Marketing review news
05 October 2006

Khushboo is brand ambassador for Meera hair oil
FMCG major CavinKare has signed up film actor Khushboo to endorse its hair care brand Meera through a string of promotional activities.

The company says Meera is a brand that represents a woman of today and still strongly bound to her roots and family values… she is the epitome of grace, tradition and yet retains that zeal for life and contemporary thinking… she has achieved enviable success in her league of work and is one of the most respected stars of her times. In short, she fits 'Brand Meera' most gracefully.

According to the company, Meera a name synonymous with healthy hair for years is a brand that stands for converting traditional practices into convenient products.. Brand Meera consists of herbal hair oil, hair wash powder and shampoo with pure herbal particles, each of the products offering the goodness of pure herbs.

ICICI Bank launches cash back offer
Mumbai: ICICI Bank has launched a new scheme on credit cards. According to the scheme if a customer buys goods worth more than Rs2,000 on an ICICI Bank credit card, the bank will return a certain percentage of the money spent.

The amount credited by ICICI Bank to an individual's account will range from a minimum of 1 per cent to a maximum of 100 per cent. And what makes it more like a lottery the amount paid-back will depend on a six-digit authorisation approval code (AAC) in the ICICI Bank credit card charge slip.

The sum of these digits can range from 1 (when the AAC is 000001) to a maximum of 54 (when the AAC is 999999). If the AAC number ranges between 0-5, the amount repaid by the bank will be 75 per cent and if the AAC number is 51 and above the amount paid back would be 100 per cent of the purchase value.

Most trusted institutions; foreign media, business
New Delhi: A quantitative survey of survey of stakeholder expectations of companies operating in India conducted by Edelman, a global public relations firm has found that media and especially foreign media is the most trusted institution in the country carrying a top rating of 50 per cent, followed by business at 44 per cent.

The objective of the study was to understand stakeholder expectations of business.

The survey, which covered 140 opinion leaders across the country, found that government and non-governmental organisations were the least trusted institutions with equal ratings of 32 per cent. Another interesting finding was that Indian stakeholders turn to foreign mainstream media first as the most trusted media institutions.

According to the study, businesses in the country enjoy a high degree of trust among both employees and investors. Employees gave business a rating of 75 per cent, while investors rated it at 70 per cent.

Samsung launches mobiles the size of credit cards
New Delhi: Samsung Telecommunications India has launched a mobile phone P310 which is as big as a credit card and is priced at Rs21,499 and is aimed at fashion conscious business professionals.

The phone is only 8.5mm thick and has a colour screen, touch sensor soft key, 2 megapixel camera, quadband, bluetooth wireless support, e-mail, direct TV out, privacy lock and supports mobile printing.

The model offers 80 MB of internal memory and a slot for external memory offers wider space to store business presentation, video footage or MP3 songs. The phone supports all popular office formats like MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, HTML, and Standard Image formats.

Its `Direct TV Out' function enables recorded video films, images, office documents and video games to be played on the television screen or through a data projector.

It can also be used to play MP3 melodies on hi-fi audio systems.

Vetru launches mobile studded with diamonds
Mumbai: Vertu has launched a Frank Nuovo designed diamond-studded mobile designed styled "Signature Cobra" priced at Rs1.6 crore per piece. The new collection showcases handcrafted models made of ceramic and sapphire. A specially designed button on all Vertu handsets connects one to a wide range of services on travel, sport, and entertainment, with local language support.

The collection launched a second mobile called "Signature Python" with a price tag of Rs60 lakh. Only eight pieces of Signature Cobra and 26 pieces of Signature Python are available in the world at present.

The mobile will be available in select outlets across the country. Shobha De and Leander Paes will be the brand ambassadors for Vertu.

HLL launches new variant of Fair & lovely anti-marks cream
Mumbai: HLL has introduced a new variant, skinClarity, for its skincare brand — Fair & Lovely. Considering the FMCG major already has an anti marks product, the new product is expected to further enhance the benefits in the anti-marks category within the skincare market.

Fair & Lovely's skinClarity with vita aloe complex is expected to lighten the skin with benefits such as clear even-tone, smoothness and non-oily look, apart from giving the `usual radiant fairness and no marks blemish lightening effects of the existing anti-marks variant'. Priced slightly above its existing anti-marks cream (Rs32 for 25gm), Fair & Lovely skinClarity comes at Rs37 for 25gm.

CavinKare launches Tex toilet cleaner in Northern region
New Delhi: CavinKare has launched toilet cleaner Tex in northern India. The Rs 100-crore toilet cleaner market has been growing by 31 per cent per annum, and liquid cleaners, which account for 97 per cent of the market, have been growing at 25 per cent annually. CavinKare feels the segment is untapped as only 20 per cent of those who have toilets use branded cleaners. The segment has the potential of becoming a Rs 300-crore market.

