Ideation outsourced to India

9 October 2013
MUMBAI: Indian agencies are increasingly being tasked with the creation of multi-market campaign ideas as the offshoring of marketing services among global companies moves up the value chain.

"India is a microcosm of the world," Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director at O&M South Asia, told the Business Standard. "Learning to appeal to disparate market segments and different cultural mores with a universal message becomes second nature," he added.

Chattopadhyay contrasted this with the situation in the US, where advertising professionals grew up in a more homogenous society "in which a limited set of cultural cues are appreciated across the board".

As a result, Indian agencies are starting to move beyond outsourced functions such as artwork and production. Industry estimates have suggested that outsourcing execution can save a global brand up to 50% of its advertising costs.

Various different approaches are developing to take advantage of the wider trend towards ideation. Ogilvy Bengaluru, for example, covers account handling, planning, creative and digital functions for PC manufacturer Lenovo worldwide. The team has so far produced five main campaigns and over 10,000 individual pieces for the brand, reported Afaqs.

A more collaborative model was favoured by Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman and CEO-India, and president, McCann Worldgroup, South Asia.

"No two markets have the same sensibilities," he argued, as he explained how McCann and Goodby had formed an agency, Commonwealth, to service Chevrolet globally through specific hubs, with India as the lead for creative ideas for the Asian region.

Geography and demographics are also important factors. "More and more multinational companies will use India as a regional hub for South East Asia due to the sheer size of the local communication needs, which far outstrips that of our neighbours," stated Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer for Havas Worldwide India.

Nor is the trend restricted to international brands, as Indian brands are doing the same. Mahindra Auto, for example, outsourced the ideation for a South African SUV ad to India.

Data sourced from Business Standard, Afaqs; additional content by Warc staff
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