The best reward for a job well done is the opportunity to do more. The well-known adage certainly applies in the case of JWT India's Mumbai office, which has been assigned the creative duties of Godrej air-conditioners and Philips mobile phones. Confirming the news of the new acquisitions, Tarun Rai, senior vice-president & general manager, JWT India, told agencyfaqs!, "We have been formally awarded these creative accounts, and we are happy to have added the new businesses to our portfolio." Both Godrej Appliances and Philips, for the record, have been JWT clients for over two years now. And with these wins, JWT is now the creative agency for three Godrej products (refrigerators, washing machines and ACs), and Philips' audio systems, colour televisions, IT-related products and now, mobile phones.
The Godrej air-conditioner account has come to JWT following a three-way pitch against two hitherto unidentified agencies. "We went through an evaluation process to select an agency for our air-conditioner account, and between the three agencies we had invited, JWT clearly emerged as the one we'd like to work with," said Soumitra K Ghatak, executive vice-president (marketing, sales & services), Godrej Appliances, speaking to agencyfaqs!. "JWT has also been doing some very good and effective work on our refrigerators and washing machines, so we decided to award them the AC account as well."
This is the second time that Godrej is venturing into air-conditioners. The company had made a tentative foray into the category some five years ago, but had subsequently turned all its attention to its core refrigerator business. "We did well (in air-conditioners) for two years, but then we defocused on the category for a while. But now we are coming back in a big way, and are very serious about the category," Ghatak informs. He adds that a national rollout is currently underway, and that product communication should break in early April. Interestingly, when quizzed whether Godrej brand ambassador Preity Zinta would endorse ACs as well, Ghatak replied in the negative. "Preity has worked very well as our brand ambassador in the other categories, but air-conditioners being a more high-involvement category, we are using a different approach in its communication. We will focus on the key product benefits to drive home our message."
Although agencyfaqs! was not able to speak to Philips India on its mobile phone business and on JWT's appointment on the account, it is understood that the Dutch multinational is in the process of launching its mobile phone business in the country very soon. It has also been learnt that mobile phones is a focus area for Philips - both in terms of volumes as well as brand image - and that the company is not only looking at the category as a significant source of revenue, but also as a means of shoring up brand equity.
The size of the two new accounts has not been ascertained, and the agency isn't revealing the combined incremental billing either. "I am not in a position to share financials," says Rai, adding "But what I can tell you is that mobile phones is a growth area for Philips, and is a busy category anyway. Similarly, ACs is hugely significant to Godrej's plans, and the category is one of the fastest growing ones. So you can guess for yourself that the spends cannot be small."
The one aspect of the dual wins that gives Rai and his agency joy is the fact that both acquisitions are 'organic' in nature. "There is great satisfaction in getting more business from existing clients," he smiles. "It is, after all, a vindication of the fact that we have been doing good work. These two accounts came to us based on the work we have been doing on both brands for the past two-three years." Rai is also of the opinion that such consolidation of accounts with one agency works to the advantage of the mother brand. "The more business you get from one client, the better you are able to deliver on the overall brand communication," he says. "By working on each and every account, the agency understands the role that advertising can play in strengthening the overall brand. I think this works well for both the brand and the agency." © 2004 agencyfaqs!