The visit of global brand ambassador and former ‘James Bond’, Pierce Brosnan, and the Space Odyssey has helped Swatch Group’s brand, Omega, post 30-35 per cent growth in India in 2005. The advertising spend for the brand in India is set to be increased proportionately with the increase in the turnover.
Omega’s India team also denied reports (at least for the moment) that Shah Rukh Khan (former brand ambassador of Omega, who is now endorsing LVMH Group’s Tag Heuer watches) would be replaced by another Bollywood star (the rumours making rounds suggest the appointment of Salman Khan, since the other Khan, Aamir, endorses Titan).
Elaborating on Omega’s performance, P H Narayanan, Brand Manager, Omega India, said, “The year 2005 has been very good for premium brands such as Omega. We increased our points of sale from 36 (2003) to 52 at the end of 2005. We have four exclusive Omega boutiques in India – two in Mumbai, one each in Chennai and Bangalore. There are plans to launch the fifth exclusive Omega boutique in Delhi in the first quarter of calendar year 2006, followed by two more during the year.” The distribution thrust will be on ‘B’ class towns and cities such as Pune, Nagpur, Lucknow and Raipur among others.
Speaking about the rumours pertaining to the appointment of a new brand ambassador for Omega, Narayanan clarified, “The decision of the appointment of a brand ambassador is being directly handled by the Switzerland-based marketing team. They have been reviewing various offers but nothing has been finalised as of today.” He added that the Indian team had been urging the Switzerland-based Omega marketing team to bring one global celebrity every year to India.
Narayanan further said that Omega would become more aggressive during the World Cup Soccer and Winter Olympics in 2006. The major thrust of the marketing campaign will be on print and television campaigns as well on promotional retail-level events. “We also spend a lot on the furniture and display of the exclusive Omega boutiques as well as multi-brand (retail) outlets,” Narayanan added.
Incidentally, the travelling Omega space exhibition, “Speedmaster Missions – Moon to Mars”, will be displayed at Mumbai’s InOrbit Mall in January 2006. First seen in India in April 2005, the travelling exhibition went to Omega retail outlets in cities like Chandigarh, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, and now it’s back in Mumbai. Subsequently, it will leave Indian shores and go to South Africa. The Space Odyssey has been distributed in 130 markets around the globe.
The Omega Space exhibition displays the Land Rover that Omega brand ambassador and last man on the moon, astronaut Eugene Cernan, drove on the moon; a space suit that he wore during the mission and other crucial space equipment such as the Sojourner, the Mars Rover. Also on display is a special series of 22 limited-edition Omega watches, each decorated with the patch of the NASA mission of which it was a part.