DDB Mudra walks away with Bata

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 03, 2012
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DDB Mudra, which won the business in a multi-agency pitch, will handle marketing communications, branding and highlight the youthful product range of the footwear brand.

Bata Shoe Organisation's Bata India has awarded its creative mandate to DDB Mudra. The agency's Delhi office will handle the brand's marketing communication responsibilities from this month onwards. It will promote Bata as a brand and its contemporary and youthful product range.

DDB Mudra & Bata

The shoe brand had started its search for a creative agency in July.

According to sources, at least six other agencies took part in the pitch process, including Bates India, Draftfcb Ulka, Percept/H, Ogilvy India, Rediffusion-Y&R, Leo Burnett and Promodome Communications. Bata plans to launch new styles of footwear in the coming year and has added 168 new stores this year.

Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, group managing director, Bata India Limited, says, "DDB Mudra's robust experience in media, out of home, retail and experiential lifestyle retail has positioned it as our preferred choice. Its understanding of our brand integrated seamlessly with our foreseeable plans."

Though Bata as a brand has often flattered to deceive, the company seems to be getting its act together. Plagued by union trouble, the dominant footwear brand has slipped out of the consumer's mind over the decades as smaller, agile players have carved out regional slots for themselves.

Madhukar Kamath

The company has been in growth mode for the last few years and, in 2011, did a turnover of Rs 1,553 crore and double its gross profit to boot. For those out of touch with the brand it will be a shock to discover that Bata is currently rated as a hot stock.

Madhukar Kamath, group CEO and managing director, DDB Mudra Group, is elated, says, "Bata is one of the oldest and most respected brands in India and represents a very special addition to our list of clients. I am confident that our team in Delhi, consisting of Vandana Das, Talha Mohsin, Mahesh Parab, Xavi Bech and Radhika Das, will do an excellent job partnering and building brand Bata."

Bata's creative duties were earlier handled by Promodome Communications, which also took care of the media planning and buying duties for its footwear and accessories brands. Promodome won the business after a multi-agency pitch in 2009.

Saatchi & Saatchi, Draftfcb Ulka, JWT and Euro RSCG have also handled the creative duties of the brand in the past. ZenithOptimedia has handled its media planning and buying duties.

Bata Shoe Company set up shop in Konnagar (near Kolkata) in 1932. It renamed itself as Bata India after it went public in 1973. The footwear retailer has more than 1,250 stores in 500 cities across India.

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