Advertising, media agencies jump on the activation bandwagon

Advertising, media agencies jump on the activation bandwagon

Mumbai: In an effort to tap the growing market for non-traditional communication, advertising and media agencies are floating specialist outfits. Such non-traditional communication could include on-ground activities as well as online ones; the agencies club such services together under the head activation.

Activation includes events, promotions, retail display, outdoor, digital, CRM (customer relationship management), direct and other such services.

JWT India Ltd will soon launch its specialist new-media brand activation outfit NLX (short for New Life Xperience). Several JWT offices in the Asia Pacific region have NLX arms and the company plans to take the unit global. According to an executive at JWT who did not wish to be identified, Andre Nair, the former chairman of Group M will likely take over as the head of NLX in the Asia Pacific region.

JWT India already has an activation unit, RMG Connect.

There is a huge market for activation services, says C.V.S. Sharma, director, Arc Worldwide, a specialised agency of Leo Burnett India Pvt Ltd. He estimates the size of the activation business in the country at about Rs4000 crore, growing at 40% per annum.

Other activation units in the fray for this business include Mudra Marketing Services (KidsStuff), Lintas IMAG, Grey Worldwide Ltd’s G2, Ogilvy Activation, Mindshare Fulcrum Activation, and Publicis India’s Solutions Integrated Marketing Services.

JWT is further pushing the cause of its activation businesses by creating a new structure. It’s new Integrated Services practice will be headed by Charulata Ravi Kumar and house both brand activation units: RMG Connect which specialises in forging brand-consumer relationships via CRM or Consumer Relationship Marketing and direct marketing; and NLX which specialises in brand activation using new-media platforms.

“RMG Connect consists of CRM, E-CRM and other forms of relationship marketing. NLX would straddle other areas that are not covered under Connect. One of them would be digital. There are several other areas — some we will implement, and the others, we will strategically partner," says Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT. RMG’s clients include Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, ITC Ltd’s Wills Lifestyle, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Microsoft Corporation India (Pvt), Wipro Ltd; many of these are expected to show up on NLX’s list as well.

One of JWT’s two national creative directors Josey Paul will be the creative person in charge of RMG while the other, Agnello Dias, will look after NLX. The agency has also demarcated other responsibilities between the two: Paul will now be in charge of Fortune Communications, JWT’s second agency, and will also helm the Delhi and Chennai branches of JWT. And Dias will steer JWT’s Mumbai, Calcutta and Bangalore offices, says Suranjan Das, managing partner, Fortune Communcations Ltd.