Contract Advertising's new office in Delhi has opened its account with Radisson, a five-star hotel based in Delhi. The Radisson account moves from Euro RSCG and is worth around Rs 1 crore. "Size does not matter, the category makes up for it," remarks Mohit Hira, senior vice-president, Contract Advertising. The move, it seems, is a result of a series of coincidences.
It was three months ago that Apurva Jhosi, who was working on Radisson while at Euro RSCG, moved to Contract. Around the same time, Animesh Ghatak, director, marketing, Radisson, began noticing a decline in interest among the Euro RSCG executives working on the Radisson account. "There were three reasons for having second thoughts. The creatives were not brilliant, there was a noticeable drop in the quality of the service and, finally, the price they were quoting for the creative was 20 to 30 per cent higher than what others were willing to go with. Though the team at Euro RSCG was good, somehow we could not make the right connect. It was around the same time that Apurva, with whom we had a good rapport, got in touch with us," says Ghatak.
Contract was asked to make a creative-cum-strategy presentation. "Our brief was to give a completely new look to I'Ching, the Chinese restaurant, and suggest ways to increase room occupancy. In a nutshell, make Radisson a happening place," explains Hira.
While one part of the brief demanded redesigning I'Ching in terms of the ambience and service, the bigger issue was to provide tactical marketing inputs to drive in more traffic. Says Ghatak, "Rather than travelling to the main city to hold client meetings, Radisson could be seen as an alternative venue. The brand equity of Radisson has to be raised to the level of Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Taj Palace and Maurya Sheraton." Adds Hira, "Radisson's strategic location (being close to international and domestic airport) will be exploited well to drive in traffic from the airports as well as corporate houses in Gurgaon."
While print and FM Radio are part of the media plan, the main thrust of Radisson's communication will be outdoor activities. "Print serves a good medium to bring to the fore the achievements of the hotel. For example, one could highlight the fact that Radisson was declared the best performing hotel in January this year or that we are the only hotel with the ISO 9000 certification," explains Ghatak. Outdoor and promos will create the necessary hype around the hotel.
While the agency is on the job, Radisson is thrashing out its expansion plans. Currently, Radisson has four hotels in India - Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Jalandhar. By early 2003, the fifth one is expected to come up in Mumbai. Regent, the sister brand of Radisson, is already present in Mumbai. To put things into perspective, Radisson is part of the US-based $30-billion company, Carlson Hospitality. Apart from Regent, it has other brands such as Country Inn & Suits (three star executive hotels) in its stable. The first Country Inn & Suits hotel should come up in the first quarter of 2002 in Katra (Jammu).
The acquisition of the Radisson account coincides with the change of address at Contract. The agency has shifted base from Janak Puri (in west Delhi) to the hub of Delhi's business district, Nehru Place (the new address: 9-11 Vardhman Trade Centre, 3rd Floor, Nehru Place, New Delhi - 110 019). It was in 1997, that the branch moved out of its Vasant Vihar (an upmarket colony is south Delhi) office. Hira insists the reason was space crunch. "It had become extremely cramped and there was no room to grow. We needed a bigger office. No doubt, south Delhi was the first choice. However property prices were sky high then. Within the budget we got a huge place and it looked great. This was in Janak Puri."
Shifting to Janak Puri, which is roughly 20 kilometres from south Delhi, was one news Contract employees didn't receive well. According to industry sources, about 10-14 people called it quits, and some were held back with fatter salaries and more perks. On the flip side, Hira says, the agency grew substantially in the last half decade. "Unfortunately, the JWT policy prevents us from disclosing individual office figures in any form. But we added many new businesses - Shell, Dabur, HCL, ABN Amro, JK Tyre, Sony, DS Foods, Luxor, Tata Telecom, Chambal, Graviera, Microsoft Windows XP, among others. Built better brands. Won more awards. And, yes, we also lost some businesses - but that's what life is all about."
"Watch us now because we're hungry and we're closer to the scene of action," concludes the charged up Mohit Hira. "We've only just begun!"
© agencyfaqs! 2001