Base Batteries which has an average annual growth rate of 25-30% is targeting a 35% growth rate next year. The battery manufacturer has seven product categories – inverters and automotive being the predominant categories. The brand plans to turn its focus on the automotive category (2-wheeler and 4-wheeler batteries) for the next two years.
Aditya Arora, COO- Base Batteries shared the plans with exchange4media, “Primarily, we were an inverter-centric brand till this summer. Our product focus was inverters (60%) and automotive (40%). In terms of value, inverters are 3 times higher while in terms of quantity of units sold, automotive batteries register more sales. We shifted our focus towards automotive batteries beginning with our technical collaboration with the Indian Grand Prix earlier this year. In fact, we are the first Indian manufacturer to be the official supplier of batteries for the Formula One HRT race car.” Narain Karthikeyan was the driver of the Formula One HRT race car at the Indian Grand Prix 2011.
Base launched a campaign around 15 days before the event with a TVC, and ads across digital, OOH, and print media. The TVC produced by Mudra sported the tagline – ‘The battery that powers the F1 cars, powers your car too.’ The idea was to benchmark Base’s batteries to the motorsports category. “A battery is a low involvement product so we had to come up with a clutter-breaking ad. Moreover, F1 is an international event and the most advanced motorsport in the world. A lot of viewers were looking forward to the event in India. Lastly, we are the only Indian manufacturer to have a technical association with the sport. There could have been no better way to bring Base into people’s consideration,” Aditya remarked.
Talking about the brief given and the execution of the TVC, Vipul Thakkar, Executive Creative Director, Mudra-South said, “Base wanted to let the world know of its proud association with Formula1 via being the sponsors of the HRT F1 Racing team and the official suppliers of the battery. We decided to keep it simple and single-minded. If Base battery was sponsoring and supplying the battery to the HRT F1 Team, then we clearly wanted to communicate just that; the battery that powered the F1 car is the same battery that goes into each and every ordinary car, thereby making them as powerful as an F1 car, and in the process getting the same treatment that an F1 car will. For executing such an idea we had to show a representation of a stereotypical old car, and what better than a Morris Minor, the pride and joy of every old Parsi gentleman (they are known to treat their cars with utmost love and affection). We decided to keep the storytelling as close to reality as possible, so we chose the Chennai race track for the shoot. Specially trained pit crew was sourced from abroad to further give credibility to the idea.”
The budget allocated by Base towards advertising this year is Rs 14 crore. The media mix for the existing campaign is TV- Rs 3 crore with the TVC running across 49 channels, OOH-Rs 1 crore with hoardings in 3 cities, Digital-Rs 30 lakh and Print- Rs 20 lakh for a period of 45 days. The print campaign is yet to take off. The TVC went on air on October 15.
Vipul added, “This TVC was timed to go on air just before the Indian Formula1 Grand Prix in New Delhi last month. It should be on air till about the end of this month. For this particular association, this is a one-off communication.”
Base came out with an earlier campaign in April titled ‘Belcome to Bijlipur’. The campaign consisting of 4 films was scheduled to run throughout the year but Base decided on a strategy change. Aditya explained, “Most of our potential inverter sales take place during the summer season. However, due to the shift in seasonality, the campaign was discontinued. The summer season was shorter this year due to an early and prolonged monsoon season, leading to lesser power cuts. Also, since there has been much political unrest this year, many governments offered greater electricity supply. So, we decided to discontinue the campaign and use the rest of the ad money to focus on the automotive category this year. Around February next year, we are planning to come out with a campaign for the two-wheeler battery segment. If we decide to run the other 3 films produced as part of the earlier campaign, they will go on-air next year during summer.” Base had come out with a TVC in 2008 when the brand was called Base Terminal, featuring a BMW crash test to emphasise the battery’s toughness. Due to manufacturing constraints, they didn’t come out with a campaign till the ‘Bijlipur’ TVCs earlier this year.
Regarding the execution of campaigns for Base, Vipul stated, “Base is a young, dynamic company with a solid vision, and its communication so far has been quite memorable and clutter-breaking, be it for vehicle batteries, household inverters, or back-up generators. There is a lot more in the pipeline for this fiscal year.”
The brand’s Hosur plant, the largest battery manufacturing facility in South-east Asia is slated to be operational by March 2013. The production capacity initially will be 3.25 lakh batteries per month and scaled up from there. The manufacturer also has plans of getting into exports once the facility begins operations.
Client servicing: Srikkanth Srinivasamoorthy, Sahana Bhimasen
Account planning: Sudarshan
Creative team: Vipul Thakkar, Saurabh Doke, Ramgopal Krishnan, Vimalkirti Deshmukh, Nikhil Narayanan
Production house: Equinox Films
Film direction: Deb Medhekar