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Auto majors gear up to woo buyers with integrated marketing plans

12-January-2004
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Auto majors gear up to woo buyers with integrated marketing plans

Indian auto majors in the C segment (mid-priced sedans) are now stepping on the gas with renewed marketing plans to woo car buyers across the country. For one, Tata Motors Ltd is revamping its marketing plans by positioning its brand Tata Indigo as a ‘business class travel vehicle’, while Ford India is focusing on ‘experiential marketing techniques’ to promote its model Ford Ikon. As part of its marketing strategy, Ford India is planning to host ‘10 City Roadshows’ to popularise its models in major metros. Also, the company plans to set up ‘test driving tracks’ in major cities to lure prospective car buyers.

As for Tata Motors’ new integrated marketing package for Tata Indigo, the company is in the process of rolling out a multi-media ad campaign which includes, print, television, outdoor and online campaigns. On the company’s new communication strategy, says Tata Motors vice-president, commercial passenger car business unit Rajiv Dube: “Through our new ad campaigns, we have strengthened the positioning of the brand as ‘a business class travel vehicle’. Our ad campaigns will be supported by brand loyalty programmes like ‘Indigo Premier Club’. Till December 2003, we sold over 26,000 Tata Indigos.”

Strapped with the tagline ‘Spoil Yourself’ Tata Indigo hit the Indian roads in December 2002. After almost a year, Tata Motors has now opted for a new communication package which is designed by FCB Ulka Advertising. Says FCB Ulka executive director MG Parameshwaran: “As part of our integrated marketing plan, we have launched many executions of the same theme in different media. The new campaign carries forward the comfort-luxury positioning in an aspirational manner.” To support its print and television campaign, the company will soon launch an aggressive outdoor media campaign.

The other major players in the C segment of the Indian car market include, Hyundai’s Accent, Ford Ikon, Esteem, Honda City and Opel Corsa among others.

Describing the strategy behind Tata Motors’ new commercial, Mr Parameshwaran explains that the new TVC presents a business executive, ostensibly travelling by air and by business class, only to reveal at the end that he was in fact travelling in a Tata Indigo all the while. “And the tagline sums up the offer ‘There is nothing frequent travellers like more than an upgrade! Tata Indigo. Spoil Yourself,’ ” he adds.

On the other hand, Ford India is gearing up for its ‘10 City Roadshows’ in a bid to popularise its brands across the country, informs JWT India associate vice-president MA Parthasarathy, the agency which handles the advertising business of Ford India. Says Mr Parthasarathy: “Our focus is going to be on ‘Ford Roadshows’ in the first quarter of the year. For the first time, we are setting up ‘test-drive tracks’ in major cities. Before buying our models, customers can take a test ride on these tracks.”

As for its ground promotions titled ‘10 City Roadshows’, Ford India has already covered Chandigarh and Delhi. In fact, the company has taken up prominent positions in major cities to display its models across the country. “We will run these shows till March 11,” adds Mr Parthasarathy.

As for Ford India’s mass media advertising plans to promote its popular brand ‘Ford Ikon Flair’, the company is gearing up to launch an aggressive print ad campaign with the tagline—Ford Ikon Josh Machine.

As competition hots up in the C segment, major players in this overcrowded category are stepping up their brand-building plans to gain mind share as well as market share.

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