Arijit Ray, CEO, Dentsu Communications talks about building and leveraging Dentsu’s own events and activation unit, the agency’s thrust on digital media, Dentsu Communication’s double pronged integrated approach, focus areas for 2013 and more…
Dentsu Communications now has independent events arm, was this conceptualised based on demand from the client’s end? How has this helped Dentsu leverage its strength across the board? Has this also played a pivotal role in the agency winning accounts?
The events and activation unit set up in Bangalore was born out of our purpose to invest in a capability built around what our clients need.
Etios Motor Racing is an example of how we worked with the Toyota team in conceiving, planning and executing the EMR Programme. And an example of how the agency built the event and activation capability and skill set to deliver on a very important brand mandate for Etios.
Dentsu planned the entire Etios Motor Racing strategy rolled out the property for Toyota and executing all the marketing communications and events. In short, Dentsu manages the entire project for Toyota Etios, covering the facets of advertising, media planning and buying, PR and event, activation logistics planning and execution. Once the capability is built it becomes an asset for other projects on the same client and at delivering value on other clients.
The same events team worked seamlessly with the business team and NDTV to seamlessly execute the recently concluded Toyota University Cricket Championship.
This approach has definitely helped us win TVS Wego at the end of last year as well as Orangina for Suntory Narang, where we handle the entire piece – creative, media and digital. Clients do see value in a capability which is embedded in a set up seamlessly. This becomes more credible when we have the work to show on properties that we have helped create and build.
Could you share the agency’s double pronged integrated approach?
The Double Pronged Approach is very simple. Make integration work for our current clients, build the credentials on the back of mandates for our existing clients and leverage it to get a foothold on new clients.
There has been significant thrust on building the digital expertise of the agency specially this year. What have been the kind of activities undertaken and how have they added to the agency’s strength?
Dentsu Digital works seamlessly with all the offices. Our approach has been to simplify. For instance, at our Bangalore operation we have a team embedded into the set up that works with the business, creative and planning teams there, although they report to the head of Dentsu Digital. Why it works is that everyone works towards one single objective. To make things happen. That team works on projects on Toyota, TVS and Nissin in Bangalore. This kind of a structure gives us the nimbleness to react on any specific marketing problem on any of our clients, from all possible stand-points.
We now also have access to a fantastic innovation pioneered by Dentsu; the i-butterfly whose potential is phenomenal.
The larger digital initiatives at the group level are being put in place by our Executive Chairman, Rohit Ohri.
Which are agency’s the top campaigns, according to you?
Etios Motor Racing and how we have made it come alive. The Greenathon over the last four years and Toyota University Cricket Challenge in 2013. More recently, for TVS Wego we have re-crafted the communication position for the brand. The ‘we time’ concept is an integration of the consumer insight of young urban couples, who constantly look for quality time with each other, and the product which is so comfortable and easy to handle that it feels like one's own personal space.
On Panasonic air-conditioners again the proposition behind the communication was based on a very powerful singular human insight – success of technology these days is dependent on how well it is adaptive to the user’s needs.
What is common to both Panasonic and TVS was the our focus on evolving the idea around one core human truth that linked what consumers need to what the brand delivers.
What are the focus areas for Dentsu Communications for 2013?
We have the leadership team across functions and offices in place now, I am confident that this team has the firepower to realise our medium to long term aspirations for 2013, leading up to the next couple of years.
The focus continues to be to deliver value-added integrated thinking on all our anchor clients – Toyota, Nissin, Panasonic, TVS, ICICI, Suntory-Narang, Star Union, Jos Alukkas. Our organic growth strategy will be fueled by our strategic intent to produce memorable and disruptive integrated communication solutions on these clients.
Our focus also will be to strengthen and build the properties we have built with some of our clients Toyota Etios Motor Show and Toyota University Cricket Challenge. We will actively look at the West and South markets for new business. Our Kochi operation, where we have one of the most visible clients of the region, will also see a lot of impetus on New Business Development. The Integrated activation and PR set up that has conceptualised and driven the Toyota Etios Motor Show execution will play an important role in getting a foothold on clients that seek integrated delivery.
In the North Citizen Dentsu spearheaded by Rajendra Singh is actively looking at consolidating our footprint across Government and development sector clients.
At a fundamental level, 2013 will be about taking the repertoire of our work portfolio to the next level on the back of quality collaboration and integration. What helps is the fact that the organisational intent is being driven right from the top.