Marketing review news
22 November 2006

Discovery Travel & Living announces Indian Rendezvous
Discovery Travel & Living has launch the a six part television series Indian Rendezvous capturing the sights and sounds of Indian cities Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai.

This weekly half-hour episode will be telecast on Sundays at 8.30 pm and will be hosted by well-known personalities from each city. The personalities include Vasundhara Das, Sushma Reddy, Ayaan Ali Khan, Nagesh Kukunoor, Konkana Sen Sharma and Meera Vasudevan.
The series begin on November 26 starting with Bangalore.

Apart from Indian Rendezvous, Travel & Living will feature other programmes related to India including `Matter of taste' a programme on Indian food, hosted by Vir Sanghvi. About 20 hours of India related programming is under production.

Xenos Tech launches tyre monitoring system
Automotive products major Pricol's group company Xenos Technologies, has launched a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), suitable for passenger cars, sports utility vehicles and light motor vehicles.

The Xenos TPMS consists of two units, a display and sensors, the latter being fitted to car tyres. In case of low pressure, high temperature or rapid leakage of air these sensors alert the driver eliminating the possibility of accidents like a tyre burst. The display unit is stuck below the rear view mirror. The Xenos TPMS is priced at Rs12,500. The product will be distributed through the company's marketing and distribution network.

With the TPMS, one can set alarm levels at varying conditions such as high temperature, high pressure, three levels of low pressure and rapid leakage making it flexible and safe.

BSNL gets into direct marketing
In a first of sorts Bharat Sanchar is outsourcing part of its marketing activity to private agencies across the country in order to fight competition from private telecom players. The organization will appoint business associates for each of the 23 telecom circles to directly market and sell a range of its products including leased lines, broadband services, web hosting, server co-location, landlines and mobile phones.

Until now, BSNL was advertising its services aggressively, while customers had to approach the company for its products. The company is appointing business associates on a commission basis who will also provide customer support services, for which there would be an additional incentive.

The business associate will have to use its own distribution network for marketing BSNL products on an exclusive basis. Each associate will be given a set of mandatory targets. Companies with an annual turnover exceeding Rs5 crore can also apply to partner with BSNL. As per competition and market conditions the franchisees will help BSNL offer customers the best deals. These firms will also be responsible for bill collection from BSNL subscribers.

Now just SMS to get for one-year life cover
Birla Sun Life Insurance and Idea Cellular have entered into a strategic alliance to provide insurance services over the mobile.

These include a one-year life insurance cover for Idea mobile subscribers. To get the insurance cover Idea subscribers have to download a popular dialler tone costing Rs20 from Idea Zindagi portal and get a one-year life insurance coverage for Rs10,000 free.

This is available for subscribers in the age group of 18 to 35 years and the scheme is valid for three months from now. This alliance has been initiated through the launch of the 'group term insurance cover' where both pre and post-paid subscribers between 18 years and 35 years get free life insurance wherein accidental death gets coverage for one year. However, suicide is not covered in the policy.

Zydus Cadila enters into the smoking cessation category
Zydus Cadila Healthcare is foraying into the smoking cessation product category through brand acquisitions. The company says it is looking at entering a new category by introducing smoking cessation products.

The market for smoking cessation products is almost negligible though internationally there are a host of nicotine prohibitive brands, including chewing gums said company officials. The Ahmedabad-based company is in talks with smaller brands and players in the Indian market who are already selling their brands at pan outlets.

The company says it created a new category for low-calorie sweeteners with Sugar Free brand nearly 20 years ago and is now looking at creating another new category with smoking cessation products.

Zydus Cadila acquired the Nutralite brand for Rs 30 crore early this year, and is planning to beef up its basket of healthcare brands. Recently it re-launched the Nutralite brand and has decided to do away with its butter and cheese offerings and restrict it as a margarine brand.

Linc Pens to revamp image
Linc Pens & Plastics is revamping its brand image in order to get out of its `manufacturing ethos and connect with more with customers. Towards this end, the company is launching a television commercial with the theme of `The Beginning of Change,' that will reinforce the company's image makeover and repositioning strategy.

Rediffusion DYR has handled the creative part of the campaign after taking into account the findings of a customer-centric market research that was conducted across the four metros. The campaign seeks to arrest and capture the sensibilities and aspirations of the schoolboy, new age woman, the youth, young and old alike.

