Marketing review news
24 August 2006

Ford Fusion launches new campaign for Ford Fusion
Ford has released a new campaign for its urban activity vehicle Fusion. According to the company the no-nonsense campaign underscores the practicality of the `no nonsense' Ford Fusion.

The company has come out with TV ads that feature ad men excitedly discussing the thrills they can put into the ad, only to have their enthusiasm quelled when they are told what's required is a no-nonsense campaign shorn of shapely women, celebrity ambassadors, vrooming vehicles, throbbing music and exotic locales.

The company feels that the `no-nonsense' theme has long-term value. The car's features are in focus in the ad - it has manoeuvrability, may look small but has spacious interiors, extremely good torque for city driving and a 15-inch wheel-base to avoid potholes.

The Ford Fusion, which is slotted in the premium hatchback segment, was launched in 2004 but recently underwent a makeover, for which this campaign was launched.

Ozone plans Rs 5-crore campaign for No Marks cream
New Delhi:
Ozone Ayurvedics plans to launch a pan India campaign to reposition its No Marks cream as a specialist in the anti-mark creams segment. The company says it launched the campaign to not only make people more aware of the brand, but also clear the misconception of No Marks being a fairness cream that also removes marks.

It says No Marks is a cream that is a specialist in reducing and removing marks from the skin. The message has been given through a campaign themed kuch ho sakta hai in which the company has used the scepticism that most people have towards such products into making them aware of its proven results.

The campaign would include various other methods to reach out to consumers, like `question and answers' in the print media and beauty suggestions by specialists in the retail outlets and also assessing the brand through consumer feedback. The company is also looking at changing the packaging of the cream to be in tune with the campaign.

The company is also planning to increase its retail presence from the current 3-lakh outlets to 4 lakh by the end of the current fiscal. Besides this, the company is also planning to foray into the anti-ageing segment, under the No Marks brand that already has a face wash, scrub soap, elbow cream and sunscreen lotion in its portfolio.

Radio Mirchi hikes spot rates
Radio Mirchi has announced an increase in spot rates ranging from 10-25 per cent for all its stations.

Radio Mirchi has said that while the prices for the seven older stations including those at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata have gone up by 25 per cent, the prices for the newly launched stations have been increased by 10 per cent from the introductory price announced in April. The statement adds that during April-June, its revenues grew by 63 per cent compared.

AstraZeneca considers brand in-licensing
AstraZeneca is hiking its Indian inorganic growth agenda and moving towards brand in-licensing. The mandate is to in-license (or take over the marketing of) 3-4 brands from fellow MNCs in therapies relevant to its own areas. AstraZeneca is also open to taking on new but allied products, which would lead it to having access to new customers. The company is trying to do two things - in-license a cluster of India-specific brands from MNCs as it continues to aggressively pursue (brand) acquisitions that strategically fit into its portfolio.

Max NY Life's new products
Max New York Life has launched the Max Mangal Endowment Plan and Max Vriksha Money Back Plan. These products, aimed at the semi-urban market, are simple, affordable and provide customers with dual benefits of protection and long-term savings.

Goodyear India makes changes in retailing strategy
Goodyear India has decided to change its retailing strategy for its passenger car tyres in the Indian market. The company plans to adopt `shop-in-shop' retail format to consolidate presence in the replacement market away from the exclusive store format it had earlier.

To start with, the company would set up 50 shop-in-shop format branded stores by 2006-end and at least 250 more by end-2008. The company says it will invest Rs50 crore for setting up the 300 shop-in-shop retail outlets. The first six such stores would be rolled out in Chennai on August 24, followed by 12-15 in the North, South and West and 3-5 in the East.

Goodyear does not use the shop-in-shop format in the Americas, where exclusive stores continue to be the preferred retailing format for the tyre major.

Under the new shop-in-shop format, Goodyear tyres would be available in a specially designed outlet that would be located within a multi-brand outlet of a tyre retailer. All the new shop-in-shop outlets of Goodyear would be air-conditioned, have international look-and-feel interiors and attractive range-based display, utilise computerised software for easy access to tyre information and carry prominent branding. Goodyear's space in the store-in-store format would vary in size between 400 and 900 sq ft.

Goodyear India has also entered into tie-ups with other brands for providing car care products including car perfume and tyre shine under the same roof.

Customers to choose `Superbrands'
Superbrands India, the Indian arm of the global brand-mapping organisation, Superbrands, has made consumers responsible for rating their own indigenous Superbrands across 169 categories. According to the organisation, "Consumers have never been involved in the selection process across the world. It is for the first time that the organisation has decided to involve consumers in India to rate their own indigenous Superbrands, across 169 categories for the second edition of `Consumer Superbrands' due to hit stands by the end of this year.

AC Neilson, the market research company, would verify the ratings by the consumers before the special 12-member jury panel takes over the proceedings to give the final verdict. The jury panel consists of eminent personalities from the marketing world as well as from the media.

The organisation plans to follow the procedure of survival of the fittest, where the brands are subject to elimination right from the first round where the consumers play a vital role. Any brand that scores less than 6.5 on a scale of 10 on any brand or gets less than 50 respondents gets eliminated right in the first round. In the second round, the jury ranks the brands and those scoring less than 6.5 on a scale of 10 are ousted. Besides this, the panel is also not allowed to rank brands that belong to their own stable.

