Mumbai: 82.5 Communication has successfully completed its first-year journey with handful of new clients and noteworthy campaigns to its credit.
Today at the one-year celebration, Sumanto Chattopadhyay – Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Kapil Arora – Co-Chairman & CEO and Piyush Pandey – Chief Creative Officer Worldwide and Executive Chairman India, Ogilvy in a freewheeling chat with the media, with a potluck lunch thrown in.
Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman & CCO India, 82.5 Communications – A year back when 82.5 Communications was being launched many questioned the move asking why now, we believed it was time to launch a new agency, things were tough in our market but we have weathered it. It was exciting, but scary. I feel that one year down the line if we have survived, and I would say with cautious optimism that we thrived as well. So it’s been a really been fantastic.
Personally for me, the huge change was that I was part of a very well entrenched established culture and creative culture in everything that Ogilvy stands for. I just had to try to do my best to live up to it. I was told that was Ogilvy, this is 82.5 Communications and you have to create the culture over here. One of the interesting things we did was a few months ago, we just told everybody to go out there, anywhere on the streets, to offices to your societies and find examples of these geniuses and innovators and make videos. There were many interesting take away from this experiment, kids using thermocols as floaters for swimming, there was this noisy crowded restaurant the waiters had devised their own sign language to convey the order from the table to the kitchen. hundreds of examples and then we said we must not only get to see that our offices, the interiors, and we have used egg trays as false ceiling because it also absorbs sound and one of our conference rooms are made out of containers, shipping containers.
In this one year we have created some great memorable campaigns, The Camel Film for Bisleri, a campaign for Fake news using the BACK emoji.
Kapil Arora, Co-Chairman & CEO, 82.5 Communications envisaged on the individual things, the agency set out to achieve in the last year.
- Build a profile of interesting India first businesses that resonates with our positioning. 90% of our client mix is comprised of India first clients. We also have global brands come to us, like Milo, which wanted a Tamil Nadu-out insight reflected in their work. So they too see value in our India first expertise and approach.
- Open platform model – as a small outfit, it made absolute sense to keep brand custodianship, strategy and content expertise in house, while working with partners to offer allied services in media, social, PR, retail and activation. In implementing that model, we had a few learnings and have since pivoted to build that circle of partners within WPP alone. This helps us retain better quality control and ownership for our clients and a move like the WPP campus really aids is in that regard.
- Language first – we’ve already built in house language thinking expertise beyond Hindi and English, starting with Bengali, Marathi and Tamil. This repertoire will continue to increase through a mix of in house talent and a circle of friends from the local film and theatre circuits
- Business – I’ve been here 6 months and I can tell you the energy has been electric. Our mandates with our largest clients ITC, Himalaya, ACC, Bisleri have significantly strengthened. We’ve won 9 of our last 11 pitches. And bagged mandates from Nestle Milo, a few dairy projects with them as well, IDBI bank, Haldirams North, Hero Lectro, a few brands from the RSPL group, Campus Shoes, Pearson education and Jeeru – a jeera based carbonated beverage right here in Mumbai.
- Elbows in approach to brands – with the coming in of Rishabha Nayyar, our National Planning Lead, he’s championed a whole new elbow in approach of getting to know consumers under the skin. Every client-facing employee is encouraged to meet consumers one on one, before reaching the solutioning stage. Little wonder that clients are looking at us for more upstream conversations, including a few strategy only mandates, like FirstCry.
“All of that is just the beginning. We are and will always be a work in progress agency. It’s our strength. But with a solid foundation in place, we’re fabulously well geared to help navigate and partner our clients through trying times. And we’re bullish about the future.” said Kapil Arora.
Piyush Pandey – Chief Creative Officer Worldwide: You still have 17.5 to go, why did we launch 82.5, very simple, Ogilvy is based on certain principles which you may ask is you have flogged culture but we have never flagged it, we are a holistic agency with a deep knowledge of culture which has made us successful over the years. The position of a truly Indian agency, there is so much to do and so much talk about India, couldn’t be a better time to start 82.5. Kapil came in from Ogilvy Delhi, there is a sense of challenge, to make something out of it and if you make an Indian brand out of it, who will be the happiest man, it would be me.
A frequently asked question is will there be a conflict, of course. There are a whole lot of people who want to work with Ogilvy, but we have our limitations. These are Ogilvy trained people, starting their own agency, keeping it completely behind Chinese walls but here there is the Great Wall of China.
There are certain ethics of the business, follow them. If you can create a model that suits them. Some of the smaller clients feel that Ogilvy is too big for me without even talking to us. 82.5 is able to come one on one with the client and go together with their clients. That is the basic purpose, they have their people in place, they have had a nice beginning and I expect them to go very very far.