Marketing review news
28 April 2005

Laxman's 'Common Man' to endorse Air Deccan
Air Deccan had announced that cartoonist RK Laxman's 'common man' will endorse the low cost airline targeted at the man on the street. At the same the airline announced it would sell some of its tickets at Re1.

Laxman is said to have lent his most famous creation, the common man, who features in each of his cartoons, free-of-cost to the airline.

According to Capt Gopinath, managing director, Air Deccan, the decision to offer tickets at Re1 was based on Laxman's view that common men in the country cannot even afford ticket worth Rs500 and hence wanted the airline to sell tickets at Re1. He said the process of offering tickets at Re1 will be carried out through a transparent manner so that no one individual can block these tickets.

The airline has ordered for 32 Airbus A320s and 30 ATRs which will be delivered over a period of five years.

Audi launches luxury car A6 in India
Volkswagen group company and luxury carmaker Audi has launched its new A6 sedan in India. Priced at Rs42.5 lakh, the A6 sedan is imported from Germany, and the company hopes to sell at least 100 cars in the first year.

Audi has appointed a dealer in Mumbai and New Delhi each and plans to add one shortly in Bangalore.

Audi will have exclusive dealerships exclusive to its product line and not shared with Skoda, the other car from the Volkswagen available in India.

Citibank, MTV launch co-branded debit card
Citibank and MTV have launched a co-branded debit card. According to a press release from Citibank the card offers benefits to customers at select outlets, branded as the MTV-Citibank Club.

Earlier Citibank and MTV had launched a co-branded credit card in 2001 and all MTV-Citibank debit and credit card holders automatically become members of the MTV-Citibank Club. Club members can avail benefits on products and services at select establishments across the country. These include nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, bookstores, apparel stores, health clubs, mobile phones and accessories stores including Lush & Red Light in Mumbai, Storm, RPM in Delhi, Incognito in Kolkata and I-Bar in Bangalore.

These lounge bars offer benefits to MTV-Citibank cardholders such as free entry and discount on food and beverage.

Dravid is Max New York Life's brand ambassador
Cricketer Rahul Dravid will henceforth endorse Max New York Life. According to the company it will use qualities like solidity, integrity and humanity associated with Dravid for communicating its own brand values.

According Sunil Sharma, the company's chief operating officer, "Rahul is a role model for most young Indians and being among India's most admired sports persons, he is the right brand ambassador. You can expect to see him representing the Max New York Life brand in a number of fun and surprising ways."

Dravid will feature in Max New York Life's advertising campaigns and will also participate in special promotional events.

Levi's to introduce mid priced brand Signature
The US-based, $4.1-billion Levis Strauss & Co has placed India among its three top focus markets alongside China and Russia in Asia as an important growth market for its branded apparel business.

The company is thus revving up its retail plans in India, and is also foraying into the mid-priced domestic jeans market with Levi's sub-brand Signature, positioned in the price band of Rs599-Rs 999. Signature branded products will begin appearing on market shelves from September this year onwards.

For its retail plans the company plans to set up 300 exclusive stores — roughly 150 each between Levi's premium products and Signature — by 2008.

Hutch launches `mobile' shops in Hyderabad
Hutch, the cellular service provider, has inaugurated the first in the series of three `Mobile Hutch Shops' in Hyderabad. These 'mobile shops' as they are called, function through vans. According to the company customers would get access to all the Hutch services are available at the regular shops, at the mobile units.

The vans would be based in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, and will reach 150 towns covering a between of 100km and 200km and two towns a day. Customers in the respective areas would get an SMS, giving details of the scheduled arrival and stay of the van. The company feels that the service provides the customers with flexibility to access Hutch services.

The vans are equipped with 'global packet radio service' to provide online connectivity to facilitate billing services.

Turtle enters the European market
After entering into an arrangement with a London-based shirt manufacturer, Indian branded shirt manufacturer, Turtle, has entered the European market.

To start with, the Indian company will manufacture shirts to be sold under the UK company's brand. Later, Turtle hopes to roll out shirts in the UK market under its own brand.

The arrangement would help Turtle generate export revenue of more than of Rs1 crore in the current fiscal.

Turtle plans to begin exporting to other European countries later as well.

Pepsi replaces Sony as most recalled brand
Pepsi is now "the most recalled brand in India" edging past Sony, which earlier held the coveted position in the last quarter, according to market research, firm Indicus Analytics.

The survey found that the Pepsi brand and its advertisements were the most recalled by consumers while Coke ads came second. Sony came in at third position in top-of-the-mind recall by consumers.

In terms of brand recall Coke stood at 12th spot (from 15th the last quarter) while Tata continued to hold the No 2 slot in top of the mind recall.

Cadbury moved several notches up in terms of recall, from 17th in January to eighth in April, according to Indicus.

Other brands that figured among the top ten were Maruti and Raymonds.

Interestingly, men named Pepsi as the most-recalled brand while women voted for Lakme.
The survey conducted by Indicus Analytics in the second half of March covered over 34,000 urban Indian consumers.

Whirlpool introduces 'Genius'
Whirlpool of India has launched Genius, a direct cool range of 180-litre refrigerators as well as a premium range of window air-conditioners in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai and Delhi.

According to the company, the air-conditioners have been sourced from Chinese company, Gree, the second largest air-conditioner manufacturer in the world.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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