afaqs!

Meet Team Vermillion: The agency behind Baba Ramdev's Patanjali

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 01, 2016
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Behind the marketing blitzkrieg that has made Patanjali one of the most prolific advertisers in India today, is the relatively lesser-known Delhi-based agency Vermillion.

Think Big, Act bigger. Patanjali has stood by this axiom in every possible manner, be it its product portfolio, brand building, advertising, revenue targets or simply Baba Ramdev's rhetoric. But, what's surprising is that behind the incessant and high-decibel marketing campaign being run by the company is a modest and lesser-known Delhi-based agency Vermillion Communication.

Deepak Hiremath

Puja Chaturvedi

Nestled in the far-end of Delhi in Mahipalpur, Vermillion is a 360-degree specialised brand building and full-service communications solution agency founded by Deepak Hiremath (the company's managing director) in 2005. Hiremath, who launched Vermillion along with Puja Chaturvedi and Sonia Chopra, (who are today directors in the company), has 22 years of experience in the advertising business and was associated with Ushakaal Advertising prior to launching Vermillion. Hiremath boasts to have steered the agency to the 300 crore mark today.

Vermillion handles all Patanjali products barring three - its ghee, noodles and Dant Kanti -- the mandates for which are with DDB Mudra North. Currently, the TVCs for Kesh Kanti, Aloe Vera and Amla Juice, honey, Chyawanprash, and biscuits are on air. In addition to being the creative AoR for Patanjali, the agency also handles media duties (GECs only) for the brand.

Speaking on the association with Patanjali, Hiremath says, "It is indeed a very prestigious client for us. However, as an agency, we also have a history of brands that have grown with us and we have grown with them."

Patanjali Amla and Aloe Vera Juice TVC

Patanjali Kesh Kanti TVC

Print ad for Bourn Hall by Vermillion

Print ad for Diwan Saheb by Vermillion

Print ad for National Book Trust by Vermillion

Print ad for Lino Perros by Vermillion

Print ad for Korea Tourism by Vermillion

Chaturvedi, who is also an enthusiastic advocate of the brand, adds, "I take great pride in being associated with Patanjali. It has some phenomenal products."

Patanjali's media mandate, in the news genre (print and electronic), is with the Delhi-based agency Combine Advertising which is headed by S K Gupta Tijarawala (CEO). Tijarawala is a media and management professional with over 25 years of experience in the industry and also the official spokesperson for Patanjali. He informs that while the focus has been on Hindi and vernacular news channels so far, in the second phase of the campaign, it will shift to English. Print has no such differentiation.

It is worthwhile to note here that during BARC's Week 4 (January 23 to 29), Patanjali (17676 insertions) beat brands such as Cadbury (15985 insertions) and Parle (15573 insertions) to become the most advertised brand across genres on television. Since then, it has been among the most prolific advertisers on the medium for nine consecutive weeks. According to the most recent data for Week 12, it is again the leader (24050 insertions), followed by Reckitt Benckiser's Dettol and Vodafone at No.2 and 3 position, respectively. Clearly, the media strategies adopted by the two agencies, have managed to give some tough competition to MNCs, who are Baba Ramdev's market and ideological rivals.

Coming back to Vermillion, the agency has over 250 employees, the average age group for which is 30-35 years. It has offices in Delhi (registered and corporate office), Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Lucknow. In its journey of over a decade, the agency has been supported by its sister concerns, namely, Ibroad7 Communication, Opositive Communication, Odino Pixar, W Five Communication, W2H Communication and Ants in Pants Communication, all of which are specialised in different fields of media including electronic, print, TV, radio, events, PR, web designing, branding and campaigns, strategic planning, and promotions.

Vermillion claims to have a client base of over 35 brands with names such as Berkowits, The National Book Trust of India, Zero B, Diwan Saheb, Ritu Wears, Korea Tourism, Dayal Opticals, Lino Perros, Bourn Hall, Ion Exchange, Vacurect, and Nivia. And, as a Group, its client count is close to 200.

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