Maniar, creative director, O&M, has quit the agency, and set up his own holistic marketing communications outfit, called 'ON'.
Maniar, known for his Mentos campaigns, has set this company up in partnership with Roshan Chowdhry, who owns and runs the media agency NAC. Chowdhry clarifies, "'NAC is and will continue to be an independent media agency. ON is a partnership between Jignesh and me to launch a cutting edge creative outfit that builds brands."
ON will be based on the ad agency model, while also offering services in the new media space, particularly digital. "Every problem of a client need not have a TVC as its answer," says Maniar, "which is why ON has been created: to tell marketers looking for innovative marketing and communication solutions, that we are ON for them."
ON will merge the planning and servicing functions under a common banner: Brand Servicing. "This is to ensure that the client servicing fellow doesn't turn into a glorified courier boy, like in some agencies," says Maniar. "At the end of the day, we service brands, not clients."
ON will start operations in April 2008, and will be based in Mumbai. A peculiar feature of ON is that the company will encourage its employees to pursue their creative interests beyond advertising - this could be interior designing, script writing, or even theatre. Next, a business model has been put into place through which these employees will share their profits earned through these other avenues, with ON. In this manner, ON will avoid creative burnout, while also putting together an alternate revenue stream.
For the record, Chowdhry is a graduate from Pace University, New York and has more than 15 years of experience in advertising and media. Maniar, on the other hand, has penned campaigns for brands such as Chocotella, Fevikwik and Air-action Centerfresh, apart from Mentos. Maniar has spent around 10 years in the industry (the first two with Vyas Giannetti Creative, and the next eight with O&M).
Maniar is most noted for Mentos, which was nominated for Cannes and also showcased at the recently held World Effies in Singapore. Mentos has also been showcased by BBC UK as one of the world's funniest commercials.
Some of the other brands he has handled during his career include Asian Paints, Castrol, Sony Entertainment Television, Yahoo!, Aditya Birla Group, ESPN and ING Optimix.