CavinKare has introduced Tex in single use sachets targeted at the rural segment. The product will be available at an introductory price of Rs38 for a 500ml bottle, Rs10 for a bottle of 100ml and for the first time in single use packets of Rs2.

CavinKare test launched the product in Tamil Nadu in November 2005, and, according to the company, the product has already acquired 10.5 per cent of the State's market share in the three months from November 2005 to January 2006.

The product will be first introduced in the four southern States and Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bengal.

MTR Foods banks on magic shows and theatre
But Bangalore-based MTR Foods has hit upon a theatrical connection, which it believes is a winning marketing strategy. The company has been sponsoring magic shows and theatre performances to strengthen its brand presence in Karnataka for a year now, which has given it greater brand equity and recall.

The company has been using this platform to hold live demonstrations and dole out free samples of its products to people visiting the performances, before and after the show. The company first began renting marriage halls in Bangalore to hold magic shows by magician Uday Jadugar.

Later, it started approaching small residential complexes and then ones with bigger apartments where there was the perfect opportunity to tap the target market. This was followed by theatre on a much larger scale.

From October last year to March this year, 50 theatre shows by the troupe Guru Samsthe, under the guidance of theatre artist Yashavant Sirdeshpande, have been held in various parts of the state, especially in rural Karnataka. This fiscal year, the target is to hold 200 shows, mostly in rural North Karnataka, where the company is not so strong.

MTR Foods has grown at about 35 per cent in last fiscal which it owes in part to the success of these marketing initiatives and sampling trials. The marketing initiative is expected to continue for another six years. Plays will be staged for another year in Karnataka, before they move out to other states in the South.

Live demonstrations of products take place not only during these shows, but every day at MTR's `concept store' in Bangalore — Namma MTR — that sells the entire product portfolio. From 3 to 9.30 p.m. every day, dishes are made inside a glass kitchen and served to anyone who walks in asking for a demo.

To cater to young consumers, MTR Foods conceptualised one of the plays in the PUC curriculum onto a DVD and screened it at college campuses. MTR has screened the play in 170 colleges so far since January. The target is to take it to 335 colleges this year.

The company is also going in for traditional mass media advertising and for the next two months, there will be an advertising burst on regional and Hindi channels. The advertisement campaigns will continue till March, in short bursts of two months each.

KFC to sponsor West Indies team
Global chicken restaurant chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), has announced its global sponsorship of the West Indies cricket team for the ICC Champion's Trophy 2006.

KFC has also launched `Bucket Mein Cricket' month-long promotional offer till October 31. According to the offer, every bucket of chicken worth Rs199 and Rs299 will entitle customers to one and two coupons respectively.

Fifty winners chosen through a lucky draw will get an opportunity to have lunch with the West Indies cricket team. A further 10 winners will receive bats autographed by the team members as gifts.

Hyundai launches Verna
Hyundai has rolled out the mid-sized Verna which the company will consolidate its position in the segment. A 1599cc variable timing valve train technology engine powers the petrol version while a 1493cc CRDi engine powers the diesel version.

The car is available in a total of four variants. The 1599cc petrol version of the Verna comes at an introductory price tag ranging between Rs6.21 lakh and Rs6.39 lakh while the diesel-powered version will come for Rs7.35 lakh.

The interiors of the car have features like a rear seat armrest with cup-holders and a driver's seat armrest.

Amway gets relief via AP High Court
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh High Court has granted an injunction against CID proceedings to Amway India Enterprises, the wholly owned subsidiary of the US-based $7-billion Amway Corporation.

With this, all Amway offices across the State can commence normal business operations. The court ruled that the provisions of the rize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978, did not prima facie apply to Amway.

Acting on a complaint of mental harassment, the Economic Offences Wing of CID (Crime Investigation Department) sleuths had raided offices of Amway across the state early this week and filed cases on the charges of extortion, cheating and money circulation.

HLL opens self-service stores
Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) has tied up with grocers (who joined with HLL under its Super Value programme) to convert their stores into self-service units.

Till now four `Super Value' stores have been converted into self-service stores in Delhi. These self-service stores offer shoppers the advantage of touch-and-feel like in modern trade stores and help make the shopping experience "more personalised and fulfilling."

Gitanjali starts loose diamond retailing
The Gitanjali Group has launched in New Delhi. Under this, a price list will be issued for loose diamonds that bear current trends in diamond pricing with a view to keep the customers informed. The International Gemological Institute would certify the diamonds and their specifications in terms of cut, clarity and carat will also be mentioned.

Gitanjali also launched the Revv brand. The jewellery under the brand will be made of steel, tungsten and titanium. Actor Upen Patel would be the brand ambassador of Desire Lifestyle's Revv Jewellery.

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