Auto sector AdEx will grow by 15-20% in FY23: Shashank Srivastava, Maruti Suzuki

Senior Executive Director - Marketing & Sales shares his outlook on the growth of the automobile sector in general, & Maruti Suzuki in particular, despite inflation & low GDP growth in Q4

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Jun 3, 2022 8:36 AM  | 5 min read
Shashank Srivastava

Amid a spike in inflation, rising fuel prices, and a massive decline in India’s GDP growth rate in Q4, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki is headed towards making a record number of cars in the decade in the current fiscal. 

Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki, explains what is driving the growth of Maruti, and how this will reflect on its AdEx this year. He also shares his insights on AdEx growth of the automobile sector in general which is the second-largest contributor to AdEx in the country after the FMCG sector.

Excerpts: 

Maruti Suzuki is likely to record a 25% growth in production in the current fiscal year with 20 lakh units, compared to 16.7 lakh in the last fiscal. Which segment or category is witnessing the highest growth and why?

Maruti has always been strong in the small car segment. Over 67% of our vehicles are in the non-SUV segment. Hence, we are looking at this segment very closely. This segment grew 26 percent in FY22 and is now headed towards 40 percent growth in FY23 considering the first two months' sales.  

The auto industry is facing a shortage of semiconductor chips. How do you manage to secure your supplies? 

We have a good portfolio of vehicles, about 15 at present, which is the largest in the industry. Different models require different types of chips. We tried to adjust the production plan to keep pace with the supplies of chips. The production which was about 40% last September, has now come up to 93%. It would take some more time for things to become normal. And I can't say how much time it is going to take due to nonvisibility in the global supply chain. 

Inflation and fuel price in the country are at their peak, investors are tightening their purse strings. Many brands plan to hold their ad spends to cut losses. What would your AdEx be like in FY23 considering high growth in sales? 

The auto industry’s advertising expenditure would increase 15-20% as compared to the previous year. Last year, the auto segment accounted for Rs 5,000 crore of AdEx, out of overall Rs 57,000 crore expenditure on traditional media platforms, keeping digital aside. Half of it, that is roughly Rs 2,500 crore, was from car manufacturers alone.

I am expecting 15-20% growth this year. In the automobile industry, AdEx is dependent on 4 factors: 1) sustenance of the current brand which is important as you need to continue generating demand 2) new model launches, as you need brand positioning 3) local level where inquiries are converted into sales which are driven through print medium and 4) digital front which is getting greater traction as it involves personal advertising that would also increase. 

I don't see a reduction in the budget in any of the four avenues. Only a really deep cut in demand can spur OEMs not to spend. I don't see that happening this year. 

What could be Maruti’s AdEx in FY22?

We are almost 50% of the market. We have planned to increase our AdEx. We have several new launches lined up. We already have 15 models so sustenance expenditure would be adequate. Digital AdEx will also continue to increase. Overall, we have kept 30 percent more budget for advertising this year. 

What are the factors behind the sustained growth of the public sector company at a time when companies like Ford are selling their manufacturing plants due to mounting losses? 

Maruti has been a public limited company since 2002. We are a customer-centric organization. From our products to dealerships to sales, insurance and finance, and consumers are taken seriously. We measure customer satisfaction on all process points, whether it be pre-sales, post-sales, insurance, finance, or maintenance. We are very very concerned if a drop in customer satisfaction is reported. That is the reason we dominate the industry.

The US government has introduced a bill to curb the monopoly of tech giants Google and Facebook. How fair is their ad selling in India? 

I have not noticed anything negative in their business. One thing about the digital ad business is its measurability which makes the process robust. Going forward, these tech giants would be stronger considering the amount of data they have. Advertisers would depend a lot on these world gardens. 

The US Bill talks about how Google plays multiple roles in digital business which is unfair to other players. Google is the ad buyer, ad seller and also runs an ad exchange. The Bill seeks to allow tech giants to choose one business. Do you think that India should also bring legislation in this regard?

