Going Dutch to crack the Indian ad space (2013)

Article in the Hindu business Line

The Dutch combine is headed by an umbrella agency Brand Dialogue, a brand and design strategy consultancy with four partner agencies — Yellow Dress Retail, a retail design shop, Globrands, a brand-name identity expert, Fabrique, a multi-disciplinary agency and They, a full service advertising agency. Partner agency executives say that as each agency offers a different service specialisation it does not lead to turf wars, an issue that often rears its head in larger global agency networks.

Willem Woudenberg, Director and Founder, Brand Dialogue, told Business Line that the combination brings to fore the entrepreneurial instincts of each individual agency combined with the cost efficiency of the combine. Being small it also helps these agencies to be nimble. “We will be more cost efficient than the large network agencies as we do not have huge overheads,” said Woudenberg.

For example, one way that the agencies are saving costs currently is by not duplicating the efforts of other partner-brands across the country. For instance, while Brand Dialogue is headquartered out of Mumbai, They has set up an India office at Gurgaon in North India, while Yellow Dress Retail has made Chennai its base. Fabrique and Globrands are yet to have an India address.

Woudenberg said that he’s also looking to partner with an Indian agency in the branding identity space to add to his Dutch line-up. While the combine is just a few months old in India, there are some early results that the partner agencies are talking about. Among key accounts that Yellow Dress Retail picked up include Flipkart and Metro Cash and Carry in India, while They has bagged the account for positioning, marketing and communication for the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. The Dutch are also trying out the might of a combination of agencies in Turkey and China.

Prasad Sangameshwaran