Never mind the measly rains, but Lowe, Delhi, is in high spirits. It has added two new accounts to its kitty, the Rs 3-crore-plus advertising account of Toshiba photocopiers and the estimated Rs 5-Rs 7 crore advertising business of Paper Mate (ball pens) and Pilot Hi-Tech (fountain pens), the two brands from Luxor Writing Instruments Ltd (LWIL). Toshiba photocopiers (as well as laptops) are marketed by HCL Infosystems in India. Preet Bedi, director, Lowe, confirmed the news. Lowe already handles the Rs 10-crore advertising account of Parker, the premium range of LWIL.
While Luxor was the result of a two-way pitch (as reported by agencyfaqs! some time ago) between Lowe and Everest Integrated Communications, Toshiba was the result of a cold call. "Lowe had actually approached us. The timing was just right because we were also looking for an alternative," says V Rajendren, general manager, sales and marketing, office automation division, HCL Infosystems.
Aligning the business with Lowe does signal Toshiba's waking up to competition. Not that the company did not have an agency before; but with Xerox and Canon getting aggressive, Toshiba cannot keep a low profile any longer. Thus the brief to Lowe was to build on the brand equity of Toshiba by highlighting the strengths of the brand and leveraging HCL's large number of service centres and its wide distribution network.
The challenge before the agency, as Bedi puts out, "…is to increase sales." The brand advertising would be print-led with ground support in the form of below-the-line activities. "Print is the right medium to reach out to our target audience, which is essentially government offices, corporates and multi-national companies," adds Rajendren.
On its turn, for Paper Mate and Pilot Hi-Tech, the brief to the agency was to chalk out a gameplan for the launch of Paper Mate in India and the 'resurgence' of Pilot Hi-Tech. While the communication task for Pilot Hi-Tech entails emphasising the sheer experience of writing, Paper Mate's advertising would focus on the pens style, colours and design. It is going to be pitched as a mass-market product.
Yet the task before the agency is immense given the current pen market statistics. 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.
The agency is confident that with its understanding of the consumer, it will be able to forge the right connect with them and fulfill the primary task of increasing sales. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : July 11, 2002