Marketing review

27 Feb 2004


Ads should be truthful, entertaining: Padamsee
Alique Padamsee, the guru of the advertising world, while addressing members of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata urged Indian industry to promote products and services in a truthful manner so as to make them more relevant to consumers.

He said good advertising should also be entertaining. He maintained that ads had a way of identifying their own media, including new ones such as mobile phones through the SMS route.

He added that ads were now ubiquitous and had become a part of public affairs like sporting events. He said that messages that did not entertain and attract people's attention would be ignored after a point.

He concluded that on a medium like television, a brand's need to have a USP--not only a `unique selling proposition--but also a 'unique strategic personality.'

Cadbury bytes into sweet snacks
Cadbury India is test marketing a new category of chocolate snacks under the sub-brand, Bytes, and will launched it under a new category of 'sweet' snacking.'

Cadbury Bytes is a wheat-based crispy snack with cocoa solids as an inner filling and is priced at Rs 5 for 18 gms. The product is being outsourced and manufactured in Maharashtra by the Kolhapur-based ShreeWarana Sahakari Dudh Utpadak Prakriya Sangh Ltd.

Commercials of the product have already been aired in AP and will soon roll out in other states also. Bytes ads come with the baseline, `Share the snack. Share the joy'.

Vivek's to expand northwards over a three year period
Chennai-based consumer durable retailing company Vivek Ltd is planning to expand beyond the South.

To achieve this, the company plans to secure a turnover of Rs 500 crore from the Southern states in the next three years as well as build cash reserves of Rs 40 crore before targeting the northern and western markets.

In this time frame, the retailer hopes to set up about 100 stores, all company-owned, in the southern states as it needs the size and a scale to expand out of south. It would expand operations market by market.

Electrolux brands its service centres
Consumer durables maker Electrolux Kelvinator Ltd (EKL) has separated its distribution network from its service function and wants to project itself as a consumer-friendly company.

Officials say the company will soon roll out a customer service enhancement programme called Insta Service, which will include setting up of exclusive Insta Service branded centres. 300 such exclusive service centres will come up by the end of 2004 and one Master Service Centre in each metro by 2005.

This development came after the company found that after-sales service has become a sore point with consumers purchasing consumer electronics and durables in the market.

The company has set up a web site, wherein a customer can register his complaint and is assured of a response within the next 24 hours. The site will also connect all the service centres with a centralised parts depot (which will be set up towards mid-2004).

Rahul Dravid, Vasundhara Das to be Karnataka's brand ambassadors
The Karnataka tourism department has roped in cricketer Rahul Dravid and actress, singer Vasundhara Das to be the states' brand ambassadors and promote it as the state as a preferred destination among foreign and domestic tourists.

The two celebrities with large domestic and international appeal are expected to lend strength to the tdurism Department's ongoing efforts to increase tourist inflow, which in the last one year recorded a 14 per cent jump.

For their new roles as the brand ambassadors, Rahul and Vasundhara would be paid an honorarium of Rs 1, 00,000 each year for the three-year agreement.

PVR Pictures in joint venture with Factory
Delhi-based Priya Village Roadshow (PVR) Pictures has entered into a joint venture with Verma Corporation Ltd and K Sera Sera's production company, Factory.

The new venture, called PVR / Factory, will have exclusive distribution rights in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal for the upcoming films of Factory. Factory will produce and release nine movies in the next 18 months. The new company will also distribute films of other producers as well.

The three companies will have a profit-sharing relationship between them on the distribution of a list of films such as Ab Tak Chappan, Murder at 2 o'clock, Vishnu Prasad Gayab Ho Gaya, Darna Zaroori Hai, James, Vastu Shastra, Naach, Time Machine and D.

Rajshri to get into large scale films
The Rajshri Group is planning to scale up film production and distribution in 2004.

For the domestic market, Rajshri Pictures Ltd has tied-up with Zee Telefilms Ltd for distribution of Hindi and other language films throughout the country. The tie-up does not involve equity participation. The joint venture Zee-Rajshri Film Distribution will distribute films produced, co-produced and acquired by both companies through more than 20 distribution offices all over India.

In the international arena, Rajshri plans to get into distribution of films and has set up an office in the US.

Rajshri Pictures ruled out plans for an initial public offering (IPO) at this juncture; but could consider it 3-5 years down the line, once the business has been scaled up.

The Rajshri Group, which has been in the film industry for over 50 years, is in the process of changing itself from being an occasional player to a pro-active participant in film-making.

Dollar Shop plans expansion
The 9 to 9 dollar shop that operates on the lines of the dollar shops in the west and sells all items at fixed price points of for Rs 49, Rs 99 and Rs 149 and upwards is planning to expand. The dollar shops now present in three states will add their presence to more states in the next two years.

The number of outlets is projected to touch around 150-200 from 66 stores at present.

The 9 to 9 Dollar shop is a replica of the dollar shops present in the US and Europe which stock miscellaneous products. Items like crockery, stationery, leather belts and wallets are sold at Rs 49 and Rs 99 each in these shops in, while some items are priced at Rs 149.

Retailers are able to ensure cheaper rates as they procure them directly from the manufacturer, eliminating all intermediaries and their margins. The products are directly sourced from manufacturers in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Phillipines and Malaysia. Therefore the exporter-importer-wholesaler intermediary is avoided and the costs savings are passed on to the customers.

India's Pride relaunched in Kerala
Shaw Wallace has relaunched India's Pride Rum in the Kerala market and plans to extend the brand gradually to other states.

Kerala is one of the strong rum markets in the country and the consumers are more open to trial of new brands, tastes and flavours according to company officials.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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