Daewoo Motors' agency hunt has reached the final leg. It has shortlisted three agencies in Delhi, Euro RSCG, TBWAAnthem and MAA Bozell, which are expected to make a final round of presentations to the company over August 8 and 9. It may be recalled that the Korean car maker had called for a pitch last month. The pitch involved agencies like Headstart, Euro RSCG, FS Advertising, Enterprise Nexus, TBWAAnthem, MAA Bozell, Studio Communications and a small agency called Visaka.
While the company reiterated time and again that the pitch was not for its small car Matiz - but to spruce up the corporate image - informal talks with the agencies in the fray has given agencyfaqs! a slightly different picture. "Yes, the brief to the agencies had a distinct slant towards the corporate angle," says a senior client servicing executive in one of the agencies on the shortlist. "But it also said that the company was looking for a strategy that would have a positive rub-off on the Matiz. So, many of the agencies would have gone ahead with the assumption that the pitch was indeed for the small car."
Another source close to agencyfaqs! was categorical that his agency was given a clear understanding that "whichever agency makes it to the grade this time may find favour with the company whenever it decides to bring in any of its other brands into India." For the same reason perhaps, the size of the account is also unknown. While the company refused to put a figure to it, this source says, "Most of us (agencies in the running) are working with a back-of-the-envelope calculation of a budget of Rs 12-14 crore over the next one year."
Things would hopefully be clearer by this weekend, indicates a senior Daewoo official. Daewoo Motor India's new managing director and CEO Young-Tae Cho, who's just back from Korea, is expected to sit through the final round of presentations and come to a decision by the weekend, the Daewoo official added.
The idea behind the final round, it seems, is to give Cho an idea about "the kind of resources the shortlisted agencies are willing to allocate the company". "So we would be meeting them with some creatives and the entire jing-bang (the team that is likely to work on the account) tomorrow," says an agencyfaqs! source. Another agency head adds, "One of the things they (Daewoo) have asked is the kind of credit period the agency is willing to extend Daewoo." Not surprising, given the financial hassles the company has got itself into. "As it is, the outstanding with Enterprise Nexus, at this point in time, is to the tune of Rs 5.6 crore," says an insider. Despite this, the interest among agencies is understandable given the company's immediate plans for this market.
Daewoo is gunning for a home run in India. Attempting to drive back volumes, the company is working towards introducing a spruced up special edition version of its popular small car Matiz. The Korean car major is also reviewing and reworking its marketing strategies for the country. Talking to the media recently, managing director Cho had said the new variant of the Matiz, to be produced in limited numbers, is likely to be introduced this year itself.
It is also known that Cho is reviewing the strategies and decisions of his predecessor Young-Chang Kim. However, the exercise is unlikely to derail plans to launch three new mid-sized models by the year-end. Cho, who took over as the managing director of Daewoo in India on June 16, had also said his future strategy revolves around developing India as an export base for its products. But he refused to define a timeframe for the company's turnaround.
The success of Cho's plans hinges on a number of factors. But for those interested in knowing which agency finally gets the account, watch this space for more.
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