Elephant gives a new look to CLT20

The third edition of the Champions League Twenty20 has a new title sponsor and also sports a new look. Strategic design consultancy firm Elephant has created a theme that intends to convey the battle between the champions for securing the prestigious title, and the spirit of the game.

e4m by Sai Prasanna
Published: Sep 26, 2011 12:30 PM  | 3 min read
Elephant gives a new look to CLT20

All the action and colour of Champions League T20 2011 can be seen not only on the field but also in the new look of the tournament. In keeping with the spirit of the season, strategic design consultancy firm Elephant was engaged to design the look for the tournament which got underway from September 23, 2011. The mandate was awarded to Elephant after an international pitch.

Elephant’s responsibilities include theme building, visual language and brand guidelines for CLT20, the look and feel at the stadiums for the leagues as well as teams, merchandising and other collateral elements, guidelines for use of identity in kits, uniforms, bats, balls, stumps, city-specific branding elements and event collaterals, and guidelines and storyboards for broadcast graphics.

Ashwini Deshpande, Director, Elephant, elaborated, “While the logo remains the same, what has changed is the theme and graphics or visual language that are woven around all the touch points. The visual language or ‘the look of the tournament’ is designed using forms and colours of the logo to build a dynamic world of excitement, necessary for a sporting event. The visual language and theme will change every year.”

The client’s brief was to bring alive the excitement and the premium positioning of this unique, international tournament. To incorporate all these elements into the visual language, Elephant decided to use the shining gold colour to bind them all. Deshpande explained, “Since all the teams have their individual identities and colours, and this being a premium international sporting event, golden hues were used as anchors to bring out the team colours and create excitement in the visual language. We decided to incorporate warm colours and the Sun to represent the culture of our country and to suggest the spark inside every single player in the tournament that makes him a champion in his own right.”

The new look has been designed around the idea of a ‘battle arena’, where the champions are modern gladiators who clash for the ultimate honour. Three primary elements have been represented in the visual language:
• The Clash for Honour: represented by the collision of the shields
• The Horizon of Challenge: the arena boundary lines in motion in the background, bringing the stadia alive
• The Champion Spirit: Derived from the Sun, a cultural inspiration, representing the power and glory of each champion

About four months ago, a team of six began work on reinterpreting the visual language. “We have created around 500 applications of the theme which can be seen in the stadia, visual storyboards for channels and websites, guidelines for merchandise, T-shirts, uniforms, medals for the winning team and the runners up, the golden bat and golden stump (lapel pins) for the best player of the tournament. About 100 different interpretations can be seen in the stadia itself,” Deshpande said. Since the matches will be played across three cities – Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad – there will be a change in the visual language for the venues in different cities as a result of different interpretations.

Elephant is India’s largest independent strategic design consultancy with offices in Pune, Delhi, and Singapore. With over 20 years of experience across diverse domains, Elephant’s client list includes ABD, Akzo Nobel, Axis Bank, Britannia, Dulux, Heinz, Nirlep, P&G, Piramal Healthcare, Sakal Media Group, Symphony, Venky’s, and Wipro, among others. The Elephant team had designed the look for the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008. Elephant was recently empanelled by the Singapore Government as design facilitators to Singapore-based enterprises under the ‘Design Engage’ programme.


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MullenLowe comes up with new brand identity

The new logo was created by MullenLowe U.S. and led by head of design João Paz

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2023 11:30 AM   |   3 min read


MullenLowe has unveiled its new global identity and a refreshed positioning, created to unite the network across 57 markets globally and differentiate it from competitors. MullenLowe sees the octopus evolve from an operational mascot to a kindred spirit that visually represents how brands need to grow today.

The agency’s positioning is underpinned by research revealing innovative brands grow at twice the pace of their competitors, and brands that continue to innovate grow seven times faster.

“Our icon offers the perfect metaphor. The octopus has survived over 300 million years precisely because of its fluidity and ability to adapt. It is the only organism that routinely self-edits its own DNA—a model for how brands should behave today,” says Kristen Cavallo, CEO of MullenLowe Global.

