The creative and media kitty of Foster’s beer is up for a pitch. Four agencies are in the fray for the Rs 6 crore plus account. The first round of credentials is over and a decision is expected shortly. The account was earlier in the custody of TBWA India, before the client decided to handle its creative and media needs in-house. Currently, with the restrictions on television advertising, the company's marketing activities will revolve around on-ground activities and sporting events. Amongst other plans, Foster's is also planning to launch its range of wines and other beer brands in India.
Foster's launched itself in the Indian market in 1998 and has been doing good business. According to the company, in a span of two years Foster’s became the second largest beer brand in Maharashtra, while in Delhi it has managed to garner a market share of 15-17 per cent. With its growing distribution network, the company has decided to also work on its marketing activities. Foster’s closed the year with sales of 1.9 million cases, reporting 23 per cent growth year-on-year. The branding and marketing efforts of Foster's are mainly associated with Formula 1 racing and the visits of the Australian cricket team to India.
With a new agency Foster’s would try to circumvent the restrictions on mass media advertising by associating the brand with sporting events and outdoors.
The industry remains skeptical about the longevity of Foster's current strategy in a consolidating market that is yet to throw up exponential growth. The fiercely competitive domestic beer industry, pegged at 82 million cases annually, has been working on narrow margins with spiralling input costs and lack of pricing flexibility, which is resulting in most players bleeding.