Maruti Udyog Ltd scored it big with the launch of Swift, its offering in the A2 large segment, on May 27 2005. And since the time of its launch, the auto major has taken several innovative routes to promote its European style compact car.
Among the first of these innovations was the tie-up with Yash Raj banner, where Swift was promoted through one of the biggest Bollywood hits of 2005, ‘Bunty Aur Babli’.
For the first six months, the communication on Swift was limited so as to be able to cope with the large number of bookings, thanks to the pocket-friendly launch price of Rs 3.87 lakh. The brand got unprecedented success in the form of advance bookings of 25,000 vehicles in less than 30 days of its launch. Though the brand has been promoted through print campaigns and television commercials since its launch, the company skirted the online medium initially.
With the supply situation stabilising, the task in hand was to take the brand to the next level of the pyramid, which was that of establishing the brand performance both at the emotional as well as the functional level.
Sharing her insights on the same, Shaswati Saradar, Media Manager, MUL, said, “Functional performance was to be established by creating opportunities for consumer-brand experience to be initiated through test drives. This meant finding a medium, which will target the relevant audience, ensure minimum wastage, and is interactive. The choice of medium was net.”
Explaining further, Saradar, said, “The strategy was to address the target audience, predominantly males, 25 years plus by showcasing the brand with flash rollovers and site takeovers in horizontals and verticals frequently accessed by them. The interactive feature offered by the medium was tapped by formulating a lead based activity, wherein rather than informing the prospect that he can now test drive the swift, we prompt him to leave behind his profile to be contacted by the MUL call center post a test drive confirmation by him.”
Rohini Prakash, Deputy General Manager, MUL, said, “The net activity was planned as the production was adequately increased in order to meet the customer needs.”
The company started the online campaign for Swift in the second week of December 2005 on various sites like Rediff, Sify, Yahoo, MSN, Indiatimes, Hotmail, Money Control, Hindustan Times and exchange4media.
Elaborating on the same, Anuj Dahiya, Media Director, Initiative Media, said, “The activity broke with impact led innovations on horizontals, the best way to reach to the mass for brand positioning and recall value. Following the impact, we reached out to the mailbox of the user, wherein a considerable time is spent, ensuring we tap the prospect at the right time and place.”
Sharing more on the execution of the campaign, Dahiya said, “The creatives executed aimed at the personality and attitude of the target audience – young, energetic, seeking challenges. To reduce fatigue around the ‘test drive proposition’ some creatives were deliberately aimed at only re-enforcing the brand positioning.”
In order to capture leads, the company used an innovative way of reaching out to the mailbox of the user. As part of that activity, once the prospect clicks on the Swift communication, he is taken to the landing page, a specifically designed microsite, which apart from giving the brand specs asks the prospect to leave behind his profile for the Test Drive confirmation.
Though the auto major took some time to use the online medium for its brand Swift, the company has taken a unique approach thereby acquiring a test drive lead generation to the tune of 2,500 in a span of two weeks.