The traditionally staid and unglamorous world of tractors is set to witness a dash of `filmi-shtyle' marketing warfare. Come October, two of Bollywood's biggest stars – the `Big B' and the `Gadar hero' Sunny Deol – will be seen striking a pose as brand ambassadors for Escorts' range of tractors.
The Bachchan aura seems to have rubbed off again. Adding to his repertoire of brand promotions, ranging from Pepsi to ICICI Bank to Parker pens, Amitabh Bachchan will now be seen astride the Escorts and Powertrac brands of tractors.
On the other hand, attempting to reinstate another Escorts' brand — Farmtrac, will be Sunny Deol. High voltage advertising, featuring the duo, is expected to break out soon in the print and TV media and for point of sale promotions.
Escorts has chosen the two actors after extensive market research conducted by a marketing consultant. According to company sources, the study showed that the Escorts brand stood for a powerful feel, reliability and trustworthiness, traits that Bachchan stood for. As far as Sunny's magic goes, Escorts feels that the `Punjab-da-Putar' symbolises power and maximum productivity and so his image will gel well with Farmtrac's similar inherent characteristics.
The company hopes that the brand identification will improve and a certain amount of excitement can be woven around the tractors using the two Bollywood actors for wooing rural customers. The new marketing strategy and focus will also be in keeping with the company's efforts at improving quality, productivity and cost-efficiency.
Some of the new products that were launched earlier this year, including the Escorts 335 Josh and the Farmtrac Champion, both 35-horse power (hp) tractors, will benefit from the new campaign. Also two new models in the pipeline, in the 35 hp to 40-hp range, will see focused advertising.
These new models are expected to be launched by mid-October. Escorts also believes that this is the right time for a renewed marketing thrust, since the worst effects of the drought have probably already been discounted in the market.
The company feels that the new strategy will enable it to continue with its focus on reducing the lag between dealer level sales and actual retail sales. With farmers increasingly tuning in to TV and cinema media, Bollywood could very well give Escorts the `power take off' in its marketing efforts.