Scarecrow Communications wins creative duties for the BPCL retail brand

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 18, 2010
Impressed by the agency's past work, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd awarded the mandate to Scarecrow.

Close on the heels of winning the Religare Broking and Health Insurance businesses, Scarecrow Communications has bagged a significant win with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL). The account will be handled out of the agency's New Delhi branch.

BPCL, one of the major state-owned oil and gas companies in India, has appointed the agency to handle its retail initiatives. The other agencies empanelled by BPCL are Euro RSCG, Saatchi & Saatchi and Lowe Lintas.

No formal pitch was called for the business. Scarecrow was awarded the mandate on the basis of a campaign it had done in February this year for Shriram Transport Finance Company.

Monica Widhani, general manager, urban retailing, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd says, "My team and I really liked the Shriram Transport Finance Company's truck driver campaign released in the first quarter of this year, which was created by Scarecrow. We liked their thought process and attitude, and wanted to work with them on some of our new launches in retail."

The truck driver campaign was an awareness initiative, driven by print and digital, to highlight the importance of truck drivers to the economy. It aimed at mobilising public opinion in favour of maintaining a younger truck fleet.

"BPCL is one of the biggest clients that we will be handling in our careers. It is challenging, because with petrol and diesel being highly regulated products, people often think there is no difference from one brand to the other. Moreover, whatever campaign we design, its effectiveness can be measured immediately," says Raghu Bhat, co-founder and director, Scarecrow Communications.

"It will be a challenge to create a feeling in the customer for him to come back to BPCL each time, and design communication that would be differentiated in a retail category such as this," adds Joy Sengupta, co-founder and director, Scarecrow Communications.

The agency will be looking at a mix of below-the-line and above-the-line communication. It expects the first campaign, which will led by extensive outdoor and print, to break towards the end of 2010.

Manish Bhatt, co-founder and director, Scarecrow Communications says that the communication strategy in this particular category in retail works differently.

"Communication is different in this category. It is more of a point-of-sale thing. Herein, people have to come regularly for their fuel needs. In the case of other retail brands, consumers turn to a particular brand by impulse and recall. Here however, we have to work on building the environment and experience," he says.

Interestingly, later in the day, an official communiqué was sent by BPCL stating that Scarecrow was only brought on board for a particular retail assignment.

"BPCL has empanelled only three advertising agencies -Lowe Lintas, Saatchi & Saatchi and Euro RSCG. These agencies provide the company with comprehensive support in the areas of advertising and communication. However in few instances, the company does utilise the services of agencies to manage specific events, launches, exhibitions, etc. Our retail team in Delhi did utilise the services of this agency to design a few signages for point-of-sale communication in one specific case," the statement read.

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