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Vikatan Group launches auto magazine ‘Motor Vikatan’

05-January-2007
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Vikatan Group launches auto magazine ‘Motor Vikatan’

The Vikatan Group has launched an auto magazine in Tamil titled ‘Motor Vikatan’. This will soon be followed by ‘Pasumai Vikatan’, a magazine focused on agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry. A monthly, ‘Motor Vikatan’ was launched on January 1, 2007, with a statewide campaign in association with the Tamil Nadu Police to educate people on the perils of drunken driving.

B Srinivasan, MD, Vikatan Group, said, “The magazine is targeted at a very vibrant and broad audience – people with an interest in automobiles. These are people looking to buy or maintain a two-wheeler or a car; people who don't mind getting advice from a medium absolutely free of prejudice. This is why the idea is to make ‘Motor Vikatan’ extremely utilitarian and not ‘sexy’. It is not a magazine targeted exclusively at the motor enthusiast and this has been proved by the fact that the first print order was sold out within four days of the launch.”

While Srinivasan did not divulge what the print run was, he did disclose that now the group was contemplating revising the print run or increasing it from next issue onwards. Preparations have been on for some time now, and this is the fourth dummy in four months that has been prepared. One of the dummy issues was sampled in the market. The issue that hit the stands is priced at Rs 40.

“It’s a ‘pricey’ magazine,” admitted Srinivasan, adding, “We realise that unless there is a value proposition, the reader is not going to buy it. We are very happy with the response to the magazine. The launch campaign has been very well received and 2,500 students were deployed at about 200 signals all over Tamil Nadu, in association with the Tamil Nadu Police. There was a ‘bulls eye’ stuck on two lakh vehicles, pamphlets were also handed out between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm on December 31, 2006, a good day to spread the message against drunken driving.”

A subscription campaign has been running for the last 45 days. Nearly 40 per cent of the present circulation is through subscriptions. A television campaign is also on air, communicating the idea that the magazine will empower the common man (and woman) on automobiles.

The group is also on the lookout for a creative agency. Srinivasan said, “Maybe we haven’t worked with ad agencies, but we work with the same professionals and film makers who work with ad agencies. We are looking at options. We find that the typical ad agencies don’t have their feet on the ground when it comes to understanding a magazine brand. The way we need to communicate with consumers is different. We are closer to a perishable than to FMCGs, and that’s very different from what agencies are used to. With a basket of seven brands and a few more to come in, there’s a lot of communication we need to do.”

Vikatan is already in the process of launching its next title, ‘Pasumai Vikatan’, on January 26, 2007. The magazine is aimed at producers in the agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry sectors.

Meanwhile, the Vikatan Group is looking to launch two more titles in 2007.

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