"Our Real Time Bidding tool will keep PHD at the forefront of our clients’ digital ambitions"

Jyoti Bansal, MD, PHD India talks about the agency’s focus on digital and mobile, how PHD’s Real Time Bidding tool is going to change the way it is perceived and more ..

"Our Real Time Bidding tool will keep PHD at the forefront of our clients’ digital ambitions"

Jyoti Bansal, who was appointed as MD of PHD India in September last year, talks about the agency’s focus on digital and mobile, how PHD’s Real Time Bidding tool is going to change the way it is perceived and more...

PHD was officially launched in India in October last year, whilst the agency was functional handling the digital mandate for HUL. How has the PHD journey been in India so far?
Our first focus was on introducing the PHD philosophy and culture to our existing globally aligned clients in India, including UL, HP, HTC, SC Johnson. Our teams are now trained on our game changing OS SOURCE and are using it to leverage the power of the network for our clients. In Feb, we launched ‘GAME CHANGE’ – the PHD thought leadership book in association with Jane McGonigal, game developer and author of books like ‘Reality is broken: Why Games make us better and how they can change the world’. This book introduces the concept of how PLAY will be to the 21st century what WORK was to the industrial age- our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value.

We are now working obviously on expanding our list of clients in India, and making PHD the agency of choice for advertisers looking to play the challenger game.

Besides the global alignments, what are the new business wins from October till now?
We have not really focused on getting new business outside of our group businesses in the first 6 months, our focus has been to align our existing global/ regional clients into the PHD fold and introduce them to the PHD way of working. That said, we have acquired the digital business of Isuzu and Transitions Opticals recently. Going forward, we are going to shift focus to acquiring new business locally and we are in conversations, but I can’t divulge names right now.

What are the challenges faced by PHD currently?
Like the industry, we are facing the challenge of cautious business sentiment, . But more than the challenges, our focus is on opportunities and on all the new things we are doing for our clients to add value to their business. We are soon bringing in our RTB tool for our clients in India, which will change the way we do digital buying for them. We believe it will provide a distinct edge to them in reaching out to their audiences better and more cost effectively, and keep PHD at the forefront of our clients’ digital ambitions.

The Omnicom Media Group has invested in digital and seen visible results with the ‘missed call’ campaign and now with the GoodLife Club being awarded. What are the other digital initiatives in the pipeline? Are there other tools besides Source that has being leveraged to strengthen the agency’s digital potential?
Mobile has of course been a big focus. PHD winning in the Mobile categories at FOMA two years in a row is proof of that. We are partnering UL on initiatives like Kaan Khajura Teshan, which are absolutely unique in thought and vision. We are also working with clients like HP on integrating digital into the overall media strategies to reach out to consumers holistically.

Source is our biggest strength, our clients globally love it and we are working on bringing its full advantages to our clients in India too. Of course we have access to all our Group tools and resources and use them to maximize our digital potential, but our biggest strength is our people and our network, that is what keeps us at the top of our game.

What are the focus areas for the agency going forward?
2014 is our first full year of operation in India, and you will see a lot of action. Leveraging data is a big bet and we are looking to make a really big play there. Innovation in research has always been our group strength. We are soon launching a FIRST ever mobile online community panel in India to bring real time consumer insights to our clients. PHD had a great year on awards in 2013, winning 40 awards across global, regional and local award shows. 2014, we want to accelerate this momentum even higher. We have taken on board some good talent in 2013 and it will show in our work in 2014. Growing our client base and delivering great work will always be at the heart of our plans.

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