Marketing review news
12 July 2004

Emami launches ad campaign with Bachchan
Emami Ltd, the personal and healthcare products company of the Rs 700-crore Emami Group, has roped in mega star Amitabh Bachchan for its Navratna cool oil. The Rs100 crore brand was earlier endorsed by film star Govinda and cricketer Saurav Ganguly.

The company has incurred an ad spend of Rs20 crore on Navratna oil. The brand is said to be growing at 15 per cent and has changed the dynamics of cool oil market segment.

Navratna oil is exported to West Asia and Bangladesh.

According to the company the USP of Navratna oil is that it keeps the head cool and light, provides sound sleep, tones up muscles and removes tiredness and tension.

Nokia customises handset for Airtel
Nokia has customised the 6220 model for Bharti Cellular. This will allow Airtel users to access multimedia services at a single touch. This is the first global system for mobile communications (GSM) handset customised for an Indian operator.

With the handset Airtel subscribers can directly go to an entertainment portal with content in the spheres of movies, music, sports and mobile games.

The handset is compatible for use by subscribers of other cellular operators, but the one-touch key function will be available only for Airtel pre-paid and post paid subscribers.

Priced at Rs12,000 the phone has a built in FM radio and comes with Sachin Tendulkar wallpapers, AR Rehman tunes, pre-installed high data transmission capacity with General Packet Radio System (GPRS), multimedia messaging, embedded bookmarks and links.

Uptil now, in India, only code division multiple access (CDMA) based operators like Reliance Infocomm and Tata Teleservices, have customised handsets with every connection. However, CDMA operators do not give the subscribers the option to use the handset with another CDMA operator's connection.

Three new products under the Nomarks brand
Ozone Ayurvedics has launched a face gel, a fruit face pack and a walnut scrub with aloe vera — all under the Nomarks brand. The 75 ml face gel would come for Rs58, the fruit face pack for Rs49 and the scrub for Rs50 for 50 gm packs. The company is also planning other extensions such as lotion and moisturising cream. The Rs32-crore Nomarks brand has a 44 per cent share of the market for its scar-reducing cream.

The Nomarks cream is exported to 20 countries including those in west Asia, south-east Asia and Europe. The company expects Rs18 crore from exports this year.

Sony launches Animax TV channel
Sony Pictures Entertainment has launched Animax, a new television channel focused on animation. The channel will be distributed by One Alliance, the joint venture between Sony Entertainment Television, India and Discovery Communications, India. The channel will be available initially in 24-hour English and 12-hour Hindi feeds. Later in about nine months a 24-hour Hindi feed will be available.

The channel is targeted at the age group of 15-25 years, but Animax sees secondary markets in age groups spanning 7-14 years and 25-39 years.

Animax was originally launched in Japan where it has since become the leading C&S channel. The company says cartoons traditionally stand for comedy and children however, animation caters to all ages and deals with a wide range of subjects.

Biscuits; the only fast movers in FMCG category
Amidst the slowdown in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, the biscuits category has emerged the strongest with higher advertising spends and improved visibility across media.

According to AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, which tracks food sector promotions, advertising in the biscuits category on television grew by 39 per cent in 2003 as against the previous year. Britannia Industries and Parle Products were at the top of the list of advertisers with nearly 35 per cent and 33 per cent of the advertising respectively. Surya Food and Agro Pvt Ltd with Priya Gold brand was at the third position while ITC Ltd with the Sunfeast brand stood fourth.

The biscuits category grew by 8-10 per cent since last year, with increasing competition across the category.

Not only have the various players increased their ad spend in the category but are also continuously coming in with newer variants and major expansion plans across the country.

The study says dramas, soaps, feature films and comedies are emerging as primary genres for advertising biscuits, which indicate an evident swing in strategy from targeting children to targeting the family.

Style Spa to expand into smaller towns
Style Spa Furniture (formerly known as Gautier) is expanding into smaller cities and towns and has opening 15 more stores.

