Saatchi Bangalore adds Kanan Devan tea in three-way pitch

By , agencyfaqs! | In | June 24, 2003
Saatchi & Saatchi's Bangalore office has acquired Tata Tea's regional tea brand Kanan Devan, following a pitch that also involved McCann and Publicis

Saatchi & Saatchi India's Bangalore office has acquired the advertising business of Tata Tea's regional tea brand Kanan Devan, following a three-way pitch that also involved McCann-Erickson India and long-standing incumbent, Publicis India. Confirming the news of the win to agencyfaqs!, Vineet Singh Hukmani, executive vice-president, Saatchi & Saatchi (Bangalore), informed that the agency was formally awarded the account yesterday. The pitch, he adds, occurred roughly two weeks ago.

Following Saatchi's appointment on Kanan Devan, the constitution of Tata Tea's advertising portfolio is as follows. While Saatchi is now the custodian for Kanan Devan, Gemini (which it has been handling since the mid-90s) and Tata Tetley (which it won from Rediffusion-DY&R late in April this year), Publicis has Tata Agni. Vaishnavi Corporate Communications handles Tata Tea Premium, while McCann is in charge of Chakra Gold. Incidentally, Saatchi also handles the advertising for Tata's filter coffee brand, Mr. Bean, which it launched in Kerala back in 2001. Mr. Bean is slated for a pan-south launch later this year.

For those not so familiar with the name Kanan Devan, the brand is one of the oldest and strongest regional tea brands in Tata Tea's portfolio, and enjoys considerable franchise in the states of Kerala and Karnataka. However, of late, the brand has had to put up with sustained assaults from loose tea, as well as local and national brands, all of which have impacted the market configuration. This, it can be assumed, led to the afore-mentioned pitch. Commenting on the pitch, Hukmani says that the agency won the business on the strength of "a strategic insight."

"We did a two-month study in the two markets to realize that the solution to the problem didn't lie in the advertising area alone," he says. "It requires a transformational and game-breaking idea to ensure the situation is corrected in Kanan Devan's favour." Pointing out that "creating a disruption" is the only way of beating slow, linear growth, he adds, "The southern consumer is not homogeneous with the national one. Our constant exploration with this consumer helped us arrive at the exact nature of the problem, and hence, the proposed solution during the pitch. This won it for us."

Hukmani does not divulge details pertaining to the size of the Kanan Devan business citing "confidentiality", but informs that the account is "very big, as Kanan Devan is one of the most prestigious and well-advertised brands in the two markets". He adds that the agency is "thrilled with the faith that Tata Tea has put in us by consolidating more and more brands with Saatchi. We have done some very good work on Gemini, the market leader in Andhra Pradesh, and we've successfully launched Mr. Bean. The client is clearly seeing the value Saatchi brings to the table." © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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