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Ogilvy India relaunches Soho Square as 82.5 Communications

Promising ingenious Indian ideas, the revamped creative agency will cater to Indian companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs. The agency will be an open source platform model and will actively seek partnership with non-WPP partners

Ogilvy India has rebranded its merged companies Soho Square and Bates CHI & Partners as 82.5 Communications. The new agency will be India-specific and cater to Indian start-ups and entrepreneurs.

In 2017, WPP’s Ogilvy India had merged Bates CHI & Partners with its second agency brand, Soho Square. Since the merger, it was unclear if the companies will be presented as unified brand across the world.

Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey, Chief Creative Officer Worldwide, Executive Chairman India, Ogilvy, said, "82.5 will meet a key need in the creative services market for an agency that is tailored to help realise the aspirations of emerging Indian companies, entrepreneurs and brands and MNCs who want to ‘Indianise’ their brands and forge a connect with Indian audiences."

Piyush added, "Such challenger brands are often very strong in their respective categories or geographies, and invariably seek the same qualities that they themselves exhibited, in their creative agencies: passion, agility, out-of-the box thinking and a deep desire to grow."

To date, Ogilvy India was catering to the traditional medium of advertising, which mainly revolved around television commercials. But with 82.5 Communication, the agency aims to have a presence across mediums. The agency will be an open source platform model and will actively seek partnership with non-WPP’s partners.

The agency has started getting new partners on board, mainly from the e-commerce sector, and will announce a set of partners by next month. However, the agency is not aiming to go after any specific set of clients define but will look into their profile.  82.5 Communication is seeking partners who are strong India brands that are looking for high-quality solutions, deep engagement for agency and offer simplified solutions.

Sumanto Chattopadhyay

Speaking about the agency and its objectives, Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman and CCO, 82.5 Communications, said, "The focus of the agency will be on finding ingenious, bespoke solutions to client’s problems. India has a culture of finding interesting and effective solutions to everyday problems — we are, as a nation, very creative. It’s this creative mindset that we hope to inculcate in 82.5. The rationale for our name, incidentally, is that 82.5 is the longitude of Indian Standard Time. As an agency focussed on Indian entrepreneurship and Indian ingenuity, we felt this name would be apt."

The new agency will be headquartered in Mumbai and have offices in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The agency will have a team of 130 members. V S Srikanth, who was the Director and CEO of Bates CHI & Partners India, will be the CEO of the new agency. Srikanth will be responsible for implementing plans to deepen and widen the agency’s engagement with its existing clients. Along with new partnerships, the agency will also house existing accounts of Soho Square. 82.5 Communications.

Samrat Bedi, President, West; Chandana Agarwal, President, North; Sharmista Dev, Head, Kolkata; Naveen Raman, Head, Bengaluru; Siddhartha Roy, EVP Planning; Anuraag Khandelwal, ECD; Mayur Verma, ECD; Mukund Sharma, ECD and Ranadeep Dasgupta, Group Creative Director, will also be part of the core team of 82.5 Communications.

Chattopadhyay said, “We have received great response from our clients, which is heartening to know. And a year down the line, we aim to have examples of creative ideas and solutions that are out-of-the-box, ingenious, something that wasn’t thought of earlier.”

On the business front, Srikanth hopes to get half of the clients to be working with the agency on the non-advertising communication project.

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