The new stores would be opened in Hubli, Belgaum, Kannur, Rajkot, Nashik, Aurangabad, Patna, Udaipur, Lucknow and Kanpur. Additional stores are being opened in Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. The company recently opened stores in Jammu and Dehra Dun and now has 55 stores spread across 40 cities, including metros and mini-metros.

Style Spa is planning to undertake a lot of direct and event marketing and shifted its advertising account from RK Swamy to Hakuhodo Percept in April this year.

The company imports products — mainly living room and dining room furniture — from Italy, China and Malaysia and also has a factory at Kakkalur near Chennai where it makes bedroom furniture.

Style Spa also plans to launch its exclusive furnishings and accessories by September this year.

Dabur, Radico sign up celebs Sehwag, Katrina
New Delhi: Dabur India has signed up Virender Sehwag to endorse its select products in oral care health care and hair care products while his wife, Aarti Sehwag will endorse its Vatika range of hair care portfolio including Vatika Hair Oil and shampoos.

The company will air its first set of campaign in Q3 of this fiscal with Bates as its advertising agency for these brands.

Dabur India, which has a roster of film celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee endorsing its products, has signed a sportsperson for the second time. Ace cricketer Kapil Dev used to endorse Dabur's 'Hajmola' brand in the late 90s.

Meanwhile, Radico Khaitan Ltd has signed Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif to endorse its Old Admiral brand. Kaif features in Old Admiral pure water ad campaign 'Har Pal Ka Saathi'.

Old Admiral VSOP brandy, which was launched to address the southern market in September 2002, has been extended into products like whisky, rum and now packaged water.

DD plans free-to-air service
Doordarshan has begun to transmit its direct-to-home (DTH) operations on a test basis. The service, likely to be free will be officially launched shortly.

Named DD Direct, the DTH service will initially offer 30 channels, 17 of which will be its own. The rest will be private channels, for which DD is in talks with media groups like Sahara and Sun TV, among others. The service is likely to be launched in mid-August.

At present Doordarshan is installing 10,000 DTH systems including the set-top box and the dish antenna, across the country. The focus of DD's service will be predominantly rural and semi-urban areas where cable television is not available.

According to an estimate, out of the 80 million television owning household population, only around 40 million have access to cable television.

Once the DTH service is launched, customers would be able to buy the equipment off the shelves.

Budget day: bonanza for media
According to Starcom Worldwide, a Mumbai-based media agency, the budget day, July 8, proved to be a bonanza for television channels and leading financial dailies. Banks and insurance companies doubled their advertising spend on budget day and advertisers spent Rs28 crore to book space on the day in leading financial dailies and news channels compared to the Rs13.5 crore spent on a normal day.

Last year advertisers spent Rs12 crore more than their daily ad spend when Jaswant Singh presented his Budget. This year Rs15 crore more was spent on the budget day indicating a 25 per cent rise in incremental ad spend.

According to a study done by AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, the top ten categories that advertised during the budget, included travel and tourism, insurance, airlines and writing instruments.

Top advertisers included LIC, Citigroup private bank and Malaysian Tourism. Insurance firms topped the list of budget-centric advertisers in the financial services category this year. They paid 136 per cent more this year to secure TV time around the budget presentation.

The study monitored 14 channels, including news channels such as AajTak, DD-News, Star News, Zee News, Headlines Today, NDTV India, NDTV 24x7, Sahara Samay, CNN, BBC, and business channels like CNBC.

Plan 290 from Reliance Infocom
Reliance Infocom has launched Plan '290' for its fixed wireless services. This is one of the lowest monthly commitment plans in the market.

Plan 290 includes 150 free call pulses worth Rs180. Its value added services are free, such as a calling line identification presentation (CLIP), call divert, call hold, three-way conferencing facilities and a voicemail facility with message retrieval at local call rates.

Call charges for Plan 290 will be Rs1.20 per pulse. The customer can now avail himself of the new Plan 290 in addition to the existing tariff plans of Plan 500, Plan 1000 and Plan 1500.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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