The new brand identity was created by MullenLowe U.S. and led by head of design, João Paz.
“We want to challenge the way brands show up in the world. Our octopus is not afraid of change; it’s in its nature, its DNA. We embraced that with a fully generative identity, crafted to show personalization at scale,” says Paz.

The new logo doesn’t live by the rules of logic. It breaks free from any type of symmetry and rigidity. With no corners or end points, it changes and moves and behaves in different ways. “Our octopus is alive. It has a will, a personality, and, above all, it wants to move. With its endless twists and turns, it has the freedom to reinvent itself infinitely,” adds Paz.

MullenLowe invites its more than 4,000 employees globally to design their own octopus using a generative app. “We want the design system to reflect who we are and allow each person who’s part of MullenLowe to make their own mark,” says Paz. It allows users to customize the octopus for email signatures, social and profile icons, and even the background of an Apple Watch.

The fluid octopus is paired with a bespoke wordmark that is stark, reliable, and firm in its logical Serif treatment. It grounds the funkiness of the octopus, combining emotion with reason. While the octopus welcomes the new, the wordmark pays tribute to the past and the agency’s long-standing heritage.

In addition to all the individual iterations, a pattern was created to represent inclusivity and the coming together of all the unique expressions and people who make up MullenLowe.

To complete the visual identity, the system includes its own trademarked typographical treatment. The octopus’s tentacles morph into letters and numbers that create a full typeface from A to Z, and from 0 to 9.

The identity has rolled out across the agency’s communications touchpoints, including the website and social media. It will be splashed across office walls and with highly anticipated swag. The new look goes beyond design to create renewed energy, pride, and confidence in the network’s next chapter.

“This is more than just a logo redesign. We have a point of view on how brands grow, and we built our identity and voice to reflect that belief. In a rapidly changing world, more of the same is not the path to long-term success. Brands need to earn and continually defend their unfair share of attention,” says Cavallo. “Products might be boring, but brands can never afford to be.”

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Pitch not perfect: Is the rule book a solution?

Beginning this week, e4m Editor Naziya Alvi Rahman will write on a host of issues in the advertising & marketing world. In today’s ‘Naziyanomics’, she talks about the pitch process & its intricacies

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Jun 6, 2023 8:45 AM   |   7 min read


It was in January 2023 that I first learnt about a big brand deciding to scout a new agency for its media buying. The pitch was called and the brand - with a significantly large size - was an instant dream account for every agency. But soon after the brand floated the terms and conditions, a few agencies backed out right at the start. Others braced themselves and went ahead.

This brand is known to be a tough one. It has just imposed a hefty penalty (rumoured to be around Rs 50 crore) on its incumbent agency for failing to deliver the promised Gross Rating Points (GRPs). While the incumbent agency claims they are not at fault and its global team is contesting it out with the brand’s global team, it has definitely sent out a message to every agency in the servicing industry.

This, however, is not the only brand that is involved in muscle pulling. Insiders say there are 10-15 big brands that have been giving agencies nightmares. They are more frequent at calling the pitch and are hard negotiators. With every pitch, they demand the pricing to go further low and margins to shrink.

In another case, a brand sent a confirmation email to the agency conveying its selection. It also conveyed regret to its incumbent agency. A month passed and just before the final agreement was to be signed it had a change of heart and decided to retain the existing agency. This was after the former client invested a good four months into the process.

Succumbing to such clients, the advertising body in Europe is believed to have initiated the process of drafting a rule book that could help make the pitching process less taxing for the agencies. There are speculations and a hope that advertising bodies in India may consider bringing all agencies together and draft guidelines that can make the process more fluid.

On average, three to six resources work on a pitch depending upon the size of the business. Clients often give a time frame of three weeks to three months to prepare the presentation. A more systematic approach will make things more cost-effective and viable for the agencies. I have collected during my series of conversations with several agency heads some solutions that can ease the process for the industry.

  • Uncertainty hurts 

The brand I mentioned in the intro took six long months (half the year) to announce the agency it had finally chosen to partner with. Similarly, another big brand that had called a pitch in July 2022 gave the outcome by mid-March 2023. Such a prolonged process puts pressure on the incumbent agency and all the participating agencies. Brands should be encouraged to set specific deadlines for each stage of the pitching process, ensuring that agencies are not left in a state of limbo. By implementing a streamlined timeline, agencies can better manage resources, focus on delivering their best work, and avoid unnecessary anxiety.

