Contract bags creative duties for SpiceJet

By Abhishek Chanda , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 15, 2008
The account is worth around Rs 20-25 crore

Contract Delhi & #BANNER1 & # has won the creative duties for the low-cost carrier (LCC), SpiceJet. The agency won the account following a multi-agency pitch involving agencies such as O&M, Bates 141, M&C Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Lowe. Contract and M&C Saatchi were among the agencies shortlisted for the final round. Gopika Chowfla Design, the incumbent agency, which had been handling the account for the last three years, also pitched to retain it.

Contract will come on board from January 2009. It will be responsible for refining the communication across all media including outdoor and online at a national level.

The media duties for the account, estimated to be Rs 20-25 crore, continue to be handled by Madison.

In an official communiqué, Sanjay Aggarwal, chief executive officer, SpiceJet, says, "Our research in the past has shown that the SpiceJet brand has good recall. However, we want to take it to the next level now. We were looking for an agency that could provide the right blend of strategic insight, cutting edge creative, innovative thinking and passion to excel."

Aggarwal adds, "We believe that Contract will be able to partner us best in this endeavour to position ourselves as the best LCC in Indian skies."

Umesh Shrikhande, chief executive officer, Contract Advertising, says, "It is a wonderful opportunity for Contract to help build Brand SpiceJet. We are looking forward to this partnership. SpiceJet is a brand for consumers who seek genuine value in their flying experience."

Speaking to afaqs! about the win, Surojit Roy, executive vice-president, Contract Advertising, says, "We understand the aviation category very well and provided precise solutions in our pitch presentation, which helped us clinch the deal."

When asked about the media mix to be used for the new business, he says, "Ideally, we would suggest the audiovisual medium, including TV and cinema, to start with. Traditionally, as a brand, SpiceJet has used print and outdoor. We also see a role for radio." The use of online has not been ruled out.

Earlier, afaqs! had carried a report on SpiceJet's call for a pitch at the end of October. Then, it learnt from a source close to SpiceJet that the brand was looking for a new creative partner, not because it was dissatisfied with Gopika's work, but because it wanted a bigger agency in the wake of its expansion plans. It also wanted a fresh perspective on the brand.

Interestingly, JWT handles the Kingfisher international account, and now, its sister concern, Contract, will handle SpiceJet, whereas Rediffusion Y&R handles the Kingfisher Domestic portfolio. Both JWT and Contract bagged the accounts following expansion plans envisaged by the two aviation brands, and in both cases, a smaller agency lost the account to a big one. Rediffusion, won the account leaving Orchard Advertising, the incumbent with the creative duties for Deccan Aviation. The battle for the Indian skies just got hotter.