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New kid on the block; Maitri makes it to the New York festival, 2002.

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New kid on the block; Maitri makes it to the New York festival, 2002.

A series of ads set against the backdrop of Egypt saw "Maitri", to the finalist grade at the recent New York festival 2002 International print advertising competition. The ad created for MRF Wall Coat that fell in the category of "Product and Services" caught attention in the competition that attracted more than 6500 entries from 64 countries.

The other agencies that made it to the finalist grade in this category were Bates Copenhagen, CraveroLanis Euro RSCG, J.Walter Thompson de Venezuela, Leo Burnett Chile, Lowe & Partners and more. Also, agencies from India that made it to the finalist grade were; McCann Erikson India [Apparel, Home Entertainment], HTA [Automotive, Outdoor/Transit/Posters - Retail Dealers,Non Food] and Saatchi & Saatchi [Household and Pet products] among others.

One of the ads for MRF Wall Coat features Ramases and his queen. The queen says, "All you do is sit around all day. Ever thought of getting some MRF Wall Coat to protect us from this darn sunlight"?

According to Sajan Abraham,Managing Director,Maitri, "Big ideas can come from anyone. It could be a big agency or a small one like ours. But being able to spot it, pick it and nurture it to let it flourish, is what we succeeded at".

With a clientele that includes BPL, AVT, V guard, Parry Confectioneries, Music world, Health & Glow and of course MRF, Maitri began with the coming together of three friends who had earlier worked with agencies like Mudra, Rediffusion, MAA Bozell and R.K.Swamy BBDO.

Exudes Sajan Abraham, "Of the accounts gained recently is Mathrubhoomi, which was with O&M till recently. We've also gained Kalyan silks. HTA and O&M were the other agencies that pitched for this account. Otherwise we also do promotions for the resorts and the Tourism Promotion Board in Maldives".

With branches in Cochin, Coimbatore, Chennai and Maldives, the agency hopes to expand gradually, now that they have made a mark in the international arena. According to Sajan Abraham, "We perform like a large agency with large brand thinking. And since our budgets are low, the focus is on being different".

Though Sajan Abraham wasn't too keen on divulging more information on other accounts gained, he is confident that the agency will now be more easily accepted since the New York festival. The billings for the year have been 10 crores and they haven't set any targets for the next year as they are too young to think in terms of figures.


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