When some men in police uniform entered the Chennai office of JWT (formerly
J. Walter Thomson) on February 28, 2005, and ordered the employees to shut
their systems and get into the bus outside to the police station, the employees
the top management cooperated without a murmur of protest with the men in
uniform. People from other offices in the Fagun complex looked at the proceedings
a 30-minute bus ride to the outskirts of the city, an old man boarded the
bus introducing himself as Commodore J Walter Thomson, the long time mascot
of the ad agency. The bus reached the Muttukadu boat club where 'Thomson'
got into a boat and was bid farewell by the agency staff. Thus JWT Chennai
employees bid adieu to the agency's name of 140 years and greeted the new
the suspense over, the team proceeded to Fisherman's Cove where a detailed
briefing was held not only about the new brand identity and the logo but
also about a new way of working.
offices of JWT at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata experienced similar
surprises while unveiling the new brand identity like staffers aboard a
yacht bidding a mid-sea farewell to the mascot and holding a colourful parade
carnival style to re-entering India through the Gateway of India. In some
offices the old signage was burnt or buried with the oldest employees conducted
the baptism ritual.
names is not new for JWT in India. The agency entered the country 70 years
ago as J. Walter Thompson and later changed to Hindustan Thompson Associates
(HTA) and in 2002 it changed to its earlier name and now JWT.
creative way of unveiling the agency's new name and the three colour logo
to its internal employees that would linger in their minds for a long time
to come symbolises JWT's new target strategy of occupying the end customer's
name and the logo change is just one aspect of the paradigm shift in the
way we propose to conduct our business," says senior vice president
& general manager, Anita Gupta.
to her, JWT's new focus will not only be on the creatives that are worthy
of awards but also on making people spend quality time with client brands.
"People shouldn't think that ads intrude into their time."
time becoming the new currency at JWT, creatives will be weaved around on
what people are interested in so that they spend their time with the brand.
In other words JWT will look at clients' customers as if its own.
focus on time is assuming importance as Indians too are finding ways of
avoiding advertisements- the one simple way is swapping channels though
the latter as a strategy seem to align their ad times.
a part of the new strategy, the agency has set a stringent 10 point scale
to assess the output results. The scale ranges from `world beating' on one
end to `damaging' on the other with several other grades in between.
employees have to sign a creative contract that again focuses on the quality
of work whereby what the audience sees / does after seeing or experiencing
JWT's work is what matters.
people are reviewed every quarter on quantitative and qualitative aspects
that measures work, people, reputation, client relationships and ofcourse
the financial performance.
all this put the agency's creative talent under pressure? "The creative
talent are already judged daily by the TV viewers with a remote in the hand,"
the new name and the strategy revealed to the internal stakeholders, Gupta
will meet the clients and explain the agency's new ways of doing business.