It is now a toss-up between Lowe and Everest.
The two are the final contenders for the estimated Rs 4-crore to Rs 7-crore advertising account of Paper Mate (ball pen) and Pilot Hi-Tech (fountain pen), the two brands from Luxor Writing Instruments Ltd (LWIL). Since December 2000, when LWIL shifted the entire Luxor account from McCann-Erickson, the two brands were being handled by Contract Advertising. The Rs 10-crore advertising account of Parker, the premium range, is with Lowe since then.
While the company refused to comment, information available with agencyfaqs! indicates the agencies that pitched for the business included Grey Worldwide (Delhi), Lowe (Delhi), Everest Integrated Communications (Delhi) and Vaishnavi Communications (Delhi). It is not known whether Contract was invited to defend the account.
After the first elimination round, the company zeroed in on Lowe and Everest and invited the two to make a creative-cum-strategy presentation based on a clear brief. The brief was to chalk out a gameplan for the launch of Paper Mate in India and the 'resurgence' of Pilot Hi-Tech. While working on the presentation, the agencies had to take two things into account. One, for Pilot Hi-Tech, the communication should bring forth the fact that Pilot pens last three times longer than ordinary gel pens. Two, for Paper Mate, the emphasis should be on the styles, colours and its comfortable grip (Flexigrip, as the company prefers to call it). Last but not the least, "the overall communication developed by the two agencies should be in line with the communication of Parker". In effect, the idea was to talk about the comfort and the pleasure of writing.
For the agency that finally wins the business, the task is clear: To create a strong brand image for the two brands up for grabs. A quick look at the pen market statistics shows Luxor desperately needs to grow its market share in the ball pen category. The market construct is such that in terms of sheer number of units sold, ball pens comprise more than half the total market with 52 per cent share. Fibre-tip pens comprise 11 per cent, Gel-ink pens stand at 10 per cent, and premium pens at 9 per cent, roller pens at 11 per cent, markers at 4 per cent and correction products at 3 per cent.
In the huge ball pen segment, Luxor has a negligible presence with just 5 per cent market share. However, in the premium pens category, Luxor is a clear leader with 60 per cent share. In the fibre-tip segment it has a sizable 23 per cent share and in roller pens, markers and the correction products, its share is 45 per cent, 22 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. But it is completely absent in the sunrise segment of Gel-ink pens.
Given the market scenario, celebrity endorsement has worked out for Parker. The route that Paper Mate and Pilot Hi-Tech take will hinge to a large extent on their price positioning. But before all that can happen, the company needs to finalise its agency.
Watch this space to know which agency gets to write the next chapter in the Paper Mate- Pilot story. © 2002 agencyfaqs!