Across the world, tech and social media platforms are growing exponentially. Legislations have not been able to keep pace with the changes. A lot of changes are happening in the way business is conducted on these platforms. I think the government’s response time has to be much more agile across the world. 

Other carmakers have launched their EV models in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. What is stopping Maruti to make EVs? 

EVs sale in India in 2021 was just 20,000 which is just 0.4% of 30.7 lakh non-EV units sold last year. The large-scale adoption of EV vehicles is far away due to two prime reasons - High cost of acquisition and not so developed charging infrastructure. I know, in terms of optics, it looks bad but if the choice has to be made between optics and consumers’ convenience, Maruti will choose consumers’ convenience 100% of the time. And those who are making EVs are still selling a large number of petrol-diesel cars

We are in the process of EV development. We will be able to launch our first EV model by 2025. 

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Did Zomato salute Swiggy in new Republic Day ad?

Zomato's new film has a sweet message for India's uniform-clad warriors, which include food delivery agents

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 2:58 PM   |   3 min read

Swiggy zomato

Brand wars are nothing new in the ad world, whether it's Dove vs Sebamed, Burger King vs McDonald's or Domex vs Harpic. It's always entertaining to watch brands take the mickey out of each other in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. But how often does one see rivals appreciate another? Food delivery app Zomato seems to have tipped its hat to arch-rival Swiggy in its new ad for Republic Day.

The food delivery app dropped its latest ad film for Republic Day, focussing on everyday uniform-clad warriors -- from sweepers to medicos -- who do their best to serve society.



The film #RespectAllUniforms from brand Zomato intends to right a serious wrong in our society where there's an inequality in the measure of respect given out to certain occupations. While a watchman may don a uniform like a policeman or a doctor does, the former is not treated with the same dignity as the latter.

Despite working round the clock, delivery agents who race against time to drop off food to hungry customers, often do it at the cost of great personal risks. News is rife with stories of delivery boys getting assaulted by irate customers or getting attacked by pet dogs. Yet, there isn't much appreciation for their service. Instead, they are often left in a vulnerable position, having to deal with customer complaints and bad feedback directly.

The film is shown from the point of view of a Zomato delivery man who is en route to drop off food. Along his way, he encounters sweepers, nurses, doctors, traffic police and air stewardesses. He offers them a salute as a mark of respect for their steadfast service, prompting them to also return the favour. In the end, he comes face to face with a delivery agent of a rival brand and salutes him.

While it's not explicitly mentioned, people are convinced that the other delivery agent is a Swiggy worker since his uniform is orange, the brand colour of Zomato's rival.
The subtle tribute by Zomato (if it is indeed for Swiggy) is a rare moment of brand camaraderie in the Indian ad world. As audiences, we are used to seeing brands getting petty, and making overt and covert references to rivals.

While Swiggy is yet to respond to the ad, users are quite chuffed with the film and appreciated Zomato's kind gesture.

"After the dig that Swiggy took at Zomato few days back, this is very sporting and profound on part of Zomato! Salute to your creative team, even though they don't don a uniform," said one user on LinkedIn. 

"Salaam to competitors in the end ??" read another comment.

"Zomato and team very meaningful and creative advertisement. A Salute to your backend creative? hashtagRespecthumanity 
Swiggy part in the end was like a last ball six hashtagcricket moment," said another user. 

"Zomato nailed it by adding a delivery executive representing Swiggy in the ad. Brilliant!" said another.

Previously, sworn brand rivals have also come together for common causes. Burger King famously asked people to "Order from McDonald's" during the pandemic when the fast food industry was seeing massive retrenchment. Another time, it announced "No Whopper Day" to help McDonald's sell more of its Big Mac, the proceeds of which went to a cancer charity.

Delivery app Dunzo also extended support to rivals Swiggy, Grophers and Big Basket in their #EveryDaySuperheroes campaign.

