Private life insurance player ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is in the process of evaluating its media AOR, which is currently handled by Initiative. The company reveals that it is not terming the evaluation as a 'pitch', but more as a means of "exploring possibilities by talking to other agencies". The company has not set aside a formal date for presentations, and is, instead, engaging in informal conversations with agencies. For the record, Carat and Lodestar are two agencies that are pitching for the business.
Speaking about the reasons for 'exploring possibilities', Abhishek Bhatia, marketing manager, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co, says, "Each and every per cent of media budget savings counts, and we are just reviewing what other agencies can offer." He is quick to add that incumbent Initiative, which has been servicing the account since early 2001, is also very much in the contention, and the move is not to simply sever ties with the agency. "Initiative is still under consideration, and if they can deliver what we want, they will certainly retain the account," says Bhatia, adding, "But if any other agency offers us something extra in terms of planning, skills and holistic thinking, we would certainly opt for that (agency)."
According to Bhatia, ICICI Prudential is looking for an agency that can "plan beyond the tools on paper, think beyond the negotiation, monitor the implementation of media strategies and has an experience in non-FMCG products, especially the non-banking finance sector. We want an agency that can think 360-degrees." Giving an example of a recent direct marketing exercise that the company employed - where Mumbai's dabbawallas delivered a mailer in the form of a bitten apple to office-goers, with a message that read 'Tax could bite away 33 per cent of tax' - Bhatia says, "This is the kind of innovative media we require, not just television space as is the case with FMCG products."
ICICI Prudential, which spent roughly Rs 20 crore in the last financial year, segregated its media budget between all media. However, this year, the company is planning to increase its television budget, raising it to 40 per cent of the total media budget. The remaining part of the budget would be divided between print, outdoor and, of course, new innovative media. © 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : March 25, 2004