The year 2008 may not have had the best of news coming from Vyas Giannetti Creative (VGC), but 2009 has begun on a good note for the agency. Following two new business wins, VGC is now set to spread its footprint in the design domain. The agency has launched a specialised Design and Communications Cell in collaboration with six international design agencies.
The six agencies that VGC has partnered with are specialised units in design in their respective domains. Flex/the Innovation LAB specialises in structural packaging design, durable consumer products and professional systems. Lava specialises in editorial design and dynamic brand identity. InDeed connects with the consumers, drawing them through brand strategy and marketing. Saffron is a branding consultancy that identifies industry gaps and formulates strategies based on it. Dixonbaxi is a London-based creative and strategy company. Ryan+Deslauriers is acknowledged in real estate strategy, branding and creative firm.
Of these, Saffron already has presence in India, but the differentiation comes in the area of specialisation that VGC is partnering with. It has taken nearly two years for VGC to set up this specialist platform.
Preeti Vyas, Chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer, VGC, who has spearheaded this cell and is taking it forward, sees this move as a step in the direction of the reinvention of the agency.
Elaborating on the thought process behind this move, Vyas explained, “Design is a very important aspect today. Things are beginning to change. Just about everyone wants to be holistic, but we all know that there is a lot changing in media, and we cannot be generalists anymore. The need of the hour is to be a specialist, and we feel that clients are asking for that. We have to wake up to this new era, and if we didn’t have this specialisation, we needed to acquire it.”
That is what VGC set about to do and the route was international collaborations. VGC chalked out six verticals that it wanted expertise in, and then set about finding the right partners. The agency spoke to a few people before zeroing on its current set of partners. The nature of the deal is simple at present. Vyas elaborated, “In spirit, these companies are working with us exclusively in India, but we have not put anything down in paper on that, since that creates certain expectations. The endeavour right now is to work together, and we aspire to grow these relations further as we progress ahead.”
For Vyas, good design is as sacrosanct to business as any other management tool. “Advertisers want attention to design, but unfortunately, agencies today are not delivering on that for various reasons. Working on design is to partner with the CEO’s vision; marketing comes later,” she explained.
She further said, “It is actually in VGC’s heritage of being in communication arena that we had embraced to delivering cutting edge creative solutions. Combined with international agency’s global experience, we now seek to deliver local-global expertise for the design needs.”
Vyas pointed out that many agencies had spotted the demand for good design expertise now, and that was one reason why she saw agencies either bringing in their international design brands in India, or launching design units of further focussing on their present design offerings.
Vyas also believes that the current economic slowdown is the right time for an announcement such as this, as an offering like this allows an agency to bring innovation at various levels of communication.