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Refrigerator majors embark on an advertising spree

02-May-2002
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Refrigerator majors embark on an advertising spree

Nawal Ahuja and Avinash Sahu

As the mercury level soars, competition in the refrigerator market is heating up. Leading players like Electrolux, Godrej, Samsung and LG are banking upon advertising to garner a larger market share. Both the advertisers and media expect things to get better this year.

This summer is likely to be hotter than previous year. Not just in the literal sense. Expect marketing and advertising to match the soaring mercury. From innovative product promotions to introducing new concepts, from shuffling product positioning to celebrity endorsement, everything is being explored. Here is a primer.

For a start, one of the largest players, Electrolux is bringing the Kelvinator brand under the umbrella brand, Electrolux. Says Ram S. Ramasundar, CEO and MD, Electrolux Kelvinator Ltd., "Electrolux, the world''''s No.1 choice in home appliances is joining hands with India''''s trusted brand Kelvinator to form Electrolux Kelvinator. With the launch of this new brand, Electrolux has tried to target the SEC AB, which constitute the major chunk of the refrigerator segment."

According to company sources, Electrolux is planning to invest around Rs.20 crore in advertising to educate the customers on this initiative. The total estimated ad budget of Electrolux for this year is about Rs 35-40 crores. With this shift, Electrolux will have 3 brands, targeting three separate segments. The Electrolux Kelvinator refrigerator will still remain ''''the coolest one'''', Allwyn is there as a ''''durable'''' product and Electrolux is playing on the grounds of ''''freshness''''.

LG would continue to hold ''''the high ground of health.'''' The company has launched LG Preserve Nutrition refrigerators, which will be ''''value priced.'''' In past, LG was a major player in the 300Lt and above segment which constituted 40% of the refrigerator market. Says Anil Arora, Product Group Head, Frost Free Division, "This year we have targetted the below 300Lt segment, with the launch of 230Lt and 250Lt LG Preserve Nutrition refrigerators. The marketing strategy behind the launch is first to be no.1 in terms of volume, second, to address the lower end segment which constitute 60% of the refrigerator market and the unique features like the Door Cooling Technology."

To back this new marketing drive, LG plans to invest around Rs. 10 crores for its advertising campaign. Company officials reveal that about 50% of the budget will be allocated to TV, 40% to print and 10% to innovative medium."

Korean major, Samsung has positioned its refrigerators to keep food fresh, longer. "The communication strategy is to improve the saliency of freshness in the consumer''''s mind. Hence our creative approach - Eat fresh, be a Freshetarian with Samsung Bio-fresh refrigerators. Our campaign is targeted at the homemakers who keep the family health at the forefront and believes in order to meet the demands of the fast paced life, being energetic & healthy is extremely important. Hence freshness of food takes precedence in her life." explains Subhodip Pal, Marketing Manager, Samsung. The company plans to invest around Rs.9 crores for the marketing campaign. 80% of this will be dedicated to above the line advertising and 20% below the line advertising.

Amidst all this, Godrej has launched a visible campaign featuring Preity Zinta. Why a young and a little brash Priety? Explains Shyam Motwani, Senior GM, Marketing at Godrej "The brand should be perceived to be innovative, technologically superior/advanced, modern, contemporary and Dynamic, and Preity Zinta captures these attributes. We believe that her endorsement would catapult the brand to the desired heights." Preety Zinta is endorsing the company''''s Pentacool brand.

The company plans to use a mix of mass media, ''''micro-marketing'''' initiatives - local advertising, on-ground promotions in key and important markets. Alongside direct marketing initiatives and in-shop merchandising is being implemented. Company plans to invest about Rs.18-20cr for the current ad campaign, spending 65% of the budget on TV and rest on print.

So this summer marketing war is not restricted to only Colas, refrigerator companies are out with all available tools and strategy to capture the heart of consumers and rival brands market shares.

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