Volvo Car India awards creative mandate to Pickle

By Abhishek Chanda , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 25, 2009
Pickle has been appointed as the creative agency for the brand's car portfolio following a multi-agency pitch

Volvo Car India, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company owned, Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo Car Corporation, has appointed Pickle Advertising as its new creative partner in India following a multi-agency pitch. It is learnt that three agencies were shortlisted for the final round, though company officials refused to reveal the names. Euro RSCG is the incumbent agency and had won the account in 2006. Mindshare handles the media duties for the brand. The ad spends for the business could not be ascertained.

Pickle will handle the current portfolio of Volvo cars in India - the Volvo S80 (luxury sedan) and the Volvo XC90 (luxury SUV), as well as subsequent launches. While, Volvo S80 is priced in the region of Rs 39 lakhs - 46 lakhs, the XC90 is priced between Rs. 46 lakhs - 53 lakhs. In India, these cars fall into the Luxury segment, while worldwide Volvo Car maintains, they fall in the Premium segment. In India, it will be using the tagline - Volvo. for life.

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In the past, Volvo Car has stuck to limited advertising. The automobile company restricted its communication to high-end magazines and a few outdoors in niche markets to portray its premium image. It had also indulged in BTL activities like events and on-ground activities. However, the new advertising plans might also explore TV as a medium apart from all mediums that have been previously explored by Volvo Car. The brand will very much retain it's premium image.

Volvo Car is expected to launch its third car, the XC60, in due course of time. Before Volvo Cars entered the Indian market, Volvo as an automobile brand offered only trucks and buses in India. The company had made available its cars in the Indian market from early 2008 onwards.

Paul de Voijs, managing director, Volvo Car India, says, "We believe that Pickle has the necessary capability to assist us in achieving our business objectives. The strong process assurance, research based planning, understanding of our strategic and tactical goals and creative solutions have differentiated its proposal."

When asked, why did the company decide to shift it's creative duties from a larger agency like Euro to a relatively new and smaller agency, de Voijs says, "Pickle had a focussed strategy backed by quality research. The fact that the agency is small in size makes it flexible too."

Besides, he says, "the company believes in the practice of reviewing its agencies from time to time on a global basis." Since mid-2007, the Volvo business is jointly handled by Arnold, a Havas group agency and independent agency Nitro. Prior to that the business was handled by Euro RSCG which is also a Havas group agency.

Sumeet Chatterjee, president, Pickle Advertising, says, "Pitching for Volvo was an exciting process through and through. The key challenge was to understand the Indian luxury car buyer, the Indian luxury car market and also to identify the underpinnings of a successful brand like Volvo.

"Our research led us to several key insights that were very successfully translated into the creative. We are excited to partner Volvo Car India in its Indian journey."

Rahul Jauhari, national creative head, Pickle Advertising, says, "Pickle is proud to partner Volvo in India. Volvo has a history of making fantastic products and creative work. We look forward to creating some great work together."

Launched in mid 2008, Pickle, Lowe Lintas' second agency, has added a number of brands to its portfolio, including Kalpataru Constructions, Royal Orchid Hotels, Johnson & Johnson, United Spirits and SAB TV.