Following a multi-agency pitch that was called a month-and-a-half ago, Nirula's India has shifted its creative duties to Lowe Lintas from Bates 141. Besides Lowe Lintas, the other agencies in the fray were M&C Saatchi, Saatchi & Saatchi and TAG.
Commenting on the decision, Vinayak Shourie -- who was appointed as vice-president - marketing at Nirula's about six months ago -- says, "At Nirula's, we have very aggressive plans for this year; and we wanted a larger agency to partner with us in this."
"Everyone in the region has good memories of the place; we want to take that and create excitement in the category. We are looking at providing the kind of media support it should get in terms of its reach and expand the scope of the brand," Naveen Gaur, executive director, Lowe Lintas tells afaqs!. Gaur will head the Nirula's account at Lowe Lintas.
As part of the association, Lowe Lintas will manage a number of aspects related to brand communication, such as strategic planning and brand launches. The communication from the agency would primarily focus on the type of food provided, which suits the Indian palate and is also the expertise of Nirula's.
"The campaigns would be focussed in the region where Nirula's is present," says Gaur, adding that the campaign would have a 360-degree approach, including TV and other traditional media.
"We are more a Delhi NCR-centric company; and traditionally, TV has not played much role. We have used more of local media, such as radio, print and activation. But since we are getting into other parts outside Delhi, we are looking at moving to television sometime this year," Shourie tells afaqs!.
He adds that Nirula's is doubling its marketing spends in financial year 2011, vis-à-vis last year. "So, there will be lot of presence that will be felt in marketplace."
The company is expanding through its smaller-kiosk format outlets in the Delhi Metro stations. "We currently have eight outlets in the metro stations, and are looking at adding one store per metro station in the next four to five months. So, by the end of this year, we would have about 80-100 outlets," Shourie details.
Nirula's recently opened a restaurant in Indore, Madhya Pradesh; an ice-cream kiosk at the Mumbai aiport; and is planning to open an outlet in Mussoorie next month. "We are about 75 outlets today; and we plan to expand to about 200 outlets by the end of this year," Shourie adds.
The group operates hotels and restaurants in over 65 locations. It has Nirula's Hotels, casual dining restaurants under the brand name Potpourri, Pegasus Bar, ice-cream kiosks, Pastry Shop and family style restaurants under the name Nirula's. It also has several new retail formats, which include takeaway-centres called Express, and Fuel Station Units that are located at petrol pumps.