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Universal McCann picks up ICI paints AOR

In a five-way pitch, Universal McCann pipped the other contenders to pick up the Rs 6-7-crore AOR account of paint company ICI India



agencyfaqs!
NEW DELHI, October 11

In a five-way pitch, Universal McCann pipped the other contenders to pick up the Rs 6-7-crore AOR account of paint company ICI India. agencyfaqs! diehards would remember the article that appeared on the website (ICI puts AOR account on review, September 4), that reported the pitch in full detail. To recapitulate, the AOR account of ICI India was fought over by Universal McCann, Starcom, Mudra, Initiative Media and Mindshare. The incumbent agency was RKSwamy/BBDO and it retains the creative part of the business.

Confirming the move of the AOR account, Hina Nagraj, general manager, marketing, ICI India, said, "We decided to go with Universal McCann because of their thorough evaluation of the issues involved, efficiency of their media delivery mechanism and understanding of the brief that was given to them." It seems the media pitch took place in two rounds and in the second and final round, the fight was between Mudra, Mindshare and Universal McCann. As things stand now, Universal McCann will officially start work on the account from November 1.

For the record, Delhi-based ICI is the third largest player in the Rs 430-crore Indian paint industry, after Asian Paints and Goodlass Nerolac. But all the three have different areas of strength.

To put things in perspective, paints can broadly be classified as decorative and industrial on the basis of the end use. The Indian market is dominated by the decorative segment, which comprises almost 70 per cent of the consumption compared to developed countries where the industrial segment is more dominant. Asian Paints and ICI are mainly decorative paint producers, while Goodlass has major share in the industrial paints segment. Bulk of the advertising spends for all these players in the paint market go into the decorative segment. The three major brands of ICI in the decorative segment are Dulux, Velvet Touch and Maxilite.

Chintamani Rao, president, Universal McCann, told agencyfaqs! about the challenges ahead for the agency. "In a category like paints it is the assurance of the company that helps sell a brand. You don't really walk into someone's house and say, 'Oh! You have Dulux or Velvet Touch on your walls. Thus brand awareness is minimal. Therefore, the challenge lies not only in clever creative but also in an intelligent use of media to generate consumer pull."

Indeed. Unlike an FMCG or a durable brand, consumer involvement in paints is very low. So is the consumption of paint. The current demand of paints in the country is estimated at 6,50,000 tonne per annum. The per capita consumption of paints in India stands at 0.5 kg p.a. compared to 8.8 kg in Malaysia, 1.6 kg in China, 26.9 kg in Singapore and 22 kg in the developed economies. India's share in the world paint market is a minuscule 0.6 per cent. "The paint as a product comes into an average consumer's life once in two/three years. So each and every player is in a state of constantly reintroducing itself to the consumer. Thus the responsibility on media is so much higher," adds Rao.

The task looks even daunting considering the target the company has set for itself. The Indian subsidiary of ICI Plc, UK (which has a 50.8 per cent in ICI India) hopes to achieve turnover of Rs 500 crore by the year 2005, according to a recent report on indiainfoline.com, which regularly tracks specific sectors of the Indian industry.

So, to start with, Rao and his team are busy working on "some innovative uses of media" to make the brand stand out in the clutter.

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