Marketing review news
05 May 2005

Distribution problems force Foster's off the shelves
Australian brewer Foster's is having distribution problems as a result of which the Foster's can hardly been seen on market shelves in most states across the country. The brands seems to be available only in the major markets like Maharashtra, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.

Foster's is at present brewed at a single brewery in Maharashtra, which is the root of its problems. As a result of this, high levels of intra-state import taxes create problems for the company.

Foster's says it set up a single brewery because it had to adhere to global standards, which pushed up its investments

New company to market Himalaya's herbal lifestyle products
Himalaya Drug Company has floated a new company, HerbalScience, to market and distribute herbal lifestyle products.

According to the company, HerbalScience, an independent company that would outsource its R&D needs to Himalaya. The first product to be marketed by the new company would be PartySmart, the preventive, single-dose pill for alcohol-induced hangover, a proprietary product of Himalaya, which it had test-marketed through retail outlets three years ago.

HerbalScience would focus on promoting PartySmart in the domestic market and later abroad on the peg of responsible drinking over the next two years. The print advertisements of the product are expected to be out soon.

HerbalScience is the brainchild of Nabeel Manal, US-based grandson of Himalaya's founder.

TAM Media PR division in pact with news monitoring agency
TAM Media Research's PR and content analysis wing, Eikona PR Track, has entered into a tie-up with Esha News Monitoring Service, which tracks some 90 channels in India.

According to TAM Media Research, editorial content on television is increasingly being used to shape and create perceptions. This needs timely and advanced TV monitoring techniques coupled with world-acknowledged approach towards editorial research and analysis.

TAM, which primarily measures TV viewership and ad spends, has also started observing the "increasing need to monitor and analyse" PR and content.

TAM's spokesman said that while Eikona will use its own resources to monitor content in newspapers, magazines, Internet and trade journals, its association with Esha will help it track television.

TAM's press release states, "To provide a perspective of news channels alone, if one just looks at the 25 news channels currently in India, a corporate has to monitor 20,000 hours of news every month which calls for a dedicated and a specialised service."

Scorpio launched in Malaysia
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has launched its sports utility vehicle, Scorpio in Malaysia. USF-HICOM (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a diversified conglomerate and the largest automotive group in Malaysia, will market the vehicle. According to the company, the Scorpio would initially be available at 24 major outlets in Malaysia and would gradually be made available at 40 outlets.

The exported vehicle would be equipped with the 2-litre MPFI DOHC Renault engine and a version based on the 2.6-litre diesel engine would be launched soon with both 2WD and 4WD options.

The Scorpio is already being marketed in South Africa, Europe, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Uruguay and Oman.

Sony to host reality show Gurukul
After the success of reality show, 'Indian Idol', Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is getting into reality TV with elan. The channel is planning to telecast another reality show Fame Gurukul based on another Spanish reality show called Operacion Triunfo for which SET has obtained the rights.

According to the format of the show, 14 singers will be selected initially who will then live together in a music academy.

Mandira Bedi and Manav Gohil will host the show while the chief of the academy is Ila Arun. The jury members are Javed Akhtar, KK, Shankar Mahadevan.

Hitachi to have mobile showrooms for air-conditioners
The Indian subsidiary of Japanese company Hitachi Home & Life Solutions India (HHLI) is going mobile. In a first of its kind, the company has converted a light commercial vehicle into a showroom that will move between different localities of Pune displaying the entire Hitachi range of air-conditioners.
The showroom is cooled with Hitachi air-conditioners and showcases the Hitachi range, including Quadricool, advertised as the world's most silent window AC and Atom UV, world's smallest split AC.

The mobile showrooms will traverse through 12 cities covering over 5,000 km and almost 1.5 lakh air-conditioner buyers.

Hitachi Home & Life Solutions India is amongst the largest AC manufacturers in the Indian market.

HLL revamps brand communication of Lux
Hindustan Lever's Lux beauty is getting a makeover. The company, which felt that Lux beauty soap was getting increasingly lost in a crowd of beauty soaps, employed Pune-based design consultants, Elephant Design, to change the entire look and communication of the brand.

Research conducted by the consultant orgnisation revealed that consumers felt that Lux offered similar benefits to other soaps in the market and in short had no unique selling proposition. Over the next few months, the company will implement a strategy to convert Lux from being one among many in a crowded market to being a product picked up by consumers by the sheer power of the brand name.

The Indian leg of `project Madonna' is expected to roll out the new-look communication of Lux in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and South-East Asian over the next few months, and customers walking into stores will notice a distinct change in the way the brand looks on retail shelves.

The new packaging of the product will have bolder and brighter colours with Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai, endorsing the brand.

EuroNews news service launched in India
EuroNews, which figures among leading multilingual pan-European news channels, has launched its service in the country through Dish TV, the Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite network belonging to Essel Group.

Almost two lakh subscribers of Dish TV can have 24-hour access to EuroNews in all seven languages, on Dish TV Channel number 527. Currently, Dish TV offers 115 TV and 13 radio channels.

Cobra beer comes to Mumbai
Premium beer, Cobra, has been formally introduced in the Mumbai market. The beer priced at Rs50 and Rs30 for a 650ml and 330ml bottle respectively, the brand will be launched nationally within the next three months.

The company is targeting a sales turnover of Rs 10-15 crore in the next two years. It has appointed ad agency Lowe Lintas to handle the brand and will launch a media campaign shortly.

KBC Second Coming begins soon
Quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), which revived the fortunes of both Star Plus and show host Amitabh Bachchan, will soon have a second coming. This timing the programme will be on weekends Friday to Sunday and will have double the prize money than the Rs1 crore earlier.

Airtel and Nokia have come aboard as sponsors for the show, slated for launch on August 6 and the channel is scouting for six more brands.

KBC 2 will be completed in 85 episodes starting from August through February 2006.

Star Plus says that this time around it would be easier for the audience to get through to the show as more phone lines would be available. The phone lines will open on June 6 and the questions would be aired on Star Plus daily.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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