Marketing review news
16 November 2006

Tata Motors launches new Indica Xeta range
Tata Motors has launched a new range of the Indica V2 Xeta with a 1.2-litre engine option at an introductory limited period discount of Rs25,000.

The range is available in four models — GV, GVE, GVS and GVG and comes with maximum power of 65.3 PS @ 5,000-5,200 rpm and maximum torque of 10.2 kgm @ 2,600 rpm.

The top-end GLX model comes with a 1.4-litre petrol engine delivering a power output of 70 PS @ 4,800 rpm and maximum torque of 12.4 kgm @ 2,600 rpm. The entire range continues to be available in Salsa red and Lagoon blue colour.

Pepe Jeans, Suzuki bikes to feature in Dhoom 2
A number of brands will feature in the upcoming expected to be blockbuster film Dhoom 2. Pepe Jeans and Suzuki motorcycles for one will feature in the film. Pepe Jeans recently launched its D: 2 Collection, in an exclusive association with Yash Raj Films, the movie's producers and distributors and has been signed on as the sole merchandising brand partner for all fashion apparels and accessories for Dhoom 2.

The launch of the collection will be backed with an aggressive media campaign covering television, magazines, billboards and print.

Dhoom 2 has also tied up with Suzuki Motorcycle India, a subsidiary of the Japanes Suzuki Motor Corporation, to use three of its motorbikes — one 1,000cc and two 600cc — in the movie. The three models include GSX-R1000K6, GSX-R600K6 and GSR600KS6.

Mahindra Holidays launches holidays with 'Zest'
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India has launched `Zest' a time-share holiday product to cater to young professionals in the age group of 26 and 39 years. The company set up Zest after research revealed that 70 per cent of Indians are below the age of 35 and young professionals take short-breaks more frequently. While holidays are no longer treated as a luxury but a `must do thing', the research also found that driving to weekend getaways had become popular.

Mahindra Holiday's Zest offers young professionals a work-life balance with short holidays taken closer home. The Zest service design caters to rest and relaxation, family bonding and quality time for couples, socialising and network, outdoors and adventure activities. Activities at these resorts include wine tasting, salsa dancing, barbeques, camping and campfires.

The first two Zest hubs will come up in Chennai and Bangalore. The resorts have been developed in Ooty and Kodaikanal and will be operational by the end of this year. The Zest signature resort is slated to come up in Puducherry and will be ready by the end of 2007. The national rollout would be over the next three years.

SMS in 9 languages on Nokia phone
Hutch and Nokia have announced an alliance to offer an India-wide SMS service, known as INDISMS, a local language SMS service for Hutch customers using Nokia phones, enabling them to send and receive SMS in Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu. Customers can get this application by sending INDISMS as an SMS to 123 and downloading through the WAP link. The application itself comes free-of-cost, though the customer will be charged Rs1.60 for downloading the `INDISMS' application (regular GPRS charges of 10p / 10 kb).

Audi launches marketing initiatives
Iconic German carmaker Audi is planning some new and different marketing initiatives to spearhead its presence in India. The company is considering getting the Audi brand endorsed through sports teams or celebrities none of which would be brand ambassadors for the company.

For instance the company had signed up former cricketer Ravi Shastri to promote the launch of its Q7 model, on a goodwill basis due to his links with Audi (the cricketer was awarded an Audi 80 in the Benson and Hedges cup 1985). However Shastri is not a brand ambassador for the company.

Globally, Audi has been endorsing two football teams (Manchester United - UK and a Munich - Germany-based).

Apart from brand endorsements, the company plans to offer Audi merchandise for its xelite list of Audi aficionados. The whole range would not be available; only certain products that would suit the Indian buyer will be available with the dealer. The products would be carefully scrutinised and picked up based on the lifestyle of the Indian consumer. Globally, merchandise of famous brands is a common marketing tool that is being endorsed by several companies.

The Q7 is the latest model to be part of the Audi stable and is leading in sales with 90 units likely to be sold this year. The homologated models, A4 and A6 are the other prominent models.
Audi has plans to introduce more sporty models in the country. The RS4, S8 and the Audi TT Quattro are likely to venture into the market by mid-2007. These sporty models would be the first of its kind in the country.

Kinetic associates with 'Apna Sapna Money Money'
Kinetic Motor Company has associated with production house Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts, to promote its latest film 'Apna Sapna Money Money'.

Through this film Kinetic Motor will promote its newest launch the 'Kinetic Italiano Blaze' – a powerful motorscooter.

Through this joint initiative, bike enthusiasts across Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Surat, Delhi and Bangalore will be able to test-ride and participate in a slogan contest and win an opportunity to meet the star cast namely Koena Mitra, Celina Jaitley and Riya Sen. The rest of the cast includes Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty, Ritesh Deshmukh, Shreyas Talpade, Rajpal Yadav, Chunky Pandey and Anupam Kher.

