By Yohan P Chawla
After 24 years of being the traditional media buying agency for Hindustan Unilever Limited in India, Mindshare Fulcrum has taken over the complete digital mandate for the FMCG giant. They won the account after a multi-agency pitch held in August last year, and have assumed duties From the 1st of January, 2019.
The entire team of Mindshare Fulcrum and HUL came together for a photo-opp and spoke to the media.
The agency took over the digital mandate From PHD India. And remarkably, for a team that was working mostly with traditional media, it took only three months for them to transition into learning to work with digital.
Prasanth Kumar, CEO, Mindshare – South Asia, Africa and MENA, said, “There will be a larger focus on all brands From an integrated perspective. It will be a good blend of traditional and digital, and therefore better implementation for the client. New tools, new practices, new specialists. One single team will service Unilever.”
A mega in-house talent training program called Link was organized by Mindshare Fulcrum, which also brought in digital specialists wherever required to make sure they were prepared to service HUL. The entire talent up-scaling program lasted for about three and a half months, whereby everyone in the agency was trained on how to work on digital. More than 40 people were hired recently, taking the total strength of the agency beyond 150 people.
Amin Lakhani, President, Client Leadership, Mindshare India, said “There is no bigger moment of pride than today! The entire idea is that the silo called digital does not exist anymore. I think that’s the way we are evolving, because there is one marketing team and there’s one brief, and Fulcrum is here to convert that one brief into a single-window solution.”
“Every person who is a part of Fulcrum will contribute to servicing HUL such that other agencies in GroupM will take inspiration From us. And that’s the role model concept we have tried to work out for Unilever.”
HUL too joined the agency in the capability program. An ideal structure for Unilever has been identified and then worked on – From the profile to the best-fit person recruited for each profile.
GauravJeet Singh, General Manager- Media (South Asia), Unilever, said, “We are constantly looking at two key levers of what will drive our business. Firstly, we need to increasingly look at the effectiveness of media deployment. Anything From the media should lead to business impact. Secondly, data is becoming increasingly important and critical. It’s important to have people who have deep skill sets in using data effectively to drive brand growth.”
HUL has been a brands powerhouse that advertises to a great extent. It will be interesting to see how well Mindshare Fulcrum use digital to deliver on the requirements of HUL. With three mega events coming up this year – the ICC Cricket World Cup and The Vivo IPL, both on the Star India Network, and the general elections that will be across every channel and pipeline of content, news and information delivery, a lot of brands would be waiting to capitalize on the massive exposure available.
However, on TRAI and its new tariff order, Prasanth Kumar said both Mindshare and Unilever would adopt a wait-and-watch approach before committing to ad spends in the changing landscape.