With the year drawing to a close, companies are busy finalising plans for the coming year. Arc Worldwide is looking at furthering its social media capabilities in 2009. The company also plans to focus on mobiles and the gaming space in the coming year, as well as some large-scale pan India activation and promotions.
CVS Sharma, Head of Arc Worldwide, observed, “The economy seems to be heading to a recession. While I believe that this is the right time for companies to spend more on their marketing budgets, the reality is that there is uncertainty over marketing spends. But as I see it, marketing services will gain in such a scenario. Results are going to drive marketing spends, and digital and activation are areas where results are visible. So, we are quite sure that we will keep up the momentum of 2008. While we are rooted in providing media neutral solutions to clients, we will be looking at furthering our execution skills in CRM and retail design. We will look at building Arc India as a digital insourcing hub for the Leo Burnett network. Social media optimisation work on Delhi Daredevils and Jaagore has been immensely successful.”
Sharma continued, “Social media is going to be challenging and critical. It is critical as thousands of people are going into forums, blogs and are forming opinions, making decisions about products and services. Though these may be from people whom they have never seen, heard or known, but they trust their opinions. Given that, the challenge is projecting brands in a positive way while being true to the consumerism context.”
“Mobile is also going to be another focus area in 2009. As far as the mobile space goes, Indian marketers still rely on SMS/spam to reach out to consumers. Arc will focus on promoting mobile in gaming and VAS (value added services) zones for brand promotions. With better handsets and better connectivity, engagement opportunities on mobile will be interesting. With our creative focused approach, we have created a niche in the brand promotion space. We are also looking at some large-scale pan India activation/ promotions in 2009. We are going to national level activation and not be just metro-centric. We need to focus on Tier II and III cities,” he added.
Stating that 2008 had been a fantastic year for Arc, Sharma said that the web campaign for Delhi Daredevils had brought in rave reviews. He explained, “The site’s unique appeal is that it lets fans get into the virtual locker room of the cricket team and have an engaging user experience.”
“Another good campaign has been for Godrej Appliances’ Cleaner images for the launch of their new LCD TVs in Andhra Pradesh. The idea has been supported with some good ambient executions in Hyderabad. The campaign of the year for us is www.jaagore.com, which was developed as part of Tata Tea’s Jaagore campaign and has become an end in itself. In the two months since its launch, nearly two lakh people have registered to vote by filling in their voter registration forms on the site. Jaagore.com has become the platform for social awakening of the Indian youth. It’s a destination portal for all voting related issues,” he added.
Sharma further said, “And the best part is that Arc India won India’s first and only Cannes Cyber Lion this year.”
“While these are some examples of clutter breaking work in digital and activation, a lot of interesting work has happened on our other clients, including UTI Mutual Funds, Oral B, Whisper, Centurion Bank of Punjab, Reliance Communications, ICICI Prudential, HDFC Standard Life, Petronas, HPCL, etc. We have doubled our size in terms of revenue and profitability, added some very good creative and execution resources to the team. To top it all, Leo Burnett/Arc India office has been declared as the Global Agency of the Year in the Leo Burnett Worldwide network, a very prestigious achievement,” he added.