afaqs!

Meridian Mobile strengthens advertising plans

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 10, 2008
The company, which manufactures the brand 'Fly', has brought Grey on board as its second creative agency, and has also appointed the new cricketer on the block, Ishant Sharma, as its second brand ambassador

Killed two & #BANNER1 & # birds with one stone - that's what Meridian Mobile has done. One, it has signed on Grey as its creative agency. Two, it has roped in cricketer Ishant Sharma as its brand ambassador.

Meridian Mobile, which manufactures the brand, Fly, has added Grey as its second agency, in addition to Square Communications. Square Communications has been on board for one and a half years now. Prior to that, Mudra handled the brand's duties for a short period.

Sougat Chatterjee, head, marketing, Meridian Mobile, India, says, "We are inking the deal in a couple of days. Looking at our expansion plans in the mobile business as well as other arenas, we might even consider getting a third agency on board if needed."

Sougat Chatterjee

Ishant Sharma
Apart from this, emerging cricket sensation Ishant Sharma has been brought on board to endorse Fly. He is the second endorser for the brand; Malaika Arora Khan is already on board. Talking about Sharma's appointment, Chatterjee says, "Young and vibrant, he appeals to the youth segment and connects well with them, which is necessary for a brand like ours, which is aiming at connecting with the youth. Interestingly, in terms of pace of growth, the company and Ishant have both seen a similar line of growth in very little time."

In terms of media mix, print is being focussed on heavily for the brand. When questioned about facing up to the competition, which has a large presence on television, Chatterjee reasons, "Nokia banks upon an emotional quotient, and Motorola and Sony Ericsson depict music as their strength. Our brand, being a multifaceted one, needs to be communicated in a different manner. A survey conducted by the company revealed that consumers wish to know more about a product and its features, and so print will be used."

But the company is not going to pull out of television advertising completely. It is gearing up to launch a TV ad with Khan and Sharma, which will be on air soon, once Sharma is formally announced as brand ambassador. Apart from that, two commercials - one a corporate campaign and the other a product commercial - are also in line.

Digital cameras will be a third line of business Meridian plans to get into in the next two-three months. As far as the mobile category goes, the company classifies its mobile segment into two tiers - low and mid, and high.

Chatterjee says, "The mobile category for Meridian Mobile in itself requires differentiated attention for the two segments, as the consumer psyche differs largely. Therefore, products are categorised accordingly and so is their communication."

The company plans to launch 500 exclusive Fly shops by the end of this year, beginning June 2008, says Chatterjee. The company is looking forward to launching an IPO for which television advertising and other marketing activities will be taken up extensively by the creative agencies.

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