Maxus India has retained the Vodafone account after a global pitch. It may be recalled that telecommunications giant had called for a global media pitch in February this year. The annual media spending has been pegged at close to $1 billion (Vodafone global media pitch underway).
The news of the Maxus win came in last night. WPP Red Team has won the global account. OMD, a unit of Omnicom Group, defended in the review, but was eliminated before the last round, which was between MEC and Carat Media, a unit of Dentsu. The pitch took place in London.
Maxus, from the GroupM umbrella, has been handing the media duties for the brand in India. The Maxus-Vodafone partnership goes back several years; Maxus has been the custodian of the media business in India since the time the agency was called Maximize and the brand was known as Orange. Hutch had even moved the Loop Mobile business, formerly known as BPL Mobile, to Maxus following Hutchison Essar’s acquisition of BPL Mobile Cellular in March 2006. After the Vodafone buyout of Hutch in India, Maxus was the driving force behind the rebranding of Hutch to Vodafone in 2007.
The agency took a different route, wherein viewers witnessed a roadblock campaign, which entailed a 24-hour roadblock on all the 13 STAR India television channels, where only Vodafone ads played during the ad breaks, all announcing the transition. This was supplemented with an aggressive print campaign of rebranding ads in around 47 dailies nationally. Similarly, media activities were replicated for outdoor and radio as well. It is the best remembered campaign done by the agency for the brand and was recognised and awarded at various forums.
In 2009, Maxus managed to retain the business in India despite the fact that OMD won the brand’s duties in other key global markets.
Maxus’s recent work for the brand includes a 360-degree interactive Vodafone Fan Photo, which aimed to create engagement and interaction with consumers during the IPL series last year.
Ogilvy is currently handling the creative duties for the brand in India.