The account moves from Rediffusion DY&R
Leo Burnett has just won Four Square, the flagship brand of tobacco major Godfrey Phillips India (GPI).
Confirming the development, Nita Kapoor, director, marketing GPI, says, "Yes, that's true, we have awarded the creative duties to Leo Burnett."
With this win, Leo Burnett now has two brands of GPI in its kitty - Prince that it won last year, and now, Four Square.
The account, before it moved, was in the custody of Rediffusion DY&R. Rediff continues to work on the other three GPI brands - Tipper, Jaisalmer, and Red & White.
The brand alignment with respect to the other two club agencies, Everest and FCB Ulka, also remain unchanged. Everest continues to handle the Red & White Bravery property, while FCB Ulka handles Cavenders and Northpole (mentholated brand).
As for the size of the business, Kapoor gave a fair idea of the scale of the spends. " Four Square dominates 55 per cent of GPI volumes; it is the top revenue churner for GPI and 60 per cent of the company's marketing spends are on Four Square." Now, that certainly gives an idea of the proportion of the business. GPI, the second largest cigarette manufacturer in the country, spent roughly Rs 20 crore on advertising in 2003-04.
When GPI made up its mind to put Four Square under the scanner, an agency pitch was called. But the pitch was conducted in an unusual manner. "We did not want agencies mobbing us. Which is why we simply asked Leo Burnett to work on a project. And that was, of course, after we decided that Rediffusions's services would not be required for this particular brand," Kapoor pointed out.
The project was the deciding factor, and Leo Burnett had to literally sweat it out. It took three months for the project to complete. "For us, the project was the final indicator of whether the agency could deliver what we had in mind. And Leo Burnett did a good job," says Kapoor.
For Leo Burnett, the pitch was more than a fruitful venture. In addition, to being awarded the account, the agency was 'generously' compensated for the work on the project. "It is a win-win situation for GPI and Leo Burnett. We got what we wanted and Leo Burnett got a handsome compensation, besides the business," Kapoor says.
Kapoor strongly believes that agencies need to be motivated. "The brand belongs to the agency as much as it does to the company. And therefore, it is fair that agencies get their fair share of accolades."
Work on Four Square will start soon. Given the restrictions of not using print, TV and outdoor for advertising tobacco products, the work is bound to be more challenging. Leo Burnett would be working on a fee based system.
Outlining Leo Burnett's role, Kapoor says, "The brand strategy has to be in sync with the industry trends and has to operate effectively within the space mandated by the law, which prohibits the use of media to advertise."
In effect, non-traditional media is going to play a pivotal role in augmenting the brand value. And the good part is non-traditional advertising is gaining grounds in the country, with consumers responding to such initiatives.
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