Korean consumer durables goliath LG Electronics has invited agencies to pitch for the estimated Rs 7-8 crore mobile phones advertising account. The agencies in the fray include McCann-Erickson and roster agency Lowe Lintas & Partners (which handles all of the company's consumer electronics products save vacuum cleaners and microwaves). It appears the other roster agency Capital Advertising (which handles LG vacuum cleaners and microwaves) has also shown interest in the account. The first round of the strategy presentation happened earlier this month. The company hopes to take a decision on the agency in two weeks' time.
Whichever way the decision swings, it is apparent that the dice is loaded against the agency that gets the account. Being a late entrant the task of breaking into the market dominated by heavyweights like Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung is a task in itself. The task looks more awesome if one looks at the peculiar nature of the Indian mobile phone market. The grey market operators who, between themselves, hog close to 80 per cent of the market, dominate the show. Of the remaining, Nokia has more than 50 per cent, followed by Ericsson and Motorola with 13-15 and 9-11 per cent share respectively and Samsung with 3-5 per cent. Other other players constitute the balance.
Currently, LG has three models in its portfolio - LG-200, LG-500 and LG-600. Of these, LG-200 and LG-500 were launched in Indonesia in May. According to an industry source, "The same models - LG-200 and LG-500 will be launched in India and, going by their fancy features, they would be priced upwards of Rs 10,000."
Check out what these two models have to offer. The flip-type LG-500, which comes with its own WAP browser, is a 95-gm GSM handset. It includes features like easy and quick document storage, quick information search using the navigation keys, embedded melody IC chip, and voice dialling (up to 20 numbers) facility. The standard LG-200 is a bar-type, slim GSM handset, and comes with the PIM (personal information management), SMS (short messaging service) facilities, vibration mode and, for those who get bored easily, seven different games.
The date of launch for mobile phones hasn't been fixed yet.
Interestingly, earlier this year LG had announced that it had increased its ad budget to Rs 100 crore from Rs 80 crore last year. While the mobile phones account my be small to start with, it would be interesting to see if the company settles for one of the roster agencies or gives a new one a foot in the door.
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