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Red Lion Publicis redefines the place of design in advertising

Elsie Nanji share her insights on design craft growing in the Indian market    

Shachi Tapiawala | Mumbai | February 19, 2013

Red Lion, the design wing of Publicis India, was established in 2007. Since then it has created a distinct identity for itself in the design fraternity. Initiated by Elsie Nanji, Managing Partner, Red Lion Publicis, the agency was ranked No. 8 in the Brand Equity list of the top 10 design agencies in India.

Nanji had begun her career with Lintas and has also been with O&M working on clients such as Cadbury, Garden and Thums Up. In 1987 she launched Ambience Advertising and held on till 2006 when she switched to Red Lion to focus on graphic and interior design.

Nanji made her first mark at the Abbys many years ago. Today she is a multiple award winner at both advertising and design award shows, including the Clio Awards, Cannes Lions, D&AD, Spikes Asia and The One Show. At Cannes she has also been a jury member.

Elsie Nanji

Says Nanji about the role of Red Lion Publicis, “Anything that you build, you need the right foundation and that is where we come in.” Red Lion currently has eight projects lined up including Cadbury, Vadilal, Lakme, Sula and Taj.

Defining her mantra to win at Cannes, Nanji told, “Agencies need to be conceptually strong, design needs to be tactile, and you have to reinvent the craft by evoking a sense of mystery about a common material used in a different context and in a unique manner, making a convincing video presentation and making sure you have done your homework right.”

Red Lion Publicis was the first agency to win a Silver Lion at the newly introduced Design category at Cannes Lions in 2009. “It was for ‘Broken Window’ for Sulakshan Cricket Academy. The cricket coaching centre was witnessing a drop in enrolments and needed a corporate identity for itself. The idea of broken window panes created nostalgia and a 20 per-cent increase in inquires in the month of its launch,” Nanji said.

Speaking about her experience and fondness for design, Nanji remarked, “I see design as a growing trend with retail coming into the Indian market. With brands having to compete with in international markets, a brand has to be as good as the international market. The essence of design is to refresh the brand identity which comes from concepts and templates such as why a particular colour is chosen for every brand logo designed. Colour palettes and templates play an important role so that people, literate and illiterate, can identify with the brand.”

Madan Mohan, Partner, Red Lion Publicis, added, “I feel people have started understanding the power of design. Deign is not an art, it is a science. With regard to sharing an experience winning many awards, I would say that today when we approach clients and mention the name Elsie Nanji, people know about her reputation and unique style of design. Earlier too, Elsie has worked on projects such as Garden, Lakme and TVS Suzuki to name a few which has been landmark work.”

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