Maruti’s advertising budget will increase by 10% in FY 2022-23: Shashank Srivastava

Maruti Suzuki Executive Director Srivastava discussed the reasons behind the drop in adverting expenditure in FY21 and the company’s AdEx plan for the year 2022

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Updated: Dec 27, 2021 9:48 AM  | 2 min read
Shashank

Statistics reveal that India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki, which makes on an average 1.5 lakh cars per month, had to slash its ad expenditure by 16.5% in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20. AdEx has picked up in the current fiscal but it is still less than pre-pandemic levels. e4m caught up with the brand’s Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Shashank Srivastava to understand the reasons behind the drop and the company’s plan for the year 2022.

Excerpts: 

As per the available figures, Maruti Suzuki’s AdEx declined by 16.5% (from Rs 670 crores to Rs 560 crores) in FY 2021 compared to FY 2020. Was it due to weak sales or cost-cutting measures?  

The ad spend was less in the FY2021 for a number of reasons. We have four broader parts of advertising: 1) New Brand Launch 2) Sustenance Campaign to promote existing models 3) Corporate Campaigns to project common themes such as “People’s Technology”, “Fuel Efficiency” or CNG and 4) Bottom End Conversion that happens at regional levels and is carried out on print media mainly.  

In 2020-21, there was no new product launch. Moreover, sustenance campaigns were also at low levels due to weak demands during the pandemic which led to a drop in AdEx. 

Has the AdEx been slashed further for the current fiscal 2021-22?  

Not much. The overall media and publicity spend in FY2022 is expected to be Rs 700 crores, out of which media spend would be about Rs 535 crores. It would be 4-5 percent less compared to last fiscal. Before the pandemic, our total media and publicity expenses were Rs 1,000 crores.

In the current fiscal, while we have launched the new Celerio brand which propelled AdEx, corporate campaigns have also picked up. However, bottom-end conversion campaigns have been less despite an uptick in demand. The reason for this was not being able to meet the rising demand due to the semiconductor shortage. 

What is your AdEx plan for the upcoming fiscal? 

We have planned to increase AdEx by 10-12 percent in the FY 2022-23. 

How much is your digital ad ex compared to TV and print? 

Digital AdEx has increased over the years and, currently, it's around 29% of our total ad budget. TV and Print get nearly 33% and 34%. 

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