‘Be positive 24’, formed by two former members of Chennai-based creative shop WOC Advertising Enterprize in mid-December, already has one account in its kitty – Chennai-based fitness chain Fitness One. One more client is on board now, and the partners indicate they are on the verge of signing another client in January 2006.
A five-member team had been put in place, and a key challenge would be to ensure that the agency was not typecast as ‘another creative shop’, felt its founders.
Said Abhishek D Shah, one of the partners, “We have been thinking of setting up shop for some time now, and the WOC experience provided us with a platform for bigger things. We think clients are tired (and so are we) of just catchy lines and clever images. We firmly believe that there’s much more value we can bring to the table as a communication partner, and we’re positioning ourselves that way. Everything about a client provides an opportunity to communicate – be it the walls, the interiors, the people, or the experience promised to the customer.”
The shop has started operations with work on the Fitness One brand and a new retail brand was underway. The new brand is in the interiors space, and would be launched soon. The partners said that the focus was on building credibility through work as much as it was on new businesses.
“When people ask us how we are different, we ask them ‘do we need to be?’ We realise that clients are looking at better, comprehensive solutions, and not just ‘different’ solutions. We don’t want to talk about questioning conventions. Enough people have done that already,” observed the other partner, Sandeep Makam.
It’s not just client deliverables that the new shop in town is seeking to redefine. A new system of rewards is being worked out for the team, with members getting to share a percentage of earnings from new accounts coming in. The newest kid on the block is looking to add to its team in Chennai, with art and servicing resources.
Chennai has its share of creative outfits, and some of the smaller and mid-sized agencies are re-positioning themselves on the strategy and creative solutions planks. The evolving retainer-based revenue model seems to have helped grow creative shops as a category.
“It really feels good when several people from some of the top agencies show interest in being part of be positive 24. We think there is potential for more shops in Chennai, with clients and advertising talent taking to the idea. For us, the next stop should be Bangalore, but that’s some time away,” added Makam.
Shah joined WOC in January 2004, and left the agency as Director-Client Servicing. Makam joined the agency in early 2005 as copywriter, before which he was with Mudra’s Bangalore office. His previous stints have been at McCann and Contract. Shah’s career has seen him associated with O&M, The New Indian Express and Bharat Bala Productions.