Campaign India Team
Jul 27, 2015

Creativeland Asia eyes the bigger picture

Wins Domino’s, Godrej No.1, Indian Express, among others; brand incubation, TV content take off

Sajan Raj Kurup
Sajan Raj Kurup
CreativeLand Asia (CLA) claims to have added on twice the volume of business it was last in the news for losing – that of Parle Agro. 
Since the mutual client-agency separation in November 2014, the agency has brought into its fold Domino's (end-June), The Indian Express and Godrej No.1 (both in April), among others. Real estate player Kalpataru and She Comfort sanitary napkins (from Emami) are brands won in end-2014. CLA also bagged digital duties of Jet Privilege in end-June.
The focus has not been just on growing the advertising business, revealed CLA founder and creative chairman Sajan Raj Kurup. 
Speaking with Campaign India at the new office the agency has occupied in Mumbai since 1 June 2015, he said, "We were at close to 130 people in November 2014, and we're touching 150 now across two offices. While we have seen growth on business and people, the real change has been elsewhere. Advertising is not going to be the end-game. The reason why clients come to us, in our understanding, is that we do not think like an ad agency. It's about understanding what is the right thing for a brand to do (even if it is not advertising). Sometimes we think like a promoter, and that has helped the advertising business too."  
Building IPs, launching products and brands
‘Fearless’, a hospital disinfectant brand for human use CLA incubated from the product stage for two years, is making its foray into Rajasthan, having tested waters in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The space of incubating, shaping and funding brand growth is something Creativeland wants to do on scale. The areas in which these efforts would fall are: (i) environment and healthcare (ii) education and (iii) entertainment and technology.
“This (Fearless) was an experiment we did and it has been successful. It is now used in 18 hospitals and has reached a certain scale, from where we'd like to see it grow. To that end, we would be bringing in investors to back the brand which has already been established in the market. We’d like to do a few things in the space of brand incubration, in identified areas. I see this portfolio growing. Our job here is to identify a gap in the market, design the brand and brand experience, bring in the experts, take it to market and then, help it scale,” said Kurup.
Creativeland is in talks with angel investors for projects within the incubation business, revealed Kurup, while ruling out yet again the possibility of selling Creativeland Asia.
CLA Pictures gets into TV content
CLA Pictures, which has done a feature besides several ad films, has finished piloting a documentary for a factual entertainment channel. The show will start airing in August or September 2015, revealed Kurup. The intent is to invest more in content, an area that could dwarf the advertising business in the near future.
"We have invested about two years now, into content. We want to get into meaningful content and we want to do it our way (rather than follow a cookie-cutter process). I want to see CLA Pictures getting into fiction," said Kurup. 
For now, the focus is on the 15 episodes in the factual entertainment genre making a mark.
New digital entity
The 32 digital staff (of about 150) including 20 coders will be part of a separate entity soon. Satyakumar Shetty, who has been with CLA for five years, will be CEO. The digital production unit has now been christened Creativeland Technologies. 
Advertising is growing, too
On the new business wins in advertising, digital and branding, the agency issued a statement on 26 July, detailing the mandates.
For Domino's, apart from mainline work, Creativeland has been entrusted with the digital mandate. The agency will work alongside incumbent Contract. 
Harneet Singh Rajpal, VP marketing, Domino's Pizza India, said, “We needed more strategic and creative minds to work with us, as partners, to grow the brand and hence we selected CLA as our new agency partner in addition to our incumbent creative agency. We believe the strengths of CLA are very complimentary to our thinking and approach and together we can do some very interesting work on brand Domino’s.”
For Godrej No.1 soap, the agency has been handed the integrated mandate. Sunil Kataria, head of sales and marketing, GCPL, said, “As we all know , soaps is a highly fragmented market and it requires a creative idea which not only connects with consumers but has a power to build equity for the brand in medium term.  In the creative idea of 'Tum hi ho No. 1' presented by CLA, we saw  this potential and that's made us choose them for this account.”
For Emami, Creativeland will be re-launching the FMCG company's She Comfort brand of sanitary napkins. It will handle integrated marketing communications, besides revamping the brand including its packaging design.
The agency will also be revamping The Indian Express, and is handling the news brand's integrated marketing communications mandate. 
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