The size of the writing instruments market in India — in the organised as well as unorganised sectors — has been pegged at around Rs1,800 crore.

Cox & Kings takes franchisee route to expansion
The 248-year-old travel company Cox & Kings is looking for franchisees to power its expansion plans. The franchisees will offer a host of travel-related services under one roof with the sole purpose of making travel simpler for a customer.

The company wants to provide a one-stop shop for travel with a distinct feel and look. It plans to have around 700 franchisees in the next two-three years each of whom would be provided with systems that would give access to all sorts of information including what a customer can do over a week-end in London or how to access the cheapest fare.

The company is primarily looking for franchise arrangements in category II and category III cities including Tirupati, Coimbatore, Rameshwaram and Kodaikanal.

The services that would be provided at the franchise locations include flight, rail and hotel bookings, car rentals, sight-seeing, cruise and holiday packages, apart from travel insurance and visa and documentation services. In a few locations, foreign exchange facilities would also be available.

What is planned is a business arrangement whereby Cox & Kings grants the franchisee the licensed right to own and operate a business based on the travel company's (Cox & Kings) business concept, using its trade mark.

Similarly, the Ministry of Tourism estimates that the number of domestic tourists in 2005 was around 300 million and this is expected to increase 15 per cent annually.

Hero Honda adds more to Passion and Glamour
After the launch of the new CBZ X-treme by Bajaj Auto rival Hero Honda has launched two new variants of its existing bikes — the new Glamour with alloy wheels and the Passion Plus Limited Edition. Hero Honda has refreshed the Glamour (carburetted version) with stylish new, matt-black finished, five-spoke alloy wheels.

The bike now also sports new graphics for the body side-panels and comes with a colour combination option. The company has also launched a fresh ad campaign for the new Glamour, with the new tagline — Simply Magnetic.

The new Passion Plus Limited Edition will also attempt to restate its position as the original style bike with the use of a fresh palette of colour combinations that makes the bike look like it has been given the airbrush treatment.

The new Glamour with alloy wheels is priced at Rs45,673 for the drum brake version and Rs47,692 for the disc brake version (both ex-showroom, Chennai). The new Passion Plus Limited Edition is offered for Rs42,391 (ex-showroom, Chennai).

Parle re-launches Marie biscuits brand
Parle Products has decided to relaunch its regular Marie brand and also hike its price by Rs 2. The company has also changed the name of the product from Marie Choice to Parle Marie. Parle has also been trying to grow the Marie category with its value-added premium variant - Marie Digestive (priced at Rs13 for 200 gm).

According to the company, the Marie category is growing at 20 per cent and the new variant has not eaten into the share of the regular Marie. The company also has no plans of hiking prices for the rest of its biscuit brands, including its largest selling glucose brand - Parle G. Incidentally the price of Parle G has not been changed in the past 12 years. The price of Parle G continues at Rs 4 for 100 gm.

Coca-Cola Machaye Dhoom
As part of its association with Dhoom:2 (D2), Coca-Cola India has made available special edition "Coca-Cola-Dhoom:2" bottles. The D2 branded bottles have been launched in 500 ml + 100 ml PET range for a limited period across the country.

The first of its kind bottles sport a special label with images of Hrithik Roshan, the latest Coca-Cola brand ambassador along with the rest of the film cast emblazoned on it.

The launch of the special edition bottles has been timed two weeks prior to the opening of the movie on 24th Nov '06. The initiative is further backed by the launch of a mega consumer engagement program. It includes Coca-Cola consumers being able to download exclusive D2 ring tones, composed by Pritam the music director of the movie.

In-addition, Lucky Coca-Cola consumers also have a chance to win loads of special prizes, including the complete D2 gear as sported by Hrithik, Aishwarya, Abhishek, Bipasha and Uday Chopra in the movie.

As part of its association with Yash Raj Films, producers of D2, Coca-Cola has just released a new ad featuring Hrithik Roshan, the latest Coca-Cola brand ambassador also playing a lead role in the movie. In the ad, that has been released on all major TV channels Hrithik is seen in his latest D2 avatar.

The TV commercial has been conceptualized by Anirban Sen of McCann Erickson, The Coca-Cola commercial has been directed by none other than the D2 director, Sanjay Gadhvi and has been largely shot in Mumbai.

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