Capital Advertising, Delhi, is riding high. It has just picked up the Rs 12-crore advertising account of LML motorbikes. It may be recalled that the pitch for the combined account of Adreno and Energy took place in Delhi over the first two weeks of June, ending with presentations from Rediffusion and incumbent agency FCB-Ulka on June 13. Besides these two and, of course, Capital, the other two agencies vying for the account were Enterprise Nexus and Ambience D' Arcy.
While both the agency and the client confirmed the development, neither was willing to talk about the details of the pitch or the strategy they are planning to follow. When contacted, Hemant Malhotra, general manager, marketing, LML, said, "We have just about decided on the agency. It will take us at least two weeks to thrash out the details of the strategy. The amount to be invested on the marketing exercise will follow from that."
A palpably excited Sunil Sachdeva, director, Capital Advertising, volunteered, "Motorcycles are a new category for LML. So you must appreciate the sensitivity of the subject. We still haven't discussed things like which markets to roll out in, what would be the strategy to target consumers in those specific markets or the media route we should be talking. Clients don't really take agencies into confidence at the pitch stage or discuss such sensitive issues with prospective agencies at the very outset. And given the nature of competition in this particular market, that is understandable."
To put things into perspective, LML is the second largest scooter manufacturer in the country and a major player in scooterettes. Driven by falling sales of scooters over the years, LML decided to foray into the highly competitive motorcycle segment in collaboration with Daelim of Korea. Interestingly, when LML set foot in the mobike market in January this year, it did not call for a pitch. The account was entrusted with FCB-Ulka, which handles its Rs 24-25 crore scooter account. But as it turned out, the agency lost the account in six months flat.
"In a way, this is indicative of the fact that LML is getting serious in the market," an executive with one of the agencies in the running told agencyfaqs!. "It better be. All the players are getting aggressive with a slew of launches and very high decibel advertising. With due respect to the earlier agency, LML's new agency has to scrap the frills in its communication. The focus should be on demonstrating two basic product benefits before consumers. One, that they are fuel-efficient and technologically on par with the bigger players in the market. Two, they are competitively priced."
Indeed. LML's fortunes in the market has given the company brass very little to smile about. While the company started with splash early on, sales of motorcycles in May declined by 1.9 per cent to 4,002 units against 4,080 units in April 2001.
For Capital, it's clearly a bumpy ride ahead.
© 2001 agencyfaqs!First Published : June 27, 2001