Mudra goes maverick with 'StreetSmart'

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | June 19, 2009
The group launches its second OOH specialist agency but promises this one's spunky

'Spunky', 'edgy', 'fresh' and 'new' are some of the words that are being associated with the new OOH (out of home) specialist agency launched by the Mudra Group. The agency, launched yesterday and aptly named StreetSmart, aims to provide a new-age interactive edge to the outdoor space.

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Discussing the launch, Pratap Bose, chief executive officer, Mudra Max, tells afaqs!, "We wanted to offer our clients differentiation. The agency will offer a combination of spunky creativity and organised planning, and we aptly named it StreetSmart."

The new division will be headed by Anurag Gupta, in addition to his role as president, strategic initiatives and integration, Mudra Group.

In fact, this is the group's second OOH specialist agency, the first being Primesite. So what purpose does a second OOH specialist unit serve? "OOH is evolving very rapidly, changing every day. We could inculcate these changes in the existing organisation (Primesite). However, the idea was to hire new people who think differently, and not in the traditional 'outdoor' way," says Gupta.

He adds, "The brief to this new team is that everything that is out of home can be converted into an opportunity to converse with consumers. It is a maverick kind of a mindset, you know. So we felt it would be better to set up a new agency."

Gupta also reveals that classically, he's not an outdoor person. "I've been an activation person for a decade now. That's why I felt I would do justice to bringing fresh new ideas to this agency. We aim to bring completely different thinking and unique ideas to outdoor."

The agency will look at new technologies, new ideas in ambient and new platforms. However, breaking out of the box doesn't mean that StreetSmart won't look at conventional media, informs Gupta. He says that it, too, will look at billboards, bus shelters and other conventional outdoors, but in a differentiated, tweaked fashion.

Another reason to start up StreetSmart was the handling of competitive and conflicting businesses within the Mudra Group, which deals with many clients and businesses. Gupta chose not to reveal the new agency's clients yet.

StreetSmart started its operations in Mumbai on June 18 and will soon be launched in Delhi and Bengaluru as well. Its core team by the end of the year will consist of 30-35 people.

Ironically, breaking away and offering 'out of box' thinking and ideas has become a clichéd line in itself, so let's see if this maverick delivers! You're up StreetSmart, show us what you got!

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