afaqs!

Contract wins Odyssey retail chain business

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 26, 2008
Odyssey is a fully owned subsidiary of Deccan Chronicle Holdings. The size of the business is estimated to be Rs 5 crore

Contract & #BANNER1 & # Chennai has won itself the creative duties for Odyssey India, a national retail chain with its roots in Chennai. Bates 141 is the incumbent on the account. The business was won by Contract without a preceding pitch process.

This is Contract's second brush with Odyssey; the agency had earlier won the account in 2004, and lost it in mid-2006. "We gave the account to O&M then, and after a short partnership, we moved our business to Bates," says TS Ashwin, managing director, Odyssey India. Almost two years after parting ways, Odyssey and Contract expressed a mutual desire to work together once again, which is why the business has swung back in Contract's favour. No pitch was called for, as according to Ashwin, "we are moving forward quite aggressively in our expansion and really didn't have time for other agencies to get familiar with our brand and the learning curve". In a sense, Contract's past understanding of the brand helped.

Ad spends, according to industry sources, are pegged at around Rs 5 crore. The media duties lie with Network Advertising.

Confirming the win to afaqs!, MS Balaji, executive vice-president and head, Contract South, says, "We look forward to partnering Odyssey as the company expands its footprint to various parts of the country. The challenge for us will be to identify the right kind of consumers for a luxury retail chain like Odyssey." In a sense, Contract will have to tap into the local sensibilities of each market, without compromising on the overall brand outlook.

Odyssey is positioned as a neighbourhood leisure store where people can simply relax and spend time browsing. "The store encourages people to park themselves there, without pesky salespersons disturbing them," explains Rajesh Mathew, V-P, Contract Chennai. Contract will take this positioning of a great experience forward to the next level. The media mix will include press, outdoor and below-the-line activities chiefly.

For the record, Odyssey commenced operations in 1995 and has since grown to a network of 30 stores in 12 cities. Recognised as a book store, Odyssey has genres ranging from popular fiction and non-fiction to health, food and travel. Apart from books, the store has a collection of gifts, toys, music and other stationery goods, too.

Odyssey is a fully owned subsidiary of Deccan Chronicle Holdings.