In the past few months, the creative arena of the Indian advertising world has experienced a sea change. Accounts have slipped by, new faces have come in, veterans have moved out. Just to keep you in sync with recent events, here goes a quick recap.
A significant development was the displacement of Pushpinder Singh (erstwhile creative director at O&M Mumbai) who is slated to join Ambience as the National Creative Director. Singh is going to be a part of the agency's Group Management Board and would be reporting to Elsie Nanji, Vice Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ambience Publicis. The other significant movement was of Uday Parker (former senior creative director at Ambience Publicis) who's slated to join McCann Mumbai in next few days as the Executive Creative Director.
The sudden departure of Vibha Desai from the post of Executive Director, O&M Delhi, after a 13-year-long service to the agency was something of a bolt from the blue. Sanjay Thapar who's the Vice President and Head of O&M's Delhi office has taken charge in her place.
As far as the accounts are concerned, Kinetic strengthened its relations with Grey by assigning the creative duties of its scooter brand Kinetic Nova. This adds to the array of motorcycle brands that Grey is already handling for the company. Kinetic also released a 'spoof' television campaign which was centred on the results of a fuel efficiency study conducted by India's leading auto magazine Overdrive.
Meanwhile, Nirula's and Daawat basmati rice, products from LT Overseas were picked up by Brand Curry. The development was confirmed by Subrato Chakraborty and Ratnodeep Rudra - the director duo of the start up agency.
In another development, Tata Steel awarded its corporate account to Genesis Advertising. Apart from the creative services, the agency is also expected to provide media intelligence and planning. The buying however still rests with the media AOR.
Beating RMG David, "A" - the independent creative set up of V Sunil and Mohit Dar Jayal, managed to bag the creative and brand strategy duties of Royal Enfield. On being asked about the rationale for choosing an agency as young as "A" which has been around for five months and entrusting it with Royal Enfield which is a 50-year-strong brand, Enfield CEO Siddharth Lal stated, "We wanted someone who could activate and energise the account by addressing a lot of core marketing issues on the brand and "A" was a perfect fit on the strength of their creative thinking." Royal Enfield has sold close to 28,000 motorcycles in the year 2003-04.
The creative duties of HSBC have moved over to Contract Advertising. For Contract, the account, pegged in the vicinity of Rs 30 crore, happens to be a particularly fortuitous windfall for the simple reason that while J Walter Thompson is the international lead creative agency on HSBC, JWT India handles a rival business account - Standard Chartered. However, the fortunes of ABN AMRO Bank is under speculation as its still under the safe custody of Contract.
In a more recent development, Rediffusion DY&R has bagged the creative duties for the Tata-Star DTH venture Space TV. Without disclosing the size of the account, officials at the agency said that only the creative account was with them while Space TV was yet to decide on its media buying partner.
Meanwhile, the fortunes of the Rs 12-crore No Marks creative kitty is still on hold. It was earlier being handled by the Delhi-based Noshe Oceanic. The company cited the lack of specialisation in the electronic medium, as the main reason for parting ways with the agency. As per the official words, Noshe was more than efficient in the print arena, but the need of the hour was adequate promotion through the electronic medium.
The Indian Airlines kitty is still on hold. The Airlines major had short-listed around 15 agencies for its advertising campaigns during 2004-05. Agencies have been scheduled to make a thematic presentation on June 22-23. This would be the final deciding round.
The agencies in question included Airads, Adfactors, Ak&i, Bates India, Concept Communications, Crayons, Grey Worldwide, Headstart Advertising, Image Ads, Mode, O&M Advertising, RKSwamy/BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWAIndia and Ushak Kaal.
Quite a lot has occurred in the last three months, and by the looks of things, there's plenty more to come. For one, the decisions on both No Marks and Indian Airlines are still pending. And so is the fate of ABN AMRO. For more, tune into this space.