The Aditya Birla Group is planning one of its biggest brand-building exercises till date for its newly launched UltraTech Cement (earlier known as L&T Cement) through a combination of an advertising campaign and direct marketing efforts.
"We are launching a major ad campaign in the coming days. The first set of TV commercials will be rolled out after October 24," said Mr O. P. Puranmalka, Chief Marketing Officer of UltraTech CemCo.
Talking to Business Line here, Mr Puranmalka said over 16,000 seconds of prime time have been earmarked in various television channels for airing commercials by the ad agency Leo Burnett.
"We are going for mostly the prime time in news channels," he said. To begin with, UltraTech will launch a 90-second commercial and will later have a 60-second ad on air. "Ultimately we will have a 30-second ad," the official said.
He said the ads would be aired in national as well as regional networks, targeting programmes with good ratings. In addition to this, a series of print media ads are also planned. Mr Puranmalka did not disclose the total adspend for the UltraTech brand, but indicated that it would run into a few crores of rupees. Other efforts include outdoor advertisements splashed across various kiosks, bus stops, rural exhibitions and other meeting places.
Grasim officials are also meeting thousands of dealers across the country to drive home the point that `nothing has changed' in L&T Cement except the name. This exercise had started along with Grasim's announcement of buying the stake in L&T Cement.
"We have travelled with the L&T Cement team to know the pulse of (their) dealers and to remove any apprehensions they have (about the new management)," Mr Puranmalka said. While the erstwhile L&T Cement dealers would continue to get their previous margins, they now get improved support from Grasim, he claimed. UltraTech has over 5,500 stockists and authorised dealers across the country.
He said Grasim decided not to merge the L&T Cement brand with its existing ones such as Birla Plus and Birla Super, since the company wanted to capitalise on the strong brand equity the L&T Cement name enjoyed.
Grasim will position UltraTech as a national brand, along with Birla Plus and Birla Super. Together, they will account for 24 per cent share of India's annual 125-million tonne cement market.