Theme Ventures, a diversified brand management firm, has been appointed as the agency on record (AOR) by Kolkata-based Priya Foods, makers of Priya biscuit, wafers, crunchies and chips. Priya, a Rs 150-crore brand, has signed up Theme Ventures to launch an extensive rural media PR activity. It’s for the first ever that an FMCG brand has signed up an agency with the objective of rural PR as a mandate.
Commenting on the development, Rajan Guha, Chief Executive, Theme Ventures, said, “Media PR has entered an interesting phase of evolution. Firms like Priya Gold, which are increasingly relying on non-metro sales for growth, are moving towards more specialised media PR activity aimed at smaller towns and villages, where conventional large circulated newspapers may not be dominant.”
The BTL marketing arm of Theme Ventures, Future BTL, had in the year 2010 partnered with Priya Gold to expand its retail base in smaller towns and cities by appointing more retailers and undertaking large scale shop level visual merchandising activity. Priya’s move to appoint the media PR wing of Theme Ventures, PR Speak, is an extension of the earlier initiative.
Priya Gold plans to launch a series of low ticket packs for semi urban market, including a Re 1 biscuit pack positioned as a tiffin pack for the rural masses. The new rural PR initiative is to communicate the new price range and specific market products.
Besides leading publications, Theme Ventures is seeking out smaller city based and neighbourhood newspapers which have substantial readership in smaller geography. Citing the challenges, Guha said, “Rural PR is difficult and challenging. But this stream is the next best thing that is waiting to happen to the Indian PR industry, which has been largely confined to urban centres. The multiplicity of media choices in rural India, the absence of structured editorial policy of smaller publications, poor infrastructure of local media and a bias against city based PR agency makes rural PR extremely difficult and expensive.”
Theme Ventures is divided into five key sub-brands. Future BTL handles various BTL marketing functions on an outsourced basis for various FMCG, consumer durable clients. These activities include channel sales, distribution, visual merchandising, retailer appointment, distributor search, corporate employee sales.
Next Door is a neighborhood marketing arm, which implements society activities for various leading consumer durables. PR Speak is the media PR wing. My Shop services organised retailers through various affordable direct marketing activities. The Indian Estate is a real estate management firm, which handles residential property marketing for leading construction companies in the Delhi NCR region.