It will be interesting to see whether Swiggy will acknowledge Zomato's gesture and return in kind in the coming days.

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Aditya Birla Health Insurance asks KyaPeecheChhodaHai

The campaign talks of the importance of positive health behaviour

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 29, 2023 4:00 PM   |   2 min read

Health

Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company has unveiled its latest brand campaign “KyaPeecheChhodaHai” to promote the role of health insurance in changing lives of people by empowering them to lead healthier lives.

The campaign talks of the importance of how positive health behaviour such as walking 10,000 steps daily can help an individual leave health concerns behind.

These customers from across the walks of life, who are at the heart of the TVC and the digital campaign, narrate their stories about how walking 10,000 steps have helped them do away with concerns like mental stress and weight issues, diseases like diabetes, asthma etc.

Speaking on this campaign, Mayank Bathwal, CEO, of Aditya Birla Health Insurance, said, “At ABHI, our primary focus is to help our customers with cutting-edge innovative health-first insurance solutions which not only protect them from medical uncertainties but nudge them to live a health-focussed life. We take immense pride in having pioneered this model of health insurance that transcends the boundaries of an indemnity-based model by focusing on proactive health-care for our customers.”

“It is heartening to see our customers as brand ambassadors in our recently launched KyaPeecheChhodaHai campaign. For health insurance companies, customer trust is paramount, and to see our customers endorsing us, gives us immense satisfaction. The customers featured in the film belong to different walks of life, however, one thing that unites them is the initiative to bring a change in their lives by walking every day and managing their health proactively. We hope the films will encourage people to prioritise their health by engaging in simple yet effective physical activities such as walking 10,000 steps daily,” Bathwal added.

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Lux brand ONN talks of ‘total comfort’ in new campaign

The campaign has been curated by Wunderman Thompson Kolkata

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 29, 2023 7:00 PM   |   2 min read

ONN

ONN, a casual wear brand from Lux Industries Limited, has launched its new campaign for polos and tees, created by Wunderman Thompson Kolkata.

This is the second time in three years that WT Kolkata has conceptualised a campaign for ONN, driven by a couple of TVCs and supported by OOH.

The two new films - Piggyback and Fortune Teller - feature men who are irresistible by virtue of their ONN T-shirt.

The campaign reinforces the brand’s positioning of complete comfort. Shot in Bucharest, Romania, the international location and cast lend a global angle to the brand and add to its aspiration quotient.

Commenting on the campaign, Saket Todi, Executive Director, Lux Industries Ltd., said, “We always wanted to project the brand as youthful and footloose. We know that to enter the consideration set of our target audience and be preferred by them over other brands in this segment, we had to strike the right balance between premium imagery and easy accessibility. We have kept the brand aspirational and the pricing within reach. The primary objective was to get noticed again after a gap of three years. Which is why, we went ahead with advertising themes, locations and cast which have the potential to grab eyeballs.”

On the execution, Arjun Mukherjee, VP & Senior ECD, Wunderman Thompson, Kolkata, said, “The biggest challenge was to tell an interesting story with a twist in 20 seconds. That’s why we thought of scripts with minimum or zero dialogue which would establish the product positioning without impeding the pace of the storyline. Similar to our previous films for ONN, international settings and actors have been used to amplify the aspiration levels.”

Vijay Jacob Parakkal, Senior VP & Managing Partner, Wunderman Thompson, Kolkata, said, “Wunderman Thompson Kolkata is glad to have partnered Lux Industries on the latest campaign for ONN. We had set a high benchmark with our first campaign for the brand in 2019. Coming after a gap of three years, the new campaign is an important milestone for the brand in its journey to appropriate ‘comfort’. We are very positive that this new campaign will power ONN to a faster growth trajectory”.

