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Wizcraft International promoters launch Sports One

The sports arena is witnessing a new entrant, courtesy of the promoters of Wizcraft International. With Sports One, the company aims to establish a holistic and 360 degree approach to sports marketing and the management of sports properties. Sports One is promoted by Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph - the co-founders and directors of Wizcraft International - and Ashok Rajgopal, a former partner with Ernst & Young's media and sports consulting practice. Sports One aims to be seen as a medium to embody Indian talent on an international platform, as well as develop the quality of sports in India. Their services will hence, be offered across geographies. Sports One will leverage its international network and skills to combine sports and entertainment to create and support properties that will help popularize all kinds of sports in India.
DDB Mudra wins Royal Challenge account

The agency's Bengaluru branch will handle the business. Media spends are pegged in the region of Rs 15-20 crore.DDB Mudra has bagged the creative mandate for Royal Challenge, the liquor brand from United Spirits, a part of the Bengaluru-based UB (United Breweries) Group. Sources close to the development have confirmed the news to afaqs!.The agency's Bengaluru branch will handle the business. As per market estimates, the media spends are in the region of Rs 15-20 crore.The development is the result of a multi-agency pitch process that was concluded around a week ago.Royal Challenge is a whisky brand that is commonly referred to as 'RC'. It became a part of United Spirits when the UB Group acquired Shaw Wallace & Company (SWC) in 2005.Other whisky brands from the United Spirits stable include Bagpiper, Signature and McDowell's No.1, among others. Besides whisky, the parent company also offers spirits such as scotch, wine, brandy, rum, vodka and gin. Like most other liquor brands, Royal Challenge has, owing to industry regulations, resorted to surrogate advertising (or proxy advertising) in the recent past. It remains to be seen how the newly appointed agency will position the brand in the days ahead.
EMI Music to dominate international and non-film music market

While speculations over the ongoing deal with Universal Music may be the talk of the town, EMI Music India remains unfazed by the entire issue and is exploring new ways to strengthen its position in the Indian music market.Although, the company has been surrounded by several acquisitions and partnership deals for over a year now, it is riding high to establish itself as a leading non-film music label. Speaking with, EMI Music managing director T Suresh says, “In the past we have recorded devotional albums with legends like Anuradha Padval, Pandit Jasraj, Rashid Khan and more. The endeavour is to continuously give the market exciting new material by recording and releasing albums with top singers of the time.”The label has a host of non-film albums for release in the month of August. The second volume of its popular devotional album ‘Ganaraj Adhiraj’ featuring tracks in varied styles by renowned singers like Shankar Mahadevan and Salim Merchant amongst others will also be released soon. In addition, the label has also recorded many albums with leading classical singers. Another album slated for release next month is ‘Ghazal Funk’ by Roop Kumar Rathod. The album comprises of popular ghazals by legendary singers like Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and Farida Khanum, infused with a contemporary style. Apart from that, the label had also recently released a one-of-a-kind devotional album with singer Shaan.Expanding its repertoire in the south Indian music space as well, the label will also release an array of devotional albums in August-September. The albums have been rendered by the top two playback singers in the south, namely Karthik and Suchitra. While Karthik recorded his first classical, fusion album under the label which went on to become a rage in the southern states, Suchitra has recorded an interpretational album with works by the legendary poet Bharathiyar.“We are doing interesting work with many leading singers in the south. We get them to record famous classical work of legendary poets and singers but with the use of modern instruments and style. We spend a lot of money on the quality of our production because we have understood that people listen to classical music provided the quality of the music is good,” he states.EMI plans to expand its base in the international and non-film music segment and attain leadership on that front.
Larsen & Toubro Finance scouts for creative agencies

The pitch is underway in Mumbai. Media spends are pegged at Rs 40 crore.Larsen & Toubro Finance (LTF), a subsidiary of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in the financial services space, is currently on the lookout for a creative agency.The pitch process that began recently is underway in Mumbai. Industry sources inform afaqs! that about four to five leading creative agencies are already in the fray for the account. As per market estimates, media spends are pegged at Rs 40 crore.L&T is a technology, engineering and construction group that, after establishing traction in the areas of engineering, construction, electronics, industrial products and information technology, forayed into the financial services space.L&T Finance was incorporated as a non-banking finance company in November, 1994. It offers a range of financial products and services for trade, industry and agriculture. The company's main areas of interest are corporate products, construction equipment and tractors.L&T Finance also provides personalised financial solutions to retail customers in the form of insurance and mutual funds, including products such as transactional services, risk mitigation and advisory services.
Taproot launches new division, TRIP

The new division specialises in non-mass media and production activities such as POS, brand signage, in-shop displays, merchandise, and exhibitions and events. It will be led by Purushottam Joshi as director. Agnello Dias and Santosh Padhi-led Taproot has announced the launch of its new unit, TRIP. The new division specialises in non-mass media and production activities and will therefore focus on solutions such as POS, brand signage, in-shop displays, merchandise, and exhibitions and events.The duo, Dias and Padhi, co-founders and creative directors of Taproot India, says, "The industry spends on retail/on-ground/merchandise are already steep but sadly, the quality needs to improve much more to honestly justify those spends. This sort of service does exist in international markets, where once the big idea is arrived at, the creative services execution team, with their practical knowledge of on-ground and retail space, takes the idea forward in a more engaging, entertaining and effective way. To the extent that at times most clients do brief the set of teams independently, like one does to a research or a digital agency."The new outfit will be led by Purushottam Joshi, director. It will function mainly from Mumbai, and in case of national level execution, it will work through its multi-city network tie up."There is a disconnect between what kind of state-of-the-art technology is available in the market versus what's being used, or rather how it's being used to reach consumers. In fact, ventures like TRIP can bridge the divide between brands and consumers across non mass-media touch points in a more relevant and effective way," says Joshi.Joshi, who has more than 25 years of experience, holds a diploma in mass communication from Mumbai University. He started his career with Mudra Communication (now DDB Mudra Group) as production manager in 1989. Over the years, he was promoted as senior production controller. After 10 years, he moved to Euro RSCG as head, production. He made his next move after five and a half years, as he joined JWT, where he held the position of senior director, creative services.
Dark Knight Rises generates Rs 250 mn in opening weekend

