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O&M bags Bajaj K-60 bike ad account

21-May-2004
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O&M bags Bajaj K-60 bike ad account

O&M has bagged the advertising mandate for Bajaj Auto Ltd's planned new bike, codenamed the K-60.

The bike will be launched some time in August and is expected to drum up huge volumes for Bajaj and gain market share for it in the competitive "executive" bike segment, dominated by Hero Honda's Splendor Plus and Passion Plus and TVS' Victor.

Mr Piyush Pandey, Group President & National Creative Director, O&M, confirming the news to Business Line, said that the advertising for the K-60 would be a big challenge. "The company liked our recommendations and now it has to be translated into work. The Pulsar has been a huge success and this will also have to match that," he said. While not specifying the size of the account, he said it was indeed "big". A Bajaj official described the renewed foray into the commuter bike segment as a big move for Bajaj. While O&M handles the advertising for Pulsar and now for its new bike, the advertising for Boxer and the recently launched CT100 in the entry-level segment is handled by Leo Burnett.

The advertising for Wind 125, the Caliber and the scooter range vests with Lowe.

Mr R.L. Ravichandran, Vice-President, Marketing, Bajaj Auto, said that the K-60 has not been branded as yet and nor has the final pricing been worked out. However, the bike will target the top-end of the commuter segment. With its Pulsar, Bajaj has pretty much sewed up the premium end of the motorcycle segment (Rs 50,000-plus) and it is registering good volumes at the entry-level segment with its Boxer range, where the price starts at Rs 30,000.

"Those looking for style and mileage will opt for K-60, which is what will give Bajaj volumes," said Mr Ravichandran. Making inroads into this segment, where the pricing is around Rs 40,000, has proved to be a tough nut for Bajaj because of Hero Honda's strong positioning. The Caliber, despite its high decibel hoodibaba campaign, did not shore up volumes. The commuter bike segment is the largest in the motorcycle market, contributing 54 per cent of the overall volumes.

The K-60 has, like the Pulsar, been developed entirely in-house by Bajaj's R&D department, without any assistance from its technical partner, Kawasaki. The bike will be in the range of 125-135 cc, and like the Pulsar will use a DTSI (digital twin spark ignition) engine, a patented Bajaj technology. "The bike will deliver high mileage and power because of the DTSI engine," added Mr Ravichandran.

Bajaj's overall spend on sales promotion and advertising for the financial year is expected to be Rs 180 crore, while the spend on media alone is expected to be around Rs 80 crore - Rs 90 crore.

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