Mudra Max bags Uninor's OOH account

By Poojya Trivedi and Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | November 23, 2010
As per industry standards, new telecom players spend about 25 per cent of their media budgets on OOH.

The telecom major, Uninor has moved its OOH account from Navia Asia -- the OOH arm of Starcom -- to Mudra Max.

The company did not disclose the account size, but as per industry standards, new telecom players spend about 25 per cent of their media budgets on OOH. Some industry sources also cite that Uninor is likely to spend Rs 60-75 crore on out-of-home.

Uninor -- a joint venture between India's real estate major, Unitech and Norway-based mobile services provider, Telenor Group -- had signed a one-year contract with Navia Asia in November 2009. Thus, a multi-agency pitch was called for at the end of the contract period, following which the company moved its pan-India account to Mudra Max. The other agencies that participated in the pitch include Kinetic and 141 Wall Street.

"Of the agencies that presented to us, we were most impressed with Mudra Max's ideas. They seemed to best understand the need of a challenger brand in a competitive landscape and the critical role a creative and unconventional OOH programme can play. We also felt that Mudra understood the current marketing environment in our category space better," says a company official.

The company has always adopted a localised OOH strategy. "While the brand identity stays uniform across each of our regions, its adaptation and execution has to rely on local intelligence, unconventional avenues available locally and tactics that can generate best results for us. The idea, of course, is to do this intelligently; so we are able to run a very effective yet efficient outdoors programme," says the company official.

Uninor has emerged as the operator with the third highest new subscriber additions in the country. It has about 13.5 million customers currently.

OOH has been a crucial pillar for the company since its launch. The company has established itself as a "non-celebrity" brand that is built around people -- customers and employees.

Following this appointment, the company expects the agency to stay true to the brand ethos, and focus on communicating the attractiveness of the unique products and offerings in a simple way. The company expects Mudra to bring in an "outside in" approach. This means starting from the unconventional possibilities in outdoors and then drilling down to creative execution.

"We also expect some very local thinking, instead of a uniform countrywide strategy. We are a mass market brand with very local consumption, and therefore, very local triggers to generate appeal," states the company official.

Uninor's creative duties lie with Leo Burnett; while its media agency is Zenith Optimedia.

For the record, the Telenor Group has recently made its fourth and final investment of about Rs 2,000 crore in Uninor, taking its ownership to over 67 per cent. In all, Telenor has injected more than Rs 6,000 crore of new equity into the company.

Unitech Wireless holds a pan-India Unified Access Services (UAS) license to offer mobile telephony services in each of India's 22 circles. It has rolled out services in Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttar Pradesh (East), Bihar and Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Gujarat, Mumbai, Rest of Maharashtra, Kolkata, Rest of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. The group has operated in Asia for 14 years. Its first operation was Grameenphone in Bangladesh, with which it entered the market in 1996. Telenor holds about 55 per cent stake in Grameenphone.

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