In an effort to
encompass the rapid changes in the small towns and villages of India, the Starcom MediaVest Group has launched a specialist unit, Xpanse, to monitor the marketing and communication in these places.
The core team includes Sandip Bansal, country head, and Rajkumar Jha, national director, knowledge and insights. The agency has been toying with possible names for the new unit for a long time. Finally, Xpanse was selected and officials at Starcom believe that the name reflects the scale, scope and simplicity of the new division.
Bansal says, "We need to understand that communicating and marketing in rural areas is fundamentally different from operating in big cities. In the past, a lot of initiative was taken to custom make creatives. However, now, the challenge is to build a connect with the consumers of small towns and villages in an engaging manner. It is also important for our clients to know how the people of these geographies comprehend advertisements."
The new unit will be instrumental in understanding these markets. This includes physical attributes and cultural nuances. The unit also aims to deliver clutter breaking solutions and to bridge the geographical vastness of India through its services.
Jha says, "There are too many changes happening all around us, especially in the small towns and villages. The process of change is fascinating and we need to adapt to it. So, we will try to cater to brand needs where media and message will be woven in together."
Talking about how Xpanse is different from other agencies, Bansal says, "Xpanse is different from other organisations in many ways. Firstly, while existing rural unit agencies are part of the creative network of an agency, Xpanse will be a part of the media agency. Moreover, our primary focus is on small towns, which has not been tried by any other agency."
Xpanse will operate out of 14 offices in India for now.
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