Television

FCB Ulka to direct Zee Group ads

NEW DELHI: Synergy amongst all group companies under the umbrella of the Subhash Chandra-controlled Essel Group is the key word these days.

In line with that strategy, FCB Ulka's Mumbai office would now handle the coveted advertising account of the whole Zee Network.

In the race to victory, FCB Ulka beat top guns like Rediff DY&R and Contract. The size of the account is worth approximately Rs 400 million per annum. Ulka would also be Zee's strategic partner to direct its creative/advertising strategies.

When contacted by indiantelevision.com today, Essel Group's vice-president, corporate brand development (CBDG), Ashish Kaul admitted, "We have decided to give Ulka the mandate to direct our unified account. We believe that synergy in all external communications is a must, especially with an organisation as diversified as ours".

Few months ago, Chandra had decided to bring the communication of all his diversified companies under one entity, CBDG. The companies that are part of the Essel Group, but function independently, include the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed Zee Telefilms, satellite and communication company ASC Enterrprise, on-line lottery venture Playwin and real estate and theme park businesses.

This is for the first time that Zee Network has decided to place all its accounts in one basket, including Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee MGM, Zee English and Alpha brands, among others. Previously, Zee and its sub-brands were handled by multiple advertising agencies such as Rediff DY& R, Contract and other medium sized agencies.

The Zee account collectively is one of the largest accounts in the media world. However, Kaul did not comment on the size of the account.

Leading agencies like Rediff DY&R, Lowe, Contract and Leo Burnett were gunning for this huge account and had made presentations over last week to Zee top honchos in Mumbai.

Zee Network has been witnessing a lot of changes in its communications front in last few months and the impetus has been on building synergy in external communications. A few months ago, in a major communications overhaul, a 

signature group was created to offer centralised communications support to all the companies under Essel Group banner, and subsequently all the public relations (PR) agencies were retired. Even Clea PR that is handling the Zee Cinema account 

at the moment would not see an extended contract beyond 31 October.

Though these are early days for the concept of unified communication and CBDG, some results seem showing up with Zee TV's launch of new programmes in Delhi that evoked stupendous response.

One of the marketing and communication initiatives also includes coming out with a new-look FPC (fixed point chart) for the main Zee channels, including the Alpha regional channels, which was created in-house. The unified programme schedule or the FPC, with a new look, comes to susbcribers beginning this month in form of a magazine.

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