Lemon Communications has bagged the advertising business of Standard Chartered Mutual Funds (SCMF), following a full-fledged, multi-agency pitch held in January this year. The account moves from O&M Financials. Lemon has also added nutritionist Anjali Mukerjee's health programme brand, Health Total, to its client portfolio.
Speaking about the acquisitions, Ravi Deshpande, head of Lemon, told agencyfaqs!, "The wins are of immense value to us, because they are reflective of the confidence clients have in this agency. StanChart is a quintessential MNC brand, and the product (mutual funds) is a financial one to boot. And financial products usually end up with one or the other of the traditionally 'big' agencies. However, the client has placed faith in us, which is a fair indication that Lemon is being taken seriously by the people who matter. And although Health Total is a relatively small business today, the client is very serious about making a big brand out of the name."
Winning the StanChart business is certainly a milestone for the nine-month-old agency. While it is not clear which agencies Lemon battled for the account, the fact that StanChart's banking and credit card businesses are handled by HTA (the car loan business is with Thompson Connect), says something about the kind of company the client is used to keeping.
agencyfaqs! has not been able to ascertain whether O&M Financials defended the account at the pitch. Nor do we know if HTA pitched for the business. What is evident is that the client is quite happy with the choice. "We went with Lemon because we were impressed with the professionalism the agency displayed, both at the presentations stage, and during the actual work on the account," says Naval Bir Kumar, managing director, SCMF. "We also liked the quality of the people there. And ad agencies normally don't understand financial businesses. I found Lemon bridging that gap."
"I think our creative reputation is beyond question," Deshpande adds. "But the client was looking for sound strategic and planning inputs from the agency. And their choosing us demonstrates that we have these capabilities too - that we are not a 'boutique', as we have often been referred to as."
The size of the SCMF account is closely guarded, with neither the client nor the agency revealing anything. "All I can say is, it is not a small business, as you may have guessed," shrugs Deshpande. "And I can also say that seeing the quality of our work, there is every indication that the client will increase spends."
Incidentally, Lemon's first bit of work on SCMF is already visible in Mumbai - an outdoor campaign for the brand was unveiled across the city on the day before. The campaign shows people smiling gently, eyes closed. 'This is how thousands of investors trust us,' says the headline. 'Invest with knowledge' is the slug.
"We realized that SCMF's knowledge-based strength is a key differentiator," says agency executive Rama Iyer. "The client uses in-house scientific processes and techniques in buying and selling, and in monitoring the markets. Plus, the kind of companies it invests in is top-class. The idea of the campaign is to cash in on both these attributes, and build on the trust that people have in the Standard Chartered brand. We believe that the 'knowledge-based' positioning is cutting-edge in this market. It's a strong and bullish statement from the company." The outdoor campaign is scheduled to roll out across all metros over the next two months. Iyer adds that the multimedia campaign will follow.
On Health Total, Deshpande reveals that the agency chose to work with the client because "it is a promising company". "Yes, it's a small business in billing terms, but you must remember that some of today's biggest brands started with billing of Rs 20-30 lakh 10-to-15 years ago. We liked the seriousness and passion the client displays. Also, the product is extremely strong, and Anjali is a well-known name." Incidentally, low-cal biscuits bearing the Anjali Mukerjee brand name are already being retailed in select markets.
The Health Total brand is essentially a chain of weight-loss and fitness centres, currently operating in Mumbai and Delhi. The brand's differentiator is its emphasis on 'weight loss the healthy way'. "It's not about pure weight loss any which way, but a scientific programme… a very healthy approach to fitness," says Iyer.
The agency is not revealing much about the brand as a selective print campaign (covering Mumbai and Delhi) is breaking in two weeks' time. "It's a strong campaign that centres at the idea, 'Stay fit for life'," says Deshpande. "The idea is also to distinguish the brand from the small-weight-loss-centre, 'commodity' imagery that the category represents." Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : May 09, 2002