It’s now official. Starcom MediaVest Group has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with New York-based Elephant Advertising. This marks the beginning of the last phase of its preparation for a diaspora marketing company focusing on South Asians.
Commenting on the alliance, Ravi Kiran, CEO-South Asia and CEO-Specialist Solutions, Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, said, “The estimated 30 million South Asians around the world today represent a beautiful and varied texture of influence and consumption potential. Add to it the fact that more than half a million people from the region continue to migrate overseas every year in search of a different working career and life, and marketers have a dream opportunity to target this segment with their brands and services.”
Kiran added, “But marketing to the diaspora is not easy play. You need sensitive understanding of their drives and motivations, the cultural sub-text of their behaviour and strong in-market capability to plan and activate messaging and media. We have been working on this project for nearly three years and are happy to sign Elephant Advertising, as our North American partner. Elephant Advertising is not only one of the most experienced and largest South Asian marketing companies in the USA, it is also highly regarded by its clients. That is what convinced us that we have a common future.”
Added Nayan Padrai, President, Elephant Advertising, “We have been fortunate to have successfully fulfilled the marketing needs of many Indian and American clients, targeting South Asians in the USA. Of late, we have seen a steady rise in the interest shown in the ethnic South Asian consumers and believe that there is a large potential in this segment. We are happy to partner with Starcom MediaVest Group, a leader and future ready company in its business, and we are full of optimism that we will be able to offer a compelling and unique capability to SMG clients with an eye on the South Asian diaspora.”
The yet-to-be-named unit, slated for formal launch in August 2007 or earlier, will be headquartered in India, most likely Mumbai, and eventually have operations in all the major markets in the world where South Asians live. It will offer Indian and other clients the ability to engage with and market to key consumer segments from the sub-continent across all relevant geographies.
Elephant Advertising will handle the entire North America geography, which is the largest and arguably the single most important geography from the viewpoint of most marketers targeting the South Asian diaspora. Activation partners for other key geographies will be firmed up by Starcom MediaVest Group in time.