Mudra breaks JWT stranglehold on Air-India

By , agencyfaqs! | In | November 23, 2002
Mudra Communications has made an inroad into Air-India by winning a campaign-specific pitch against O&M, Lowe and roster agency JWT India

For Mudra Communications, it's two significant wins on a trot.

Barely two days after successfully retaining the creative account of Reliance Infocomm, the agency has made an inroad into Air-India by winning a campaign-specific pitch against O&M, Lowe and roster agency JWT India. In the process, Mudra is likely to be empanelled at Air-India, alongside the airline's long-standing agency, JWT.

Confirming the news to agencyfaqs!, an official spokesperson for Air-India said, "Yes, there was a pitch between these agencies for our forthcoming campaign, and we have selected Mudra to do the campaign for us. It is quite a sustained campaign, consisting of one TV commercial, and multiple press ads. It's after quite some time that Air-India would be advertising in a big way." However, he was quick to state that it would be wrong to infer that the account had been moved out of JWT. "HTA has been our agency for a very long time now, and it will continue to work with us." When asked why Air-India had thrown the 'campaign' open to four agencies for review, the executive replied, "It was to extend our scope of getting creatives from more than one agency."

Disclosing details about the pitch and the assignment, Kaushik Roy, executive director, Mudra Communications, told agencyfaqs! that the pitch was specific to projecting a new image for Air-India. "Air-India has brought about major changes in its product offering, both in terms of tangibles and service. The brief was to communicate this effectively. To us at Mudra, it was almost like relaunching Air-India." He adds that Mudra's efforts were well appreciated by the client. "We got very good response, right from day one. There were several rounds of presentations, and at each round, scores were awarded by those to whom we presented. The decision was taken on the basis of scores that each agency got."

Vis--vis the worth of the assignment in billing terms, Roy professes ignorance. "I have no idea, simply because we are doing the campaign in two bursts. The first is an announcement of the new services, a kind of flagging off. However, as this would be happening at a time when Air-India does not normally advertise (the airline's peak advertising period falls between February and March every year), I understand that the initial burst will be followed by more advertising. So I really cannot say about budgets. Also, I would not like to look at this as one assignment, but as something more long-term."

Of significance is the fact that with this win, Mudra has broken JWT India's hold over the account - JWT has been servicing the business for over four decades now. However, despite Mudra's imminent empanelment, it is still not clear how work will be divided between the two agencies. What is certain is that Mudra would be working on the above-mentioned campaign.

Summing up the pitch experience, Roy says, "It is a very satisfying win for Mudra, because we were the last agency to be briefed, and yet managed presenting some very good ideas. Also, because of the overwhelming majority of scores that we picked up." © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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