Sumita Vaid

Sanjay Sipahimalani of Grey to join Publicis as creative head

Sippy would head the creative teams in Delhi and Mumbai and will be based in Delhi

Sanjay Sipahimalani (Sippy), creative director, Grey Worldwide, Mumbai, is slated to join Publicis as executive creative director in the third week of December. Sippy would head the creative teams in Delhi and Mumbai and will be based in Delhi.

Outlining Sippy's task, Param Saikia, COO, Publicis, says, "His brief, like that for many others at the agency, is to keep clients really happy with us and put Publicis on the advertising map as a high quality agency."

Uprooting himself from Mumbai would definitely not be easy for Sippy; but the "sudden burst of activity in the city" coupled with the lure of working with "the talented team at Publicis" was difficult to let go. "In the last six to eight months great opportunities have surfaced both in terms of clients and the quality of the advertising professionals in Delhi," says Sippy. "Being part of a young and talented team at Publicis is something that I am really excited about."

Sippy began his career as a trainee copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, in the late eighties. After a two to three years stint at O&M, he joined the newly set up Grey Worldwide (then Trikaya Grey) branch in Kolkata. Thereafter he worked at Ambience, Euro RSCG and Lowe (Lintas). While at Euro RSCG he went on a sabbatical for a year, pursuing a course in creative writing at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York (United States). He was back with Euro RSCG after the completion of the course. He moved to Grey once again (in Mumbai) where he worked for four years before putting in his papers.

Another significant development at Publicis is the IPR (intellectual property rights) account, which the agency won in a pitch against Lowe, O&M and Contract. IPR is an initiative jointly undertaken by Business for Software Alliance, Indian Music Industry and Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance against piracy and counterfeit goods. The National IPR task force was formed under the aegis of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to implement National Initiative Against Piracy and Counterfeiting.

Publicis was awarded both the media and the creative duties after two rounds of creative and strategy presentations. The brief, says Saikia, is "to increase the awareness about counterfeit goods and the damage they do to the country". "To that effect," says Saikia, "we have to create a groundswell that works at influencing people to take a stand against such goods." While a confirmation on the size of the business could not be obtained, agencyfaqs! learns it is "substantial".

Among other accounts the agency has picked up this year are Red Tape, Salora, Ozone Pharmaceuticals, National Institute of Sales, Wimco, Siemens mobile and Allied Domecq. "But more importantly," adds Saikia "lots of bright young talent have joined us in all departments. That will make all the difference in the long run. Now we are an agency that definitely cannot be ignored."

There is another event that Publicis is pretty upbeat about. The agency won the AdAsia ‘Sell your soul' contest, which was organised by The Economic Times' supplement Brand Equity in association with AdAsia 2003, in Jaipur. The basic idea of the contest was simple. "Ad agencies are in the business of selling all kinds of stuff to the world. But how successful are they in selling themselves? Have they ever wondered what their USP is and creatively explored any means to communicate the same? So here was an opportunity to do exactly that," says Sambit Mohanty, copy, group head, Publicis. The contest required a single 100-cc press ad to be created and only one entry was accepted from each agency.

Based on the brief the agency created an ad titled ‘Loo'. "It stems from the fact that ideas make agencies. And ideas can be born anywhere - in a garage, one's bed, a movie hall or even a bus stop. But creative people joke or sometimes swear that they get their best ideas in the loo. We thought that was a wonderful insight and we wanted to own that insight... to convey that we're driven by ideas," says Mohanty. He adds, "Perhaps the best plaudit came from Scott Bedbury, when he said "this is an idea that Nike would do'." McCann Erickson and O&M were tied for the second place in the contest. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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