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JWT, Taproot, Ogilvy Africa fight for Airtel’s global identity

06-February-2012
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JWT, Taproot, Ogilvy Africa fight for Airtel’s global identity

Standing in the most profitable position after the cancellation of 122 2G licenses of various telecom players, Airtel is all set to gain a larger mindshare not only in India but around the world. Present in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, Airtel is gearing up for a global brand identity to reach out to people across boundaries with the same message.

The world’s fifth largest telecom company has briefed JWT India, Taproot India and Ogilvy Africa on creating a global brand campaign for this global identity. The pitch is in a nascent stage and agencies have just been briefed on the new assignment. Though no official confirmations could be obtained, sources close to the development have confirmed the news to exchange4media.

Exact details on the brief could not be obtained at the time of filing this report, but the move is being seen as an effort by Airtel to integrate the brand globally.

When contacted, officials from both JWT and Taproot refused to divulge any details on the campaign, but confirmed the fact that all three agencies had been called for presentation by Airtel. The pitch is being headed directly by Bharat Bambawale, Director, Global Brand, Bharti Airtel. Bambawale joined Bharti Airtel as Global Brand Director in July last year from JWT London. Airtel officials could not be reached for comments.

The development comes close on the heels of Bobby Pawar joining JWT formally in January 2012. Industry sources shared, “Taproot’s ‘Har Friend Zaroori’ has given a strong push to brand Airtel last year and all eyes are on Taproot now. It would be interesting to see who takes away this campaign. It would clearly be a Bobby Vs Aggi.” Meanwhile, Taproot India has extended the ‘Har Friend Zaroori’ campaign and has come out with ‘My Airtel My Offer’ TVC promoting Airtel personalised services.

The last couple of years have been quite happening for ‘brand’ Airtel. The telecom giant left its 15-year old partnership with Rediffusion Y&R and joined hands with JWT in August 2010. The same year saw Airtel in its new avatar with a new logo, a new global identity and new positioning in India – ‘Dil jo chahe paas laye’ – created by JWT. The new look came along with a new signature tune created by AR Rahman. Within a year of its association with JWT came the news of Airtel awarding its thematic brand campaign to Taproot India. What came after that became one of the most successful campaigns for Airtel. The HFZ or ‘Har friend Zaroori’ campaign by Taproot took the whole country by storm, pretty much becoming the anthem for youth last year. The campaign has continued creating magic with the youth by involving them in the process of creating funny characters embodying different types of friends. Where all this would lead to is a wait and watch...

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