Grey Bengaluru bags Wockhardt Hospitals

By Neha Kalra , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 14, 2008
With a focus on print and an advertising and marketing budget of around Rs 20 crore, this is the first time the brand is going national with its communication

Wockhardt & #BANNER1 & # Hospitals, a leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology company in India, has appointed Grey Bengaluru as its creative partner. This win comes following a multi-agency pitch.

This is also Wockhardt's first attempt at advertising at the national level. Prior to this, the brand has had relationships with local creative agencies for local communication.

Last month, Lintas Media Group (LMG) was appointed the custodian for the media duties. There were rumours that O&M Bengaluru had been appointed the creative agency for the brand, but a source close to the development confirms that at that time, Wockhardt hadn't finalised its agency at all. The final round of presentations was between O&M Bengaluru and Grey Bengaluru.

The other agencies that participated in the pitch were MAA Communications and Lowe.

Sources confirm that Wockhardt Hospitals has chalked out an ad budget of around Rs 20 crore. The focus of the media mix will be print primarily. However, since the target audiences are in urban areas and metros, online might also be considered.

Talking about the account grab, Hari Krishnan, associate vice-president and branch head, Grey Bengaluru, tells afaqs!, "Healthcare is a category that is all set to boom because individual health care spending is on the rise. And Wockhardt is a brand that's been at the forefront of innovations for the last 18 years. The communication strategy revolves around building respect for the brand, based on its knowledge, achievements and innovations."

Krishnan believes that the creative team on the brand, comprising Sham Ramachandran and Vishnu Srivatsav, played a significant role in winning the account.

The first ad for the brand was released on November 8 across various print media. Srivatsav tells afaqs!, "The creative thought for the first campaign revolved around Wockhardt's primary expertise of cardiac care. We looked up their history and some of the important and path-breaking surgeries done by them, and used them to communicate about the brand in terms of how their contribution has changed the landscape of Indian medicine."

Commenting on the decision, Vishal Bali, chief executive officer, Wockhardt Hospitals, says in a note, "We have major plans to diversify and we were looking for an agency which would closely partner us and develop communication that will help us consolidate in existing markets and create a strong entry for us in newer markets. After a long pitch process, we've finally decided to go ahead with Grey. We were very impressed with their creative approach, and the passion and enthusiasm that they had for being in the health care space added to their credentials."

With a market capitalisation of $1.2 billion, Wockhardt Hospitals has a strong global footprint. Today, almost 60 per cent of the company's turnover comes out of international markets, notably Europe and the US.

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