“Flagship never pitches for a client. And never presents the ideas for free.” Very strong words coming from the Chairman and MD, Sunil Mahadik of Flagship Advertising – a not-so-big agency that is clear about what it does and what it does not do.
Agency: The Flagship Advertising Pvt. Ltd.
Clients: Indiabulls, Lokhandwala Group, Pantaloon Retail Ltd., Pidilite Industries Ltd., Rustomjee (real estate), MTV Networks India Pvt. Ltd., Shyam Ahuja Ltd., Orbit Corporation Ltd. etc over the years
Head of Agency: Sunil Mahadik
But with a repertoire as impressive as this agency’s (the awards won require a story of their own) and a creative that is rather strong, Mahadik could very well afford not to go for pitches. Mahadik in fact feels so strongly that he elaborates on it: “What an agency presents to a client is a point of view. That is what we present. It’s valuable and we respect it.
If you do not respect your own point of view, don’t expect others to respect it.”Mahadik set up The Flagship Advertising Pvt. Ltd. way back in 1995 and has been at the helm of its activities since, steering it toward success. Flagship Advertising Pvt. Ltd. is guided by one simple idea, one simple philosophy. “Unreason,” as Mahadik puts it.
“In the creative process, we go through the complete cycle of reasoning and then arrive at unreasoning. i.e. when one does through the full cycle of reasoning and goes beyond it, then one gets the idea.”
The agency handles functions like media, print and production, films and audiovisuals, radio, exhibitions, consumer research and merchandising and point of sale design. And has worked with clients like Indiabulls, Lokhandwala Group, Pantaloon Retail Ltd., Pidilite Industries Ltd., Rustomjee, MTV Networks India Pvt. Ltd., Shyam Ahuja Ltd., Orbit Corporation Ltd. etc over the years. As its profile states, “We have created communication that has not only ensured returns for our clients, but has also won the admiration of the general populace.” Most of Flagship’s memorable work has been done for these clients.
For instance, when Shyam Ahuja of Shyam Ahuja Ltd., the iconic maker of rugs and dhurries the world over, called the agency, he wanted it to be focused entirely on the “product experience”. The campaign created was strongly visual-led with the tag line: ‘Have you ever been touched by silk?’ capturing the richness and texture of flowing silk. The campaign was a runaway hit and led to further successful associations with the brand.
Their other successful campaign was with Indiabulls Real Estate. The agency ran a visual of a stack of clouds to promote the imagery of verticality and lush imagery for Indiabulls very first tower. In a matter of two months all the residents in the first tower were booked, and the subsequent two towers faired just as well at launch. The campaign was a hit.
The agency’s success can well be attributed to its creative management. Mahadik explains it’s a very hands-on agency where the creative team accompanies the client servicing team for a client briefing.
The agency also has certain rules that it adheres to irrespective of who its clients are. “Flagship works with only those clients who pay in advance, and it presents only one solution. No options,” says Mahadik. He adds, “Flagship informs the client about their terms and conditions about payment and creative options in the beginning itself.” In the end, following this rule is not always easy. “It is a big challenge to stick to ones own beliefs,” says Mahadik.