In the procedure only 200 brands survived this round of scrutiny and many categories were totally wiped out. Superbrands has sent out invitations to the owners of the chosen brands. Companies have to pay a fee of Rs5.5 lakh to participate in the final round.

Brands like Cadbury Dairy Milk, Hutch and Shoppers' Stop, among others have featured in the final list this year too, brands such as Dhara, Cinthol and Air Sahara failed to hold their ground in the selection process. Among the several new entries are Park Avenue, Real Juices, NDTV and Yellow Pages.

Speed Post heats up courier space
The Department of Posts has brought down Speed Post tariffs of letters weighing up to 50gm by 50 per cent. Under the new scheme, consumers can send a letter weighing not more than 50 gm to anywhere in the country for Rs25.

Until now, the postal department charged a flat rate of Rs50 for any letter up to 200gm. The move is part of the `One India One Rate - Speed Post' plan announced by Dayanidhi Maran, minister of communications and information technology.

The cut by DoP may give private courier companies such as BlazeFlash, DTDC and XPS a run for their money. To implement the new scheme, India Post has introduced a new slab of 50gm while most courier companies have 200gm as the minimum. The rate is inclusive of service tax and educational cess, irrespective of the distance involved.

GM plans to enter used car business
General Motors India has decided to venture into the used car business. The company will enter the used car market early next year. The company is yet to give a name to the new business as plans are still in progress.

Some GM dealers in India are Automart India dealers, too. They know the workings of the used car business and necessary training will be imparted so that they are able to forge ahead in this business in the shortest time possible.

GM is following in the footsteps of Toyota Kirloskar, Hyundai and Tata Motors, which recently decided to foray into the used car business.

GM has been in the market since 1996 when the first offering, the Opel Astra, was launched in India. The company has offered several variants of Opel and Chevrolet models, which could be up for grabs in the used car market.

In order to retain existing GM customers, the company has introduced a loyalty package for customers who wish to trade their existing models for an Aveo, SR-V, Tavera or Optra, under which the owners will get Rs20,000, Rs10,000, Rs10,000 and Rs20,000 respectively. This scheme is available across all authorised dealers nationwide.

According to industry experts, the used car business is at least twice as big as new cars and is largely an unorganised one.

GE Money signs up M S Dhoni as brand ambassador
GE Money India, the consumer finance unit of the General Electric Company (GE), has signed up cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as its first-ever brand ambassador for India. According to the company the partnership with Dhoni will help GE Money form a connect with its customers, many of whom are as passionate about cricket as they are about getting the best value for their money for their financial needs.

GE Money India has also announced the launch of a promotional campaign titled `Return of the EMI', which is open to all GE Money customers who take loans during the period starting August 19 to October 30, for an amount ranging from Rs10,000 to Rs100,000 against a personal loan / loan against property and home loan.

NDDB to retail Spices Board's `Flavourit' brand
The Spices Board, which exports the "Flavourit" brand of spices to boost high quality Indian spices in the world markets, is reworking its prices for marketing the products by the National Diary Development Board (NDDB) in the domestic market. The NDDB has suggested to the Spices Board that it bring down the prices which are on the on the higher side. The Spices Board countered stating that the prices fixed by the Board included the courier / postal charges as it was being sent directly to the consumer.

The Spices Board had launched these products in the US last year targeting a large number of high income-Indo-American families in Silicon Valley, California. The response has been encouraging so far.

The products launched were - four types of assorted spice box each containing four different spices, 17 different organic spices and spice products consisting of whole spices, ground spices, tamarind paste packed in pet jars, eight different items of curry paste, curry masala and curry powder packed in bottles / tins, eight different organic spice flavoured organic tea bags (sting and tag), vanilla extract (SFE) of two different concentration packed in 15ml and 16ml bottles, 250gm packs of AGEB cardamom, 250gm packs of black pepper, both MG-1 and TGEB grades and Gourmet quality vanilla beans in 100gm and 25gm packs. The Spices Board has promoted the brand and also assures its quality.

Yamaha launches Gladiator Challenge
Yamaha Motor has organised a daylong event called the `Gladiator Ride Tech Challenge' for two-wheeler owners.

As part of this, the company is offering vehicle owners the opportunity to test and prove their riding skills on a specially created track at the Exhibition Grounds. Designed to cover diverse road conditions, the track comprises hair-pin bends, mud patches, dust stretches and speed-breakers, along which contestants had to manoeuvre the Yamaha Gladiator bike within the shortest time possible.

Titan looks at bigger presence in mass jewellery market
Titan Industries is looking to increase its presence in the mass jewellery market by extending its pilot `GoldPlus' retail project, targeted at the semi-urban buyer, to more tier-II towns in the country. At present Titan has two GoldPlus stores in the country - in Erode, Tamil Nadu and Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.

The company plans to open 10 more stores this fiscal year, primarily in the South. Titan's jewellery brand Tanishq has a more urban image, GoldPlus is present in non-Tanishq markets, especially tier-II towns and will target the investment-oriented customer; the jewellery will be more traditional and have a local flavour. Titan Industries' retail expansion plans also include adding 25-30 World of Titan showrooms this fiscal. It plans to have over 100 Tanishq stores by the first quarter of the next fiscal. Six large-format Tanishq stores, extending over an area of 5,000 sq. ft, are also planned for this fiscal year. Currently, there are 193 World of Titan and 84 Tanishq stores across the country.

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