Calling the bluff on recession-inspired gloom, WPP Group-agency rmg david has, over the past one month, won the advertising businesses of talcum powder brand Cuticura, powdered soft drink (PSD) brand Tang, and Rosy Pelican, a light beer brand from the Shaw Wallace stable. The billing boost from the three wins is expected to be in the vicinity of Rs 6-8 crore. While Tang will be handled out of Delhi, Cuticura and Rosy Pelican are with the Mumbai branch of the agency.
Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Madhukar Sabnavis, president, rmg david, said, "These wins are a clear indication that the 'recession in advertising' is mostly in the mind. True, the times are tough, but this is precisely the opportunity to give clients value for every buck spent through cut-through ideas. And clients are seeing value in the services that a small agency like ours offers."
Vis-à-vis the Cuticura win, Sabnavis reveals that rmg david "came to know that the brand was being given an image overhaul", and pitched for the business. While Sabnavis informs that there was no formal pitch for the business - "we made our presentations and won the account" - it is not clear whether there were other suitors for the brand account. For the record, the Cholayil Group (marketers of soap brand Medimix) had acquired the Cuticura brand from Muller & Phipps some six months ago. The Medimix account, incidentally, is with Chennai-based Fountainhead Communications.
Cuticura, with its mnemonic-like orange-and-white packaging, was one of the more popular talcum powder brands - especially in south India - till the mid-80s. However, calibrated marketing by Hindustan Lever (HLL), coupled with neglect at Muller & Phipps, saw the brand being driven into the wilderness. So much so that today, Cuticura has an insignificant share in the Rs 600-crore talcum powder market, which is dominated by HLL brand, Pond's (65-per cent market share). The remaining 35-per cent of the market is split between the likes of Liril, Cinthol, Santoor, Emami, Fa, Margo and Shower-to-Shower, not to mention the talcum powder offerings from men's toiletries brands such as Park Avenue, Premium and Denim. Then there is the 'therapeutic segment' (Nycil and BoroPlus) to contend with.
Sabnavis realizes that Cuticura has a stiff challenge ahead, but feels the Medimix Group is up to the task. "Medimix is very strong in the south and in Maharashtra," he insists. "And they are serious about Cuticura. I can't reveal much about the campaign we have drawn up, but I can assure you it'll be a big relaunch."
As regards Tang, the international PSD brand from Kraft, the account came to rmg david as a result of the last Coke realignment in India. It might be recalled that O&M's Delhi office used to handle Tang, but with that agency becoming a part of Coca-Cola India's agency roster, Tang had to find a new abode. "The client wanted to reap the benefits of the Ogilvy network, and we fitted in smoothly," says Sabnavis. He adds that work on the account has started, and "we are planning for next year, as Tang is primarily a summer brand." In the PSD segment, Tang is pitted in direct competition with Rasna International, although here, the word 'competition' includes everything from tetrapacked juices and nectars to carbonated soft drinks to water. Incidentally, PSDs currently constitute just 0.2 per cent of the 35-billion litre Indian beverage market.
The Shaw Wallace win apparently came on the back of a multi-agency presentation. agencyfaqs! has gathered that the liquor conglomerate did not hold brand-wise presentations, but shortlisted agencies to make credential and strategy-cum-creative presentations for its different beer brands - rmg david landed Rosy Pelican in the process (watch this space over the next week for more on the Shaw Wallace realignments). "Rosy Pelican is Shaw Wallace's offering in the mild beer segment, and will compete with market-leader Kingfisher," informs Sabnavis. Going by first impressions, Shaw Wallace is aiming for a repeat performance of what it managed in the strong beer segment - which is, overthrowing Kalyani Black Label with Haywards.
New accounts is not the only thing that is bringing smiles to faces at rmg david. Three of the eight entries it made at the London International Advertising Awards (LIAA) have made it to the final round, which will be held in the second week of November this year. The entries that have won the Finalist status are two print ads for Channel 9 (both in the Photography category), and an annual report for O&M (in the Annual Reports category). "It remains to be seen whether these end up winning gold or silver," says Josy Paul, chief creative officer, rmg david. "But I think it's a great honour to even be a Finalist. And the best part is, we sent just eight entries, and three have made it to the finals. Not bad, eh?"
Not bad at all.
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