Independents rule adland in 2011

26 Dec,2011


By Shubhangi Mehta


Looking at 2011 and how well the independent agencies have performed this year, it can be said that this has been the year of independence for the independents who have managed to attract some big ticket clients.


Law & Kenneth has excelled this year in terms of business wins, Anil Nair, CEO and Managing Partner, Law & Kenneth, said: “As an independent agency, we have everything and give appropriate solutions to our brand. Our services are not restricted to just creative campaigns for a brand. We can offer all that a bigger agency can do. The advantage that we have over them is that we focus on the task in hand without any bias. Bigger agencies need larger income, hence the client has to spend big. For us honesty and integrity are high currencies, hence we have the courage to call a spade, spade.”


Most of the independent agencies these days let their work talk for them. Ideas@work won the creative mandates for Big Rock, Gelusil, Rustomji and managed seven awards at Goafest.


Saints & Warriors and Scarecrow have done equally well and bagged some good businesses. Ditto with Creativeland Asia which has excelled.


Mahesh Chauhan, Salt Brand Solutions, said: “In my opinion 2011 can actually be known as the year of independence for smaller agencies. Larger agencies offer infrastructure, whereas we, as independents, go to a client and say we’ll work for them, which a bigger agency cannot do. We partner with our clients and this has motivated the transition. As for me, working as a founder of an independent agency means being a player of the team and not the captain.”


SALT has won the creative mandates for Kaya Skin Clinic, BSE and Big RTL this year.


Early this year ‘Hum mein hai hero’ came across as a clutter breaker. Similarly Pepsi ‘Change the Game’ and the Airtel’s latest ‘Har friend Zaroori hota hai’ have made one feel that there is a change in the thought process of the client as well.


Happy Creative, a creative boutique, managed to cull out a name for itself in terms of awards and has done some great work for Flipkart.


Rahul Kansal, CMO, Bennett & Coleman, said: “As a client, we are looking for less of strategy and more of creative input, hence we want to deal directly with the creative person who is more readily available in smaller/independent agencies. We no longer want to work with middlemen. Second, if we are comfortable working with a particular individual, then we prefer working with him, it doesn’t really matter if it his own startup.”


Agnello Dias, Taproot India said: “This year has been reasonably good for independent agencies. Clients are looking for a fresher take, hence they are moving towards agencies who can give them personalised service as they have lesser work.”


It can be said that when we sell something, even if it is an idea, there has to be a personal touch. And that’s exactly what these boutique agencies are offering to their client. Right from suggesting a brand name to designing and packaging, a lot of these agencies are providing services beyond the creation of a brand communication for a brand.


Sandeep Bomble, founder director, Palasa said: “The business we won this year was Iball mobile phones, Housefull Furniture and Rawwar Fashion. We also won 3 Goafest awards last year for different categories like Best Packaging, Best Art Direction and Best Direct Marketing Event. One-to-one client interaction, cost effective and lesser process driven are the primary reasons for survival of independent agencies. The people working in the agencies will come and go, but in a small set up, the head that drives remains forever. Which is why, a client enjoys personalised attention without losing out on quality in the long run”.


The bigger agencies have always been big, but it is a striking fad to see that creativity more than anything is getting the utmost importance in India, just like it is in other countries.


What we can figure out from the views of the experts is that in the end, it isn’t about being big or small, instead it’s more about being ingenious and impeccable.



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