Ashwini Gangal

R K Swamy BBDO wins Camlin business

IPG's BPN retains the media mandate. BC WebWise to handle the digital duties.

Stationery manufacturer Kokuyo Camlin, formerly known as Camlin, has terminated its agency evaluation process and finalised its list of agencies: R K Swamy BBDO will handle the creative duties; BPN, an IPG Mediabrands agency, has retained the media planning and buying mandate; and BC WebWise has been awarded the digital duties. All three agencies have been appointed on a retainer basis.

R K Swamy BBDO wins Camlin business
R K Swamy BBDO wins Camlin business
R K Swamy BBDO wins Camlin business
Shriram Dandekar, executive director of the company, has confirmed the news to afaqs!. Currently, Ayyadurai Srikanth is the chief executive officer of Kokuyo Camlin and Saumitra Prasad is the company's chief marketing officer.

Most recently, Lowe Lintas & Partners handled the creative duties of Kokuyo Camlin. The agency has created some memorable ads for the brand in the past, such as the award-winning 'Rudali' film in which a woman's dying husband suddenly revives as the 'bindi' on her forehead - a symbol of her married status - can't be wiped off because it is made using Camlin's permanent marker. Interestingly, a few years ago, this commercial was selected to be broadcast in Japan by NTV, a leading television network in the country.

Established by the Dandekar family, Camlin is a home-grown heritage brand that came into existence in 1931 -- over 80 years ago. Camel Ink was one of its first products. In 1946, 'Dandekar & Co' was re-named 'Camlin', a combination of the words 'camel' and 'ink'. That was when the camel, a tough and hardworking desert animal, was selected as the brand symbol, one that went on to become very popular in the years that followed. In fact, the camel continues to appear on the company's new logo as well.

A couple of years ago, Japan's Kokuyo S&T, a 100-year old marketer of stationery and institutional furniture, acquired majority stake in Camlin. This was when the company was re-named 'Kokuyo Camlin Limited'. Popular product brands Camel and Camlin were retained after the acquisition.

Overall, brand Camlin has very high top-of-mind recall in India, especially in those sub-segments of the stationery category in which it enjoys a lion's share of the market (for instance, art stationery and geometry boxes). More recently, however, the competitive scenario in the market has changed with the entry of relatively newer players such as ITC, which forayed into the stationery category in 2002 and currently markets its products under the brands Classmate, Paperkraft, and Colour Crew.

Other brands that offer stationery products include Cello, Reynolds, Montex, Lexi, Rotomac, Luxor and Linc (pens); Nataraj and Apsara from the house of Hindustan Pencils (pencils); Cello, Faber-Castell (mechanical pencils); and Bilt, Navneet and Sundaram (notebooks), among others. As far as art stationery brands are concerned, some popular names include Staedtler (which also markets other stationery items such as pens, pencils and technical drawing instruments) and Faber-Castell (which also markets general writing and craft products), among others.

In fact, the stationery category has evolved from unorganised to organised over the past few years. It now remains to be seen how the three newly appointed agencies help Kokuyo Camlin tackle the changing market situation and growing competition by investing in its brand image and media presence.

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