Apparently, this is the first time the company has called for a formal pitch process. In August 2010, afaqs! had reported that DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund divided its creative duties between Pickle Lintas India and Taproot India. JWT was the incumbent agency at the time.
As per the creative mandate, BBH will be responsible for developing the brand architecture and brand positioning in tandem with the company. It will also create engagement modules across traditional and new age platforms with focus on consumers as well as distributors.
On choosing BBH India, Aditi Kothari, executive vice-president and marketing head, DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund, says the pitch process was tough as they wanted the new creative agency to lay down the foundation of a strong communication strategy. Kothari adds that marketing can no longer remain a support function in the financial services world. In fact, it can bring differentiation and deliver business impact in the new world, if done the right way.
"BlackRock had recognised this last year and, hence, brought in a strong focus to build the brand globally. We recognised the need to position ourselves the right way to the new, emerging India," she says.
Subhash Kamath, CEO and managing partner, BBH, says, "In today's economic situation, proper investment planning is becoming crucial for everyone and we are looking forward to partnering DSP BlackRock in meeting these challenges."
Agreeing with Kamath, Russell Barrett, CCO and managing partner, BBH, states that the team had a lot of fun working on the pitch, which was reflected in the work presented to the company.
Sanjay Sharma, head, planning, says that financial services communication is a sea of sameness. "Despite a challenging regulatory framework, we feel there is a definite opportunity to introduce new ideas, new conversations that capture people's imagination and make them see the category differently."
DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund has a wide portfolio of investment products comprising equity schemes, hybrid schemes, fixed income schemes, funds of funds schemes and fixed maturity plans.
BBH is part of Publicis Groupe. In 2009, the agency set up its India operations and currently has staff strength of 70 people. Some of the clients that BBH India services include Unilever, Marico, Diageo, Skoda, Red Bull, Acer, Movies Now and World Gold Council, amongst others.