LG spent Rs 8 crore on product advertising during the World
Cup Cricket in 1999, Samsung spent Rs 9 crore. Samsung India
received a shot in the arm late last year when the government permitted it to continue
with the imports of white goods as well as continue with plans
to manufacture the products in India over the next three years.
The company is targeting a sales growth of 70 per cent and
a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore by 2001, mainly on the strength
of increased white goods component in its product portfolio.
With ACs, Samsung's marketing strategy is to
highlight the technological features of its products that ensure that the ambient air is
"healthy and pure". It recently launched its Insta Chill range of window and
Its entire range of room ACs is being
marketed under the proposition of "Health Air Systems".
Samsung introduced new models of ACs last
year, which incorporate the latest 5-step heat exchanger technology. Its expansion
strategy includes setting up of an R&D centre. According to K.S. Kim, managing
director, Samsung India, the company has invested $5 million in the new R&D facility,
which will support designing requirements for Indian as well neighbouring markets.
Earlier this year, Samsung launched its new
2000 Home Appliances range,comprising ACs, bio-ceramic microwave ovens, bio-fresh
refrigerators and semi-automatic washing machines.
Amtrex, after tying up with Hitachi of Japan,
is following a dual brand strategy. Hitachi is positioned as a technically superior,
high-end brand while Amtrex is for the mass-market.
With its stated policy of product innovation and rapid introduction of new products,
Amtrex has grown at a compound rate of 90 per cent in the last four years, against an
industry average of 35 per cent. It feels that the introduction of new products is its key
to greater customer satisfaction. In fact, 95 per cent of its sales were of products
introduced in the last four years.
When in-house research conducted by the
company revealed that in Indian homes, ACs are mainly used during the night to get a
comfortable sleep, it introduced, for the first time, intelligent room ACs that are
compact and silent. Christened Nidra, meaning sleep, the product incorporates a logic
temperature control system that helps to keep room temperature at comfort levels as the
ambient temperature drops. Amtrex claims that the product uses 20 per cent less
electricity than ordinary ACs.
Amtrex's marketing strategy has been to focus
on the product features of its ACs by giving them a distinctive identity through it's
"Power of silence" series of ad campaigns.
As for Hitachi, the latest advertising
positions it "For those who seek perfection". The TV ad campaign takes amusing
slants, fitted into slice-of-life situations. Like the ad that has this man sitting at a
hairdressing saloon, asking for a little snip here and a snip there, while day turns to
night outside. Or our same man in the kitchen with his family, trying to get a perfectly
round chapatti done, to the extent of doing the fine trims with a pair of scissors, as the
wife, son and daughter offer their expert comments.
India steps into its summer of 2000, no doubt our television
sets will beam a lot more of attention-grabbing advertising
on AC brands. And product features and propositions will
certainly get more sophisticated.