Drawing a conclusion to one of the most fiercely contested pitches - the result of which was one of the most eagerly awaited in the industry, may we add - in recent times, VIP Industries has awarded the advertising account of its flagship luggage brand, VIP, to Lowe. The agency was formally intimated about its appointment late yesterday evening. Balki (R Balakrishnan, executive creative director, Lowe) confirmed the news to agencyfaqs!, saying, "Yes, we've got VIP."
The development is the culmination of a process that VIP Industries set in motion roughly two months ago, when it invited agencies to share ideas on the VIP brand. While the identities of all the agencies that pitched for the business are not know (the grapevine has it that at least eight frontline agencies were in the fray), it is clear that O&M India, Rediffusion DY&R, Leo Burnett India (which already handles VIP's mass-market luggage brand, Alfa), McCann-Erickson India and Lowe subsequently emerged as strong contenders for the account. Incidentally, according to media reports, ex-incumbent JWT India, which was in charge of the account for well over a decade, declined VIP's offer to defend the business.
Having pocketed the account, Lowe will henceforth be the custodian of the VIP mother brand "and everything that falls under the ambit of the mother brand", informs Balki. For the record, Alfa - which was spun off as a standalone brand and was awarded to Burnett in February this year - will continue to be treated as a standalone brand and stays with Burnett. The size of business won by Lowe is not known, but considering the Alfa account is worth Rs 6-7 crore - and considering VIP is looking at projecting a new brand idea, which would call for considerable media visibility - it can be assumed that billing should be in the vicinity of Rs 10-12 crore, at the very least.
Speaking about the win, Balki says that the highpoint in the run-up to the agency's presentation was cracking the idea. "VIP is an iconic brand with so many different brand values. And 'Kal bhi, aaj bhi…' (the campaign created by JWT in the nineties) is such a memorable campaign, it's not easy cracking something new for the brand all of a sudden. So what gave us joy was the moment we got an interesting idea for VIP. And that made the pitch fascinating for us. I also think that got us the account."
What that interesting idea is, Balki will not say, of course. "Winning the account is fine, but getting the campaign to work is the true test," he says. "I think we've got a strong idea that should do the trick." Balki does not reveal when the campaign will break in media. "All these things need to be discussed with the client. It'll take a while to flesh out the idea and develop the campaign, so I cannot say anything now." Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!