Marketing review news
30 November 2006

Volkswagen to launch small car in India
German automobile company Volkswagen AG is planning to develop a compact car "specifically tailored to the needs of the Indian market," according to company officials.

The officials indicated that the car would be on the lines of the Polo, sold in Europe, and would compete with Maruti Swift and the Hyundai Getz in India. The car would be customised for Indian needs but we will have similar versions of the car selling in China and Russia.

The company is setting up a manufacturing facility in Pune that would help increase localisation content in the cars to about 70-80 per cent.

Volkswagen's first model will roll in India by 2007. Volkswagen plans to first start making cars at Skoda Auto's Aurangabad facility from mid-2007. The company plans to start by producing models like the Passat.

Motorola launches Motofone
Motorola has globally launched its low-cost handset, Motofone in the country. Motorola is banking on the Motofone, its thinnest phone at about nine mm. The handset, available for both GSM and CDMA technologies, will be designed and manufactured at Motorola's Indian unit.

The GSM version may be sold for Rs1,600 through a bundled offering with Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and BSNL. The CDMA version is likely to be shipped by the end of 2006.

One of the new features in the handset is the voice prompt in multiple languages, making it user-friendly for people who are illiterate or cannot read due to lack of vision. The voice prompt guides the user through the phone menu in English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Telugu, Bengali and Kannada. Other local languages will be added later.

ICI Paints launches ColourFutures 2007
ICI Paints, which makes Dulux Paints, has entered into a tie-up with the Fashion Design Council of India to shoot a joint TV commercial featuring Kareena Kapoor, to be directed by filmmaker Karan Johar.

Kareena Kapoor will be the brand ambassador for the Dulux Velvet Touch product as well as ColourFutures, a concept that forecasts international colour trends every year.

ICI Paints also plans to launch a product targeted especially at the south Indian market - Dulux Light and Space, which will reflect light better and give a feel of larger space indoors.

According to the company the colours and themes that would be in vogue for next year would include sunny yellow, deeper red, vibrant electric green, and turquoise blue across themes such as `Colour therapy', `Mix and Match', `Flavours of Home' and `Connection Point.'

The colour of the year is an elegant innovative and versatile pink with grey and blue undertones and has a unisex appeal.

The colour forecast is available in the form of a ColourFutures 2007 book that will guide consumers to create the perfect look to their homes. It also provides colour predictions on fashion and lifestyle.

Shah Rukh takes over from Amitabh Bchchan as KBC host
Actor Shah Rukh Khan will take over from Amitabh Bachchan as the new host of TV game show Kaun Banega Crorepati 3 (KBC).

AdEx India, in its Celebrity Track analysis, says SRK's as Shah Rukh Khan is popularly known, basket of endorsements expanded to 21 products in 2005 from 13 in 2004, a 62 per cent jump.

To top it all in the first quarter of 2006, he endorsed 16 brands, 76 per cent of the 2005 figure. In 2005, the ad spend on brands endorsed by Shah Rukh was Rs6.05 crore. In January-March 2006, that figure stood at Rs1.10 crore, AdEx estimates based on market rates reveal.

Last year was also significant for Khan as he featured in a substantial number of socially relevant advertisements. His share of such ads vis-à-vis commercial messages in 2005 rose to 20 per cent from 0.3 per cent the previous year. The total number of TVCs featuring him rose 43 per cent to 53,527 in 2005 from 37,436 in 2004.

Lladro looking at niche segment in Indian market
Porcelain figurines brand Lladro of Spain is looking at an exclusive and niche segment branding for itself and to that end its new focus is large "high porcelain" articles, the prices of which will start from Rs10 lakh.

While prices now start from Rs8,000, the average spent on an item in India stands at Rs60,000. The new plans also include tapping the wedding and home décor market. The brand is diversifying into porcelain jewellery, chandeliers, bath accessories and the like.

Lladro's offerings will be launched in India in January 2007.

Lladro, which recently formed the joint venture Lladro India Pvt Ltd with its long-time Indian counterpart SPA Agencies, is shoring up its retail presence in India by redesigning its boutiques and setting up a few more. By the end of 2007, it expects to have 10 company-owned boutiques up and running. It now has five. The joint venture, which will pump in $10 million into India (apart from real estate costs), has spent around $8,00,000 on its three-storied boutique soon to be opened in Chennai.

BSNL launches triple play broadband service
After MTNL, the other state owned telcom services company Bharat Sanchar Nigam has launched triple play broadband in Pune and will offer its customers voice, data and video. The proposed content-based services would be first made available to its broadband customers in Pune.

