Marketing review news
18 November 2004

TAG Heuer signs up Sushmita Sen as brand ambassador
Swiss luxury watch company, TAG Heuer, has signed up film actress Sushmita Sen as its brand ambassador. Apart from this, the company plans to increase its presence in the country.

Talking to the media, Jean-Christophe Babin, president and CEO, TAG Heuer, said, "We have signed on Ms Sen as part of our strategy to focus on sales of watches for women as this segment contributes to 40 per cent of our worldwide sales. ," Talking to the media, Jean-Christophe Babin, president and CEO, TAG Heuer, said

Sen joins TAG Heuer's current Indian brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan to become part of a list of international TAG Heuer ambassadors including Marion Jones and Tiger Woods.

TAG Heur also said it was planning to increase its sales network to 28 cities by next year as well as invest about Rs10 crore for marketing the brand in a bid to break even by 2006.

Ravi Thakran, TAG Heuer's managing director for Asia Pacific disclosed that TAG Heuer is already available in over 40 points of sale in 18 cities. "We plan to add another 10 cities to our bouquet by next year," he added.

The company is planning to grow by about 50 per cent next year in India.

Radico extends 8 PM to brandy flavour
Radico Khaitan's 8 PM will roll out its brandy flavour, 8 PM Excellency Brandy. Radico had earlier extended 8 PM to the rum segment under the Bermuda sub-brand.

The company had launched 8 PM whisky in the late '90s, which went on to become the fastest selling brand in the domestic market.

8 PM Excellency Brandy is priced at Rs246 for a quart (750 ml) and is expected to compete with established rivals such as UB Spirits Division's Honey Bee Brandy, No.1 McDowell Brandy, Bejois from Amrut Distilleries, and Shaw Wallace's Golconda.

Radico has also launched white rum under the 8 PM Bermuda brand.

Radico has had a number of new brand launches in recent times, including Old Admiral brandy and Magic Moments gin.

Emirates introduces companion offer
Emirates Airlines has announced a special companion offer on its recently launched passenger service from India to New York via Dubai.

Under the scheme, all first and business class passengers travelling from India will be eligible for a complimentary companion ticket in the same class of travel.

The offer is valid from October 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.

Besides the companion offer, the airline has recently announced `Seasonal fares' on the New York route which are valid until December 15.

Festive offers on credit cards
ICICI Bank and HSBC have launched special festive season cash-back offer on using their credit cards for buying apparel, jewellery, watches, electronics, consumer durables and groceries.

ICICI Bank is offering a 5 per cent cash-back on all bills above Rs 2,000 through an ICICI Bank credit card. The offer is valid from October 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004. The maximum refund during the period would be Rs5,000. Customers need to present the ICICI Bank charge slip to enjoy the cash-back offer.

HSBC is offering its customers a refund of 10 per cent of the amount on the three highest purchases made by the cardholder during the offer period. The offer is valid from October 1 to November 30.

However, overseas, internet, mail-order and telephone-order transactions are not eligible for the cash-back offer. The minimum value of a purchase should be Rs1,000 and the maximum total cash back given to any cardholder will be restricted to Rs1,000. Purchases made by add-on cardholders will be added to the primary cardholder's purchases for the purposes of this offer.

Credit card holders making a single purchase transaction of Rs1,000 or more between October 1 and November 30 (both dates inclusive) through an HSBC credit card will be eligible for 50 extra reward points. This offer is also applicable for cardholders who have not registered for the cash-back offer.

TAM launches Radio AdEx
AdEx India, the media research division of TAM in technical collaboration with AirCheck, an arm of RCS Inc of the US, has launched Radio AdEx. The division provides data and analysis of advertising expenditures in private FM radio, like what AdEx does with respect to newspapers, magazines and television.

The service will provide data and analysis of advertising expenditures in private FM radio, akin to what AdEx does with respect to newspapers, magazines and television.

