82.5 celebrates anniv, with many wins and awards

13 Feb,2020

By A Correspondent

 

It was a celebration with a difference. The media was invited to a potluck, with senior staff from the now-not-so-new 82.5 Communications. So Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Sumanto Chattopadhyay brought in some Kosha Mangsho (Bangla Mutton Curry) made by his all-new Bong cook. Co-chairman and CEO Kapil Arora brought in some Chholay Masala and pickle and green chutney. Some amazingly tasty kheer with understated sugar by Mayur Verma. Samrat Bedi brought in the cake. As did WPP’s CFO in India Inigo Franco. And so on.

 

The objective was to celebrate the first anniversary of the Ogilvy group’s 82.5 Communications. Piyush Pandey, Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide & Executive Chairman, India, The Ogilvy Group was in the house, and sitting along with Arora and Chattopadhyay to speak to the media.

 

So well among other things, the agency has bagged nine clients in the recent past. And it’s won several awards, including the mother-of-all, the Grand Effie at the recent Effie’s Awards.

 

It may be recalled that last year, Soho Square, the second agency from the Ogilvy India stable, was relaunched as 82.5. The new agency also subsumed all of Bates’s business.

 

We asked both Pandey and Arora about why the Bisleri entry that bagged the Grand Effie wasn’t entered as an Ogilvy group entry. Had they done that – as some other agencies also club the work of their group, Ogilvy would’ve been a solo #1 and not having had to share honours with McCann. To be fair, in Effie’s 2014 too, Ogilvy was #1 and Soho Square with #5 and had bagged the Grand Effie for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) election campaign. So the policy to give the smaller sibling agency a distinct identity is not new.

 

Here’s what Arora said to the media:

While Sumanto spoke to you about our work, our creative talent, our accolades, I would also like to shine a light on where we are on the individual things we set out to achieve in the last year:

 

1. Build a profile of interesting India first businesses that resonates with our positioning.  90% of our client mix comprises 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.

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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

 

4. Business – I’ve been here six 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.

 

5. Elbows in approach to brands – with the coming in of Rishabha Nayyar, our National Planning Lead, he’s championed a whole new elbows 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.

 

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