Marketing review news
01 June 2006

Nike+iPod shoes to hit Indian markets soon
The Indian launch of the much-awaited Nike+iPod shoe will coincide with its global global launch, which is two months from now. The shoe priced at $129 ($100 for the shoe and $29 for the kit) globally, will have the same price in India as well.

Nike Inc announced the launch of this new product last week in the US jointly with Apple Computers, makers of iPod. A wireless sensor goes into the Nike Air Zoom Moire shoe and communicates with the iPod nano digital player enabling the runner to read the running time, distance, pace and calories in real time. However, it does not work with other iPods, or other shoes, although Nike plans to eventually integrate it into other sneakers.

UB Group's 'best 5' liquor brands valued at $1.8 b
UB Group's best five liquor brands have been valued at about $1.8 billion. These five brands have also been mentioned among the top 100 liquor brands in the world according to Impact International, a UK-based publication, which ranks liquor brands based on their retail value.

Bagpiper, UB's largest-selling whisky has been valued at $540 million. Impact International in its latest rankings said these five brands account for 5.1 per cent of the top 100 brands worldwide by volumes. Bagpiper valued at $540 million sells 10.5 million cases every year while McDowell's No 1 whisky sells 6.1 million cases and has been valued at $455 million. The third among the top five brands is Director's Special. It sells 4.3 million cases every year and has been valued at $310 million.

The fourth is McDowell's No 1 brandy, the largest selling brandy in the world. It sells 5.3 million cases every year and has been valued at $270 million. The last is Celebration Rum which sells 5.4 million cases and is valued at $245 million.

Nestle launches Maggi variant
Nestlé India has launched MaggiDal Atta Noodles. The product is being launched nationally and is priced at Rs 13 for 100gm pack and Rs50 for a 400gm pack.

According to the company Maggi is the leader in the Instant Noodles category because it is constantly improving its understanding of the consumer to give them excellent and tasty products that provide nutrition, health and wellness.

GM India to launch mini car 'Spark' next year
General Motors India will launch its much-awaited mini car, the Chevrolet Spark, in the first half of next year. According to the company, the `B' Segment car will be "two generations ahead of the Matiz," and will be positioned alongside the Wagon R and Hyundai Santro and be priced competitively.

The company has just launched the Aveo, the first Chevrolet product to debut in India in the first six months of 2006. The company will follow it up with the Optra SRV (Sports Recreational Vehicle) and the Aveo U-VA within the next few months. The company is ramping up its capacity at its manufacturing facility in Halol, Gujarat up from 60,000 units at present to 85,000 units annually. It has invested a total of Rs1,200 crore in the Halol plant and an additional Rs100 crore each is being spent on the introduction of the Aveo range and the capacity ramp-up at the plant.

HCL Info signs strategic alliance with Apple
HCL Infosystems has announced an agreement with Apple to provide sales and service support for iPods in India. As part of the tie-up, HCL is setting up distribution, logistics and service network to ensure availability of Apple iPods at key retail channels, including music shops, consumer electronic stores, format stores and other key outlets. The rollout would take place in a phased manner, with the first phase covering Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. The company also plans to introduce iPod accessories across its network shortly.

HCL would also distribute Apple desktop computers for education, media and entertainment space.

According to the company, "The tie-up marks HCL's focus in addressing the emerging digital lifestyle revolution in India. India's digital music industry is poised on the threshold of an explosive growth. The sheer size of Indian music industry as one of the largest players in the global music industry is the key to its potential for growth. In addition steady technological advances and greater availability of broadband facility promises a paradigm shift in the way music lovers access and enjoy music, creating newer avenues such as online music transfers and non-physical music formats."

The alliance with Apple would be backed by content as HCL has also launched an entertainment portal that would offer downloads for iPods, PCs and mobiles.

According to the IFPI:06 - Digital Music report, globally around 420 million single tracks were downloaded in 2005 - which is 20 times higher than the figure two years ago.

Hutch launches full-talk time starter packs
Hutch has launched full talk time of Rs99 on HutchBasic99 and HutchCampus99 starter packs in Rest of Tamil Nadu (ROTN-other than Chennai city) Circle. With this offer, new customers of Hutch would enjoy full talk time benefit on the starter packs that earlier offered a talk time of Rs25.

To avail the benefit of full talk time, customers should recharge their starter pack prepaid Hutch phone with a coupon of Rs200 and above within 48 hours of making the first call. Customers would also benefit from extended validity of 5 days on HutchBasic99 and validity of 8 days on HutchCampus99.

Starbucks Coffee to enter India in 18 months
Global coffee major, Starbucks Coffee Company, plans to enter the Indian market within the next 18 months as part of its plans to expand its global footprint.

According to the company, "We are excited about the great opportunities that India presents to the company. We are looking forward to offering the finest coffee in the world, handcrafted beverages, the unique Starbucks experience... to customers in this country within the next 18 months." However, the company has not yet identified the cities in India that Starbucks will initially enter.

Starbucks' list of potential markets includes Russia, Italy, India and Brazil and plans to eventually operate 15,000 stores in home country USA and have another 15,000 abroad and increasing its revenue 20 per cent and profit at a20-25 per cent clip annually over the next three to five years.

CaféCoffee Day and Barista currently dominate the Indian organised coffee retail market. Recently global names such as Costa Coffee and Gloria JeansCoffees have announced their entry into India with local partners.

ChaRminar formed to offer package ad deal in Hyderabad
Four leading newspapers in Hyderabad have teamed up in a unique advertising alliance, which gives the reach and depth of the combined strengths of each daily to offer the most cost-effective package to the advertiser and media planner in Hyderabad. Called the `ChaRminar', the combination includes The Hindu, Eenadu (Telugu), Siasat (Urdu) and Hindi Milap (Hindi).

The alliance to be formally launched on June 1 has been brought together by The Hindu-Eenadu combine, which has shared a successful advertising relationship from June 2001.

Given that each of the four leading publications reaches a varied audience, with a combined circulation of over 4.75 lakh in Hyderabad alone, the new ChaRminar would simply be the most powerful media plan, to cost effectively reach a large and diverse audience.

Idea to organize a 12-city Indian musical concert
Idea Cellular, in association with IMA (Indian Music Academy), has announced Jalsa, a 12-city Indian musical concert starting with Hyderabad. The Idea-Jalsa concerts are aimed at providing a platform to junior and upcoming artistes to showcase their talent in the field of Indian music.

Idea and a number of legendary Indian musicians - Pt Jasraj, Pt Shivkumar, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Zakir Hussain have come together to lend their support to this initiative. The cellular company has also launched Idea Madhur.

The vice president-marketing, Idea Cellular Pradeep Shrivastava, said, "India has a rich tradition of music and we are sure that `Idea-Jalsa' concerts will fulfil the dreams of many upcoming musicians as this provides a platform to promote their talent. Idea-Jalsa is a small tribute from us to the living legends and upcoming artistes as they create quality Indian music."

Airtel offers Football World Cup on mobile
Airtel has launched a number of services for the football World Cup 2006 which will enable all Airtel mobile users to access and follow the Cup.

The latest team news, fixtures, listings, halftime and fulltime scores, penalties and inquiries will be available on SMS/WAP alerts. Customers may choose to receive SMS alerts on their favourite team's progress, such as goals or score updates or match fixtures.

A dedicated news sector will also be available from May 31 to July 9.

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