N. Shatrujeet

Lemon picks up Rs 6-crore Oxemberg account

Lemon Communications has won the advertising business of ready-to-wear brand Oxemberg, following a multi-agency pitch

Lemon Communications has acquired the advertising business of ready-to-wear brand Oxemberg, following a multi-way pitch held in May this year. Specifics regarding the pitch are not available, but we do know that the account, valued in the region of Rs 6 crore, moves from Percept Advertising.

"This is a very exciting acquisition for us, as it gives Lemon significant representation in the ready-to-wear category," said Ravi Deshpande, head of Lemon, speaking about the win. "The client is very keen on giving the brand new direction, and we are very impressed with the purpose they have displayed in making the brand a success. We are also happy that they have shown enough confidence in Lemon, and we shall do our best to partner them."

Respect is mutual. "In any business endeavour, it is the people who make the difference," says Prasad Shetty, general manager - marketing, Oxemberg, in a note to agencyfaqs! detailing why Lemon had been chosen. "In Lemon, we found an extremely well-balanced team with tremendous expertise in creative and communication strategy. Equally important was their willingness to team up and provide us necessary focus, which is essential to take Oxemberg to greater heights."

For the record, Oxemberg is a decade-old brand of the Poddar Group, also owners of suiting brand Siyaram. Siyaram, of course, is the older and more advertised brand (with estimated spends to the tune of Rs 14-15 crore), which explains the higher recall levels it generates. Having said that, it would be pertinent to add that Oxemberg has not enjoyed enough exposure - of the right kind - to merit high consumer recall.

Shetty, however, says that the brand has "a strong aspirational value among its core consumers", a claim corroborated by agency executive Rama Iyer. "Oxemberg has always been a large brand in the smaller towns and mini-metros, and is doing pretty well," she maintains. "And it is a fantastic product fabric-wise, on par with the best available in the country. And the entire Oxemberg range (consisting of shirts, trousers, jeans and T-shirts) gives consumers good, value-for-money deals."

In terms of pricing, Oxemberg is targeted at the mid-market consumer, and is in direct competition with the likes of Peter England and Excalibur. However, in terms of imagery, the brand hasn't been inspiring enough. Peter England, for instance, has a fair amount of acceptance even among higher SECs, despite sporting the ‘economy' label - a function of clever positioning based on the universal theme of ‘honesty'. Oxemberg, in comparison, is essentially perceived as… well… To sum up the problem, Oxemberg actually has no sharply defined positioning or identity. "There is no imagery to speak of," admits Deshpande. "It is for us at Lemon to define Oxemberg."

The task before Lemon is also to take the brand out of its ‘small-town' moorings and put it on the national map. And mind. "The challenge is making the brand a serious contender across the country by getting more consumers, across SECs, to buy into the brand and its values," says Iyer. "The transition we have to achieve is to move out of small towns and appeal to metro consumers - without alienating the existing consumer base," adds Deshpande. "We have to energize the brand."

The first campaign for the brand is expected to break "sometime this quarter". And it looks as if Deshpande can't wait to get started. "It is hugely challenging when there is a prospect of rejuvenating an existing brand," he says. "Our first effort is to give a fresh look and feel, not only to the brand, but also to the category. Today, all clothing ads look the same - it's a blur. I want to change that."

Lemon would not only have to change that, it would also have to make a quick impact in the process, if Oxemberg's targets are any indication. The Rs 65-crore brand is aiming to reach a turnover of Rs 100 crore in the next three years. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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