Monday, August 25, 2008

Best Marketing Practice #1 : Creative Lab

Creativeland Asia which is the new generation advertising agency founded by Mr Sajan Raj Kurup is launching a Creative Lab in Kochi. The excerpts of press release is given below

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While Creativeland has been strengthening its forays into the international/ Asian market with strategic tie-ups with local Asian agencies across markets, it has also been consolidating its presence in India.

Just one year into the business, and Creativeland Asia is all set to open its second and third offices. While the office at Kochi will open its gates in the last week of September, news is still awaited on the other office which is also slated to open in the South. The Kochi office will also host the CLA Lab, India’s first creative laboratory for communication, brand and marketing ideas.

CLA Lab will be a laboratory, a planning space and an ideas library. Exclusively for advertising & marketing minds of Creativeland, its clients and all its Asian partner agencies. CLA Lab will be used as a hub to workshop ideas, test market new ideas and test launch new advertising and marketing concepts and strategies. In addition to the physical space to huddle and brainstorm,

CLA Lab will provide the complete back-end support required for such activities.
Speaking on the developments, Sajan Raj Kurup, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Creativeland Asia, says, “Creativeland has been looking for the right time, the right way and the right people to expand its business."
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I think its a best practice because its for the first time where an advertising agency is trying to see creativity in advertising and brand promotion as equivalent of Research and Development (in product development ).

And such a focus on creativity will be a nice playground for the amazing creative talent we have in our country. Right now creative talents are having difficulty in finding the right kind of platform in our country. The recent Cannes is a proof that India has that creative talent to make itself into a leading hub for creative outsourcing for global marketing giants.

Another factor which prompted me to write a post on CLA's new venture is that they are opening this Lab in Kochi ( my place of work ). Kerala is known for its militant unionism and is often not a preferred destination for manufacturing companies.

But the state is known for its consumers. Its a hard core consumer state and a preferred test market for most of the consumer goods . I believe that if a product succeed in Kerala, it has the potential to make it big in India. Hence Kerala offers huge potential for consumer research especially on the youth segment. Its a homogenous market with a high degree of literacy. The media penetration is also comparatively high. Hence a ideal location for any knowledge based venture. ( I know I am biased ).

One thing that used to surprise me is the fact that none of the major advertising agencies have an office in this vibrant market. To my knowledge no top advertising agencies have an office in Kerala except for Mudra & TBWA. The reason is that none of the major clients have their base ( HO )in Kerala.

Having said that , yesterday I visited a textile shop - Jayalakshmi Silks in Kochi and was absolutely stunned by the massive crowd shopping there. This is Onam season and a season where the Malayalees loose their purse strings. According to Malayala Manorama newspaper, Malayalees spent around Rs 5000 crore in this season alone.

The Kerala consumers spend around Rs 45000 crore in an year. This spending is fuelled by around Rs 18000 crore send by Non-Resident Keralites into the state. Hence Kochi makes a fertile ground for exploring consumer behavior through research .

The only issue for any such initiative is to attract and retain talent. Retaining talent in Kochi can be a tricky issue since Kochi does not have the vibrancy of Mumbai or Bangalore.