  • Clarity on evaluation criteria:Another area that demands attention is the evaluation criteria used in the pitch process. Agencies often find themselves uncertain about the factors that will be considered during the assessment. The problem is more frequent with mid-size and smaller clients. This lack of clarity can lead to ambiguity and subjectivity, which may adversely impact the quality and creativity of the pitches. To alleviate this issue, brands should clearly define and communicate the evaluation criteria at the outset. Criteria such as agency size, scale, expertise, and innovative approaches should be made transparent. This will enable agencies to tailor their presentations accordingly and provide a fair and objective basis for comparison. 
  • Relaxed cap on malus: Agencies pay clients back for not achieving specific deliverables. Penalties in the form of malus clauses have become increasingly common in pitch contracts. While these clauses aim to hold agencies accountable for specific deliverables, they can create an imbalanced power dynamic and deter agencies from participating in pitches altogether. It is important to strike a balance between accountability and fairness. Implementing a cap on malus penalties can ensure that agencies are not disproportionately burdened by financial consequences if they fail to meet certain performance metrics. This approach will encourage agencies to participate actively in pitches and promote a healthier working relationship between agencies and brands. 
  • Rate confidentiality:Rate confidentiality needs to be protected by ensuring that a very limited number of people at the client’s end have access to the submitted rates. Clients expect their data to be treated with utmost care. What about the other way around? Confidentiality is a cornerstone of professional relationships and should extend to the rates submitted by agencies during pitches. Currently, clients often demand access to detailed rate information, putting agencies in a vulnerable position. To maintain trust and ensure fair competition, it is crucial to limit access to this rate information to only a select few individuals on the client's side. By safeguarding rate confidentiality, agencies can freely present their proposals without the fear of compromising their competitive edge or jeopardizing their negotiation positions. 
  • Sanctity of strategy and ideas presented in a pitch:Many clients use a pitch to gather ideas that they use with impunity, even when they do not award the agency the business. Pitching is not just about presenting capabilities but also sharing strategic insights and creative ideas. However, agencies frequently encounter situations where clients utilize ideas presented in pitches without awarding the business to the agency that originated those ideas. This practice undermines the trust and collaboration essential for a successful partnership. To address this issue, brands should uphold the sanctity of strategy and ideas by implementing policies that protect agencies' intellectual property rights. 

Besides these broader points, some ambitious suggestions would include introducing a pitch fee. Considering the amount of time and resources an agency invests in preparing for the pitch, it may just be fair to compensate them in case they lose it. Most developed countries have begun to pay agencies a fee for participating. On average, three to six resources work on a pitch for three weeks to three months depending upon the size of the business. 

Clients in developed markets also engage in “chemistry meetings” with their potential agencies to understand the work culture. Being a service industry, people are the central force here. Hence it is extremely important for both the agency and the client to understand each other’s work culture. 

Clients have a stronger say now than a decade back 

Today CMO and marketing heads have a much more granular say in the marketing and media planning process. Things were different two decades ago. CMOs today know what they want, why they want and their inputs factored in choices and plans.

When exchange4media started 23-plus years back, the clients had a much lesser say and media agencies and media CEOs, planners and buyers had a much larger voice.

In a recent case, a media agency CEO was asked by a CMO of a particular brand to reinstate an employee who worked with him on the account or face the consequences of losing the client. While in this case, the CEO did not succumb to pressure, in many cases they do. To make the relationship more equal, agencies too can be engaged in a rating system where, on the condition of anonymity, they are allowed to rate the client.

Again, this practice is prevalent in many developed markets. Perhaps it’s time to bring the much-needed balance back into this relationship. For now, it seems Client ich Bhagwan hai.

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Seagram’s Royal Stag launches campaign featuring Ranveer Singh

The campaign embodies the spirit & attitude of today’s generation

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 5, 2023 6:23 PM   |   2 min read

royal stag

Seagram's Royal Stag has launched the Live It Large campaign. This campaign embodies the spirit & attitude of today’s generation, the Generation Large that strives to re-define the paths to success. 

