N. Shatrujeet

Enterprise Nexus gets a crack at Vimal

The fact that ex-Raymond agency Enterprise Nexus is “working on a project for Vimal” raises some questions about the long-term implications of this development

From the day - nay, the hour, the minute or the precise moment, is more like it - suiting brand Raymond opted to move its Rs 35-crore advertising account out of Enterprise Nexus, it was a forgone conclusion. That the agency would, sooner or later, roll up its sleeves for one or the other suiting brands in the country. Such is the reputation Enterprise enjoys when it comes to suiting advertising.

Now, exactly five-and-a-half months after Raymond officially moved its account to R K Swamy/BBDO, agencyfaqs! has got wind of the fact that Enterprise is, indeed, working for a rival suiting brand.


Yes, the Vimal of ‘Only Vimal' fame, which currently has spends to the tune of Rs 6-7 crore, according to industry estimates.

agencyfaqs! has learnt that Vimal has commissioned Enterprise for what appears to be an assignment that also involves creating a television commercial for the brand. In fact, knowledgeable sources are adamant that the Vimal commercial has already been shot somewhere in the African continent.

Naturally, the first call went to Enterprise. After much pursuit (and coaxing and cajoling), we were able to get Anil Sanjivan, executive director, Enterprise Nexus, on the line. "Yes, we are working on a project for Vimal," is the best we could get out of Sanjivan. Not one word more. We asked him about the film, only to be greeted with silence. But no denial. The next attempt was to reach the client, but despite all efforts, the client was not available for comment.

So what exactly does this development mean? Well, for one, it is clear that this is nothing more than "a project", as stated by Sanjivan, at least for the time being. And Mudra Communications, which has been handling Vimal since launch, continues to be Vimal's mainstay agency. But what about the long-term implications? This one is going to be tricky, as it leads one over the quicksand of speculation.

It need not necessarily mean Vimal wants to shift out of Mudra (the suggestion that Vimal might move, kit and caboodle, sounds mind-numbingly impossible anyway). That being then case, this whole thing might just be a one-off, and this is all we'll ever hear of it. Maybe it has nothing to do with Mudra whatsoever - Enterprise was just very, very keen on working on Vimal, so the client gave it this project, no strings attached. But that doesn't sound quite right, does it? Why would Vimal choose to ‘humour' an outside agency with a one-off, at the risk of upsetting Mudra, which has not only been Vimal's custodian for so long, but is also a Reliance Group company (as is Vimal)?

It just has to be a calculated move…

One distinct possibility is that Vimal might be looking at splitting its account into two - for whatever reasons - and is ‘checking out' Enterprise. And Enterprise seems a nice enough option, especially considering it was Enterprise-driven Raymond advertising that helped dislodge Vimal from the top slot it occupied in the eighties. Hmmm, but why on earth would Vimal want to split its account between two agencies?

For Enterprise, this is certainly a golden opportunity, even though a small one. Ever since the Raymond loss, the agency has been itching to handle a suiting brand, no doubts about that. Psychological satisfaction, one can say, given the expectations from the agency vis-à-vis a suiting account. In fact, rumours of Enterprise talking to a couple of suiting brands have surfaced routinely.

With Vimal, Enterprise stands a good chance of recreating magic… if (and it's a huge if, with lots of buts and maybes in tow) this project leads on to bigger things. After all, Vimal, as a brand, still enjoys tremendous mindshare among consumers. And there is enough premiumness attached to the brand even today, with images of Vimal-clad Vivian Richards, Allan Border and Ravi Shastri still fresh in the memory.

But, for Enterprise to get that far, it would first have to do a damn good job on this "project" for Vimal to justify the agency's presence - even a small one - in the roster. And even then, Enterprise can't expect to just wade into the Vimal account. Trust Mudra to dig its heels in and put up a fight.

All said, there are far too many questions that need to be satisfactorily answered before we can get anywhere. So one still can't say if Vimal is going to be the suiting brand with which Enterprise is widely expected to out-Raymond Raymond. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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