“If you saved the businesses and added one-third of it to your overall portfolio, you are far much better. We spend half of the energy saving than running after the new…” This statement of Sushant Panda, Director, Euro RSCG, New Delhi, in a way sums up the year 2010 for the agency that boasts of a 100 per cent record in retaining its clients in the year gone. Amidst regular to-dos, Panda-led Euro RSCG’s Delhi arm has had a stable yet decent year and is exploding with energy to kickstart 2011.
Teaming up for Targets
Euro RSCG India being a medium-sized agency, considers a lot of factors while dealing with day-to-day work. Panda believed, “We deliver fair amount of growth as per the size that we are. At Euro, digital and electronic medium go hand in hand. Irrespective of the communication, the clients still need a powerful engine which is advertising and here is when we come in picture when one is looking to integrate the both effectively.”
The agency’s Delhi branch saw a fair amount of growth in 2010. “We projected 7 per cent as per our budget by the end of 2009 and we have grown for around 33 per cent by the end of 2010,” said Panda.
Acknowledging the role played by his team in bringing the growth scale up every time, Panda shared, “Satbir (Singh, Chief Creative Officer, Euro RSCG) has become brutal on the work that goes out. He always has pressure and it is when we are doing well that he goes a step ahead to bring out the best.”
When asked about the attrition rate, Satbir Singh, Chief Creative Officer, Euro RSCG, replied, “Most of the people who left us had worked with us for a period of 36 to 40 months. The average time an employee spends with the agency is 18 months – we managed to hold them back in 2009. We are creating a new team now. In fact, lot of those who have left us want to come back - some of it is only nostalgia while some of it is actually true.”
Highs and Lows
Winning and losing go hand in hand. And despite having four wins in its kitty last year, the Delhi arm faced five defeats as a result of the pitches the team attended. “We must have participated in around nine pitches and won four. Not as good as it should have been, anything about 50 per cent is a good ratio, but we were not there,” Panda said.
The accounts won by the Euro RSCG’s Delhi branch in 2010 were INQ, Gabon, CyberWalk and Milkana.
Recalling another major development, Panda said, “We replaced Mani Jayaram with Sidharth Bindra as Executive Creative Director. It was done over a period of two months. Sidharth was with us till two years back, but went to New York for a film course, and now I convinced the man to come back to advertising.”
Churning the Creative
Heading the creative army, Singh was of the notion that one could not define creativity and every time a campaign was rolled out, expectations were sky high. He light-heartedly quipped, “It is like a Bollywood movie, the moment you make a movie, you are convinced that it is going to be the next blockbuster! Our reality is much better than our perception.”
He further shared how subtle the approach had been when it came to dealing with media and going gung-ho about every successful campaign that the agency had delivered. “We have been a bit media shy. Traditionally, it has been like that. We have always been busy in meetings and new presentations. When clients look at our show reels, they are almost stunned. Their usual reaction is ‘You guys did that? We didn’t know!’ One of our most successful campaigns was for Red FM Bajate Raho and most of the people didn’t know we had done it,” Satbir Singh remarked, adding, “I guess, all of us were completely engaged in agency building.”
Both Panda and Singh maintained that theirs was an agency that had made an effort to grow the existing businesses into larger forms. “We didn’t have the cushion of business initially, but our basket of brands has some superstar brands. For instance, we are handling a vast portfolio for our client HDFC, be it cards, banking, or deposits. We have grown most of our businesses organically into much larger ones in the past few years,” they said.
The year 2010 saw some of the finest work by the team Euro RSCG Delhi. Be it the launch of INQ Mobiles or Max New York Life’s i-Genius programme, the agency has excelled over and above what they expected.
Panda explained, “The launch of the Child Insurance product was an integrated one. While there was a product campaign, we also launched i-Genius, an online platform for the brand to be engaged with parents with children in the age group of 5-14 years. Under this, we launched India’s largest and perhaps first multi-faceted scholarship programme.”
Further adding to the conversation, Panda mentioned the uniqueness in the campaign for INQ Mobiles. “INQ was one of the many handsets to be launched last year, so the challenge was to differentiate it from the slew of handset launches. We decided to position the brand as a fashion accessory and take the leadership in the social networking space. The campaign was one of the most noticeable in the category, with some of the headlines being tweeted and put up as status messages. Yesterday is 317 updates ago!” he remarked.
The work rolled out for brands like Veet and Vanish was quite prominent too. For Vanish, the agency focused on its USP of ‘stain removal’ and brought in actress Sridevi to endorse it and the results were beyond expectations, while Katrina Kaif continued to cast the spell for Veet by drawing more than the desired numbers, taking leadership position in the depilation category.
Serving the Service
Servicing professionals are usually considered one-point contact for the day-to-day interactions with the clients and are the first ones to face the music. And in the past year at Euro RSCG Delhi, the servicing team has delivered beyond just being the face of the agency.
Narayan Devnathan, who joined Euro RSCG Delhi as Chief Strategy Officer in June 2010, informed, “Talking of our clients, I think the one we are proud of is Max New York Life. We expanded our creative portfolio with them and became advertising AOR. We gave them the idea of the i-Genius programme, which has done wonders for them by becoming one of the largest end-to-end programmes. We converted unprecedented leads into actual business for them and today the programme stands strong with 1 million users.”
“Now, we handle their digital, CRM and entire advertising, which is indeed a proud moment for us,” Panda added. Recalling another great effort of launching INQ Mobiles in the Indian market, Panda said, “There’s work that works and there is sexy work. I think INQ was the marriage of the both.”
But it has not been all work and no play. Satbir Singh informed, “There are lots of parties, trips and good work is supported with awards. We also have training programmes on merit basis.”
Expectations are high from 2011 as Panda said, “2011 is going to be hopefully better. We lost a few people last year, but we have got Sidharth Bindra as our new Executive Creative Director and are now gearing up to form a new team in Delhi.”
“If you have to get from A to B, there is a time lag. Getting out a campaign is a three-and-a-half month process and our report cards will come in the first half of 2011,” Satbir Singh said.
Summing up, Panda said, “We have done fairly well in 2010 and we want to keep the momentum going in 2011 too.”
On a similarly optimistic note Singh concluded, “We have a lot of film productions on the floor and we are expecting a lot of Bollywood blockbusters this time!”