Rise of the Indie

22 Sep,2011

By Tuhina Anand


Creativeland Asia literally began life at Mr Sajan Raj Kurup’s dining table, where he discussed it with his friends four years ago when he quit his job as Regional Creative Director at Grey Worldwide. And the independent agency’s time seems to have come.


For those who need to break away from large networks where creativity sometimes yields to hierarchy, setting up their own agency is the answer. And it seems to be an answer that works. A recent example would be Creativeland Asia bagging the Independent Agency of the Year at Spikes Asia. This was the first year when this award was introduced, and it aims at encouraging the spirit of creative entrepreneurship that has helped forge outstanding companies.


Mr Kurup’s venture has now grown to a strength of 8o people across two full-fledged offices in India and nine strategic offices in Asia.


Creativeland Asia also brought home a Grand Prix in integrated media category for 3D Experience for its client Audi India, a business it bagged in July last year. This also was a campaign of Indian origin which for the first time Audi adapted and used across the globe. The agency also bagged a Bronze Spike in digital for Hippo’s Plan-T. In fact, it was invited by Twitter to make a presentation on Plan-T which basically is a Twitter-led campaign which has won them accolades for innovative thinking. The agency has also won awards and accolades at other platforms including D&AD, One Show, Adfest, Spikes Asia and Cannes, and our very own Goafest.


On his win, Mr Kurup, Founder & Creative Chairman, Creativeland Asia, says, “Winning the ‘Independent Agency of the Year’ award is a proud moment for us. This win is also significant for all independent agencies in India. To bag the Grand Prix for real work and on a global brand like Audi underscores the creative culture at Creativeland. It goes to show that when you consistently create good and inspiring work, lady luck is bound to shine on you sooner or later.”


The agency has also done some pathbreaking work for its client Frooti where the brand has been totally refreshed itself including a funky package design. It also launched recently Saint Juice beginning the exercise of naming the brand signifying purity and 100 per cent juice. Some of the other brands it has worked for include Café Coffee Day, Medimix, LMN and Appy Fizz among others. The common link among all the brands is that Mr Kurup when he started out had said he wanted the agency to focus on marketing to the youth, and largely the brands that Creativeland has worked on exude this approach in its work.


So does the win at Spikes for Creativeland really signify that today is the time of the independents. Yes, one can say that the time is conducive for independents with talent, and who are big on ideas, to come to the fore. Like Taproot changing the way industry looks at small agencies with its work on Airtel which is a big client, and getting praise for its campaign “Hare ek friend zaroori hota hai.” It’s also a time when the client’s approach is changing, too, and they are willing to take risks especially in a cluttered market with an overdose of media vehicles where it becomes imperative to get your brand noticed with cutting-edge and “hat ke” ideas.


In that sense Creativeland Asia’s win affirms this wind of change. And the might of independents cannot be undermined as they are ready to take the biggies and steadily increasing their strength by diversifying their portfolios. Just like Creativeland, which has been expanding its footprint with providing content for four television channels including two reality shows. In fact, the agency is also venturing into the film industry with their first production, Karmayogi.


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