Marketing review news
08 June 2006

Cricket no longer the only mantra
A recent TAM report shows a marginal dip of two per cent in ad spends on cricket in 2005 against 2004. According to the report there was a 41 per cent increase in the number of brands that advertised on soccer (this is despite 2005 not having any major international soccer event), while the number of brands that advertised on golf went up by 74 per cent.

With the Fifa World Cup Soccer around the corner, a number of brands such as Coca-Cola, Airtel and LG have kicked off a number of consumer promos around the event. While Coke has tied up with ESPN for the Gyarah Hindustani contest, in which 11 Indians would get a chance to watch the matches live by answering a few questions printed on the coke PET bottles, Airtel in association with ESPN would be airing mobisodes, apart from a host of other activities.

And most of these advertisers feel that it is about time that they look at sports other than cricket. A Coca-Cola India spokesperson says, "India is fast moving from a one-sport country and popularity of other sports including tennis and football are on the rise. These present an exciting opportunity for marketers to build stronger connects."

Motorcycle companies focus on entry-level bikes
The entry-level segment currently accounts for 70 per cent of the total motorcycle sales in India and the pricing is getting more aggressive by the day. Currently prices hover in the Rs 30,000 to Rs36,000 range for 100cc bikes. Recent entry-level launches include TVS Star and Bajaj Platina launched by TVS Motor and Bajaj, respectively.

TVS Star has launched the StarCity which is now the fastest growing entry-level bike in the country, posting sales upwards of 50,000 per month during the last few months. In April 2006 alone, over 65,000 units of Star City were sold.

Similarly Bajaj Platina, the newly-launched 100 cc bike from Bajaj, is priced aggressively between Rs34,000 and Rs36,000. The company is promoting the bike for its style quotient and fuel efficiency and believes that Platina will help improve its market share in the highly competitive entry-level segment.

Not only entry level bikes now offer features that were so far available in premium category bikes such as alloy wheels, sporty silencer, fuel gauge, refreshing colours and graphics, push cancel indicators or ride switch in shock absorbers. Also the launch of the bikes is accompanied by high profile ad campaigns starring celebrities like cricketer M S Dhoni for StarCity.

Maruti launches new offers on new car purchases
Maruti's has launched a plethora of offers on new car purchases across the country.

To start with the company is offering a discount scheme under the guise of gift cheques on new car purchases for the month of June.

Maruti dealers will present a gift cheque worth Rs10,000 on the M-800 in Delhi and Rs35,000 in Chennai. For the WagonR and the Zen, gift cheques worth Rs35,000 are on offer in Delhi and Chennai. All these offers are available only until June 7.

Until June 30, a Versa can get a buyer a gift cheque worth Rs10,000 in Delhi and Rs12,000 in Chennai. For the Swift, MUL is offering MGA accessories worth Rs12,000 in select metros.

In Chennai and Delhi, MUL is offering to pay insurance for the first year on the Esteem. On the Baleno, the company is offering a gift cheque worth Rs 35,000 and free insurance in Chennai, while it is offering a gift cheque worth Rs50,000 in Delhi. Its Chennai the company in addition to the above offers has come out with upgradation bonuses worth Rs10,000 on the Swift and the Esteem; Rs15,000 on the Baleno and an exchange bonus of Rs10,000 on the Omni.

Gavaskar's contract with ESPN extended
ESPN Star Sports has extended Sunil Gavaskar's contract for another two years. The channel said that Gavaskar would continue to provide commentary on live cricket matches. In addition, he would be making publicity and promotional appearances for the channel's advertising and marketing efforts for the next two years.

Reliance group plans sub-brands strategy
The Reliance-Anil Dhirubahi Ambani Group (R-ADAG) is planning to create sub-brands for some of its businesses in the wireless and mobile space such as R World and Hello.

Company officials said Reliance would not have too many sub-brands and the equity of most of the products would go back to the Reliance brand which would remain the power brand. Reliance expects to have a master branding strategy whereby the power brand of Reliance would get used. Associating the brand with the icons in other industries, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, is currently featuring in RDAG's corporate film.

The company's says its contract with Bachchan is open-ended and flexible and while he would not be featuring for every product but wherever there is s brand fit, he would be taken. Reliance ADAG has also roped in cricketer M S Dhoni as its brand ambassador and would be getting in more celebrities depending on how well they fit the brand.

Godrej Agrovet enters value-added chicken snacks segment
Godrej Agrovet is entering the value-added chicken snacks market with the launch of Godrej Yummiez. The brand will be available in four products — cold cuts, breaded and coated snacks, marinated snacks and ready curries, which will all be made from Godrej's Real Good Chicken.

Initially the products will be launched in Mumbai.

The cities where the products will be launched next are Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. The company is expecting a turnover of Rs50 crore in three years. Godrej Yummiez is priced between Rs35 and Rs42 for 150 grams. It will be available in over 350 outlets in Mumbai including departmental stores, supermarkets and cold storages.

Aztecsoft expanding; to get new logo
Aztecsoft Software is expanding its operations and will also launch a new logo. The company is expanding its existing facilities and getting into new areas. It entered into wireless and embedded technology about nine months ago, which has broadened its product portfolio.

Company officials said the new logo would reflect the business more intuitively though the colours of the logo would remain the same, with black signifying reliability and integrity, and red signifying innovation, energy and enthusiasm. The company has decided to turn the Disha brand, acquired from Disha Technologies, into an identity, known as Aztecsoft-itest.

Channel 7 to focus only on hard news
The Hindi news channel, Channel 7, now held in a joint venture between the Jagran Group and India Broadcast News (IBN) plans to focus on hard news. The channel, which will sport a new logo will also have a new tagline Khabar Har Keemat Par (News at any cost).

Rajdeep Sardesai is the editor-in-chief of Channel 7 and Ashutosh will head the editorial section as managing editor. Talk shows, debates, crime updates, and breakfast shows are part of the programming mix, according to a news release from TV18.

Hyundai offers new customer service programme
Hyundai has launched a two-week customer service programme across 190 cities in the country.

Christened the Free Car Care Clinic, the programme started on June 1 and is available to Hyundai's customers across its 298 dealer workshops until June 15.

The scheme covers a free check-up for engine compartment, underbody, AC, body panels, interiors and a general checkup.

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