Post-Budget could be a turnaround phase of marketing plans for automobile players in India. Fuel price, regulations and budgetary promises of the State to the auto sector will decide on what’s in the box of marketers. Overall, the year has started on a promising note, though there was an anticipation that the sector could cut down heavily on advertising. The year 2011 witnessed a number of new launches and subsequent campaigns on all possible advertising platforms.
After a couple of launches in 2011, Nissan India is planning to go aggressive on the advertising front once again. Print is currently the most preferred medium by the automobile players, followed by television and outdoor media.
Nissan India is planning to go more aggressive on the digital platform. Though a very small share of the total marketing budget goes to the medium, the year could see some promising investment in digital. Explaining the digital strategy of the brand, Dinesh Jain, CEO, Hover India Automotive Pvt Ltd, the sales and marketing partner of Nissan in India, said, “Though we are a new entrant in the Indian market, we are already the leader in the digital media space among automobile companies in India. Nissan India’s Facebook page reached the 500,000 community fan milestone on February 29, 2012.”
Recently, the brand also initiated a rather unusual campaign to attract youth to participate in the brand’s online activities. The company launched the ‘New Star of India’ (NSOI) online talent hunt, its first digital media initiative in India.
The Facebook page of Nissan India received over 2,300 short clips and many likes, mostly by young users. Though digital has the smallest share in the brand’s advertising activities, Jain believed that it was the fastest growing medium for the brand. The company could consider investing more into the medium to improve visibility. Jain added, “We keep reviewing the budget in accordance with the overall growth plan. Digital is a small contributor in overall terms, but fastest growing in our allocation over the last couple of years.”
Among Nissan’s competitors, well-established automobile brands like Maruti and Mahindra have been the most active on the digital, social and mobile media platforms. Recently, Mahindra was one of the first automobile brands in India to foray into augmented reality in association with Hungama Digital Media at the Delhi Auto Expo, which generated much interest.
Though not spending high on such initiatives, Nissan, too is optimistic about the higher returns of the medium. “The interactive platforms offered by social media makes it an ideal platform for automobile brands to interact directly with the young and mobile population,” concluded Jain.