Nestlé and L’Oréal were the clients that enticed Publicis Worldwide to enter India. The presence of the likes of HP, Whirlpool and Coke in India added fuel to fire. Having worked with most of its desired clients, Publicis India is one of the top agencies of the country today. Part of the Publicis Group (the world’s fifth largest agency network), the agency has utilised its vanguard vision to good use since its very inception in 2003.
Interestingly, Publicis India is not the only agency of the group in the country. It also has Ambience Publicis, as another independent competing agency, and both share a common top management team. On potential conflicts between the functioning of the two agencies, Nakul Chopra, MD and CEO, Publicis India, says, “Honestly, there wasn’t any (conflict) because what we wanted was clearly conveyed and done with full agreement, so whether it was the management at that time or the organisation as a whole, all the key constituents agreed on a plan and it was executed with no difficulty.”
Though others took away a few of the clients that Publicis trailed on its way to India, nevertheless the agency’s portfolio today, boasts of the who’s who of global and India Inc.. If Publicis India flaunts HP, Nestlé (including Everyday and Maggi), ICICI, Globus, Guardian Lifecare and Aviva Life Insurance, Ambience Publicis boasts of Raymonds, Marico, Shaw Wallace and Kamasutra, among others.
Talking about the storyboards that the agency has worked on till date, Nakul elucidates: “We are extremely proud of the Thums Up and Saffola campaigns. But, this is when you talk of the past. Currently, I would like to draw your attention to the Maggi campaign and our work for Marico.”
Today, a holistic approach to reach the consumer’s heart seems to be the need of the hour and considering that all agencies are rolling out offshoots that specialise in respective fields, Publicis too has spread its arms. Launched in 2006, Dialog is the solution that the agency has come up with to give its clients a holistic view as it offers the whole gamut of services from advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion and investor relations to event management, merchandising and much more.
“The purpose of Dialog was to convert people to customers and convert marketing from interruptive to connective,”he says. The motive being to focus on realising customer requirements into noticeable sales results. But, Dialog is not the only one. Red Lion (a design outfit) is Publicis India’s latest creation, and already boasts of big ticket clients like Lakme, Atmosphere, Bisleri club soda and Taj Group of Hotels.
More lately, the agency has witnessed a rejig in top management with Param Saikia, Chief Operating Officer of Publicis India, now heading Publicis Dialog. Hemant Misra has left JWT to replace him as COO, Publicis. While talking about attrition levels that are hurting the industry today, the top honcho of Publicis India treads it carefully. “There are two aspects to the problem: current attrition rate and attracting newer talent. They are inexplicably linked to each other. But we are trying to tackle the problem.”
They may not be the O&M or the McCann Erickson of ad-land, but the battle is always on for Publicis India and every moment is time ‘for the kill’ for this agile lion.