S Kumars to focus on ready to wear, plans new brand
S Kumars is focusing on its ready to wear division Total Wardrobe Solutions, and hopes to generate Rs300 crore worth of business over the next five years from this.

The company is extending Reid & Taylor suiting fabric into formal men's shirts, priced between Rs900 and Rs1,400 and is planning to tap the economy, mid-priced and super-premium segments of the domestic apparel market.

Reid & Taylor is a Rs200-crore lifestyle suiting business, while the ready-to-wear segment has a negligible presence as S Kumars brand, Tamarind, launched some years back failed to make an impact.

Reid & Taylor, which currently has 14 stores across the country, is planning to expand the retail network to 50 outlets within 12 months.

S Kumars is also planning to tap the economy segment of the branded apparel market, pegged between Rs300 and Rs500.

HLL positions Bru as mother coffee brand
Hindustan Lever (HLL) is positioning Bru as the mother brand for coffee which will have several sub brands under it. This is a similar to the positioning given to Brook Bond and Lipton brands for tea.

Under the Bru brand, the company has Bru instant and Bru Green Label — a ground and roast variety — and recently the company launched a regional flavour, Bru Malabar for the festive season.

Bru Malabar will be a 90:10 coffee-chicory mix, a rich coffee variety.

Earlier HLL had bundled its numerous popular tea brands — Taj Mahal, Three Roses and Red Label — under the Brooke Bond brand and Lipton brands as a higher-end label.

Diwali boom: SMS traffic up five times
New Delhi: Short messaging services (SMS) traffic was up five times to 170 million SMS around Diwali week from 34 million on a normal day.

According to Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), on a normal day, one subscriber sends around one SMS. During Diwali, on an average, one mobile subscriber sent four messages.

As against this in previous years' Diwali, SMS traffic was up 3.5 times than the traffic on a normal day.

HLL: to make tea trendy
FMCG major Hindustan Lever is trying to give its tea brand Lipton, a trendy image.

The company is reaching out to a younger audience so that youngsters reach out for a hot 'cuppa' tea instead of coffee as this could mean significant growth in its tea business.

The company has been making a series of innovations in the marketing of the Lipton brand, and has launched a number of Lipton variants including iced tea in a couple of flavours.

HLL will also soon launch elegant Lipton tea kiosks that will make drinking tea a stylish option. The tea will be served in trendy and stylish kiosks positioned at strategic locations. For this HLL has roped in Pune-based design company, Elephant Design, to design the kiosks.

SBI Life gets into direct marketing
SBI Life, the joint venture of State Bank of India and the UK-based Standard Life Insurance, is rolling out a host of direct marketing activities promoting pension funds. The underlying message of the campaign is 'love'.

The insurance company will send around 30,000 direct mailers across 32 cities. Each mailer has a card enclosed, which says `from your loving husband.' The proposition, however, is tactfully planted. The card is dated February 14, 2032.

According to the company, the subtle message in the campaign is that people should feel financially independent with SBI Life's lifelong pensions, in as much as they can afford to gift their loved ones on a Valentine's Day.

The direct mailers will initially be sent to select SBI policyholders who have not subscribed to the company's pension policies. The next phase will target potential non-SBI customers.

The company using multiplexes to promote the pension funds.

SBI Life had released a corporate campaign to garner top-of-mind recall last March, tactically choosing to release product-specific advertisements such as lifelong pensions before the next season.

Milton mulls foray into direct marketing
Milton Global is entering the direct marketing arena and is floating a new division for the purpose. The company, following the Tupperware marketing model, intends to involve housewives to sell the Milton brand.

Milton Global's business divisions presently comprise thermoware, glassware (Treo brand), softline (soft thermoware), household (non-insulated products) and a microwave range.

Besides this, Milton is embarkimg upon a co-branding exercise with LG for its microwave range.

Having recently launched a new range of microwave-proof plastic ware, the company is negotiating with LG and possibly more Korean brands such as Samsung to offer its brand along with their microwaves as gift hampers.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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