After the trial phase is over, which would take about two months, the entire city could avail the services. Later these services would be rolled out in Chennai and then in Bangalore.

These services would currently include about 80 free to air channels, few pay channels and video on demand content. The current tariff for the free channels is about Rs100 and pay channels would be charged Rs200. The second phase of rollout services would include gaming, TV based education, audio, T-commerce and PVR (personal video recorder).

Bajaj Auto to withdraw the 100 cc Platina
Bajaj Auto is planning to withdraw its Platina model over the next two-three years from the market, as it believes that the 100cc 4-stroke motorcycle is as outdated as 150cc 2-stroke scooters were 10 years ago. It plans to launch another product in its place under a new product platform.

Currently the company sells 1-lakh units of the Platina each month.

Mercedes more successful in small towns
Bangalore: DaimlerChrysler India has seen a higher growth rate for its Mercedes-Benz in smaller cities than in the metros and has also been experiencing strong growth in some cities in the East and the South.

The company says its success in smaller cities is due to the changing profiles of its customers as well as their changing buying habits. In recent times the Mercedes buyers have been individual buyers in the smaller cities, compared to the metros where large corporations are its customers. Moreover, its clientele is getting younger.

Daimler is also looking at starting dealership in cities like Bhubaneshwar, Calicut, Madurai, Jaipur, Kohalpur, etc.

The company said that last year, 40 per cent of its sales were made up by C-class, 40 per cent by E-class, while the other models such as S-class, M-class and the CLS and other imported models contributed the remaining 20 per cent.

In the metros, the sales of E-class have overtaken the sales of C-class. About 35-40 per cent of the C-class was sold in smaller cities.

Hyundai takes Maruti to MRTPC
Hyundai Motors India has filed a petition against Maruti Udyog with the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) seeking an injunction against it using the findings of a TNS / TSC study, currently under dispute, in posters and pamphlets.

Earlier Hyundai Forced MUL to stop using contents of the TNS survey in the latter's print advertisements.

Hyundai Motors India Limited (HMIL) has sought to amend its original petition filed before the MRTPC to include posters and pamphlets in the purview of its prayer.

In August this year the Commission had directed Maurti Udyog Ltd (MUL), India's largest car manufacturer, to stop using content from the disputed survey in its promotions.

Last week Hyundai alleged that Maruti was still using the contents of the TNS / TSC study, but through publicity bills to woo potential Hyundai customers and argued that the practice was unfair.

Earlier Hyundai had alleged that MUL's advertisement was a fit case of 'unfair trade practice' and was intended only to mislead the consumers.

Cafe Coffee Day plans to launch flavoured water
Coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day plans to launch flavoured water in 2007 and has already extended its brand Coffee Day to packaged drinking water.

Cafe Coffee Day sells its own brand of cookies, wafers and mints, apart from coffee.

The company believes the packaged water foray will help it build the Cafe Coffee Day brand as customers would carry the bottled water with them, thereby increasing brand visiblity.

In foreign countries, retail chains such as Macy's in the US are known to have bottled water.

At present, the packaged drinking water sells in 50 per cent of Coffee Day outlets at a price of Rs 15 a bottle of 500 ml. The company said that instead of selling existing brands it sees this as an opportunity to build a brand itself.

The company plans to sell its packaged drinking water across all its 400 outlets by January 2007.

Cafe Coffee Day executives expect 70 per cent of their 100 million customers (expected walk-ins in 2007) to buy packaged water from their outlets.

Pantaloon Retail to launch young brand 'Top 10'
Pantaloon Retail India, the Future Group's flagship enterprise, plans to launch Top 10, a brand exclusively for college students.

Inspired by Top 10 chartbusters or books that normally attract college students, the brand would include the best 10 styles and fashion collections for youth. The company is launching the first Top 10 store in Mumbai within a week.

Zee Telefilms changes name
Zee Telefilms is changing its name to Zee Entertainment Enterprises as part of the de-merger exercise the company announced early this year.

Company officials said the change in name is in tune with modern times. According to the restructuring announced by the company in March this year, the news related business of Zee Telefilms (ZTL) would be hived off and merged onto Zee News (ZNL).

The shareholders of ZTL would receive proportionate shares of WWIL as consideration.

also see : List of Marketing Review

 search domain-b
Legal Policy | Copyright © 1999-2007 The Information Company Private Limited. All rights reserved.  
Marketing review