Marketing review news
03 November 2005

IOC to expand retail business in rural areas
Indian Oil Corporation has worked out an aggressive strategy to push its retail business in the rural areas.

IOC's retail forays are planned under an umbrella offering "Xtra", and a series of initiatives, including branded auto fuels. During 2004-05, IOC added 1100 retail outlets adding up to a total of 10,000 outlets. The company plans another 1,000 outlets this year.

The company is demarcating its retail business into three broad segments — the urban market, the highway market and the rural market and has also rationalised its infrastructure facilities, closing down redundant storage depots even as it commissioned new facilities wherever required.

While the branded XtraCare retail outlets are for the urban areas, Swagat branded retail outlets are targeted at highway motorists and Kisan Seva Kendras are targeted at rural areas.

Survey finds television/ radio best medium, outdoor ads second
A study in promotional marketing by ad agency Mudra's Kidstuff Promos and Events finds television and radio ads are the best way to reach the consumer. The second best medium is through innovative outdoor signs.

According to the survey, 76 per cent of the respondents surveyed said TV and radio is the ideal medium for announcing a new promotion.

39 per cent of those surveyed said outdoor signs reach out to them more; while 27 per cent felt word-of-mouth was effective. Respondents were informed about campaigns by friends and relatives as well as shopkeepers in their locality said a company release.

The Promo Survey 2005 is an endeavour to help marketers understand how promotions work and devise better, more effective campaigns.

The survey also showed that an ideal location, such as a local grocery store, could go a long way in targeting consumers. Marketers also use cinema houses, multiplexes and shopping malls to reach out to.

Dhoni gets cracking with endorsements
Mahender Singh Dhoni has hit big time in endorsements. Ever since the young lad fired crackers in Jaipur to score an unbeaten 183 runs against Sri Lanka the celebrations haven't stopped.

The Rajasthan Cricket Association and the Jharkhand state government have added Rs15 lakh to his bank balance, his celebrity management company claimed that corporate sponsors such as Pepsi and Reebok have already signed him on as brand ambassador along with others like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Other offers are reported to be pouring in.

The young cricketer's passion for bikes has led to a two-wheeler company showing interest in signing on Dhoni. He has often been spotted on a 650-cc bike in his hometown.
Apart from this others in the line include a hair-care company and a denim brand thanks to his long hair-do and muscular personality. A mobile gaming company is also roping in Dhoni to promote its brand.

Emami to focus on Boroplus
Emami Group has announced major plans to make its `Boroplus' a complete skincare brand by 2007. The company is targeting sales of Rs125-crore from the brand by the end of the current fiscal. The company's Navratna Oil, endorsed by Amitabh Bachchan is a market leader in its segment with a 50-per cent market share, notching up annual sales of Rs100 crore. Some 44 crore pieces are sold every year.

Emami has roped in Kareena Kapoor to join its club of brand ambassadors, and has recently launched its first advertising campaign featuring the star for Boroplus.
Boroplus is one of the flagship brands of Emami and was launched in 1982 to become a market leader by the mid '90s.

Titan to increase Raga's visibility
Titan Industries is planning to increase focus on the Raga brand. Last year the company changed the positioning of the Raga brand with the launch of the 9-5 collection. From this festive season Titan is making efforts to increase the brand's visibility and its turnover.

Women's watches contribute 34 per cent to Titan Industries' total turnover. Of these, watches priced at Rs1,500 and above were branded Raga, and accounted for 24 per cent of the turnover. The company feels Raga has tremendous potential, waiting to be exploited.

Titan Industries has recently released a new campaign on TV, radio, print and outdoors for the brand. Titan is employing direct marketing as well as increasing in-store visibility. This range is priced from Rs1,500 to Rs5,000.

Titan is aiming for 40-50 per cent growth in the brand over the third quarter of 2004-05. In the first half of this fiscal, the brand grew 15-16 per cent over the previous corresponding period.

Raga was launched in 1991 as an ethnic brand in keeping with the ethnic wave sweeping fashion trends in the country but could not sustain its success for too long.

Dabur launches new ad campaign for Chyawanprash
Dabur has launched a new advertisement campaign for Dabur Chyawanprash to revive interest around the stagnating brand.

The advertisements, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Vivek Oberoi, will feature on television and the print media. The company has set a budget of Rs10 crore for the campaign this year.

According to the company the new campaign targets infrequent and non-users by emphasising the benefits of the product.

Dabur claims to have retained a 60-65 per cent share of the Rs250-crore market for Chyawanprash in the last three years. The other major players in the category are Himani's Amritprash and Sona Chandi, Baidyanath Chyawanprash and Zandu Chyawanprash.

Idea Cellular launches three-year validity vouchers
Idea Cellular, the private cellular operator, has launched the Power Validity voucher with three years for its customers of Andhra Pradesh.

This is first such initiative in the country offering three-year validity voucher with Rs150 talk-time for Rs2,999 and free incoming calls.

Also, Power Validity voucher with two years validity voucher with talk-time worth Rs100 comes for Rs2,199 and free incoming calls and one year validity voucher with talk-time worth Rs50 time is available for Rs1,299 and free incoming calls .

Air India again comes up with companion-free scheme
Air India has introduced its `Companion-Free Scheme' from November 1-05.

The scheme will be available to passengers travelling on full published IATA fares in all classes, namely, first, executive and economy, for outbound travel between India and the US, Canada, and Europe.

The scheme is open till March 31, 2006.

Air India has in recent times upgraded its premium classes by introducing flat beds in the first class and slumberettes in the executive class. Its in-flight service is also being upgraded.

Air India currently operates 28 flights a week to the US, a daily service to New York, Newark, Los Angeles and Chicago; 21 flights to London; 11 flights to Frankfurt; seven flights to Paris; and three flights each to Birmingham and Toronto every week.

Pantaloon to try out varying retail formats
Pantaloon Retail (India) is planning to introduce different retail formats at its outlets. Other segments it plans to introduce are fresh service segments and beauty and grooming. At present Pantaloon Retail has mainly large-format outlets such as Big Bazaar and Pantaloon.

According to company officials Pantaloon Retail will soon launch a chain of beauty parlours in the next few months. The beauty parlours will be called `Star aur Sitara' and will be positioned at the mass-end of the market. Initially one outlet would come up in Ahmedabad and Bangalore each. Both these outlets would be located within shopping malls.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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