If last year saw Chennai-based Fountainhead Communications sign up quite a few big-ticket clients, the tidings for this year do not seem bad either. Recently, the agency bagged the Columbia TriStar account for the south, which is being handled in the other parts of the country by McCann Erickson. Meanwhile, it has also bagged the account for Classic Polo, an apparel brand from Royal Classic Mills in Tiruppur.
Suresh Pillai, managing director, Fountainhead, said he was not aware of any other contender for the Columbia TriStar account. He added the account came the agency's way because of 'its knowledge of the southern markets and its strong on-ground handling capabilities'. However, the Rs 2.5-crore Classic Polo account was keenly contested. "Almost all major agencies in Chennai, barring HTA, were involved in the pitch," informed Raj Narain, client servicing director, Fountainhead.
Royal Classic Mills is a Rs 200-crore outfit that has been manufacturing shirts for prestigious brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Walmart, and launched its own brand last year. According to Narain, the brand was being handled by a small agency in Bangalore, but with its plans to go national, the company decided to hire the services of a bigger agency that can "communicate its presence and establish its brand nationally".
The new accounts bring the agency much closer to its goal of notching up Rs 72 crore of billing by March 2002. Pillai said it was difficult to put a figure to the size of the Columbia TriStar account, which, he said, was entirely dependent on the number of releases. Nonetheless, industry sources say Columbia TriStar typically spends huge sums on marketing its movies. And its decision to appoint a 'strong southern agency' is imperative given that the region contributes more than 50 per cent of its gross revenue. "Today, the marketing of movies gets as much importance as FMCG products. More so in the south, as people here are big movie watchers - particularly action-oriented movies," said a spokesperson of Warner Bros in Chennai.
While movies such as Perfect Storm and Miss Congeniality tend to do better in metros such as Delhi and Mumbai, action-packed flicks like The Mummy, Gladiator, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon have better prospects down south. And at times, the amount spent on the marketing such movies have gone up to crores of rupees.
According to trade sources, the timing and the kind of films that are slated for release this year seem to indicate this would be a very happening year for the big banners here. While Columbia TriStar is gearing up to launch Hawk Down, Men-In-Black II, Stuart Little and Spiderman among others, Warner Bros too has a very promising line-up for the year, including Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter - The Philosopher's Stone, and Collateral Damage.
Meanwhile, Fountainhead's event management division, Eventus, too has not done too badly for itself either. It launched an event in Mumbai called 'Bouncing Babies' which it hopes to turn into an annual affair. "This event seeks to bring everyone connected with babies under one roof. We had doctors, pharmaceutical companies, companies dealing with baby products and, of course, parents participating in the show. This was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and has been a huge success attracting 25,000 young mothers and would-be mothers and 800 registrations," according to Pillai.
The division had invested Rs 45 lakh to put the event together, but the company brass doesn't wish to talk about the revenues generated from the show. The event is now headed towards Delhi and Chennai. Eventus has other impressive names like Ramco, Citibank, Medimix, Coca-Cola, Parle Agro, TVS, Titan, Swarovski, CavinKare, DSL Dishnet and Glaxo-SmithKline on its client roster, and its billing stands at Rs 8 crore. © 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : February 28, 2002