afaqs!

HPCL appoints Solution Digitas to handle BTL

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 22, 2008
Twenty-three agencies were part of the pitch, including Arc Worldwide, Lintas, 141 Sercon and RMG Connect

In & #BANNER1 & # April, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL) announced the agencies that would handle its creative and media duties. Later, HPCL announced that it was also looking for an agency to handle its below-the-line (BTL) activities. HPCL's ad spends for this year are around Rs 40 crore, of which Rs 10 crore has been earmarked for BTL alone.

HPCL had put out an ad on the company website, which was reported by afaqs! in April. As a result, some 23 BTL agencies approached the petroleum company. These included Arc Worldwide, Innuendo, RMG Connect, Mudra Marketing Services, 141 Sercon and Wings.

A pitch followed and now, Solution Digitas, the integrated marketing services arm of Publicis, has been chosen to handle HPCL's BTL communication.

"We were looking for one single agency that would handle all our BTL activities, instead of separate agencies that have specialised skills in particular aspects," says Harjeet Singh Juneja, deputy general manager, retail lubes, HPCL.

HPCL has divided its BTL requirements into two clusters. One cluster concentrates on ideation and strategy, while the other cluster concentrates on contact programmes, retail activation and other such activities.

Solution Digitas scored over the rest because "the procedure that they followed, the learning that they took from the study, and the solution that they provided was in keeping with what we were looking for", says Juneja. He continues, "The other agencies had a very strong base, but in certain aspects only. Solution Digitas could provide all of it in all parameters."

The BTL activities will include product promotions, mechanic contact programmes, loyalty programmes with retailers and retail activation.

HPCL's creative duties are with JWT, Mudra and Leo Burnett. And the media partners of each of these agencies are in charge of the media duties - MindShare (JWT), Mudra Max and ZenithOptimedia (in affiliation with Leo Burnett). Earlier, the media duties were exclusively with MindShare.

Solutions Digitas is the coming together of Solutions, which was the India-Singapore marketing services arm of Publicis, and Digitas, which was acquired by Publicis in 2007.