The impactful new campaign features Ranveer Singh. Exemplifying the attitude of the brand’s campaign, “We Want It All, We Want It Aaj. We Are Generation Large!”, Ranveer also perfectly illustrates Royal Stag’s evolved new philosophy – “It’s Our Life. We Live It large.” The film also features global cricketing stars, Suryakumar Yadav and AB De Villiers.

The new campaign seamlessly integrates three important tenets of the brand: the Generation Large philosophy; the Live It Large gesture, the de-facto ritual of the Generation Large and the Golden Stag brand iconography. The Live It Large gesture is a reflection of how the Generation Large zooms into each moment of their life and lives them to the fullest; it’s also a natural gesture for today’s digital-native audience. The campaign will be amplified on all major platforms cutting across TV, digital, print and OOH in an impactful manner.

Speaking on the launch of the new brand campaign, Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard India, said, “Royal Stag has always been an iconic brand with a young heart that inspires us to live it large. Our latest campaign captures the spirit of today’s generation which does not hold back, embodies self-belief and wants to maximize life experiences. The new campaign unveils a distinctive and youthful visual identity that’s fresh, energetic, and most importantly embodies the ethos of this new generation, the Generation Large. It will give further impetus to the brand’s transformational journey as it transcends from being a category leader to a cultural icon, emboldening what we stand for at Pernod Ricard, being ‘Bigger. Bolder. Better.’ Truly, this campaign has it all to propel the brand into new horizons and conquer new frontiers.”

Brand ambassador Ranveer Singh said, “I wholeheartedly resonate with Royal Stag’s new ‘Live It Large’ philosophy. It’s the philosophy of my life as well. It is all about embracing each moment and giving your best to it. It is amazing to see how an iconic brand like Royal Stag is evolving with times to connect with its audience on a deeper level. The campaign film is youthful and energetic, a true reflection of my way of life.“

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HSBC India’s new campaign features Virat Kohli

The ‘My Account Starts Today’ has been created by Contract Advertising

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 5, 2023 3:16 PM   |   4 min read


HSBC India unveiled its latest advertising campaign featuring their new brand influencer, ace cricketer Virat Kohli. The campaign conceptualized by Wunderman Thompson’s group company Contract Advertising, highlights HSBC's purpose of "Opening up a world of opportunity" as it works to support the goals of an aspirational India going global and features Virat in a never-before-seen avatar. Virat was recently announced as the brand influencer for HSBC India, in an association that aimed at leveraging the ace cricketer’s appeal to help illustrate the benefits of banking with HSBC.

The campaign will run across print, television, outdoor, OTT platforms and digital media to connect with the target audience.

The campaign reveals a side of Virat's personality that has never been seen before. The brand has successfully evoked nostalgia in this most recent TV commercial, which begins with a shot of a cricket stadium and shows Virat's name on a billboard beneath a prestigious list of batsmen before abruptly starting to fade away. At a press conference where Virat's presence is shown fading over time - a trophy cabinet on the wall, newspapers, YouTube channels, and a dressing room wall all follow a similar pattern to the Honours Board. Finally, a close-up of his face can be seen on the screen as he puts on his helmet and stands in front of the red door to his dressing room.

Virat is seen telling millions of viewers in the final moments of the advertisement to forget about all his accomplishments and his cricketing past and instead to concentrate on the new opportunities and the persona he is about to assume. When the door finally opens, he exits into an energetic stadium. The open red door changes into the HSBC logo with the powerful tagline "My Account Starts Today" as he moves away from the camera.

Talking about his first-ever ad with HSBC India, Virat Kohli said, “When I was informed about the association with HSBC the first thought I had was it feels right and comfortable. And that's something I always look for when an association comes up. I knew that the association would be very organic and natural and not be forced in any way. One can rest on their accomplishments, but the moment at hand is what counts most. My belief system of discipline, commitment, and focus, aspects that have played a key role in my career so far, resonates deeply with HSBC's rich legacy in India, disciplined approach, and long-standing commitment”.

