Delhi-based dairy giant Paras has awarded the Rs 3-3.5-crore advertising account to Confluence Communications, Delhi. The other agencies in the fray were Hakuhodo Percept, Triton and Ambience D'Arcy. As it turned out, the toss up finally was between Hakuhodo Percept and Confluence after Triton and Ambience D'Arcy bowed out at the end of the second round of presentations that happened two weeks back.
agencyfaqs! die-hards would recall the story 'Paras Milk scouts for ad agency to help build brand' (June 13), where it was stated that the account is worth Rs 1-1.5 crore. Till that time, the client was looking to hire an agency to work on the milk brand only. But as things stand now, the company is looking to promote the entire Paras product range; which is why the ad budget has been doubled to Rs 3-3.5 crore. Confluence is obviously ecstatic. In fact, it was at the agency's behest that the company decided to look at the Paras brand in its entirety.
It was a tough call for Deepak Mahrotra, general manager, marketing, Ved Ram & Sons, the owners of the Paras brand. This was so because both the agencies on the shortlist have handled dairy products before. In fact, the present team at Hakuhodo Percept was the same one that had worked on the Mother Dairy account while at Interact Vision. On the other hand, Confluence had already worked with Paras, having done some media releases last year.
So Confluence had an edge over Hakuhodo Percept, admits Mahrotra. "For two reasons. Its media planning was in sync with our expectations and very much within the budget specified." Elaborating on this, Tapas Gupta, president and CEO, Confluence, says, "We suggested that besides print, the focus should be on below-the-line activities. Since Paras is present in Delhi and the NCR only, we proposed some localised methods of creating awareness, like road-shows, outdoors, events, consumer contact programmes etc."
"The second reason," says Mahrotra, "is that Tapas Gupta has more than 10 years of solid experience in handling Nestle milk products (when he was with McCann). And that experience showed well in the agency's pitch."
Confluence was also confident that Paras would swing its way. "What we presented was indicative of a good understanding of the milk-based category in general, and milk in particular. I have been the brand custodian of some Nestle products and I also brought about the repositioning of Milkmaid. So I was confident that we had an edge over the others," concludes Gupta.
This is certainly a moment of jubilation for Confluence. Recently, it pocketed the Rs 7-8-crore Maxima watches account. If the agency continues to perform with the same gusto, it will not be far from achieving its billings target of Rs 30-35 crore for 2001-2002. Last year, the agency had billed Rs 22 crore. This is good going, given that Confluence started operations only in 1999 and has three offices currently, at Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta. The agency had kicked off operations with a captive business of Rs 8-10 crore, comprising accounts that Gupta was servicing while at PSL-Erickson.
Post Gupta, PSL-Erickson had to shut shop. When Gupta left, PSL-Erickson was a Rs 32-crore agency. As his team and his clients decided to move with him, PSL's Delhi office pulled down its shutters. Very soon, the Mumbai and Calcutta offices of the agency met with the same fate.
Probably this explains his faith that his agency will be able to carry the brand with it.
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