In November 2003, when McCann-Erickson India was handed one part of the LG Electronics business, the agency had to bid adieu to a competing business - Panasonic. Naturally, the question that raged was, what was to happen to the Panasonic account. Back then, H Shivarama Krishnan, head, corporate brand management, National Panasonic, had told agencyfaqs!, "McCann-Erickson has discussed the matter with us. However, at the moment, nothing is decided. We need to discuss the issue internally. Things would be clearer in the coming days."
Well, the consumer electronics company has finally taken a decision vis-à-vis its ad account. Based on a three-way pitch, the company has awarded Panasonic's Rs 8-crore advertising duties (both creative and media) to TBWAIndia. The company announced its decision to TBWA late last evening. For the record, the other agencies in the fray were Bates India and Enterprise Nexus. Confirming the news of the development, Krishnan told agencyfaqs!, "Panasonic India has appointed TBWAIndia to handle the integrated communications for its AV products, which include digital video cameras, colour televisions, audio and home theatre systems."
Executives at TBWA are ecstatic, and believe the agency's previous experience in the consumer durables category, coupled with a strong creative-cum-strategy presentation, swung the decision in its favour. Speaking to this website, Benny Thomas, vice-president, TBWAIndia, said, "The brief given to us was to come up with a communication strategy that gives a critical push to the new business plans of Panasonic, while making the theme line of Panasonic - 'Ideas for Life' - meaningful to Indian consumers."
The 'new business plans' that Thomas touches upon essentially means a renewed focus from Panasonic. From the mass-market business approach, the focus now moves to positioning Panasonic products at the premium-end of the category. "The future is digital. The product technology has evolved from analogue to digital. So the focus for Panasonic will be on high-end products. To give an example, where Panasonic once had low-end 21-inch TV sets, it will now launch only flat screen TVs," explains Thomas. To which Krishnan adds, "Therefore, while the task at hand for digital video cameras will be to attain leadership position in the category, in the other categories, the communication would strive to make the brand top-of-mind."
TBWA has also claimed the account of Pedigree (the world's biggest dog food brand) from Grey Worldwide, following a global realignment. The size of the business is in the region of Rs 5 crore. The role of agency is to educate the consumer about the benefits of prepared dog food, and subsequently, grow the category. Both the wins come at the close of an 'exciting' year of growth, which saw the agency picking 10 advertising accounts. These include Absolut Vodka, American Tourister, Doordarshan, Hughes Escorts Communications, Hughes Software Systems, South African Tourism, Mayar Group (Sivananda), Geojit Securities and Alukkas Jewellers.
"We had a few setbacks in the last financial year, but the team rallied and really came together during the financial year 2003-2004, and once again demonstrated the creativity, energy and teamwork that made us one of the fastest-growing agencies of the 90s," says George John, chairman and managing director, TBWAIndia. "With some of the world's most respected brands in our portfolio, we look forward to a great 2004," he adds with a smile. Â© 2004 agencyfaqs!