to Rs 400 crore in marketing and communication. It is estimated that the size of the creative accounts could touch Rs 100-120 crore. “The spends will be around Rs 400 crore and it will not only cover mass media, but media spends, below the line, celebrity management and PR,” sources said. The aggressiveness in spends by the ADA group is also being matched by the pace at which it is beefing up its talent pool, particularly in the branding department. Professionals from advertising and marketing have joined the ADA group. Among the notable names, Divya Gupta, former president of The Media Edge, has joined as media advisor; Ajay Kakar from O&M has joined as head of branding, Reliance Capital; while Sanjay Behl from Nokia heads the branding for Reliance Infocomm.