Alok Nanda and Company (ANC) has bagged the creative duties of Arvind Mills' premium ready-to-wear brand, Arrow. Confirming the news to agencyfaqs!, Alok Nanda, founder, ANC, said, "The communication for the entire Arrow brand - which consists of shirts, trousers, blazers and winterwear - is now with us. We were formally appointed Arrow's creative agency two days ago." With this appointment, ANC is now in charge of two Arvind Mills brands - the other being jeanswear brand Wrangler (the agency launched the '10-Year Used' label for Wrangler last year).
agencyfaqs! has learnt that the Arrow business was awarded to ANC on the back of a couple of projects that the agency had handled for the brand late last year. "Sometime around last Diwali, we had done two projects for the client," Nanda corroborates. "ANC worked on the launch of Hypnotica and Unstainables - two shirt collections under the Arrow brand. The projects consisted of mainline advertising, co-laterals… everything to do with a launch. Seeing our work, the client has moved the brand to us."
The development brings to an end Arrow's long-standing association with Grey Worldwide, the agency that launched the brand in India in the early nineties (back then, it was Trikaya Grey, of course). Supported by advertising that imbued the brand with an elitist image, Arrow quickly became one of the most 'aspirational' shirt brands in the country. However, over the past few years, the brand appears to have lost some focus - at least in its advertising - and has had to concede mindspace to rival apparel brands. Mushrooming competition hasn't helped either. "Yes, the effort is to give the communication a common look… give it an anchor of sorts," Nanda is cautious in his assessment. "And image correction is one of the things that will be in focus. I can't say more." For the record, Grey continues to handle quite a few Arvind brands, including Excalibur and Lee. Also, Grey's specialist media unit, Mediacom, is the AOR for Arvind Brands Ltd.
Arrow isn't the only brand on which ANC has hit bull's-eye. Over the past two of months, the agency has added quite a few businesses, both in India and abroad. Among the wins are two prestigious Taj properties, and Kaya - the maiden retail venture of Marico Industries. "Last year, we designed the graphics for Insomnia nightclub for Taj Mahal, Mumbai," says Nanda. "Now we have been given Souk, Taj Mahal's first restaurant in over a decade. On the international front, last year we launched Taj Exotica, Maldives, in Europe and Japan, which was supported by lots of advertising. Based on its success, we have now been given the task of advertising Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, in the US and Europe."
Kaya happens to be a chain of skin treatment clinics that Marico plans to open. The first Kaya clinic opened in Bandra, Mumbai, a month ago, while a second is scheduled for launch in Juhu, Mumbai. "Our retail design and identity operations have grown rapidly," says Nanda. "We now oversee the graphics and in-store communications for over a 100-plus Baristas. Souk, Kaya, the Arcus stores and the Fame
Multiplexes… all these are in the area of graphics, signages and in-store literature."
Lately, ANC has also done a lot of communication that talks to the Indian Diaspora, Nanda reveals. "In the US, we launched the second phase of communication for India Abroad (the largest circulated newspaper in the US, targeted at Indian-Americans). Advertisements for India Abroad broke last week in the New York Times, while the TV commercials are scheduled to air in the coming month. We also picked up the advertising for Valucom (a prepaid phone card, also targeted at Indian-Americans) in the US. In the UK, we revamped and updated the presence of Chutney Mary, a leading Indian restaurant in London. Plus, in Sri Lanka, we now handle Taj Bentota and Barista Espresso bars." Nanda says that last year (ending December 2002), more than 40 per cent of ANC's business came from abroad. "As we are not a networked agency, we are free to travel where we like, pick up businesses as we like," he smiles. "Why should we be limited to Mumbai or India?"
While Nanda is not willing to reveal how all this totals in terms of revenue/billing, he insists that the pace and direction of growth has been good. "We continue to maintain a healthy balance between conventional advertising and other disciplines like graphics, retail design and the web," he says. "And there's a nice mix of clients from both within the country and outside. I think it's just what we're looking for." Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!