Commenting on the association, Sandeep Batra, Head, Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC India, said, “Our collaboration with Virat Kohli reflects the deep-rooted positive sentiments and unwavering commitment to India. With our extensive range of products and services, we are strategically positioned to support multiple facets of India’s economy, poised for enduring growth. This campaign serves as a testament to our dedication to growth and our aspiration to become the preferred international financial partner for our clients.”

On the campaign, Jaswinder Sodhi, Head of Customer Proposition, Digital and Marketing- Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC India said, “The campaign holds a special place in our hearts as it resonates with our core purpose of ‘Opening up a world of opportunity’.  In India, cricket’s ability to transcend boundaries seamlessly integrates with our objective. Through the campaign, we are reiterating our dedication to provide new opportunities to our clients. As a brand we are committed to long-term success, investing in the growth and forging an emotional connection with our customers.

Rahul Ghosh, ECD & Mumbai Creative Head, Contract Advertising, “At the core of the creative idea was a belief that one makes history only when one forgets history. And this campaign was about making all sorts of history. It was a coming together of two global icons, yet the approach was iconoclastic. We hope we have shattered some glass ceilings of celebrity and BFSI communications.”


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Pressman Advertising shareholders approve merger with Signpost India

As per the merger pact, shareholders of Pressman will get one share of Signpost in exchange for each share of Pressman

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 5, 2023 11:14 AM   |   1 min read

Signpost India

The shareholders of Pressman Advertising have given their approval for its merger with Signpost India, media reports say.

The meeting of shareholders saw 99.9986 per cent votes being cast "in favour of the scheme", it was reported.

The merger pact says shareholders of Pressman will get one share of Signpost in exchange for each share of Pressman.

The promoters of Pressman will become co-promoters in the merged entity along with the existing promoters of Signpost, news agencies have reported.

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Rediffusion and University of Lucknow launch ‘The Bharat Lab’

‘The Bharat Lab’ is a consumer insights think tank aimed at delivering cultural and consumer insights about the people of Bharat

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 5, 2023 11:00 AM   |   4 min read

Bharat Lab

Rediffusion and the University of Lucknow have come together to launch ‘The Bharat Lab’ – India’s first consumer insights think tank aimed at delivering cultural and consumer insights about the people of Bharat.

Why ‘The Bharat Lab’?

The Bharat Lab will understand Bharat. Know its hopes, dreams and aspirations; uncover its motivations, its challenges and its outlook by bringing its story into the mainstream of India’s culture, commerce and conversations.

Who is ‘Bharat’?

Definitions vary. We can define Bharat as the Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India. And the hinterland beyond. Or Bharat can be all of India beyond the 5 Metros and the 23 large cities.

Why is ‘Bharat’ so important?

- 60% of Indian online shoppers in 2030 will be from small cities

- Today, approximately 50% of the recognized start-ups in India are based out of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities

- Bharat sends around 400 out of 543 members of Parliament

- Bharat gives India 90% of its Olympians and its IAS officers

- Bharat will be home to 50 smart cities in the next five years

Bharat is where the future of India resides. And will prosper. “Bharat is the driver of India’s tomorrow. It is home to two-thirds, or more, of India’s population. The growth economy of the future is anchored in the heartland of India. And that is the Bharat we wish to study in-depth”, says Prof. Alok Kumar Rai, Vice Chancellor, University of Lucknow. Prof. Rai will be the Chief Mentor of The Bharat Lab.

What will ‘The Bharat Lab’ do?

The Bharat Lab will focus on the people of Bharat.

 What are their hopes, ambitions, dreams, and aspirations?

 What are their preferences and triggers?

 What challenges do they face, and how do they navigate them?

 How have the family dynamics evolved in Bharat, and how does it

impact the consumer behaviour of Bharat?

 What relationship do residents of Bharat have with technology and

the internet?

 Who are the heroes and role models of the people of Bharat?

 What are the attitudes of different cohorts within Bharat: youngsters, mothers, artists, and entrepreneurs?

 What entertains Bharat / What do they read, watch, & enjoy?

The Bharat Lab will unlock fresh understanding and actionable insights by investigating these hitherto unexplored facets of life in Bharat.

