Contract Advertising drives away with Ashok Leyland's creative duties

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | August 12, 2011
The agency's mandate includes crafting communication for the company's heavy commercial vehicles, as well as repositioning the corporate brand.

The results of Ashok Leylands creative pitch have been announced. afaqs! has learnt that the business has moved to Contract Advertising. Kumar Subramaniam, executive vice-president, Contract Advertising, has confirmed the acquisition to afaqs!.

It has been further learnt that the agency will handle the account from its Mumbai office.

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

The win comes on the back of a multi-agency pitch that was held in Chennai. Several South-based, as well as Mumbai-based creative agencies participated in the process. Initiated around the first week of May this year, the pitch was for Ashok Leylands entire creative mandate, including its trucks, buses, army vehicles and upcoming products.

Recall that in the recent past, 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.

Ashok Leyland has also, in the recent past, been in the news owing to its impending re-branding process. The company is slated to be re-branded as Hinduja Leyland. Changes in the logo and image of the brand are on the cards. 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.

Explaining the agency's immediate mandate, Subramaniam tells afaqs!, "We're fundamentally going to develop a new idea and platform for Ashok Leyland's heavy commercial vehicles. This communication will in turn have a rub-off effect on the mother brand, by virtue of which we will also be repositioning the corporate brand.

He adds that the brand plans to be a lot more visible on the advertising circuit in the days ahead, especially since it is coming coming out of a lengthy period of silence.

Ashok Leyland -- India's second largest commercial vehicle maker, and a flagship company of the Hinduja Group -- 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 currently 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.

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