JWT's Honk and Mudra's gush of Water, Rediffusion Y&R has announced its own design unit. The offshoot of the agency, which is yet to be named, will be based in Mumbai initially and managed by Siddhartha Singh as business head and Kalpita Bose as creative head.
Specialist outfits, sister concerns, second agencies or units launched to handle conflicting businesses, the subcontinent has seen a lot of activity in this field of late. Mudra wins hands down in launching specialist arms, with a tally of three new outfits, Water, Terra and Celsius. McCann is not far behind with the launch of two arms, TAG and Altitude, the latter created to cater to the Jet Airways account.
The design unit of Rediffusion will cater to all kinds of design needs and offer a one-stop shop delivering holistic forms of communication. Recently, the agency witnessed some major management changes with several creative heads joining it. Clearly, there is a migration towards a younger management team.
In an official communiqué, Mahesh Chauhan, group chief executive officer, Rediffusion Y&R, says, "The design unit has been created keeping in mind the need for design to be an integral and involved part of a brand identity development team. Siddhartha and Kalpita come with vast knowledge of the various aspects of brand development and will be great assets to this unit."
He maintains that the unit will cater to both Rediff clients and to independent ones, as long as the accounts do not clash. Initially, the unit will operate from Mumbai, but a multi-city presence is planned for the future.
Bose, on the other hand, has done a stint with Contract Bengaluru, handling mainline duties. Subsequently, she worked with DMA Design and PlanetAsia and also headed Contract's DesignSutra for four years.
When asked to comment on the Indian design scenario, she says, "Design is booming in our country, contrary to the belief that it is essentially a European thing. It is true that we have a lot of talent, ideas and an eye for detail, but to harness these is what counts. Design units are the best thing to happen in this regard."
Ideally, the team will look at a brand right from its inception, presenting clients with robust designing and packaging solutions, and catering to brand identity, logo design, packaging and other design related needs.
The unit has been working incognito on key clients for some time now. It has created a number of successful design campaigns in the last few months, including the Colors logo, collaterals for The Gateway Hotel, Be: Home as well as the new brand identity for Rediffusion Y&R.
With the advent of design in India and a number of recent launches, Rediffusion's design arm may be yet another feather in its cap, but what is reassuring is that the ad industry is consistently acknowledging the fact that today, advertising is longer limited to a print ad or a TV commercial.