Plan B bags the creative mandate for MTR's upcoming snacking business

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 01, 2011
MTR plans to foray into the snacking segment soon; will target the Southern market first.

The Bengaluru-based advertising agency, Plan B, has won the creative mandate for MTR's upcoming snacking business. Plan B will be responsible for building brands for MTR in this category, planning the launch campaign, and working on all subsequent communication for the business. The products will belong to the traditional South-Indian snacking cuisine.

The development comes on the back of a multi-agency pitch held in Bengaluru. The pitch process was initiated around mid-January and had just one round of presentations. Apparently, the pitch process was strategy-led.

The creative mandate for the existing products under the MTR umbrella lies with Ogilvy India's Bengaluru branch. Since Ogilvy already handles ITC's snack brand Bingo, MTR needed to call for a creative pitch for its upcoming snacking venture. Plan B is now the second agency that MTR has included in its creative roster. All of MTR's media duties are consolidated with Maxus.

MTR plans to launch the products in this new category around July this year. Vikran Sabherwal, vice president, marketing, MTR Foods, tells afaqs!, "The team plans to test the category in its home market, that is, Karnataka. That's where we have maximum equity. Following that, the products in this category will be launched in other parts of South India. The plan is to go pan India eventually." He adds that while the brand name of products in this category will carry the MTR brand name, it is premature to comment on the names of the individual sub-brands of the snacking product portfolio.

Anirudha Mukhedkar, founder of the winning agency, Plan B, tells afaqs!, "MTR is eyeing some serious growth in the near future and the snacking segment is the single major thrust area. The team is looking at aggressive marketing plans, and their passion resonates with that of the team at the agency."

The upcoming launch campaign is slated to be a multimedia one that will exploit all media channels. Since the company's plan to get into the snacking zone will be centred around the Southern market, the ad campaign will kickstart in Karnataka, and will then move to other areas as per the requirement.

Founded by Mukhedkar, Plan B came into existence four years back. It has a staff of over 30 individuals. The agency's core team comprises Ashok Sarath and Prasad Erande in the creative department, while Lisa Mukhedkar handles client management.

Besides advertising services, Plan B's other practices lie in the areas of brand identity, brand design, private label identity, and internal branding. Plan B's sister concern, Restore Solutions, provides services in the area of retail design.

The brands Plan B currently handles include GE, Wipro, MegaMart, Paramount Cosmetics (Shilpa Bindis, and the Instinct range of men's grooming products), EMC, and YLG Salon & Spa.

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