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'Be a Superstar,' says Bausch + Lomb's latest ad film

The campaign is targeted at South Indian markets ahead of the festive season

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 28, 2023 8:45 AM   |   2 min read

Bausch + Lomb

Kinnect, a part of the FCB Group India, has launched a digital campaign ‘BeASuperstar’ ahead of the festive season in southern India.

The campaign aims to shine a light on the advantages of switching to contact lenses in a light-hearted way, while telling a story that is authentic to the market it is set in. A storyline that could resonate with the audience in the southern region as well as the whole nation.

Speaking on the campaign launch, “Sana Lairellakpam, Head of Marketing at Bausch + Lomb, said, “Connecting with our consumers has always been a core part of what we do at Bausch + Lomb. Hence on the occasion of Pongal/Sankranti, a key festival in South India, we launched a new campaign to drive regional connections. This time, our narrative takes you to the colourful and larger-than-life world of South Indian cinema and is a celebration of the love and admiration that the people of South India have for their Superstars. The unusual story unfolds in a very memorable manner which should drive relevance of Bausch + Lomb contact lenses in a regional context, strengthening brand recall and awareness.”

“Bausch & Lomb has always given us the freedom to think of ideas that are a bit unexpected for a healthcare brand, which makes it a creatively enriching brand to work on. So, this time, as the focus was more on the South market, our task was to find the perfect setting for the story that’s contextual and remains relatable throughout the year. Hence, the world of Southern cinema and the reverence their audience has for their Superstars defined the story's outline,” said Gitanjali Bhattacharya, Creative Director, Kinnect.

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GroupM's Motion to invest Rs 300 crore in content production: Ashwin Padmanabhan

Motion Content Group will be producing 10 feature films this year, says Padmanabhan, President - Investments, Trading, and Partnerships, GroupM - India

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 8:41 AM   |   4 min read

Motion

GroupM’s content investment and rights management company – Motion Content Group – is set to invest Rs 300 crore into content production as it ventures into the movie business.

During the launch of the company's latest show, ‘Jai Ho! Bharat Ki Anant Yatra’, Ashwin Padmanabhan, President - Investments, Trading, and Partnerships, GroupM - India, revealed that this was the first time Motion would be doing films, and that they would be producing 10 feature films this year - seven in Marathi, one Tamil, and one Hindi bilingual film.

Padmanabhan also shared that Motion has big plans for 2023. He announced the launch of Coke Studio Tamil with the Coca-Cola team in Chennai – the first-ever Coke Studio show in any Indian regional language. “2023 is going to be a point of inflection for Motion. Not only will we do what we always do well - producing web shows and TV shows - but with the launch of movies we will see a new chapter in Motion. And the way GroupM goes about creating content and starts partnering with whole ecosystem of platforms and TV channels, it is now looking into theatres as well.”

Motion Content Group India’s IP includes the YAARI Series, Critics Choice Awards and Hello Sago.

Speaking about the overall content investment, he shared, “Motion Content today is a Rs 300-crore business and we will invest the same amount of money in producing either our own IPs or even content that is not our IP, but we fund a platform.”

In partnership with Google and Meta, Motion Content announced the launch of ‘Jai Ho! Bharat Ki Anant Yatra’ in collaboration with Optimum Television. The show, a tribute to the contribution that the Indian civilization has made to the world, takes viewers on a journey through India's past, present and future. The show will comprise of three episodes for a duration of one hour each. It will be aired on Zee TV SD, Zee TV HD, Zee Cinema HD, & TV, Zee news and Hindustan.

GroupM launched Motion Content Group (Motion) in 2017 to meet the ever-growing market demand for new economic models for premium content across the entertainment and media marketplace. The company has been producing web shows and TV shows but this will the first time that the group will be producing films.

“The way we see our engagement in the content ecosystem is more than that of enabling. As GroupM, we in a way are custodians of a lot of advertising that our brands, our customers do. That's our core but we also understand that if we want to be able to deliver the best for our clients, we also need to create a strong ecosystem on the platform side as well,” Padmanabhan added.

