BBDO, W+K and BBH to conquer Indian advertising space
BBDO, W+K and BBH to conquer Indian advertising space
Tuesday - Nov 25, 2008
Rahul Kapoor - Televisionpoint.com | Mumbai History books are littered with instances of foreigners invading the rich Indian land and later on looking at settling here. This bloodshed pretty much stopped after the Britishers left. However, later they gave way to a newer form of invasion – invasion of the conglomerates.
The growing Indian middle class, for many MNCs was just the bait that they were looking for and soon these companies set up their base in every nook and corner of the country. With an increase in the competition over a period of time, it became difficult for the marketing honchos to push their products and many approached their international ad partners to help them in selling in this new land of opportunities.
The very first international ad agency to set up shop in India was J Walter Thompson, which was later re-branded as JWT. JWT started operations in the year 1928 and later on following its footsteps, a flurry of international agencies setup their base in India.
Thereafter, there was a long lull where international ad agencies were shying away from entering India. This shyness was broken in the year 2008 when as many as three reputed international agencies – BBDO, Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) and Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), have made a beeline for India. With ad agencies like JWT, O&M, McCann, among various others, having a strong foothold in India, what has prompted these three new agencies to take special interest in India?
The Indian advertising pie is increasing at a burgeoning pace, which is music to the ears of these new agencies. According to a 2008 media report by Televisionpoint.com Intelligence Unit, the Indian advertising industry is pegged at $ 5.23 billion and is growing at an CAGR of 19 % per annum. Not just this, the expenditure on advertising would rise from 0.5 per cent of GDP to 0.56 per cent by 2010.
Simultaneously in the next three years, advertising industry would grow by a whopping 63 per cent and the advertising spends, which were $ 5.78 billion in 2007 would become almost $ 9.72 billion by the year 2010. This is a big opportunity for any ad agency, which is functioning in India and a greater temptation for those that have not been able to establish themselves here.
Adding to the growth is the heat that the developed nations are facing because of the current financial crisis. As Rajeev Raja, creative head, DDB Mudra, puts it, "With the slowdown in the American markets, it would not be long before Europe too gets affected more severely and at this time it is only developing economies like India and China, which would look attractive to any company and ad agencies are no different."
With mature markets drying up, ad agencies are taking special interest in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations. Moreover, the Indian advertising industry is a very well balanced market, with an equal focus towards traditional and emerging media, which is a big plus as far as international ad agencies are concerned.
BBDO, W+K and BBH are highly creative agencies that deploy an interesting media mix to churn out really fine pieces. With new channels flooding the market, it is giving rise to a new kind of clutter syndrome that the Indian marketers were oblivious about. But top honchos in these new ad agencies feel that this is an area that they can tap.
"Consumerism is skyrocketing. Media is everywhere and expanding rapidly. The time is right for a new challenger mindset in the communication world. A communication that would questions past processes and practices and creates new ways to touch consumers with fresh content. Opportunity is knocking incessantly," avers Josy Paul, national creative director, BBDO India.
Priti Nair, managing partner, BBH India, opines, "BBH worldwide is known as an agency that helps in finding the true solution to the clients' problem without wasting the media and that is what is essentially required in today's time."
What's more? Lately, global companies are going in for a global pitch to manage their accounts. Nokia, for instance, has been Bates baby in India for many years now. However, when the global account shifted to W+K, Nokia in India too shifted hands.
Similarly, BBDO internationally handles the PepsiCo account. When BBDO setup shop in India earlier this year, they snatched away 7UP account from JWT. And now on the same lines it is expected that BBH, which handles most of Unilever's account and had coined the punch line – 'Dirt is good' for Unilever's Surf brand might soon get HUL's Surf brand in India too. It might be too much of a coincidence that they have roped in Priti Nair who was a key person at Lowe, the agency that handles Surf in India, not so long back.
Even veterans of the trade believe that all the three newly setup agencies are one of the finest creative agencies and would help to foster a lot of competition in the country and hence a lot of account shifting. And that's not all. It is expected that other international agencies like Sallon, which handles the account of Skoda and Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) might soon be coming to India.
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