Here's why Jonty Rhodes is the perfect fit for Isuzu Motors' V Max D Cross
With the announcement, Isuzu Motors India is establishing itself as an important player in the fast growing segment of Indian pick-up and utility vehicle market
Japanese commercial vehicle and engine manufacturer Isuzu Motors India has signed former South African cricketing legend and an adventure enthusiast, Jonty Rhodes as the brand ambassador for V-Cross model. The announcement comes at a time when the company is establishing itself rapidly as an important player in the Indian pick-up and utility vehicle market. Also, the company is hoping to make lifestyle pick-up mainstream in India. Pick Up happens to be the fastest growing segment in commercial vehicle.
Both Ken Takashima, Deputy Managing Director, Isuzu Motors India, and Capt. J Shankar Srinivas, Vice President, Service, Customer Relations, External Affairs & PR at Isuzu Motors India, found the cricketer to be a perfect fit. Takashima said, “He continues to be an active adventurer, surfer and a traveller, endorsing many aspirational traits of the growing Indian population. The V-Cross, lifestyle and adventure Pick-up, has been a catalyst in bringing about a new lease of life to the people and adventure enthusiasts in India.”
In fact, Srinivas felt that the former cricketer is actually living a lifestyle which they try to encourage their V-Cross consumers to be. He pointed out, “It’s a natural fit.”
Most importantly Rhodes’ strong India connect made him a perfect choice for the brand. He said, “Rhodes’ kids were born in India and he spends a lot of time here. So he is in no way alien to this country at all.”
In a cricket-crazy country where brands try as hard as possible to encash on the sport, it wasn’t the case here, claimed Srinivas, insisting that the brand wasn’t actively looking for a cricketer but someone who would first encapsulate the spirit of living an adventurous lifestyle. That is where Rhodes came in.
The need gap arose for a lifestyle pick up D-Max V Cross when Isuzu Motors India in their insight realised that ‘it’s a price sensitive market as far economies that work behind the commercial vehicles.’ Srinivas said, “We needed a prime mover. We realised there’s no lifestyle pick up that was really catching on. Nobody was pushing it either. That’s the opportunity we had.”
Though the VP didn’t mention the time frame, the announcement will be followed by TVCs shortly, “It will be predominantly television-led. We will be also on digital and across social media. The age group that we are tracking on social media are people who will be future customers (sic)." The company has roped in advertising agency RK Swamy BBDO.
When asked about the marketing budget, Srinivas said, “Very little. When the fit is good, the right audience doesn’t need too much to be convinced.”
Isuzu Motors India recently rolled-out the 10,000th vehicle from its manufacturing plant in SriCity, Andhra Pradesh, since its start of production in April 2016. The company had already crossed a cumulative sales of 10,000 units in March 2018, which includes the vehicles that were sold before SoP at SriCity.
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