O&M India to build global Lenovo brand

Written by Alokananda Chakraborty | New Delhi, Jul 19 | Updated: Jul 20 2007, 07:27am hrs
Lenovo, the third largest personal computer maker in the world after Dell and HP, and the largest in the Asia-Pacific region, has appointed O&M India to coordinate all mass media advertising for the Lenovo brand worldwide. A dedicated team from O&M has already been stationed in Bangalore for this purpose.

We will have multi-country teams to develop the course of our advertising, says Rahul Agarwal, vice-president, marketing, Lenovo India. For example, Piyush Pandey of India is taking great personal interest in the effort. We might also have a creative head from, say, New York or France to give his inputs and offer direction. The idea is to have the best creative minds behind the effort.

While this is a prestigious account for O&M India, in terms of revenue potential, it might not be significant, says a senor executive with a Top 10 agency. Our estimate is that the agency will make around Rs 12-15 crore in annual fees. (Unofficial figures indicate that O&M Indias billing currently stands at around Rs 1,000 crore.)

In a first-of-its-kind effort and as part of its move to make Bangalore its global advertising services hub, Lenovoexpected to clock $70 million in global advertising spend in 2007is also looking to set up an outfit under the Lenovo brand that will work on all below-the-line (BTL) activities for offices across the globe, except China.

While the company refused to confirm the move, sources close to the development indicate the centre in Bangalore will be involved in developing Web advertising, direct mailers, catalogues and outdoor advertising, besides spearheading Lenovos channel management and retail merchandising efforts. Lenovo is said to be looking at a team of 60 people to spearhead its BTL efforts. Lenovos advertising studio is up and running.

Post-consolidation, Lenovo is looking at a huge 40% reduction in its global marketing costs, according to industry estimates. Cost is not our primary concern, says Agarwal. The idea is to build a uniform brand identity and improve the average quality of work. Cost savings, of course, is a healthy by-product, he adds. The companys advertising theme will remain the same: From the worlds best engineers come the worlds best-engineered PCs.

It is also learnt that O&M has been on a hiring spree for the last few months to support Lenovos efforts. It has already added 40-odd people to its Bangalore branch.

The advertising industry in India is watching Lenovos moves with bated breath because the company, which has headquarters in the US and China, is expected to splurge on advertising over the next couple of years.

The company is a sponsor at next years Olympics in Beijing, which is expected to attract $3 billion in additional advertising in 2008, nearly $1 billion of it in China alone, expects ZenithOptimedia.