Innocean: not just another agency

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | January 13, 2006
Hyundai Motor Company's newly launched creative agency believes in doing creatives that will be backed by strong consumer insights

Innocean, Hyundai & #BANNER1 & # Motor Company's spanking new agency, does not believe in drama for the sake of drama. Senior Innocean executives say they will not roll out crazy creatives just for the sake of being creative. Creatives backed by strong consumer insight are what they are aiming for as part of their worldwide strategy, they say.

Jae-Beom Park, CEO, Innocean Worldwide, says, "Our creatives might follow a common route, for instance, we might create a humorous campaign, but again, that too will be guided by strong consumer insight. Innocean's communication strategy is to introduce new techniques and new technology to creatives."

For the next six months, Park says the priority will be concentrate on the Hyundai brands. Initially, the agency plans to build its reputation in India, which it believes will pay off when it pitches for new businesses early next year.

The agency is open to any kind of outside business in which it sees potential for its expertise and which can help it in its brand-building exercise.

At the same time, the agency has set some standards for itself. For instance, it will not look at clients that change agencies frequently. As Park says, "We are looking at cementing long-term ties. We will go for clients by assessing them on their future growth potential. If a client forces us to violate the core values of conduct to which we adhere, then we shall say no."

Park says the move to launch Innocean in India was inspired by the growth of Hyundai Motors in India as well as the growth prospects that they saw in the Indian advertising industry.

Park clarifies that there isn't any issue of dissatisfaction with the agency that was handling Hyundai earlier. The launch of Innocean is part of the larger global strategy; it is not just an India-centric phenomenon, but pretty much a global design. "We see ourselves as the master agency for the Hyundai brand worldwide," he says.

As far as the DNA of the organisation is concerned, Vivek Srivastava, executive director, Innocean, says, "We will be a full-service agency in the real sense of the term. The Indian operations will be supported by YK Choi, who is the managing director of Innocean Worldwide."

He adds, "We have a strong creative team, which is matched by adequate client servicing and account planning staff. We are also looking at hiring more people by March-end this year. While we will outsource the media duties to another agency, we will definitely supervise every aspect of it through our own resources, which will be like analysing suggestions, giving inputs and making sure that strategically creative consumer insights and even the media aspects are well aligned with each other."

ZenithOptimedia will handle the media duties for Innocean.

Srivastava puts into perspective the role of an in-house agency: "While we are an in-house agency, nothing prevents us from having businesses outside. It is our responsibility to look at giving the best solutions to our clients. The only comfort we have is that we don't have to stand up for review every year, but at the same time, the responsibility, the accountability and ownership of the processes are very much ours. If something goes wrong, we will be questioned, and if something goes right, we will be applauded."

He continues, "We don't see this as a trend emerging across the globe (of having in-house agencies). This is slightly unique to the Korean system of business. But Innocean is not supposed to be a small-scale agency. It is supposed to be very large, global and the vision is very substantial and substantive. We are looking at being in the top 20 global networks by the end of 2010."

Explaining the philosophy of Innocean, Park says that it is one of a brotherhood where the clients want Innocean to grow, so they want them to take on varied clients to enrich the experience, and vice versa, with the agency wanting the best for the company and churning out the best creatives for it.

Srivastava offers his take: "Being part of a larger network may not be a very enriching experience. A lot of frustration breeds in many of the larger networks where you are one isolated element. The first thing we are doing is to integrate everybody into the same culture and the same philosophy and we are making sure that we all believe in it and follow it. The DNA or the centre is consumer insight. We are also working on our own propriety planning tool, which will help us come up with cutting-edge communication solutions."

As for gauging the kind of work that Innocean does, we will have to wait another 6-8 weeks till they roll out their creatives.

2006 agencyfaqs!

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