Kinetic will promote 'Apna Sapna Money Money' in print, online and electronic media through a specially designed and created TVC along with over 10,000 test rides across the country, through this association which has been conceptualised and engineered by P9 integrated, part of the Percept IMC Group.

FritoLay launches premium 'Lay's Stax' potato crisps
FritoLay India, the leading convenience foods company of India, has launched its international premium potato crisp brand Lay's Stax in India.

According to the company Lay's Stax is targeted at the young adult premium snack consumer. It is a light, crunchy, perfectly shaped potato crisp, stacked in a re-sealable premium can. It comes in a unique, convenient pullout tray, making it the ideal easy to serve and easy to share party snack…ideal for the festive season at the end of the year. The company is launching Stax in two flavours - Salsa Spices 'n' Oregano and Bell Peppers 'n' Cream.

The company said Stax is made from high-quality potatoes, has zero trans-fats, no added MSG and is cholesterol free. The Lay's Stax can, like every Lay's pack has detailed nutritional labelling. This is in keeping with the brand's commitment to offer information to aid consumer choices.

Lay's potato chips are available in seven flavours – Classic Salted, Magic Masala, American Style Cream and Onion, Spanish Tomato Tango, Caribbean Hot and Sweet Chilli. The company has recently launched Lay's wafer style sub-range – Hint of Fresh Butter with Toasted Garlic, Hint of Roasted Red Chilly with Coriander,

Dabur Foods launches Real Apple Nectar
Dabur Foods has lunched Real Apple Nectar in a convenient ready-to-sip pack.

According to the company, Real Apple packs the energizing taste and goodness of apple juice in a Tetrapak and is available across India in a 200 ml pack priced at Rs12.

The brand promises its consumers the real taste of natural fruits. Real offers the largest range of fruit juice variants like Orange, Mango, Pineapple, Mixed Fruit, Grape, Guava, Tomato, Litchi, Cranberry, Mausambi and now Apple. The company claims a market share of 57 pc for the Real range.

Sunsilk's Gang of Girls goes global
Hindustan Lever is considering taking its online community global.

Unilever, however, has not yet finalised how the concept will be taken forward. According to sources, Gang of Girls may also be taken rural, where it will be rebranded Sunsilk Saheliyan.

The Sunsilk site was launched in June 2006 with the aim of developing a closer relationship with the brand's target audience — young girls. The site features gang games, blogs, parade ground, hot jobs, message board and newsletters, in addition to advice on hair care, relationship and astrology.

The Gang of Girls website has had 2,50,000 registrations and 25,000 'Gangs' or user clubs formed on the site so far. The site has registered almost 200 million hits and gets on an average almost 12-13million page views every month.

The company is also trying to spread awareness of the concept and facilitate direct feedback through college and mall activation programmes.

So far, it has reached to about 60 youth hangouts like college festivals, malls and multiplexes across the country under this initiative.

GCMMF to turn corporate
Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand, has decided to shed its 50-year-old cooperative model and become a corporate entity.

GCMMF that has 13 district cooperative milk producers' unions, 25 lakh producer members associated with 11,962 village societies, will become a producer company under the Companies Act, 1956. The cooperative is planning to appoint Boston Consulting Group or Mckinsey to implement the recast. The statutory formalities would be completed in the next six months.

Hotmail storage space raised to one gigabyte
Microsoft Corporation has increased storage capacity of MSN Hotmail to one gigabyte and has extended its expiration period for inactive accounts to 60 days from the earlier 30 days.

Hotmail has over 260 million active e-mail accounts.

With the increased storage users of the Hotmail will get more space to keep files, photos and e-mails. The storage upgrade and extension of the expiration period for email accounts is part of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to meet evolving needs of Hotmail users as it gears up for its next generation e-mail service Windows Live Mail.

However, the company in a press release clarified that the extension of expiration period was for accounts that were more than two years old.

At present, Indiatimes and Rediffmail offer 1 GB storage space each while Gmail offers 2 GB storage capacity.

Mirza International to expand retail presence
Kanpur-based leather major Mirza International has opened its 25th lifestyle store in India in Kanpur, as part of its drive to open about 50 such stores and take the number to 300 eventually.

Two years ago Mirza International went to go into retail which has now become one of its major activities.

The company started with stores in Dubai and Sharjah, and now has five stores in Delhi, and one each in many B and C category towns.

These stores, styled Red Tape, the international footwear brand of the company, had a large number of accessories like T-shirts, denim jeans, wallets, and belts and footwear for both men and women.

The company has entered into an agreement with Arvind Mills, which supplies the accessories. The company's shoes are priced between Rs2,000-Rs2,500; wallets at Rs500; belts at Rs600; and denim jeans at Rs900-Rs1,600.

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