Equus bests Lemon, chlorophyll to Gili account

By , agencyfaqs! | In | April 19, 2002
Equus Red Cell has won the entire advertising business of retail jewellery brand Gili, following a four-way pitch involving Lemon, chlorophyll and Metaphor

Equus Red Cell has won the entire advertising business of retail jewellery brand Gili, following a four-way pitch - which also involved Lemon Communications, chlorophyll and Metaphor Communications - held in early April. Swapan Seth, co-CEO & chief creative officer, Equus Red Cell, informs that here onwards, "Equus will spearhead Gitanjali Jewels' (the holding company) complete and comprehensive branded and retail initiatives. We will be responsible for providing strategic and creative inputs to the brand."

While it is not clear whether the Gili (retail) brand was previously in the custody of a full-fledged agency (and if so, whether the ex-incumbent defended the account at the pitch), the Gitanjali brand (the mother brand and the holding company) was previously serviced by Concept Communications. It is clear that vis-à-vis both these brands, a significant share of the earlier communication was mounted through internal resources.

Attributing reasons to the client's decision to opt for a full-service agency, Seth says, "As pioneers in the branded jewellery business, the brand enjoys both awareness and market share. The idea is to extract more blood from the brandstone. I think they wanted an agency that could provide marketing support as well, while doing creative that was distinct and effective."

And talking about the 'credentials' pitch, Seth says, "It was, in my estimation, the way a pitch must be. They were clear in their minds that they sought a medium-sized agency with half-decent creative reputations. So they called Lemon, chlorophyll and us - three competitors who you would not want to meet in a dark alley at night. They then sought credentials, post which, they sized up teams on all fronts. They were also clear that they expected their agency of choice to have historical research experience. It was an efficient and intelligent pitch in many ways."

Seth is confident that Gili has taken the right decision by reposing trust in Equus' capabilities. "We understand aspirations, and we understand what drives people's monies into categories," he smiles. "When you are that bridge between the right and left brain of consumers, you end up deserving categories like branded jewellery. Equus Red Cell had a blatant interest in a category like jewellery… because we would be up against the triumvirate of DeBeers, Carbon and Tanishq. That would be such fun."

It would be fun, yes. But it would also mean a lot of hard work before a distinction is created in the consumer's mind between Gili and the likes of Oyzterbay, TBZ, Tanishq and Carbon, all of which operate in the same branded retail jewellery space. But Seth appears to have cracked something here. When asked about the primary challenges for Gili (and Equus) in this market, his rather enigmatic answer was, "To invent and embalm consumer desire. That is it."

Ask him more about the basic communication strategy that Equus has charted for the brand, and he clams up. Ask him about the creative approach: "No comments." Ask him about media skew: "No comments." Seth doesn't even reveal the size of the account. "We are on a fee," is all he says, backing it up with, "The size of the business is of scant concern. It is the size of the opportunity. That is mountainous."

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