Marketing review news
10 April 2004

Godfrey Phillips launches Maxus
Godfrey Phillips India has launched the Maxus brand of cigarettes. The brand is positioned as a "regular-size cigarette with king-size quality".

Maxus is priced at Rs20 a pack of 10 cigarettes. The regular-size cigarette segment accounts for 56 per cent of the country's cigarette volumes worth Rs12,000 crore.

Skoda to launch new models this year
Skoda Auto will launch four new models in India this year, including luxury car Superb and a diesel automatic variant of the Octavia.

The company is also entering the pre-owned car business this month and plans to export cars to adjoining countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Skoda also plans to start a pre-owned car business called Skoda Signature later this month to enable existing Octavia owners to upgrade to other models like the Laurin and Klement. The company would also increase its dealerships to 42 by the end of this year from the existing 35.

The company targets to sell 10,000 cars this year.

GM working on India marketing strategy
For General Motors Corp (GM), the biggest car manufacturer in the world, India is the third most important market among eight countries. The first two are China and the US. The company is currently fine-tuning on a strategy for India to enter the small car market in order to achieve greater market share.

GM is also carrying out its due diligence of the Daewoo plant near New Delhi which is expected to be completed in another two months.

GM has been exporting its sedan, Lacetti, as Optra to India as and Buick Excelle in China.The Lacetti is GM Daewoo's first global car and has been rolled out in over 100 markets.

TVS ropes in Preity Zinta for Scooty PEP
TVS Motor has signed actress Preity Zinta as brand ambassador for its Scooty PEP scooterette. The company claims to have sold more than one million units of the two-wheeler.

The company hopes that the brand's association with Preity Zinta would help take its `First Love' campaign further by positioning Scooty "as a vibrant scooterette packed with style and economy.

A new print and television advertising campaign with the actress in her Scooty PEP will be launched next month.

Maruti to drop Alto prices
Maruti Udyog has launched a non air-conditioned variant of its premium small car "Alto" to boost sales in the small car segment. The 800cc car has been priced at Rs230,000 (ex-showroom Delhi), around Rs35,000 less than the existing base model, the Alto LX.

The new Alto variant also costs just Rs3,000 more than the Euro-II air-conditioned variant of Maruti 800, Maruti Udyog's largest selling car. The new Alto comes close on the heels of the introduction of a non-air-conditioned variant of the multi purpose vehicle, Versa, at Rs327,000.

DD News ad rates hiked
Prasar Bharati has announced a 20 per cent increase in its rates for DD News. According to the new rate card, spot buy rates for prime time shows have been upped to Rs5,000 for 10 seconds from Rs3,000 charged earlier, while it has been increased from Rs2,000 for a 10 second slot to Rs3,000 for non-prime time.

Not only this, the prime time band has been extended by one hour — from 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm from the earlier 7 pm to 11 pm to help a improve the spread of advertisements. There has also been a 50 per cent increase in the rates for sponsored programmes — from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for prime time and from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500 for non-prime time.

The organisation has also hiked stock branding and ticker branding rates. The new rate is now Rs5 lakh per month as against Rs2 lakh earlier. However, the earlier offer of giving value addition to advertisers in the form of free commercial time on DD Bharati continues.

The revised rates came into effect from April.

Rallis, EI Dupont in co-marketing pact
Rallis India and EI Dupont India have entered into a co-marketing agreement for each other's products.

Rallis will co-market Dupont's insecticide Indoxacarb while Dupont will co-market Rallis' insecticide Acetamiprid. According to industry sources, Rallis is expected to add Rs50 crore to its turnover through this tie-up. These insecticides are used on cotton crop to control bollworm and white fly.

Bollywood heroes launch Shades'
Shades, a retail outfit of Shades Enterprises, a business venture set up by film stars, Sunil Shetty, Sanjay Dutt and film producers Nitin Manmohan Sohail Maklai in association with Hamid Saberi, is setting up a retail network of showrooms for the sale of eyewear and optical products in metros, mini metros and towns across the country starting with Hyderabad.

The company will expand to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai in the next six months.

Tata AIG Life launches new schemes
Tata AIG Life Insurance Company has launched unit linked insurance plans (ULIP) for superannuation and gratuity schemes. Tata AIG ULIP superannuation scheme provides individual members with the flexibility to decide on the allocation of their money based on their risk appetite, according to the company.

In case of the ULIP gratuity scheme, the employer or trustee has the flexibility to decide the ratio of investment based on their risk taking appetite.

Coca Cola India launches Vanilla Coke
Coca-Cola India has launched `Vanilla Coke, the first new flavour extension of the Coca-Cola brand in India. Vanilla is Coke, Coca-Cola spiked with vanilla flavour.

Initially the product will be launched in 500 ml PET bottles priced at Rs15, followed by 200 ml/300 ml glass bottles and cans. The first phase of launch would cover 17 per cent of the population.

The company expects sales to grow by 20 to 30 per cent this year, in view of the new launch. The company has signed up Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi as brand ambassador for Vanilla Coke, and would be rolling out a new campaign with a `retro' look. The ad spend would be about 20 per cent of that spent on Coke.

ICICI Bank introduces `Car Overdraft' facility
ICICI Bank has launched the 'car overdraft' facility against the car as security. Under the scheme, the bank will open an ICICI Bank roaming current account in the customer's name with a pre-approved overdraft limit.

The account is accessible to the customer through multi-city cheque and debit card, according to the bank. The limit of the overdraft will be determined on the basis of the vintage and condition of the car.

The customer will pay interest only on the amount withdrawn and for the period it is withdrawn. They also get the flexibility of repaying only a minimum of five per cent of the total outstanding every month.

In addition, customers will get all the regular benefits of ICICI Bank 'roaming current account', including multi-city chequebook, fund transfer facilities, ICICI Bank HPCL Visa Electron Debit card, internet banking, phone banking etc.

Hindi news channels viewers growing
News channels have registered increased viewer-ship. According to data from TAM India for the last five months, the share of Hindi news channels has been rising consistently. From a share of 2.92 per cent for the week ending November 15, 2003 the share of news channels grew to 5.19 per cent during the week ended March 20, 2004.

In the period among review according to the report there was fierce competition among the various players in the Hindi news segment. While Aaj Tak held on to the No 1 slot, there was a tussle for second slot, between Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV India, Star News and DD News.

The advertising pie grew from Rs 200 crore to Rs 375 crore in a year's time.

While DD News' success has been due to its higher reach, NDTV India and Star News have retained their slots by constantly innovating programming. The English news channels on the other hand have not managed to grow much and their share hovers around 0.3 per cent of all channels available in cable and satellite homes with NDTV 24x7 leading the pack followed by business news channel, CNBC.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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