Last week, Equus Advertising's Mumbai office consolidated the entire advertising business of IDBI Bank by unseating longstanding agency Fortune, HTA's financial services agency. The win comes in the wake of a successful foot-in-the-door strategy that Equus had employed some five months ago, when it had first been mandated to handle a retail-centric branding exercise for IDBI Bank.
"We were earlier appointed (by IDBI Bank) from a retail identity perspective," Swapan Seth, deputy CEO, Equus Advertising told agencyfaqs!. "The entire brand moved to us last week." Seth further revealed that Equus will be involved with the retail bank business alone. "We have the mandate to partner IDBI Bank in its desire to expand and enter newer consumerscapes."
It might be recalled that in early February this year, Equus had been entrusted the task of cultivating a distinct 'retail banking' image for the bank. Back then too, Equus had won this assignment following a branding pitch against Fortune, although at that time, Fortune retained all the other advertising business of the bank. Equus had subsequently redesigned the bank's logo, and coined the prompt-line 'What can I do for you?'
Unlike the last instance, the current realignment was not preceded by a pitch scenario. "We got the account on the back of the retail identity thought-and-work process," Seth informs. But that is not to say that there wasn't any competition. Without naming any agency in particular, Seth says, "Yes, there were seductions from other agencies, but I think over the past six months, IDBI Bank was sizing up Equus' inputs."
Which means Equus did bring some strong value-add to the table. "I think we brought our special flavour of brand fervour, coupled with immense belief in the brand's core ethos," Seth muses. "We see several climatic commonalities and common destinations for both IDBI Bank and Equus, as brands. It is a meeting of DNAs." And he is reluctant divulging the size of the IDBI business. "Suffice it to say that we shall compete in this space not through spends, but sense."
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