He further said, “With the kind of volatility that we see in the markets today, for platforms too it has become very difficult to predict what content to invest in. And that's where we actually launched Motion Content Group and said Motion can start working with platforms, first to enable them to produce more and better-quality content, because if they produce more content with better quality, it will engage better with consumers. If they engage better with consumers, our brands, and our clients will be benefited.”

Talking about the rationale behind getting into films, he said, “The interest in movies started because we realized that the movie industry is going through some sort of a mini crisis. At one level, you have producers who are putting a lot of money and on the other hand there are people who tend to avoid investing. But movie as a format is one of the most powerful ways of telling stories and when you move from theatre to OTT to a television platform a story gets viewers, and is consumed by millions again, and again. And hence, we felt that this is a format that we should embrace because it forms a core part of the content that today goes on OTT and television.”

He also further clarified that none of these works or shows is branded content. “In the show ‘Jai Ho’ you will hardly see Meta or Google Cloud. There will be interaction with someone from Google, who's going to talk about the future. In that context, there will be a Google Cloud session but there’s no brand plug in.”

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Nikon India elevates the voice of women with ‘Through Her Lens’ campaign

The contest, now in its 3rd season, serves as a platform for female photographers to flaunt their creative expertise

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 26, 2023 2:00 PM   |   2 min read

Nikon

Nikon India is thrilled to unveil the latest edition of its campaign "Through Her Lens", an annual digital contest aimed at empowering and elevating the voices of professional and amateur women photographers in India.

The contest, now in its 3rd season, serves as a platform for female photographers to flaunt their creative expertise, gain valuable exposure and establish connections with the industry's top professionals. This initiative enables women to showcase their talent and skillset while breaking gender stereotypes and encouraging more women to join the field of photography.

Commenting on the occasion, Sajjan Kumar, Managing Director, Nikon India Pvt. Ltd. said, “At Nikon India, we see a world where the lens of a camera is not just an instrument to capture the reality but also a tool to create change. Our newest campaign "Through Her Lens" exemplifies our effort to promote diversity and inclusion in the photography industry. We are excited to see the outstanding work that the participants will submit this year and hope this contest inspires and empowers women photographers in India. We believe that through this contest, we shall pave way for the future where the stories are captured, shared and celebrated equally.”

The theme of this year's contest is "That's Me!" encouraging women photographers and videographers to submit one photograph or video that they identify with the most, along with a short description of the image/video and how it reflects their perception of themselves.

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Liqvd Asia joins hands with Vega for #BeGenFree campaign

The new campaign cuts across generations to celebrate the spirit of individualism and freedom

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 10:52 AM   |   2 min read

#BeGenFree

Liqvd Asia has collaborated with beauty and personal care brand Vega for its #BeGenFree campaign.

The campaign encourages every man and woman to celebrate his or her uniqueness with its line of grooming and styling products. #BeGenFree aims to create a sense of community where fun-loving individuals can live life confidently on their own terms.

The new messaging caters to consumers who want to break free from the stereotypes and adapt every progressive attribute of all the generations in their way of being, especially in their lifestyle choices.

“We did not want to pigeonhole Vega’s audience with labels that already exist. This led to the creation of #BeGenFree, a term that creates a wider appeal for Vega. It is a diverse community that unites all such social groups under one roof,” said Anish Varghese, Chief Creative Officer, Liqvd Asia.

“After the success of our last award-winning campaign ‘Flaunt your befikar’ we thought we'd step it up by introducing a digital campaign that encourages self-assurance, celebrates individuality, and fosters a sense of community within a free society. We are adopting a "self-focus" position as a brand, which gave rise to the hashtag #BeGenFree. It gives both men and women the freedom to express themselves. Our target audience will connect with our elevated line of communication, thanks to Team Liqvd Asia,” said Eiti Singhal, Chief Marketing Officer, Vega.

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