afaqs!

Ashok Leyland looks for creative agency

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 23, 2011
Talks with several Chennai and Mumbai-based agencies are currently underway.

afaqs! has learnt that India's second largest commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland, has put up its creative business for review. Ashok Leyland is a flagship company of the Hinduja Group.

Though the authorities at Ashok Leyland remained unavailable for comment on the matter, highly placed sources in the industry, close to this development, have confirmed the news to afaqs!. Sources claim that the creative duties for the company's buses and trucks are being reviewed in this pitch.

Currently, the creative mandate for the company lies with Mudra. Prior to Mudra, JWT has worked on the account's advertising.

It is also learnt that though some creative agencies in Chennai have been invited for the pitch, several Mumbai-based agencies are also a part of the process.

Recently, Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor Company unveiled their first Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) called the Ashok Leyland DOST. The product is slated to be launched in the market, in the second quarter of FY (financial year) 2011-2012. Interestingly, around three-four months back, Ashok Leyland had approached a few Chennai-based agencies regarding the communication for a then upcoming product launch.

It is also of relevance that in the recent past, Ashok Leyland has been in the news owing to its impending rebranding process. The company is slated to be rebranded as Hinduja Leyland, and changes in the logo and image of the brand are in the offing. In fact, Omnicom Group's design agency, the London-based Wolff Olins, is working on this re-branding exercise. The firm's mandate includes designing the new logo, as well as, dealing with the new brand architecture of the company.

For the record, Ashok Leyland has seven manufacturing plants, including those at Ennore (near Chennai), Hosur, Alwar, Bhandara and Pantnagar. The company has been in the transport solutions industry for over five decades, and presently offers a range of trucks, buses, special application vehicles, and engines. It also manufactures vehicles for defence purposes. In Indian metros, four out of the five State Transport Undertaking (STU) buses are products of Ashok Leyland.

Ashok Leyland was initially set up as Ashok Motors, in 1948. Then in 1955, owing to the equity participation by British Leyland, Ashok Leyland was born.

As of today, Ashok Leyland operates under the communication tagline 'Engineering your Tomorrows'. The company's vehicles stand for reliability and ruggedness.

Currently, Ashok Leyland's biggest local competition is Tata Motors.

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