Here's one more sizeable win for Everest Integrated Communications. After adding the Fena and Get It Yellow Pages brands to its Delhi roster, the agency's Mumbai office clinched the Rs 6-crore Donear suiting account on the May 18, 2001. The acquisition did not follow a formal pitch though.
Explaining how Everest went about its presentation to the client, Shabnam Panjwani, vice-president and manager, Bombay, Everest Integrated Communications, said, "There was no formal pitch. The client had met a few other agencies earlier. However after meeting us, they felt that there was a meeting of minds. We then followed it up with a credentials presentation and soon after we were informed that they would like to have us as their partner."
This presentation part was a long drawn affair. It began at the fag end of the year 2000, when the account moved from Percept Advertising, and went on till April 2001. In this period of six months, before Everest made an entry, Donear had sat through the presentations made by Grey, Concept and Publicis. Percept, it seems, did not try defending the account.
Interestingly, Donear and Percept (ex-incumbent agency) have shared an eventful past. Percept first won the Donear account around 1993-94. That time the agency was handling both the creative and the media part of the business. But within eight months or so, the two partners started falling apart. It appears Percept had asked Donear to pay up in advance for the buying advertising space on Zee. This was unacceptable to Donear since it was against company policy.
Rajeev Singh, advertising manager, Donear, elaborated. "What was the point of hiring an agency when the company cannot avail of its services fully?", he asks. "The reason why Percept asked for the money in advance was because it did not have good relations with Zee and therefore it wanted to play safe. But then, why should we bear the brunt of its own problems. So we decided to part ways." However, the creative work done by Percept contributed to a large extent in building the Donear brand.
In 1999, their paths converged again. In the interim, Donear did not hire any agency. While the company was handling the media part itself, freelancers were doing the creative. Talking about the reunion, Singh says, "The reunion was a result of mutual understanding. However this time, we gave only the creative part of the business, and that too on a monthly retainer-ship basis, and kept the media planning bit with us." But this association too proved short-lived.
Vinita Bangard, assistant vice-president, Percept D'Mark Mumbai, gave the agency's point of view. "Percept serviced the account for a year-and-a-half and it also handled part of media buying business. We bought space on Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kyon Ki Saas Bhi Khabi Bahu Thi to air the commercial. However, indifferences began to take root and after a while it became imperative for us to call it quits. We resigned the account," she said.
In sharp contrast, Singh of Donear said, "We took away the account from Percept. We felt that somehow Donear was not getting the attention it deserved. This was because Percept was already servicing Siyaram and Reid & Taylor. Reid & Taylor is not, however, the brand Donear is competing with. But yes it is certainly competing with Siyaram. So how can an agency handle two competing brands? This was our rationale for taking away the account from Percept." But these events have not disturbed the relationship between Donear and Percept, claimed Rajeev.
The agency least concerned about all this is Everest. It has its course of action laid out. "The focus is on creating path-breaking communication to lift Donear out of the current category clutter. Breaking category conventions in a relevant and interesting manner will bring noticeability to the brand. The brand was launched in 1984 and since then it has been doing quite well, especially after the launch of the Donear QSF sub-brand. The job is to launch more sub-brands and build long-term sustainable identities for each of the sub-brands, creating a cumulative impact for the mother brand-Donear. For example, 'Future Next' is an innovation in the marketplace and is being noticed for its innovative packaging and convenient size offering," said an enthusiastic Shabnam Panjwani.
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