Marketing review news
21 October 2005

MetLife gives Karva Chauth a new meaning
MetLife initiated a direct marketing campaign timed for Karva Chauth across its branches and through its bancassuarance partners. The company's marketing strategy was to encourage men to gift their wives financial freedom through a MetLife insurance policy on the occasion of Karva Chauth.

Met Life says, "Over the past few decades our country has changed rapidly. Women have started working while; men have taken to domesticity with élan. Moreover, with the breakdown of the joint family system and advent of liberalisation, life styles have changed to be truly global. Even the traditional social security systems such as the extended family or even the pension of a
government job are not longer available to this generation of Indians."

Big Idea Chair award from Yahoo!
Yahoo! India is bringing its Big Idea Chair Award for creative and media excellence to India.

Yahoo! India, which will present this award at this year's Effie Awards organised by the Advertising Club Bombay, said the Big Idea Chair Award honours creative achievements on the basis of real world market success.

The Effie jury will decide the winner of the award - a huge purple chair, imported from the US.

Internet advertising works
Internet, so far considered a niche medium for advertising is now becoming popular among media planners. The online ad market is expected to touch Rs162 crore by March 2006, up from Rs107 crore recorded last year with several new categories such as automobiles and consumer goods using the platform.

E-commerce sales which crossed Rs570 crore last year are projected to touch Rs1,180 crore for 2005-06.

Advertising professionals say the shakeout in the industry has left only serious players lending stability to the platform. They feel that unlike mass channels, advertising on the net allows companies to reach out to a focused group of consumers.

The fact that most of the internet users fall in the 20-40 years age bracket and prefer to read about the product online before making a purchase decision also helps.

Air Deccan offers in-flight shopping
Air Deccan has joined hands with Delhi-based AVA Merchandising to launch an in-flight shopping scheme `Brand for Less,' which offers shopping at over 10,000 feet during the flight at a reduced cost.

According to Air Deccan the facility would be available in all 146 daily flights of the company and the products would be available at a huge discount over the market retail price.

The scheme is being implemented immediately and the company targets sales of approximately 25,000 branded products per month.

RPG unveils new logo, to launch new format
The retail division of the RPG Group operating under the Spencer's brand will soon see a massive expansion. To start with, the group will double its total retailing space from the existing level of 10-lakh sq.ft within the next 18 months. Subsequently, the total retailing space would be increased to 40-lakh sq.ft spread across all major cities of India.

The group is planning to invest a total of Rs200 crore in expanding the retail space.

The retailing business has been restructured and four separate formats have been created. These have been named Spencer's Fresh, Spencer's Daily, Spencer's Super and Spencer's Hyper. MusicWorld has been retained in its present format.

The group has also unveiled the new logo of Spencer's, which will be the umbrella brand of its entire retailing activity.

The group will open nine new hypermarkets in the next six months. Of these, seven would be in Delhi and other two in Aurangabad and Hyderabad. The first retail outlet would be opened in Delhi.

Bharathi Tourism offers package tour to Andamans
The Bharathi Tourism Development Cooperative (BTDC) is offering package tours to Andaman Islands and first batch of 24 tourists was flagged off in Mangalore last week.

The multi-state co-operative would send another batch of tourists to Andaman in December.

The co-operative said that it wants to provide better tourism facilities to common man through its network in Karnataka, Kerala and Goa.

A-I to refurbish brand in a year's time
Air India plans to completely refurbish the AI brand and has set itself a target of one year to do so. In this time the airline will also effect a change in work culture.

Starting now and through one year, Air-India will assess its weaknesses. Though the changes would be gradual, they would have to manifest themselves by the time new aircraft reached the Air-India stable in a year's time,

SBI Caps looks at rural India
SBI Capital Markets (SBI Caps) plans to expand stock broking services to the rural regions and would open at least 40 branches in small towns and rural areas by next March.

SBI Caps is the investment-banking arm of State Bank of India, and plans to draw on the support of SBI for its rural foray.

In addition, the bank also planned to use a network of franchisees electronically linked to the SBI Caps' network.

SBI Caps hopes to achieve this objective over the next three years, when its customer base is targeted to increase to at least 3 lakh. So far, SBI Caps has rolled out its broking services in 13 locations.

Stanley Seating opens boutique in Hyderabad
Stanley Seating, a leading player in the genuine leather upholstery industry, has opened its first exclusive boutique in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad is the fifth in the chain of exclusive Stanley Seating boutiques across the country.

Zee Sports to focus on Indian football
Zee Sports which is planning to popularise football plans to spend up to Rs500 crore over 10 years in glamourising the game.

The channel is all set to give a facelift to Indian football and recently acquired the 10-year telecast rights for the All-India Football Federation matches with the promise of producing them as per international standards and organising a host of on-ground promotional activities to attract more eyeballs.

For this the channel is planning to spend in the region of Rs400-Rs500 crore over the next 10 years for various promotional activities. These include launching two half-hour shows, titled 'Football Café' to educate viewers about Indian football.

Other efforts include building player profiles, having talks about the various football clubs of India, their heritage and so on. These would be aired as promos across the network. These will be done to make Indian footballers known to people.

Rising market share for niche channels, mass entertainment TV channels lose
Mass entertainment Hindi channels are losing viewership shares year-on-year and industry observers say mass entertainment channels need to seriously review their programming strategy.

According to TAM Media Research, Hindi mass entertainment channels, which had 54 per cent of total viewership share in 2001, dipped to 40 per cent in 2004 and niche channels which had just one per cent of the total TV viewership share in 2001, now have five per cent share. Regional channels have also grown from 35 per cent to 38 per cent.

Niche channels that have gained viewership include youth channel, kids channels, news channels, channels specialising in wild life, natural history, music, etc.

Jet airways announces frequent flyer programme partnership with Gulf Air
Jet Airways has tied up with Gulf Air, to allows members of the Jet Privilege (JP) programme to earn and redeem JP Miles, when travelling with their new partner airline. In return elite tier Jet Privilege members can enjoy premium privileges such as lounge access and extra baggage allowance among others, when they fly with Gulf Air.

As this is a reciprocal relationship, members of Gulf Air Frequent flyer programme will also be able to earn and redeem miles, as well as enjoy special benefits when travelling on Jet Airways.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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