The Rs 3,000-crore consumer electronics major, Videocon International, and the Rs 1,300-crore textiles and apparel major, Raymond Ltd, are discussing opportunities for joint media buying. The first signals came some months back in the outdoor medium, though at a different level of joint participation, when Raymond was seen on hoardings leased by Videocon in Mumbai. But if the two companies are successful at arriving at a fresh agreement for cooperation in other media, especially in print and television, it may herald a new trend in the Indian advertising and media industry, say observers.
Two of the five hoardings at one of Mumbai's busier road crossings, Haji Ali, which are on a long-term lease by Videocon, were given to Raymond Ltd to display its wares around November last year, informs a Videocon source. "But that is at a different level," he says. "Joint media buying is a thought for now. It has not been implemented."
The catalyst behind this strategic thought is none other than Nabankur Gupta, group president, Raymond Ltd. Since the two companies are non-competing, it makes sense for Gupta, the former director of marketing of Videocon, to strengthen buying power by teaming up with his former employer. When contacted, Gupta declined to comment on this move. "There have been some initial discussions," he said. "We are examining it right now." Beyond that, he refused to answer even related questions.
Videocon, as a group, buys media worth over Rs 120 crore annually while Raymond's advertising spend is close to Rs 50 crore. Outdoor advertising forms about 10 per cent of Videocon group's total advertising. Between print and television, Videocon's monies are split in the ratio of 75 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. But in the last three months or so, Videocon has been focusing a lot on television. This year it may well be looking at a split of 50-50 between the print medium and television.
Currently, both companies buy media on their own. Their respective advertising agencies handle the creative, planning and media implementation. While Enterprise-Nexus handles the advertising for Raymond, the Videocon account is split between more than four agencies in what may be seen as a rather interesting maze (loyal readers may remember our Videocon stories of June and July 2000 which attempted to unravel it). Lead agency iB&W handles the creative and media planning for CTVs, B&W TVs and all brand advertising that cuts across product categories. Leo Burnett does the creative for refrigerators and washing machines. Mudra does creative and media planning for the Internet TV. Quadrant does creative and planning for Akai, Sansui and Kenstar. The Akai brand, in addition, also employs services of agencies like Rashtriya or Parichay to release press information.
When it comes to marketing, companies have mostly cooperated in the arena of joint promotions, co-branding of products and events, and leveraging existing distribution structures. The idea of co-operation in the area of media-buying, which is akin to the consolidation taking place across media arms of advertising agencies, is fairly unique, feels an adman.
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