Chennai-based rubecon has set itself a new agenda. To blaze a new trail in regional communication.
After breaking ground with its work for STAR's Tamil channel Vijay TV, rubecon is going whole hog to build up its team and skill sets to work for local clients with specific communication requirements. "All communication today is region specific," says Alexander 'Zach' Zachariah, managing director, rubecon. "We are being led by Piyush Pandey for heaven's sake!," exclaims Suguna Swamy, creative director, O&M, Chennai.
The agency's claim to big-time fame has been its work on ColorPlus, and now the attempt is "to work on building up a clear area of visible strength where regional advertising is concerned". And this is one area that even big agencies are looking at seriously in these times of budget cuts and what not. rubecon, by choosing to act in a proactive manner, hopes to create a niche for itself.
With the agency living under the constant fear of losing ColorPlus (post the brand's acquisition by Raymond), its attempts to locate a relatively uncharted territory are hardly surprising. "Regional advertising is like a specialisation and calls for special skills - most importantly complete fluency and comfort in the language of that region and proficiency in ethnic cultural norms. Can we ever find an English equivalent of cult phrases like "O podu" (translated into English means 'put', also used for 'Gimme a Five'), "sottu neelam doi" (a drop of blue), "besh besh" (excellent!)?" quizzes Alexander 'Zach' Zachariah, managing director, rubecon.
To take its new agenda forward, the agency has put together a team dedicated for Tamil creatives. "We have hired people who can think and create in Tamil, and we are in the process of beefing up the team we set up a year ago. This can only grow as we move forward," says Zachariah. While creating Tamil ads this team studies regional nuances - be it religious, domestic, culinary, sartorial symbols and idiosyncrasies - in great detail. For instance, when rubecon undertook work for STAR Vijay, the brief was to bond with an audience that is sensitive to what is Tamil and what is not. rubecon used the new team's insights to push serials such as Kadhai Alla Nijam, Marumagal, Nadhi Yenge Pogiradu and Chamba.
While in the case of Vijay TV the ads were rhetoric-based, rubecon used contemporary vernacular imagery for WITCO. For RPG Cellular's "Chennai Speaks RPG" campaign, the agency actually turned the brand's geographical limitation to an advantage by using regional symbols to represent conversation on telephone. The same team has done Tamil advertising for Prince Jewellery and the Medimix group among others. © 2002 agencyfaqs!