“Our ambition is to go deeper than just surveys and numbers at ‘The Bharat Lab’. For us, Bharat is not just a consumption statistic, it is a formative cultural force of the nation. Interestingly, Bharat is as much a devoted watcher of Ramayan as it is of Masterchef - Bharat is also a fan of both Mann Ki Baat and Shark Tank”, adds Dr. Sandeep Goyal, Managing Director of Rediffusion and co-Chair of The Bharat Lab.

Prof. Sangeeta Sahu, Head of the Department of Business Management, University of Lucknow who will be also co-Chair of the Lab elaborates, “We want to answer the most fundamental questions and curiosities about Bharat. What does Bharat eat, drink, watch? Where does Bharat travel? How does Bharat spend its free time? How has the family dynamic evolved in Bharat and how does it impact the consumer behaviour of Bharat? What relationship do residents of Bharat have with technology and the internet? Who are the heroes and role models of the people of Bharat? There is so much to study”.

The Bharat Lab will be located at the University of Lucknow, the epicentre of the Hindi heartland. The Lab will be supported by 50 years of Rediffusion’s brand expertise and industry outreach. The Bharat Lab shall provide collaborative opportunities for faculty and students of the University to exchange knowledge with industry. The Lab will include activities such as seminars/workshops, research projects, internships, field studies, and similar initiatives. The data gathered by the Lab shall be applied for better-informed consumer insights in the decision-making of brands.

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Every EssenceMediacom office is an individual country: Navin Khemka

The CEO-South Asia of EssenceMediacom spoke to e4m Editor Naziya Alvi Rahman on handling the big merger, expanding the agency and the recent win at Goafest

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Jun 5, 2023 8:59 AM   |   4 min read


While most mergers are believed to be chaotic with operations taking a while to run smoothly, EssenceMediacom claims to have it absolutely sorted. Four months into the merger, the agency has bagged the Agency of the Year title at Abby’s 2023. 

“We focused more on structuring the agency while ensuring that people are doing the right roles. We also invested in building a very robust leadership. Now at awards, we enter with the combined strength of the clients of Essence and MediaCom,” says Navin Khemka, CEO-SouthAsia, EssenceMediacom.

Until last year, the agency was not much heard of at award functions. Asked if there was lesser participation or wins, Khemka said it was the scale that has made the difference.

“We were participating and also winning, but the size of the company was smaller before the merger. Today after the merger, we are among the top three agency brands in the country, which means on the award front also we should be on top. Moreover, we are the number three agency in the country. So, we've now got into a league that is equivalent to our sister agencies - Mindshare and Wavemaker. We are all now on a level playing field,” says Khemka.

Talking about the strategies that have worked for the agency, Khemka said they focused on leadership and team building because it is a large organisation with two different cultures coming together. 

“The first thing I did was to ensure that my leadership team was set in the right direction because when so many senior people come together it is important to give them very distinct roles and very good roles so that everybody feels that they've grown and they are looking at the future positively. Every office of mine today - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru – is running like an individual country. The idea is to empower them like an individual country with an individual country head who's running the operation with their own set of clients and managing the entire PnL. That's the way we are actually trying to build a culture,” Khemka explained. 

The agency is also set to spread its wings into newer territories in the east and southern parts of the country. 

“We are planning to build separate PnLs for Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. We've also designed firewall teams now for some of our big clients like Google and Dell. They are big clients and need a dedicated team because of the huge amount of media billings. So, I have almost five dedicated units running the five large global clients. 

Besides these, the agency has created a strategy and transformation team headed by Sonali Malaviya. 

“We want every key client of ours to have a transformation plan where we actively engage with them and want to tell them what they should do in the near term of three or five years, and then work towards that vision. So, with her, we put the data person, the commerce person, the insights person, the performance person and the entire advocacy team. All these people work very closely with her directly reporting to her and they are the ones who are driving the transformation for a client who possibly is only doing traditional stuff,” Khemka noted. 

Most mergers come with duplication of roles with many people being asked to leave but Khemka claims they managed the transition so well that they were able to retain almost everyone. 

Finally, talking about his big win at the Abby’s, Khemka says it’s the timing of the win that has worked well for them. 

“I think this win at Goafest is well-timed for us. The fest provides us the opportunity to convey our brand message to the media and clients as we are a newer agency and are gradually expanding the market across the country.”

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