New Delhi: Rediffusion, the 45-year-old Indian agency behind iconic campaigns such as Gold Spot ‘The zing thing’ and Eveready ‘Give me red’, is turning a new leaf after its split with world’s largest advertising conglomerate WPP Plc earlier this month.
The agency is all set to launch a new logo and vision as it plans to chart a new course after buying back the 40% stake held by WPP agency Young & Rubicam (Y&R) and Dentsu after 24 years of association.
“We are changing the visual mnemonics around Rediffusion. We will soon unveil a new logo and vision for the company," Navonil Chatterjee, chief strategy officer, Rediffusion, said.
Chatterjee, who has been with the agency since July 2015, will now head Rediffusion as joint director along with chief creative officer Rahul Jauhari.
Apart from Rediffusion and its second agency Everest Brand Solution, specialist brands run as joint ventures with WPP-Wunderman for direct marketing and Sudler & Hennessey for healthcare will be known as Rediffusion Direct and Rediffusion Health.
The agency plans to build teams in its client servicing, management and digital divisions. It is also working to ramp up its capabilities in social media by leveraging technology support from its sister concern and internet company Rediff.com.
According to Rahul Jauhari, in the new scheme of things, the company will talk more about its work. “We are not consciously working towards changing perceptions. We will keep the Rediffusion legacy intact while staying relevant to the current times by building digital and social media capabilities further," he said.
According to ad industry estimates, Rediffusion’s current revenue ranges between ₹ 30 crore and ₹ 40 crore, and this could grow to ₹ 100 crore in the next two years if the agency manages to win some big accounts. During its stalemate with WPP, which has been trying to buyout Rediffusion, the agency did lose key accounts like Colgate, Ford and Airtel, which not only dented its market standing and revenue but also led to attrition. More recently, it has won the business of State Bank of India (SBI), German white goods firm Liebherr and Tata Trusts. It also handles Jamshedpur Football Club, Parle Products, TVS Tyres, Taj Group of Hotels, L&T Realty and Godfrey Philips among others.
“The biggest task for Rediffusion is to reclaim its past glory by reinventing and rebuilding itself. The goal should be to build a solid team and tap into the immense goodwill it has in the industry. I’m sure old clients would love to work with them again," said Sandeep Goyal, media veteran and chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency.
Goyal, who has worked with Rediffusion for eight years, fondly recalls how the agency created some of the most memorable campaigns in Indian advertising, including the Garden Vareli woman, the Red and White cigarette brand campaign with actor Raj Babbar and the launch campaign of Maruti 800.
Established in 1973 by Arun Nanda, Ajit Balakrishnan and Mohammed Khan, Rediffusion was best known for creating brands from scratch and maintaining long-standing client relationships. It tied up with US-based creative agency Y&R in 1985 and in the mid-90s, Japanese advertising agency Dentsu also came on board.
“When three private companies came together, it was a happy marriage," Nanda told Mint, adding WPP came into the picture in 2000 after buying Y&R. “Our differences with WPP started close to 15 years ago," he said.
After Martin Sorrell’s exit from WPP in April this year, Dentsu and Y&R (DY&R), which had joint ventures in countries like Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, has been completely disengaged, dissolving the partnership, and selling off the shareholding. “It has helped in us taking the decision as well," added Nanda.
WPP said it would develop the three agencies (Sudler, Wunderman and Y&R) as wholly owned agencies in India, posing direct competition to Rediffusion.