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The Cell bags HDFC Securities creative

12-February-2004
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The Cell bags HDFC Securities creative

The Cell, which got its independent identity in June 2003, has bagged the creative account for HDFC Securities. The account will be handled on a retainership basis. Zubin Driver, Creative Director and Head of The Cell refuses to divulge the fee.

The agency bagged the account almost without competition. States Driver, “We have been pitching in a way for the account for the last three months. We have worked on a couple of projects with them. The new arrangement is a result of the work we have done for them and the excellent relationship we share.”

What is the client’s brief to the agency? Driver responds, “They want to make their brand-presence felt and are looking at a sharp positioning for HDFC Securities, which by far is the role of creative and strategy. They wanted an agency that understands the product and the category. We would like to believe that we have good understanding of both.”

Rashmi Nagori, Vice President, Marketing, HDFC Securities is all praises for Driver and his agency. “They have been meeting us for some time and Zubin’s ideas are indeed very creative. Our thinking usually clicks. They have an understanding of our products. We have a similar point of view and it is very important in a client-agency relationship,” she states.

She reveals that belonging to the HDFC group, and being in a category where not much advertising takes place, they were treading safely. “We looked at a few other agencies. We were looking at an agency with the right perspective and The Cell fit the bill,” she says.

The Head of the nine-month-old agency is thrilled to bag the account. He states, “It is an exciting account. HDFC is a premier group and they are doing exceedingly well.”

At present the deal is for a quarter but if the things go smoothly, the relationship would be taken forward. And what about the media planning and buying part of it? States Nagori, “We are handling media buying internally at the moment. We might look at a media agency sometime in the future, but it is not on our immediate agenda.”

The Cell also handles ILFC Mutual Fund, CNBC TV 18 and Mantram. Though the first two were with the agency from the initial stages, Mantram was added in its portfolio six months ago.

Mantram is an Indo American magazine targeted at upper crust Indians living in America. States Driver, “The creative is done out of India, but as the entire activity happens in the US, we let it be low profile here. But it is a very interesting account to handle.”

The Design cell, a separate division of The Cell handles designing work on project basis – it has handled Reliance Corporate, ILFS Invest Smart and TFCI projects among others. On the strategy front, it has handled BNP Paribas Private Banking.

As for other projects in the pipeline, Driver is reluctant to provide details. “You would have to wait some,” says he. “We intend to have a much wider basket. The focus is on large, interesting brands. We are also working very closely with CNBC TV 18 clients.”

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