McCann-Erickson, Delhi, has walked away with the estimated Rs 4-5-crore advertising account of footwear giant Adidas. agencyfaqs! loyalists may recall, the pitch involving Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson, O&M and Mudra Communications happened earlier this month, as reported on the web site on June 6, 2001 (Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson, O&M, Mudra run for Adidas). For the record, internationally, Adidas is split between BBDO Worldwide, Leo Burnett, Leagas Delaney and 180 Degrees.
Talking to agencyfaqs! Sanjay Nayak, senior vice-president & general manager, McCann-Erickson, Delhi, said, "They (Adidas) informed us at 2.30 pm on Friday (June 22) that we would be working with them." He added that the hand-over process would take up the whole of this week. "Work will start immediately thereafter."
Harish Doraiswamy, general manager, marketing, Adidas India, corroborated this. "The contract with the agency has not been inked yet. But let me put it this way. As of now, and so far as I am concerned, McCann-Erickson is our agency of choice." He added, "We zeroed in on the agency after the pitch assessment process got over last week, wherein McCann-Erickson's work was most appreciated."
Of course, Adidas ascribes the movement of the account to brand compulsions. "Internationally and in India, Adidas is at that stage when it needs a fresher perspective on what the brand stands for," said Doraiswamy. "However, specific to this pitch, we were not looking for a global brand strategy from the agencies. In other words, we had asked for some strategic marketing and tactical inputs, not a generic campaign strategy. To that end, we had posed a specific live problem to the prospective agencies and asked them to come up with a solution."
Nayak gave an idea of what this "specific live problem" was. "Adidas has a strong association with sports - and with football in a big way. With the World Cup soccer due next year, the agencies in the running were asked to present a strategy on how to use the World Cup association of Adidas," he said
Both Doraiswamy and Nayak refused to put a figure to the size of the Adidas account. Doraiswamy would only say, "I can't talk about the exact advertising budget. It depends on a lot of factors. All I can say is the marketing spends of Adidas, as a percentage of sales, is normal for a company in this particular business. But you should note that our marketing spend comprises several things like media, sports and marketing endorsements as well as retail marketing."
agencyfaqs! turned to an industry veteran for a back-of-the-envelope calculation. He ventured, "If you were to factor in the celebrity/endorsement part, the ad spend would be close to Rs 5 crore. But the whole thing doesn't go to the agency. Purely from the agency perspective, the account is worth half as much." The size notwithstanding, McCann-Erickson is evidently on a high. "We're simply delighted - it's a great brand," said Nayak. "We are waiting for a clear brief from the client, which will hopefully come in once the nitty-gritty is over. But broadly, our task would be to take the heritage and the legacy associated with the brand one step forward."
© 2001 agencyfaqs!