Panasonic Kitchen Appliances moves from Hakuhodo Percept to Disha Communications

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 16, 2011
The split with Hakuhodo Percept comes after a decade long association. Ad spends for the range is pegged at upwards of Rs 5 crore.

Panasonic has assigned the creative and media duties for its kitchen appliances to Disha Communications, Chennai, following a multi-agency pitch process. The creative duties for the kitchen appliances range (including electric cookers, mixer-grinders and other items) had been with Hakuhodo Percept for about a decade; Allied Media was the incumbent on the media mandate.

The pitch process saw participation from Disha, along with Hakuhodo Percept and R K Swamy/BBDO. Annual ad spends for the kitchen appliances range is usually about Rs 5 crore. However, this year, a significant increase in spends is expected, as Panasonic hopes to lend a 'new strategic thought' to its advertising.

Confirming the win, Devarajan Duraibabu, vice-president, Disha Communications, tells afaqs! that he has worked with Panasonic while at Hakuhodo several years ago. "So, there was a comfort factor when we pitched," he says.

G Gurumohan, chief marketing officer, Panasonic Home Appliances, says, "The pitch was initially called only for the mixer-grinder range, but after evaluating Disha's overall rather fresh strategy, we decided to award the entire business to the agency."

To give a category perspective, Chinese kitchen appliances, particularly cookers, have been invading the Indian market -- more so, in recent times. As they 'look the same' and are priced lower than brands such as Panasonic, the task is clearly to claim Panasonic's superiority in the segment.

"In our presentation, we emphasised how important it is to not just claim to be of better quality, but to 'quantify the quality', so to speak," says Duraibabu. The idea is to make a more scientific claim based on providing consumers with reasons on why one ought to go for Panasonic over the cheaper option: branded and unbranded Chinese products.

The media mix will include television (around 70 per cent of the ad spends will be allocated to TV), followed by magazines, below-the-line activities and point of purchase materials. Within television, general entertainment channels will be targetted, owing to the 'housewife' target group connection.

For the record, Panasonic's kitchen appliances range includes rice cookers, toaster ovens, juice extractors, bread bakeries, ice-cream makers, automatic electric pressure cookers, fish roasters and meat grinders.

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