Bates India's Mumbai office has won the advertising business of Coca-Cola for the Western region, following a multi-agency pitch that took place towards the fag end of 2002. The account moves from Triton Communications. Confirming the news, (JS) Mani, senior vice-president & general manager, Bates India, told agencyfaqs!, "We have been awarded the business for the entire Western region - which includes Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa, apart from Mumbai - and we will be responsible for the communication of all Coca-Cola brands in this region. The decision was communicated to us two days ago."
With this development, Bates now handles the Coca-Cola's advertising in two regions of the country - Eastern and Western. It may be recalled that in the first quarter of 2001, Bates, Kolkata, had won the Eastern region account, following the closure of Equus Advertising's Kolkata office. For the record, Leo Burnett India handles the Northern region, while South is with Orchard Advertising.
For those confused by all this talk of 'regions', here's what it all means. While the nation-level communication for each Coca-Cola brand is the responsibility of the individual agency handling the brand (at the national level), Coca-Cola India has divided the market into regions, each region vested with nominal authority. The idea is to ensure that local nuances and idiom are a part of localized communication - be it for ground-level promotions or support. So, for instance, the Effie-winning 'Coke gaana' idea that Orchard conceived for the Tamil Nadu market…
Returning to the particulars of the December review, agencyfaqs! has gathered that it was one of the most keenly contested pitches in recent times; rumour has it that some nine or ten agencies vied for the account. What is know with a fair amount of certainty is that the final round had five agencies in the fray - Bates, incumbent Triton, Grey Worldwide, and the two national-level Coke agencies, McCann-Erickson India and Leo Burnett India.
Mani is quite pleased with the results, expectedly. "We were one of the last to pitch, and I must say Coke was very keen to hear us out. It certainly feels nice knowing we have beaten some of the biggest agencies to the post," he smiles. Attributing reasons for the win, he adds, "It was certainly our creative product. We took the 'Thanda matlab…' property of the mother brand forward in all directions, and displayed how it could be used in almost everything that they do. I believe that impressed the client the most."
Mani is not, however, willing to disclose details vis-à-vis billing. "It is a fairly substantial amount," he says vaguely. "But I think the high comes from working on the Coke brand, as well as the allied CSD brands from Coca-Cola. Here we would be doing advertising that will move consumption on a day-to-day basis, and the results will be seen by the day. The region is very prized for Coke, and therein lies our challenge." agencyfaqs! estimates the account to be worth over Rs 5 crore. Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!