Marketing review news
04 May 2006

Sony brings back fiction teleserials
Sony Entertainment Television is planning to bring back fiction serials after the end of its talent show Indian Idol. The channel is launching two new shows - Aisa Des Hai mera and Thodi Khushi Thode Gham, to be telecast during prime-time viewing.

The driver show, Aisa Desh Hai Mera is a crossover saga that spans across London and Chandigarh, while the show following it Thodi Khushi Thode Gham is the story of a Gujarati joint family.

The channel has been hiking its adspend in the outdoors and print medium to promote its two new shows, and has also been experimenting with other modes such as on ground activities at railway stations and movie halls. It has been giving away freebies such as railway passes with the new shows branded on them. An SMS-based contest (Chalo London) based on questions from the driver show and giveaways such as mehendi tattoos in line with the storyline of its show, also forms part of the promotions.

The channel biggest adspend is on outdoor and print advertising. Using a 360-degree approach to market its new shows, SET which has climbed to the number two slot in the prime time viewing through Indian Idol and hopes to sustain its TRPs with its new shows.

Timex looks at distributing Esprit, Nautica watches
Timex Watches is in talks for distributing `Esprit' and `Nautica' brands and said it is investing about Rs25 crore on brand promotion and in setting up a new manufacturing unit. The company is already distributing FCUK and Opex brands under its new distribution-based business model. The company plans to invest about Rs15 crore on advertising and promotions during the year.

Timex is also strengthening its chain of exclusive branded retail outlets — `Timefactory' and is looking at having 130 such outlets across the country from the current nine.

Michelin launches new range of tyres
Tyre manufacturer Michelin has launched a new range of tyres — Energy XM 1 for the mid-size car segment. The tyres last longer and offer better fuel economy, according to the company.

The company says the Energy XM1 range of tyres has been developed using the Green "X" silica-based compound, which not only reduces the rolling resistance, resulting in lower fuel consumption, but also helps in replacing carbon black, which is a fossil fuel derivative. The tyres also offer improved wet grip and dry handling capabilities. The tyres will be imported from China.

The company plans to set up its manufacturing facility in India but no time-frame has been set for this.

Cashew to be promoted as food ingredient
The Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) is planning to promote cashew as an ingredient in food to boost the boost the use of cashew among consumers abroad.

CEPCI, which has taken up various initiatives in this regard, is now planning to come out with a new edition of a recipe book on cashew, which will concentrate on the recipes prepared by home-makers. The previous edition of the recipe book was brought out in 2002 and focussed on recipes from chefs.

The CEPCI is also planning to take the help of the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers' Association (KCMA) for the publication of the new edition.

The recently concluded `Swad Kaju Ka' - a cashew recipe competition for housewives in Bangalore organised by KCMA - evoked good response. The competition received more than 60 entries on cashew recipes. These recipes will be handed over to CEPCI. The council intends to convert these recipes into a book for distribution at international trade fairs for customers.

Khodays gets hit by Scotch ruling
The Khodays' Group which owns the premium whisky brand Peter Scot in India is seeking legal opinion on a Delhi High Court verdict which has ruled that domestic whisky makers cannot use the words, Scot or Scotch on their products.

Recently, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), an industry body of distillers, blenders and exporters of Scotch whisky, won a ruling in their favour from the Delhi High Court which said that domestic whisky makers cannot use the words Scot or Scotch on their products. It also ordered Golden Bottling, a Jaipur-based company, not to use the word Scot on its product, Red Scot. Earlier SWA, an UK-based body, had in a petition to the Delhi High Court said that only those who produce whisky in Scotland can qualify to use the name Scotch to sell their brands.

Jagatjit Industries too may affected by the decision of the courts as one of its whisky brands is called, Bonnie Scot. Khodays recently entered into a tie-up with Bagga Millennium Liquor India to market and distribute all its brands including Peter Scot.

Analysts said that most of the large liquor companies in India have been following the Scotch Whisky Association's campaign against the misuse of the word Scotch by domestic liquor companies and have thus refrained from using the word Scotch on all their new whisky brands.

However, brands like Peter Scot and Bonnie Scot have been in the market for decades and have built for themselves brand equity.

Apna Bazar chain revamps
The Apna Bazar chain has begun a revamp exercise that started with Mulund and Andheri in 2005, and has now moved to the outlet in Vashi. Preliminary work related to designing of the Vashi store has already begun.

The management of the Apna Bazar Cooperative stores is trying to give the chain a contemporary look with props like air-conditioning, parking, enlarged product mix and most importantly a customer-friendly environment. The management feels that new malls and hypermarkets springing up across the city do not pose as much of a threat to Apna Bazaar as internal issues do.

Leading this list is inadequate funding as Apna Bazar operates on a limited share capital, enabling only a minimal profit margin. Another factor is the pricing strategy. The cooperative operates on EDLP (Every Day Low Pricing) policy which allows for a profit margin of 10 per cent only, whereas malls charge their customers the MRP (Maximum Retail Price). This allows them the leeway to offer various discounts to their customers.

The Apna Bazar co-operatives have been making losses for the past few years. In 2004-05, it posted net loss of Rs 2.98 crore on a sale of Rs 121 crore. In an attempt to mobilize funds Apna Bazar has launched three fixed deposit schemes. The fixed deposit scheme offers 8 per cent return for a minimum deposit of Rs 10,000, provided the deposit is good for a minimum period of two years. The `Akshay' scheme offers a rate of 10.80 per cent on a minimum deposit of Rs10,000. Another `Apna Kharidi' scheme is where the minimum deposit is Rs5,600 that allows monthly purchase coupons of Rs500 each while a deposit of Rs11,200 where the monthly coupon is worth Rs1,000 both for a year. The capital raised from these schemes adds up to over Rs 20 crore.

Meanwhile, Apna Bazar in a tie-up with International Co-operative Alliance, Japan, has sent a few of its managers to Japan for training in retail. Fresh food category comprising vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, and dairy products is the latest addition to Apna Bazar stores. Fresh food sales will touch 10 per cent this year from only five per cent a year ago. Food items account for 65 per cent of the sales at Apna Bazar while the rest comes from non-food items.

Nokia launches new range of `music smart' phones
Nokia has launched the latest model, the Nokia N91 music smart phone, in the `N' series in India. The model provides the integrated functions of music, smart phone and imaging, with a storage space of 4 GB. In addition to this, the phone is loaded with a 2 megapixel camera, is wireless LAN enabled and is priced at Rs 33,000.

The company is undertaking a new initiative in sponsoring the new album by AR Rahman, titled `Pray For Me, Brother', in a series of events and activities, with all of the proceeds going to the United Nations' charity towards poverty alleviation. The initiative is organised jointly by Nokia and K Music, the new music label launched by Rahman.

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