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Internet advertising gaining popularity in automobile sector

27-September-2004
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Internet advertising gaining popularity in automobile sector

Gone are the days when automobile companies used only print and electronic medium for advertising. With internet coming up as an effective mode of communication, automobile manufacturers have started considerably enhancing their cyber advertising budget and, looking at the interactivity the medium offers, new and innovative ideas are being constantly tried out to get wider business opportunities.

Sanjiv Shukla, Marketing Manager, Hyundai Motor India, informs, as of now the firm has been test-marketing the medium through thematic advertisements for the latest launch like Getz on popular websites like rediff.com and yahoo.com. And, the advertisements have generated tremendous response at the regional level. “Around Rs 40 lakh will be spent on internet advertising this calendar year. The interactivity offered by the medium is second to none,” says Shukla.

On the same note, Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) spokesperson says, “The first campaign was on price drop - primarily on print. We used online advertising to replicate the mainline impact for a younger audience. The factors, which work in favour of the medium, are primarily its inherent interactive nature. The chance of creating multiple communications to reach out to different segments is another an interesting feature. Again, the low cost factor is also a plus point since experimentation becomes a very low-risk proposition.”

Though MUL have not initiated any lead generation campaigns on internet, for different other campaigns, clicks and impressions are being considered as the tools to measure the impact. Also, contests are reckoned as a great method to judge the efficacy of a cyber campaign. The campaign done for Baleno being a case in point, where the visitor had to answer a few questions about the brand. “This campaign got a tremendous response,” says the spokesperson.

The latest Indigo Marina from Tata Motors stable was extensively advertised on the internet. Deepankar Tiwari, Product Head, Passenger Cars Business Unit, points out that the medium of communication is chosen based on the customer profile for a particular vehicle. “Internet has recently started gaining importance in auto industry due to its high penetration in urban youth,” observes Shukla.

Further emphasising the growing importance of the medium, Johnny Oommen, National Marketing Manager, General Motors India, says internet is not only being used as a marketing tool but is playing an important role in brand building as well. The launch of Chevrolet Optra was followed by heavy internet advertising and this yielded good results. Advertisements of other GM products like Opel Corsa, Sail and Tavera on popular sites like rediff.com, yahoo.com and msn have also generated similar response. The firm plans to use this medium more aggressively in near future.

Interestingly, while automobile companies have started believing internet advertising to yield good response, media planners have also grown similar faith on the medium.

Prasun Kumar, Media Group Head, Madison Communications, says, for the first time the group developed a complete online campaign of Hyundai Getz. “The campaign generated 35,000 clicks through a single site. This proves the efficiency of the medium,” says Kumar.

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