The Dark Knight Rises, the latest Batman movie from the Warner Bros. Entertainment, which stars Christian Bale as Batman, has collected Rs 250 million in its opening weekend in India. The first weekend collections are more than what Dar Media had paid to secure the domestic distribution rights of the film. The distributor has paid almost Rs 180 million for the all-India theatrical distribution rights; the only other Hollywood film to have been sold to a single theatrical distributor was Spider-Man 3, which was released in 2007. Incidentally, the film's Indian distribution rights were sold by Sony Pictures Entertainment to Percept Picture for around Rs 150 million. The first of the Batman series, Batman Begins, was released in 2005 across 70 screens (57 prints) and generated around Rs 13.6 million in the first three days from the Indian box-office, while the sequel, The Dark Knight, which released in 2008 across 250 screens (210 prints) earned around Rs 38 million in the opening weekend, according to Warner Bros.
Dabur India increases its ad spends

Dabur India delivered a good performance in June 2012 quarter. The major surprise of the June quarter numbers was the year-on-year 51% jump in its advertising and publicity expenses. Dabur had kept its advertising cost in control over the past several months in order to maintain its profitability. However, the strategy seems to have changed as the company again has started pumping money in marketing its products. Its advertisement to sales ratio increased by 310 bps year-on-year to 15.7% in March 2012 quarter. Its sales grew by 20% y-o-y to Rs 1462 crore, which its net profit grew by 17% to Rs 150 crore. Operating margins remained flat at 16% which is positive for the company considering the additional advertisement expense. The second most diversified Indian FMCG company showed a healthy growth across segments. Its food business which contributes to around 15% of the company's net sales grew by 31%, while its consumer care business which is 80% of its total sales grew at 15%. Its retail business ( Kaya Skin Clinic) continues to be loss making but the size of this business is negligible when compared to its overall business Dabur's stock closed 0.1% up at Rs 118 while the Sensex was down by 1.7%. The company's stock is trading at a price to earning multiple of 31.
McCann Erickson wins Park Avenue account

The incumbent agency on the account is Bates.McCann Erickson has won the creative duties for Park Avenue's apparel range. The agency's Mumbai branch will handle the business.The win is the result of a multi-agency pitch. The brand had initiated the process in Mumbai a few months ago. Sources close to the development have confirmed the news to afaqs!.The incumbent creative agency on the account is Bates. The mandate for the brand's grooming range lies with Publicis Ambience.In 1986, Raymond introduced Park Avenue to offer men 'Complete Wardrobe Dressing Solutions'. The name was influenced by an elite high street in Manhattan. The brand has been positioned as one of the most prestigious brands in Raymond's apparel portfolio. Today, Park Avenue is among India's leading men's readymade garment brands. The company launched a women's range in 2007 to cater to the need gap in the women's western formal wear space.R K Swamy BBDO currently handles the creative duties for Raymond. Early last year, TBWA Mumbai was added to Raymond's creative roster.In the first week of December 2010, afaqs! reported that following a review of media agencies, Raymond had consolidated all its media planning and buying with the R K Swamy Media Group, comprising Media Direction, Digital Direction, Hansa Media Services and Hansa Outdoor. The agency now handles the media duties for Raymond, Park Avenue, Parx, ColorPlus, J K Helene Curtis and J K Ansell. Earlier, the agency held the media mandate only for the Raymond brand; the media duties for all the other brands were handled by Starcom MediaVest and Dentsu Media.
Ormax Media launches celebrity evaluation software

To be called Celebritix, the new research metric allows brands to evaluate and select the right celebrities for endorsements based on the fit between the brand and the celebrity, the company claims. Celebrities have always had an influencing impact on a brand's image and sales over several years; and therefore, choosing the 'right' celebrity is critical to realise the real potential of celebrity endorsements and film associations. Based on this insight, Ormax Media has launched Celebritix. The new research metric allows brands to evaluate and select the right celebrities for endorsements based on the fit between the brand and the celebrity, the company claims. To begin with, Celebritix will feature a total of 36 celebrities from Bollywood and cricket. Every quarter, up to 10 new celebrities will be added to the tracking, based on market trends, box office and cricket performance. The research covers 4,000 respondents every quarter, across 20 attributes, in the target group of 18-44 years, SEC ABC across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. According to Ormax, the software will allow the users to create a brand profile by assigning weights to different attributes that best describe the desired personality of the brand. Based on the brand profile, the software will recommend celebrities that best fit the brand, using a proprietary metric called the OCX (Ormax Celebritix) Score.The OCX Score can also be used for selection of films for associations, based on the fit between the star cast and the brand. Shailesh Kapoor, CEO, Ormax Media, says, "Celebritix will allow the brand teams to make informed celebrity choices, based on consumer research. For brands which have signed up specific celebrities already, it allows them to look at their profile and identify ways of using them to the best advantage of the brand."
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